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).
Waste disposal is an essential public service, as a disruption to this service would very quickly disrupt the well-being of the society. However, it should be noted that researchers have documented various health effects from living near landfills (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.
It should be noted that the increase in residential waste going to the landfill in 2020 is in part reflective of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, which saw more people working from and staying at home.
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
More detail about this indicator can be found in Peg’s 2017 Well-Being Report on the Natural and Built Environment: http://www.mypeg.ca/sites/www.mypeg.ca/files/uploads/AnnualWinnipegWellnessReport2017.pdf
Data is updated on Peg as it becomes available from the data providers.
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 in the Sustainable Development Goals
Click on the SDG to reveal more information
11. Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
Cities are hubs for ideas, commerce, culture, science, productivity, social development and much more. At their best, cities have enabled people to advance socially and economically.
However, many challenges exist to maintaining cities in a way that continues to create jobs and prosperity while not straining land and resources. Common urban challenges include congestion, lack of funds to provide basic services, a shortage of adequate housing and declining infrastructure.
The challenges cities face can be overcome in ways that allow them to continue to thrive and grow, while improving resource use and reducing pollution and poverty. The future we want includes cities of opportunities for all, with access to basic services, energy, housing, transportation and more.
Related Residential Waste Going to Landfill Targets
By 2030, reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management