In Australia 8.2 million tonnes of food waste is generated each year, most of which ends up in landfill. Once in landfill, food waste breaks down and emits greenhouse gases, including not only carbon dioxide (CO2) but methane (CH4) – a gas 25 times more potent than CO2.
In fact, the greenhouse gases produced by food waste in Australian landfill each year is equivalent to the emissions of Australia’s steel and iron ore industries combined!
Use the calculators below to get a picture of how the emissions from food waste compare to that of every day activities such as using electricity, or driving a car in Australia.
How many days and years of electricity CO2-e production is your business’ food waste equivalent to?
The average electricity use for a 3 person household in Australia ranges from 11.2 kWh to 27.2 kWh per day.1 This produces an average of 11.45 kg of CO2-e per household per day.2
How many days worth of average electricity CO2-e production is your business’ food waste creating?
For example, the commercial and industrial sector Australia-wide sends approximately 1.5 million tonnes of food waste to landfill each year.3 This figure has been entered into the adjacent field as an illustration.
How many equivalent 50L tanks of petrol is your business’ food waste consuming?
Using petrol as fuel produces CO2, CH4 (25 CO2-e) as well as nitrous oxide (N2O – 298 CO2-e) – emitting 114 kg of CO2 per 50L tank.4
How many 50L tanks is your business’ food waste consuming?
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1 – Australian Energy Regulator – www.energymadeeasy.gov.au
2 – Department of Environment. (2016). National Greenhouse Accounts Factors.
Emission factors and daily use figures used are averages for all Australian states.
Figures updated March 2017, previously Department of Environment. (2015). National Greenhouse Accounts Factors.
3 – Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. (2013).
A Study into Commercial & Industrial (C&I) Waste and Recycling in Australia by Industry Division.
4 – Department of Environment. (2016). National Greenhouse Accounts Factors.
Calculated using post-2004 emission factors.