Posts filed under ‘waste’

Synthetic Turf and the Tragedy of the Commons in Moreland

Synthetic Turf has high embedded carbon footprint, ends up as waste in landfill
Synthetic Turf has high embedded carbon footprint, ends up as waste in landfill

Climate Action Moreland has done a literature review to highlight the general environmental, social and health issues with synthetic turf, and specific issues around a proposal to convert unfenced grass sporting fields at Hosken Reserve in Coburg North to a fenced synthetic soccer pitch. This is the text of our submission to the Moreland Council engagement consultants employed for public consultation to inform the Hosken Reserve Refresh project for Moreland Council.

We have also reported on our blog separately on synthetic turf carbon footprint and total life cycle greenhouse gas emissions, and on the impact synthetic turf will likely have on the urban heat island effect on local residents.

Conversion of natural grass to Synthetic turf at Hosken Reserve should be considered as a catalyst issue for opposing increasing synthetic turf generally in our municipality. We are also very concerned with increasing State Government funding of school oval conversions increasing heat stress risk for children and heating the local microclimate affecting both children and local residents, against expert advice. (See Madden, et al, 2018 (Cool Schools), Pfautsch et al, Sept 2020 (School Microclimates))

We acknowledge the work done by local Merlynston residents on this issue to Help Keep Hosken a place for Community in defence of their grassed open space which they have been quite willing to share the use of with Sporting Clubs as Commons space.

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April 11, 2021 at 4:46 pm 2 comments

Natural grass or Synthetic turf? What are the total life cycle emission profiles

Total life cycle analysis of synthetic turf GHG emissions

A local residents campaign in Moreland over conversion of a sporting oval in Hosken Reserve from natural grass to synthetic turf has stimulated debate on the impacts of supporting a fossil-fuel/plastics industry product for organised Sport and Recreation. Although there are many impacts of an oval conversion, the issue that concerns us greatly in Climate Action Moreland are the greenhouse gas emissions. We do have a climate emergency, which has been declared by Council in 2018.

A 2006 Canadian total life cycle emissions study found that a 9000m2 grass pitch would have a 10 year baseline carbon negative impact of minus 16.9 tonnes CO2e while the synthetic turf would generate 55.6 tonnes CO2e (Note: this study assumed -53t Co2e saving at end of life with full recycling – this would not occurr in Australia with most materials going to landfill). A 2017 Swedish total life cycle emissions study on a modelled 7881m2 synthetic field concluded GHG emissions would be 527 ton CO2e for a ten year period.

Update: A deeper reading of the 2017 consultants report to FIFA revealed that total life cycle emissions for a standard FIFA sized pitch may be up to 1500 tonnes CO2e. This comes from examining a graph of total life cycle green house gas emissions for synthetic turf with various infill and various end of life disposal in the report.
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February 28, 2021 at 11:26 pm 4 comments

Submission: Australia’s Technology Roadmap not enough to address the Climate Emergency

Climate Action Moreland submission on the Draft Australia Technology Roadmap. This is the document that Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor has been pushing. The document itself provides a survey of different technologies that can be used in address climate change. But it is insufficient. The decision processes that approve expansion of emissions (such as in new coal mines or gas extraction), or maintain present high pollution levels in existing sectorial processes needs also to be considered. Strategic Technology Roadmap is only one tool that should be used to driving climate action ambition to tackle the climate crisis. We have a climate emergency.

CAMoreland Technology Roadmap Submission (PDF)
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June 22, 2020 at 12:59 pm 1 comment

Moving towards zero waste in Moreland by 2030

Time to reduce our waste and the embedded emissions in waste to landfill. Moreland Council has already set a target of zero waste to landfill by 2030. Now we need to make this happen.

Everyone has heard about China refusing to take recycling with high levels of contaminants. We have also had huge stockpiles of recycling materials at Coolaroo in Hume Municipality which has resulted in a number of fires, with heavy smoke blowing over Moreland, residential evacuations, and contamination of Merlynston Creek waterway.

Each year the cost to Moreland ratepayers of the collection and landfilling of general waste from households amounts to over $6 million.

We need to get much better at recycling and reducing consumption with waste packaging and becoming more a circular economy.
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August 19, 2018 at 6:24 pm 2 comments


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