Devon County Council has commissioned a full analysis of the carbon impacts of its waste management services.
The authority has engaged the services of international environmental consultancy Eunomia Research and Consulting Ltd to carry out the review.
Last year the council endorsed the Devon Climate Declaration by declaring a climate emergency. The new project, which commenced in December 2019, forms part of the authority’s subsequent commitment to become a net-zero authority by 2030.
Eunomia’s emissions modelling team will establish the carbon footprint of DCC’s current waste management services, including the emissions from reuse, recycling, composting, anaerobic digestion, residual energy recovery, landfill and transport.
Carbon contributions from each of Devon’s eight district waste collection as well as its recycling centres will be included in the analysis.
The results of this analysis will be used to produce a range of options for strategies for achieving carbon neutrality for the service. The research will also factor in the need to meet a 65 per cent recycling target by 2035 at the latest.
Councillor Andrea Davis, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Infrastructure and Waste, said: “We are pleased to be working with Eunomia on this important project that will enable us to better understand the carbon impact of how we manage waste in Devon and the potential for reducing this in line with local and national targets.
“The report will be used to inform the development of our new Resources and Waste Strategy this year which will be produced in partnership with district and neighbouring Unitary Councils.”
Waste management in Devon
Ann Ballinger, Eunomia’s lead expert in the carbon impacts of waste management, said: “It is crucial that any declaration of a climate emergency is followed up with action, so it’s fantastic to see Devon County Council engaging with one of their key areas where they have some direct influence over their carbon emissions.
“We’ll be looking at the full scope of the emissions from the authority’s waste management services to help them understand the areas where they can make the largest carbon savings in the least time and in the most cost-effective manner. We’re looking forward to working closely with the team and helping them take a step towards their net-zero goal.”