Waste disposal and CO2: Quick scan of the greenhouse gas emissions of the Dutch waste disposal industry, 1990-2004

In 2004, the greenhouse gas emissions associated with Dutch waste disposal were substantially lower than in 1990. While in 1990 the sector’s aggregate emissions were still around 12.7 Mt CO2-equivalents, by 2004 they had fallen to 0.8 Mt. This figure allows for the emissions avoided through carbon sequestration in the soil in the case of landfill and composting, and the energy recovered from the burning of waste in municipal incinerators and use of landfill methane. In 1990 the share of the waste disposal industry in Dutch greenhouse gas emissions was still about 6% (for the waste processed that year). In 2004 this had dropped to around 0.5%.