There are no publicly available LCAs assessing whether landfill or incineration with energy capture is a better environmental option for Aotearoa New Zealand. Such a study would be needed to better understand the relative environmental performance of each option in our local context – particularly since the results would be influenced by the transportation requirements between points of waste generation and incineration plants or landfills.
There are no publicly available LCAs assessing whether landfill or incineration with energy capture is a better environmental option for Aotearoa New Zealand
The conclusions may also change depending on new materials and new technology. Right now, we would have to factor in that the economics of incineration plants would probably mean that only one or two plants would be feasible around the country and therefore there would be emissions related to transport. In the future, if smaller scale plants were economic that would change the outcomes, as would an electric vehicle fleet powered by renewable energy. Alternatively, there may be an increase in biodegradable or compostable plastics that enter landfill, and outcomes of the analysis may change, particularly if all waste was disposed to modern landfills with methane capture.