Residential Waste Going to Landfill
Waste measures the amount of stuff that ends up in a landfill. The graphs show the average number of kilograms per person over a year.
Why This Matters
Data on the amount of residential waste going to landfill can help identify increases or decreases in landfill use. These changes could relate to waste diversion, such as recycling, composting and reuse, as well as changes such as overall decreases in total materials produced (e.g., due to such measures as decreased packaging). Diverting waste from landfills has important environmental benefits, including the reduction of greenhouse gases (primarily methane and carbon dioxide) and increasing the conservation of resources through reuse and recycling (Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), 2009). For instance, landfills were the third largest human-related source of methane, a major greenhouse gas, in the United States in 2009 (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2011).
This indicator is connected to the built environment. Waste disposal is an important public service (United Nations, 2011). A disruption of this service would very quickly disrupt the well-being of the society.
While waste management is essential, it should be noted that various health effects from living near landfills have been documented (Vrijheid, 2000). Such concerns suggest that waste diversion options, such as recycling, composting, reusing and careful disposal or recycling of hazardous wastes should be pursued.
Measurement and Limitations
This indicator measures the number of tonnes of residential waste that goes to landfill each year per capita.
Residential waste is defined as garbage generated by both single-family households and multi-family buildings; institutional, commercial, industrial, construction and demolition waste are not included in this measure (FCM, 2009). Residential waste that does not enter landfills and is not diverted is not included either. For instance, garbage which is burned, enters wastewater, or disposed of illegally (e.g., dumped in waterways or natural areas) is not included.
The data are provided by the City of Winnipeg Water and Waste Department, compiled on an annual basis and available on their website.
Residential garbage data can be found at: http://www.winnipeg.ca/waterandwaste/garbage/residentialReport.stm
The most recent data for this indicator was made available in 2016. This data is updated bi-annually, as the data becomes available.
More detail about this indicator can be found in Peg’s 2017 Wellbeing Report on the Natural and Built Environment: http://www.mypeg.ca/sites/www.mypeg.ca/files/uploads/AnnualWinnipegWellnessReport2017.pdf
Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM). (2009). Getting to 50% and beyond: Waste diversion success stories from Canadian municipalities. Retrieved from http://fmv.fcm.ca/files/Capacity_Building_-_Waste/WasteDiversion-EN.pdf
Pichtel, J. (2005). Waste management practices: Municipal, hazardous and industrial. Boca Raton: Taylor & Francis Group.
United Nations. (2011). New initiative to aid local governments in managing growing waste problem. Retrieved from http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2011/envdev1212.doc.htm
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (2011). Inventory of US greenhouse gas emissions and sinks: 1990-2009. Retrieved from: http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/emissions/downloads11/US-GHG-Inventory-2011-Complete_Report.pdf
Vrijheid, M. (2000). Health effects of residence near hazardous waste landfill sites: A review of epidemiologic literature. Environmental Health Perspectives, 108, 101-112.
Residential Waste Going to Landfill
Residential Waste Going to Landfill Sustainable Development Goals
12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
Sustainable consumption and production is about promoting resource and energy efficiency, sustainable infrastructure, and providing access to basic services, green and decent jobs and a better quality of life for all. Its implementation helps to achieve overall development plans, reduce future economic, environmental and social costs, strengthen economic competitiveness and reduce poverty.
Sustainable consumption and production aims at “doing more and better with less,” increasing net welfare gains from economic activities by reducing resource use, degradation and pollution along the whole lifecycle, while increasing quality of life. It involves different stakeholders, including business, consumers, policy makers, researchers, scientists, retailers, media, and development cooperation agencies, among others.
It also requires a systemic approach and cooperation among actors operating in the supply chain, from producer to final consumer. It involves engaging consumers through awareness-raising and education on sustainable consumption and lifestyles, providing consumers with adequate information through standards and labels and engaging in sustainable public procurement, among others.