Waste Management

The impact of climate change on waste management infrastructure is likely to become increasingly important and there are some threats which should not be ignored. Landfills have a significant long-lived pollution potential due to slow degradation of biodegradable content and insufficient flushing of leachate through the contained material. Current infrastructure may be vulnerable to flooding, with the incidence of more extreme weather events. The impacts need to be understood and measures put in place to ensure that resilience to such events is adequate.

There are also potential waste and public health impacts in the aftermath of extreme catastrophic events. The waste management sector was responsible for around 4 percent of UK greenhouse gas emissions in 2013, with methane being by far the most prominent gas (91 percent). The vast majority of these emissions are from landfill sites.

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