Businesses can play a big role in fighting climate change and reducing waste is a key opportunity.
Businesses have a major role to play in tackling climate change and reducing waste is a key opportunity. According to the MMSB, approximately 60% of the waste in Newfoundland and Labrador comes from non-residential sources, like industrial, commercial and institutional entities.
Waste and Climate Change
Climate change is being caused by the release of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere as a result of human activities. Methane is one of the primary greenhouse gases released as a result of human activities, second only to carbon dioxide. Methane is 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide in its ability to trap heat in the atmosphere. One of the largest sources of methane globally (and in Newfoundland and Labrador) is waste, as methane is produced when buried organic materials, like food scraps, decay in a landfill.
What have others done?
New World Dairy is Newfoundland and Labrador's largest dairy farm and the third largest in Canada. It recently installed an anaerobic digester and methane gas capture system at their facility in St. David's. The system allows the company to manage its manure and produce heat and electricity to operate the dairy facility, with a byproduct that can be used as bedding for cows. Through the capture and combustion of the methane gas that is generated during the digestion process, enough electricity and heat can be produced to service the farming facility. This will eliminate the need for 41,000 litres of furnace oil per year. Government estimates that the potential energy cost saving realized as a result of these types of actions are in the order of $40,000 - $45,000 per year.
Different types of businesses can have very different waste profiles, but whether your business is in retail, food service, accommodations or construction, or even if you work in an office building, there's a lot you can do to reduce your waste. Visit the MMSB's website for lists of things your business can do to help guide our province to a greener future.