Waste & Recycling

Organic waste in our trash and sewage is the source of about 6% of the community-wide GHG emissions. Reducing these emissions substantially will require a significant investment of resources in the City’s waste and wastewater management infrastructure and potentially a substantial overhaul in how waste is managed in the city to make these investments cost effective.

While waste is a small portion of the City’s overall emissions, the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, or IIJA, includes some transformative funding opportunities for the construction of local waste facilities needed to improve the City’s recycling diversion rates. Additionally, the SWB is taking their emissions into account as they undertake a master planning process to pursue the replacement of the City’s Eastbank wastewater treatment plant, which was heavily damaged during Hurricane Ida.

In developing the 2017 Climate Action Plan, the City learned that the landfill in Jefferson Parish that receives the City’s trash, River Birch, has a comprehensive methane capture system and creates about 20,000 gallons of biogenic renewable fuel daily. It sells credits for this fuel into the California renewable fuel market and injects the biogenic gas into the local fuel supply. In order to tackle these emissions more directly in the future, the City must analyze its waste and recycling approach compared to other cities and related barriers and opportunities. This will be the focus of near-term action