Greenhouse gas calculator for organic waste management

Environment and Climate Change Canada created the greenhouse gas (GHG) Calculator for Organic Waste Management to help municipalities, project developers, waste generators, and other users estimate the impact on GHG emissions of different organic waste management approaches, including composting, anaerobic digestion (a treatment that digests organic waste in the absence of oxygen), incineration, and landfilling. Organic waste that can be modeled in the calculator includes mixed municipal solid waste, source-separated organic waste, and single-stream waste (for example yard waste).

The calculator enables users to construct four scenarios (1 baseline and 3 alternative) for managing the same quantity and composition of organic waste. The calculator then generates charts and tables showing GHG emissions resulting from the baseline and alternative scenarios and calculates the impact on emissions. Users can select default or user-defined options for elements such as location (province, territory, or national), landfill gas recovery practices, type of energy generated (for example renewable natural gas) and transportation distance. 

For example, the calculator can be used to assess the GHG emission reductions that will occur when a municipality begins to compost organic waste instead of sending it to a landfill.

How to access the calculator

The GHG Calculator for Organic Waste Management is available as a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. A User Guide provides detailed information on how to use the Calculator and a Methodology Report provides background on the quantification approach used in the Calculator.

Please consult this video for a quick introduction to get you started.

User guide

The User Guide for the GHG Calculator for Organic Waste Management (PDF) provides detailed information on how to use the Calculator. The User Guide provides instructions for how to enter user input into the Excel file and how to view the results of the Calculator.

Methodology report

The Methodology Report for the GHG Calculator for Organic Waste Management (PDF) provides background on the quantification approaches used in the Calculator. The Methodology Report includes information on the materials and waste management options included in the Calculator. The Methodology Report also includes detailed information about the emission factors used in the Calculator.

Contact us

If you have a question about the GHG Calculator for Organic Waste Management, please send an email to ec.ges-dechets-ghg-waste.ec@ec.gc.ca with the subject line "GHG Calculator for Organic Waste Management".

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