MSW are one of the main sources of negative impact on the environment, including those associated with greenhouse gas emissions. In Russia, this point has not been worked out, therefore 90% of MSW is taken to landfills for waste disposal, 30% of which do not meet sanitary standards.
Experts have worked out three different scenarios for MSW utilization, which will result in different greenhouse gas emissions and overall environmental impact. These are basic, reactive and innovative scenarios.
Under the baseline scenario, existing management methods are in place: 90% of mixed MSW is disposed of at managed landfills, 7% is recycled and 3% is incinerated. According to the scenario, all unorganized landfills will be closed, and landfill gas is not collected or utilized. Under this scenario, the Russian MSW management sector produces 64 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year.
The reactive scenario involves the construction of several incinerators, and the share of recycled waste will increase. At the same time, 84.3% of MSW will be placed at sanitary landfills, 10% – recycled, and 5.7% – incinerated. Under this scenario, the volume of emissions will be reduced to 12.8 million tons per year.
According to the innovative scenario, a system of separate waste collection and widespread use of recycling technologies will be introduced. As a result, 20% of garbage will be recycled, 14.3% will be used as recyclable materials, 55.2% will be disposed of at sanitary landfills and 10.5% will be burned. This scenario assumes a reduction in emissions to 3.7 million tonnes per year.