Waste - Drivers & Pressures
What are the related drivers and pressures?
The main drivers for the selection of waste treatment paths, as shown in Figure 3, were policy drivers such as the ordinances on packaging waste and on biodegradable waste in combination with extensive information and a public awareness programme. Since 2004, the landfill ordinance requires the pre-treatment of reactive waste prior to landfilling. Therefore, household waste is incinerated or pre-treated in a mechanical biological treatment plant in order to reduce its total organic content. Because of the pre-treatment, emissions of greenhouse gases were reduced considerably.
The most important drivers for waste generation are economic and social drivers. In Figure 4 the growth of total waste generation and of household waste arisings in the period 1999 to 2008 is compared to real GDP growth and population growth. Household waste growth seems to be stronger coupled to economic growth rather than total waste growth is. Household waste generation increases much faster than the population. It can be concluded that the main driving force for household waste arising is the affluence of the population. Also changing lifestyles, such as the trend towards single households, can be identified as important social drivers for household waste generation.
Table 1: Flows of lead, cadmium and mercury in/from the Austrian economy in 2005 in tonnes (Umweltbundesamt and TU-Wien 2009)
|Emissions into air||Emissions into water||Emissions to soil|
|Total input into economy||from total Austria||from the waste management sector||from total Austria||from the waste management sector||From hunting, sport shooting, fertilising and mining||from waste products (compost)|