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Section 02

Waste and recycling and environmental impact

Many people do not think their trash can be an environmental hazard, but waste is a powerful source of greenhouse gas emissions.

Landfills are the third-largest industrial emitter of methane, a greenhouse gas approximately 25 times more potent than the carbon dioxide emissions of automobiles.22 Simply put, it is impossible to address the environmental threats without addressing the problem of waste.

methane IS A GREENHOUSE GAS that is


more potent than the carbon dioxide emissions of automobiles

Many businesses and governments have set out to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, and circularity will play a critical role in hitting these milestones.23 Fifty-five percent of emissions can be reduced using renewable energy and energy efficiency, while the remainder would be achieved through circular practices in manufacturing and food production.24 We are still far from that target. According to one estimate, the global economy is only 8.6 percent circular, down from 9.1 percent circular the year prior.25

Rubicon supports the reduction of emissions from waste and the waste reduction process in two ways.

First, by reducing the amount of waste our customers send to landfill—in particular food waste—we can dramatically impact methane emissions.

Second, by reducing the use of carbon fuels and carbon-emitting processes in the collection, sorting, and disposal of waste, we can support global goals for carbon reduction.