Proper handling of waste poses a great GHG emissions reduction potential. The potential for these reductions lies in two different areas of waste handling, namely either proper disposol of organic matter, that would otherwise emit primarily methane (CH4) and the incineration of waste, that can serve to replace energy (both thermal and electric) that would have been produced using carbon intensive fossil fuels.
Methane emission reductions
Organic matter, for instance in the form of waste, emits great quantities of greenhouse gasses, primarily methane (CH4), if not disposed of properly. The potential for the reduction of these emissions lies in various different sectors, as seen listed below and in the sublevel box on the right of this page.
The challenge of mitigating these emissions is present as the incentive for securing that the waste in question does not emit GHG, rarely exist as the proper handling of the waste does not present a opportunity to generated revenue for the stakeholder responsible for handling the waste. The clean development mechanism addresses this issue by providing the possibility for generating a stream of revenue, through the issuance of CERs upon registration of projects securing a reduction in GHG emissions from waste. Such projects can be implemented in various different sectors of different industries. Via the sublevels on the right more information on the technologies applied in such projects can be found, as well as an overview of which methodologies have been applied in both registred and not yet registred projects, according to the subtypes of the projects in the CDM Pipeline.
Incineration of waste
For waste that can be incinerated with the purpose of generating electric or thermal energy, the reduction potential lies in replacing energy generated through the incineration of fossil fuels. The form of waste used in these types of projects can both be organic and inorganic. Examples of organic matter that can be utilized in such projects include biomass in the form of waste products from e.g. agricultural production (rice husk, mustard crop, etc.). In the case of incineration of inorganic matter it is usually municipal solid waste (MSW) or industrial solid waste.
The following three categories of waste projects are covered in this section:
- Agricultural Waste
- Liquid Waste
- Solid Waste