Just a few days ago, the UN Climate Conference – COP26 – ended in Glasgow. Its key message is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, especially methane. During the conferences, representatives from countries around the world discussed how to achieve “zero net emissions” over the next decades.
Slovakia is not one of the largest greenhouse gas emissions, but the atmosphere does not matter where the greenhouse gases come from. They capture and warm the world no matter who radiates them. Every country and community therefore has a duty to work on a solution. That is why Slovakia must also act.
The carbon footprint corresponds to the total amount of greenhouse gases produced, expressed in carbon equivalents (CO2). It concerns people, products or events. This term is most often used in connection with products and defines the sum of all greenhouse gases that have been released into the atmosphere during their production.
Slovakia is one of the producers of greenhouse gases in the waste sector. More than 90 percent of “waste” emissions are methane, which is generated mainly at municipal waste landfills. Methane has an 80-fold to greenhouse effect than carbon dioxide alone. In Slovakia, landfilling is a really important methane with more than a third of its latest emissions.
That is why Slovakia must start waste management in an effort to eliminate its carbon footprint. We can hardly achieve “ZERO WASTE” in consumption times, and in practice recycling and composting are reaching their limits. Therefore, experts are paying more and more attention to the future of non-recyclable waste management.
It is not such a common term in Slovakia, but an even more important term, it is the so-called prevented greenhouse gas emissions. These are emissions that have not been released into the atmosphere due to the use of procedures with lower or no greenhouse gas emissions – thus changing technological or managerial procedures, for example.
870 to 880 kg of CO2 equivalent is produced from one tonne of landfilled municipal waste, while there can be no question of the emissions avoided in the case. Lower greenhouse gas emissions, 382 kg CO2 equivalent, essential for the energy recovery of one tonne of non-recyclable waste. In this case, we are also talking about hindered emissions. The production of electricity and heat from waste can replace fossil fuels and thus prevent greenhouse gas emissions from such sources. And that’s what it’s all about.