Infographic: Zero Waste Strategies Towards Carbon Neutrality

  Materials management holds great potential in climate mitigation. This infographic guides cities through three zero waste strategies to move toward global climate goals: reducing emissions at the source, stopping incinerators and methane emissions from landfills and...

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Fact Sheet: Plastic and Incineration

We have too much plastic that has nowhere to go... Can we just burn it? Short answer: no! Burning is the most harmful way to handle plastic waste. It turns one form of pollution into others, including air emissions, toxic ash, and...

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Facts about “Waste-to-Energy” Incinerators

Incinerators are facilities that treat waste by burning it. They come under many names such as “mass burn incinerators,” “thermal treatment facilities,” or so-called “waste-to-energy” (WTE) plants, and involve processes such as combustion, pyrolysis, gasification, or...

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The Green Climate Fund and community control

The Green Climate Fund is a new, global institution which is supposed to channel billions of dollars to support climate adaptation and mitigation in developing countries. But it is critically important that communities retain control of which projects get funded.

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The Green Climate Fund: Effective Community Ally or Corporate Giveaway?

The international community is creating a new entity, the Green Climate Fund, to channel up to $100bn a year to climate solutions in developing countries. In this paper, GAIA uses concrete examples from the waste sector to show why these funds should flow to the informal sector, grassroots groups, and city administrations and not to multinational firms. The benefits of such grassroots-led waste management include lower greenhouse gas emissions, higher employment rates, better working conditions and reduced toxic pollution; whereas the corporate approach tends to lead to increased emissions and economic displacement.

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Clean Development Mechanism & Waste

What’s wrong with the CDM support to waste-to-energy?
Climate policy attempts to reduce methane emissions from waste have mainly focused on the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), which was established not only to reduce emissions as cost-effectively as possible, but also to promote sustainable development and technology transfer to developing countries. Unfortunately, in the case of the waste sector, considerable evidence indicates that the projects approved by the CDM are not achieving either goal; indeed, in many cases they are directly undermining both.

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CDM Misadventures In Waste Management

The Clean Development Mechanism’s flagship waste management project in India is turning into a multi-faceted disaster, revealing flaws in both the carbon credit mechanism as well as the corporate-driven, technology-focused approached to climate change mitigation.

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CDM: Financing the Demise of Waste Worker Livelihood, Community Health, and Climate

Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) funding for incineration and landfills currently represents a lost opportunity to reduce pollution and help improve the welfare and standards of living of some of the poorest people in the world. Additionally, this funding incentivizes the destruction of valuable resources that would otherwise have been recovered with significant climate benefits. The following are a few examples of waste projects that have been approved or are being considered for CDM approval, and where there is growing community and waste worker opposition to the project.

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Respect for Recyclers: Protecting the Climate through Zero Waste

Reducing, reusing, and recycling municipal waste is one of the easiest and most effective means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It also provides gainful employment to millions of people in the developing world, mostly in the informal sector (“wastepickers”). Yet rather than supporting these efforts, climate funds such as the Clean Development Mechanism are subsidizing incinerators and landfill gas systems, which compete directly with recycling and increase emissions, unemployment, and public costs. A new, non-market, climate finance mechanism is needed to support the formalization and expansion of the informal recycling sector.

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Stop Trashing the Climate Report Connects Waste and Global Warming

In June activists in countries such as the Philippines, Canada and the United States took action to call attention to the findings of a groundbreaking new report. The Stop Trashing the Climate report, written by GAIA, the Institute for Local Self Reliance and Eco-Cycle, provides compelling evidence that preventing waste and expanding reuse, recycling, and composting programs — that is, aiming for zero waste — is one of the fastest, cheapest, and most effective strategies available for combating climate change.

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