GreenYes Digest V97 #175

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GreenYes Digest Wed, 23 Jul 97 Volume 97 : Issue 175

Today's Topics:
Landfill in a Tube
Landfill surcharges
questions on cement kiln fuels from hazardous wastes (2 msgs)
when hazardous wastes are recycled...

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Date: Tue, 22 Jul 1997 18:51:34 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Landfill in a Tube

Dear Susan K. Snow & Jim McNelly,
I was facinated by the detailsin Jims article on composting vs.
landfilling and the heavy metal problems....
As a plastics recycler I am often confronted with the reality that it is
often the additives that make plastics toxic rather than the plastic itself
(Not all plastics of course). I've always felt that in a perfect world in
which some plastics exist we would - make plastics from vegitable oils, and
only those kinds that do not decay into troxic monomers such as vinyl, and
not add toxic additives such as lead, and reuse and recycle as much as
possible. After as much reuse and cascading as possible we would pyrolyze or
even burn the remaining left over and would be able to do so safely as
nothing toxic was in it.
It seems to me that much of the fear of composting the entire waste
stream hinges around the same fear of contamination by toxics which we seem
to insist on spreading around all over the place.
As chair of the CRRA ZERO WASTE conferene we seek a Zero Waste world,
and a part of that ought to be the elimination of putting toxics into our
biosphere. With such a goal we might well arrive to a point in time when
these are gone, and then the complexities of what to do with waste become
much much easier - it can all be safely composted or recycled....

In conclusion - This example highlights the fact that these little
batteries exist in the waste stream and thus makes it much harder to compost
the organic part of the waste stream. This means we spend much more money in
handling this waste stream than we would if there were no such batteries in
it! Lets carry this logic out and fight to eliminate anything toxic from the
waste stream, which would then save tons of money in recycling, landiflling,
etc. costs! At the least we should fight to include this extra cost we are
incurring inhandling these toxics in the cost of those toxic containing
materials and stop subsidizing their disposal! hmmmm....


Date: Tue, 22 Jul 1997 10:54:27 -0600
From: "John Reindl 608-267-8815" <>
Subject: Landfill surcharges

Does anyone have information about surcharges that have been
imposed by state or local governments on landfills in the last three
years as a method of either discouraging the use of landfills or for
providing funding for waste reduction and recycling? This method of
funding is being pushed by a number of legislators and local units of
government for financing Wisconsin's recycling program, and I am
gathering information of what other states and municipalities have in
effect. I have North Carolina's report on financing methods for
FY1993-94, and am looking for more recent measures.

Thanks much!

John Reindl, Recycling Manager
Dane County, WI


Date: Tue, 22 Jul 1997 10:20:48 -0400
From: "Blair Pollock" <>
Subject: questions on cement kiln fuels from hazardous wastes

To the writer of the para below: What is the "Beville Exclusion"? Can you
give some citations for the statement about Solite's cement dust being
"contaminated with heavy metals..." My understanding from research I had
seen previously is that these types of contaminants, if they do occur in the
"dust", are locked up in block or concrete when the "dust" is used in these
products and thus not leaching.

FYI I operate a HHW collection program whose contractor uses incineration
with heat recovery for disposal of some solvents, oil paints and other
btu-bearing liquids, therefore I am quite concerned about the remarks below
and the previous remarks by S. Snow re: use in fertilizer. Need more data.

Date: Mon, 21 Jul 1997 09:49:07 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: GreenYes Digest V97 #173

The reason that compainies can so-called recycle these hazardous wastes in
fertilizer and cement blocks, and who knows what, is because of loopholes in
the law. They come under the Beville Exclusion. Solite Corporation who is
in the process of being bought out by Giant Cement, takes the dust from their
bag houses and puts it in thier light weight cement block. This dust is
contaminated with heavy metals, dioxin, furans, PCB's and many other
hazardous constiuients.


Date: Tue, 22 Jul 1997 16:15:12 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: questions on cement kiln fuels from hazardous wastes

The use of hazardous fuels in cement kilns is exempted from RCRA and is
acknowledged by many scientists as being a huge and ugly hole in our hazmat
management system in this country. It's a huge and ugly industry, too: kiln
operators get paid big bucks by hazmat generators to "dispose" of these toxic
fuels in their kilns, which would otherwise burn standard fuels such as oil.
Imagine what goes up the stacks: PCBs, dioxins, furans - you name it! So
rather than PAY for high-cost fuels to run their burners, they GET PAID by
hazmat generators to burn toxic fuels. What a scam! On top of all this,
most of the kilns are in states that have few or no real emissions
regulations, and little or no enforcement. Midlothian, Texas is one of the
largest and most horrific of all these facilities in the US.

David Orr
Pasadena, CA


Date: Tue, 22 Jul 1997 09:33:08 -0700
From: Bob Harsell <>
Subject: when hazardous wastes are recycled...

Susan K. Snow wrote:
> When legally hazardous and other toxic wastes, such as from printer
> cartridges, used oil, are recycled do they ultimately go into
> fertilizer?
> I know that some so-called recycling companies are recycling paint and
> other such wastes by mixing them with crankcase oil to be sold to cement
> kilns. Cement kilns, in turn, are apparently recycling their toxic ash
> residue (containing dioxins and other persistent organic pollutants;
> lead and other toxic metals) to fertilizer companies.
> These and other toxic wastes are a real problem. Along with
> fertilizers, they are apparently producing a <cell from hell> along the
> North Carolina and the East Coast, according to an article entitled
> <Mysterious `cell from hell' ravaging fish along East Coast> by Joby
> Warrick of the Washington Post and copyrighted by the Seattle Times.
> This was in the National News: Wednesday, June 11, 1997.
> Therefore, we don't want to dump them into the waters. But don't they
> still runoff when spread on the farmers fields, and on yards and
> gardens? There is a fear in the fields from hazardous wastes that are
> recycled into fertilizers.
> With or without regulations, all life on earth is being poisoned by
> these consumer products. Seems to me that one of the reasons for
> recycling is to prevent pollution. This sham recycling is contributing
> to pollution by spreading it over the earth and into our food. We are
> beyond the point of dilution. Chemicals are building up in animal
> tissues and contributing to lots of dangerous effects.
> Seems to me that we need to promote the prevention rather than recycling
> of some wastes by avoiding the purchase, in the first place.
> Susan Snow

Hi Susan,
We are beyond the point of dilution. The harmful effects of our
refuse may overt or very subtle. We naturally carry in our systems levels
of elements that are somtimes just below harmful levels. When we begin to
absorb toxins, we don't always "start from zero."
We have a short time to make large improvements in the way we use
the world. It's natural for animals to take what they want and discard
the rest. We have to learn to do something that's unnatural when we turn
away from chemicals that appear to be giving us what we want.
Just like people vary in their predilections, they vary in their
ability to make the intuitive leap that we are in fact destroying the
planet's ability to provide us with a home for our species. It just
doesn't jive with the way things have always appeared. It's too
frightening and the people who are sounding the warnings are too easily
passed off as alarmists or worse.
Also, there are those who are intelligent enough and inclined to
realize that we are dangerously contaminating and otherwise stressing our
shpere of life. They may not care if the world goes to hell as long as
they are on top for the ride.
We won't destroy the world, only ourselves. When we're gone,
along with the life that is closest to us, when all future life on the
planet has adapted to our change, the toxins that we have spread over the
planet will no longer have anything to harm and Earth may experience a
long period of relatively slow change. We had a chance to experience such
a blessing, but think we may already have lost it.
I keep trying because for me, there's nothing else worth working
on, and we can hope there is still enough time to get right.
Thanks for all your efforts and informative messages.
Bob Harsell, director,
Arthur Kill Watershed Association


End of GreenYes Digest V97 #175