Cap Case 6: City of Hayward Climate Action Plan

Responsible Party
City of Hayward
Case Study Year
City Involved
County Involved
State Involved
Country Involved
United States
Case Study Type
Cap Case
  1. Who did it: City of Hayward
  2. What they did (and when): Joined the Alameda County Climate Action Project in 2006. Conducted an inventory via a master contract with ICLEI facilitated by StopWaste.Org, the county's Waste Management Authority, in 2006 and updated it in 2008. Inventory was conducted by ICLEI. Adopted a climate action plan in 2009 that recognized and quantified the role of materials management in achieving the city's greenhouse gas reduction target. Set a reduction target for 2020 to reduce emissions to 12.5% below 2005 level and for 2050, to reduce emissions by 82.5% below 2005 levels. Although waste only shows up as contributing 4% to their overall emissions, reducing waste contributes 14% to achieving their reduction target. Here is a link to the plan: See printed pages 43-44, 88-92, 109-110 and 169-171 for a list of waste reduction activities selected and quantification of reductions expected from those. The Hayward Climate Action Plan makes recommendations to reduce the life-cycle emissions of solid wastes, not just the waste related landfill emissions that are typically quantified. Here's what their plan says about materials management and GHG:
      "Hayward has responded to the mounting pressure to extend the useful life of local landfills by implementing a variety of recycling programs available to residents and businesses . . . Recycling programs significantly reduce the transportation costs and the energy required to manufacture products made of recycled content, rather than manufacturing and shipping products made only of virgin materials. In general, manufacturing products made of recycled materials require less energy than extracting and processing raw materials, such as the savings realized when recycling aluminum cans. . . Methodologies for quantifying solid-waste-related emissions from the waste sector are not well refined. ICLEI‘s methodology calculates emissions from methane that is created when organic materials break down in landfills, but the standard methodology does not account for emissions, and potential emissions savings, that occur upstream from the landfill. For example, aluminum does not create any methane when it decomposes in the landfill, so there are no emissions associated with disposing of the can in the landfill. However, less energy is required to manufacture a can made out of recycled aluminum rather than virgin aluminum. Thus, the emissions benefit of recycling the can is linked to materials production, but these benefits are not accounted for in current emissions quantification methodologies. Better estimates of upstream emissions savings will likely be incorporated into the next generation of emissions modeling methodologies. The CAP makes recommendations on how to reduce all solid-waste-related emissions, not just the waste-related emissions that we know how to quantify."
  3. Why they did it: They were part of a joint project started by the Alameda County Conference of Mayors in conjunction with StopWaste.Org to address climate change on a countywide level. The project included a master contract for inventory work. The city then took that work and developed a reduction target and a climate action plan to achieve that target. They were aware of the weakness of the traditional inventory with respect to measuring upstream emissions related to product consumption and they wanted to include and quantify the GHG reductions associated with increased recycling, since it is a viable and cost effective method for reducing GHG.
  4. Results/outcomes/successes/failures/lessons learned: TBD.