Waste 

 

Note: These pages present provisional 1990-2021 Inventory data using global warming potentials (GWP) from the IPCC's 5th Assessment Report (AR5) (updated July 2022) and the EPA's latest 2021-2030 projections estimates (updated June 2022) using global warming potentials (GWP) from the IPCC's 4th Assessment Report (AR4).

In 2021 the waste sector was responsible for 1.5% of Ireland's Greenhouse Gas emissions

 

Highlights

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Current trends

  • Greenhouse gas (GHG) provisional estimates for waste emissions decreased by 4.5% in 2021
  • Decreases were reported in the last five years (2017-2021)
  • In 2021, GHG emissions were 45.2% below 1990 levels

Cause

  • Long-term decreases are a result of decreased quantities of municipal solid wastes (MSW) disposed of at landfills and a decrease in the proportion of organic materials (food and garden waste) in MSW as well as a diversion of paper products from landfills

Outlook

  • Emissions projected to decrease by 12.5% under With Existing measures scenario

 

Waste sector

The waste sector includes emission estimates from solid waste disposal, composting, waste incineration (excluding waste to energy), open burning of waste and wastewater treatment and discharge. The largest of these sources is solid waste disposal on land (landfills) where methane (CH4) is the gas concerned.

Emissions from the waste sector decreased by 4.5% in 2021, with decreases in sub category landfills of 5.4%. Overall emissions decreased by 0.04 Mt CO2eq compared to 2021 emissions. Long-term decreases are a result of decreased quantities of municipal solid wastes (MSW) disposed of at landfills and a decrease in the proportion of organic materials (food and garden waste) in MSW as well as a diversion of paper products from landfills. Improved management of landfill facilities, including increased recovery of landfill gas utilised for electricity generation and flaring is also a big driver in decreased emissions from the waste sector.

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Projected emissions

(Latest update June 2022)

Waste sector emissions are projected to decrease by 15% between 2020 and 2030 to 0.77 Mt CO2eq under the With Existing Measures scenario.

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