SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE
With the next round of international climate change talks beginning in Durban South Africa this week it’s a good time to review the ties between Green House Gasses (GHG) and organic waste management.
All decomposition created some GHG, aerobic composting creates Carbon dioxide and anaerobic composting makes Methane. As climate change deniers are so fond of pointing out, both are indeed a natural part of our atmosphere and are needed to maintain the Earth’s climate. What they don’t want to admit is that the amounts of man-made GHG are rapidly rising and forcing mass climate change at a much more rapid pace than anyone was prepared for.
Employing aerobic composting methods to organic (plant material) solid waste will slowly create Co2 while anaerobic decomposition that occurs in landfills without air leads to methane creation. Methane is a much more effective GHG and more destructive in the atmosphere.
If landfills captured methane to use as fuel this wouldn’t be an issue but most do not. Diverting waste and aerobically composting it takes time and energy something most municipalities have little consideration for despite the job creation it would lead to. It’s down to individual households to keep their organic waste out of the landfill.
Burning fossil fuels aside, encouraging composting in your area is a great start to battling climate change.