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Re: [GreenYes] High-tech recycling on our horizon? Times of Northwest Indiana 26nov01
Dear Eric,

Nice attitude.

If you have questions, why not ask the author? That's why I included it. I
didn't say I agree with it, but it is relevant news if one wants to know
what the machine is doing. I suggest it is good to tune in now and then.

Sincerely,
Paul

Paul Goettlich
PO Box 517
Berkeley  CA   94701
www.mindfully.org
gottlich@infi.net

----- Original Message -----
From: "Eric Lombardi" <eric@ecocycle.org>
To: "'Paul Goettlich'" <gottlich@infi.net>; "'GreenYes'" <greenyes@grrn.org>
Sent: Tuesday, November 27, 2001 2:24 PM
Subject: RE: [GreenYes] High-tech recycling on our horizon? Times of
Northwest Indiana 26nov01


> So what is this, yet another magic black-box?  And where is the relevant
> information that would make this article something other than a puff PR
> piece?  For example, how do they sort the mixed garbage in this "massive
> two story recycling center"?  And what exactly is their recycling rate?
> And what quality compost are they producing?  And why is GreenYes
> sending out crap like this?
>
> Eric Lombardi
> Executive Director
> EcoCycle, Inc
> Boulder, CO
> www.ecocycle.org
> 303-444-6634
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-greenyes@grrn.org [mailto:owner-greenyes@grrn.org] On Behalf
> Of Paul Goettlich
> Sent: Tuesday, November 27, 2001 1:55 PM
> To: GreenYes
> Subject: [GreenYes] High-tech recycling on our horizon? Times of
> Northwest Indiana 26nov01
>
>
> High-tech recycling on our horizon? Lake County explores
> state-of-the-art
> system to ease landfill dependency.
>
> Jerry Davich / Times of Northwest Indiana 26nov01
>
> Think of it as a high-tech, multimillion-dollar Erector set that sorts
> through trash like nobody's business. Except in this case it's listed as
> new
> business for Lake County solid waste officials.
>
> In Medina County, Ohio, that state's second-fastest growing region,
> there's
> a massive two-story recycling center that has attracted 17,000 visitors
> from
> 26 countries since 1993. It's also a mandatory field trip for thousands
> of
> area students there.
>
> "It's definitely not just another recycling plant," said Bill
> Strazinsky,
> district waste coordinator for Medina County.
>
> All the trash in that north central Ohio county -- including all
> residential, industrial and business waste -- gets delivered to a
> central
> processing facility, owned by the county waste district, but operated by
> an
> outside environmental firm.
>
> This 60,000-square-foot facility, dubbed the "waste gate," handles about
> a
> million pounds of trash a day, delivered by a dozen or so different
> waste
> haulers.
> "We call it the 'we've got you covered' plan," Strazinsky said, "because
> even if residents choose not to recycle, we've got them covered by doing
> it
> at this plant."
>
> Using the latest technology, a fleet of forklifts and some old-fashioned
> elbow grease, the plant's 70 workers sort through trash, sending every
> feasible recyclable one way, compost material another and what's left
> over
> to landfills. Next year, the $8 million plant will be expanded to handle
> an
> even more complex technology.
>
> "What we'll do is take the tiny bits of leftover paper and film plastic
> and
> turn them into pellets, which can be burned like fuel," Strazinsky said.
>
> These pinky-sized pellets can then be used in place of coal for
> large-scale
> burners -- such as in steel mills and power plants -- catching the eye
> of
> officials here.
>
> Last week, the Lake County Solid Waste Management District board agreed
> to
> continue exploring the Ohio system, though it was made clear that it was
> not
> under any obligation to do so.
>
> "This is more than just a pie-in-the-sky idea. It's feasible. We just
> don't
> know how feasible," said Jeff Langbehn, the district's director.
>
> At its meeting, the board tipped over the project's first domino, by
> putting
> out a request for a proposal, which will eventually determine whether
> the
> system's cost is worth future discussion. By May, the board should have
> these dollar figures.
>
> Currently, Lake County tipping fees -- the cost per ton of trash
> collected
> at landfill sites -- hovers between $26 and $38. If the cost for the new
> system falls somewhere near this vicinity, Langbehn said there's a good
> chance it could become a reality here.
>
> Although traditional landfills are still the most economical form of
> handling waste, they're filling up fast, leaving local governments
> around
> the country looking to the future.
> "Our plant is odor-free, and I haven't seen one rat since I've been
> here,"
> Strazinsky said. "Maybe it's because waste on the move is different than
> waste that just sits there."
>
> If Lake County adopts the new technology, about three plants would be
> needed
> to handle all the waste. The Ohio plant handles 500 tons of trash per
> day,
> while Lake County generates closer to 2,000 tons per day.
>
> In 1993, Medina County officials took out a 20-year loan from a state
> agency
> to build the facility, charging the same $54 tipping fee to all waste
> haulers. Tipping fees there now have been lowered to $49.
>
> At the time, waste haulers there raised residents' monthly trash bills
> an
> average of $2.25 for the new service. But there hasn't been a rate hike
> since.
> "The average monthly trash bill here is about $12," Strazinsky said.
>
> Average monthly trash bills here are about the same, although they vary
> by
> municipality.
>
> Vern Hein, a longtime resident of Leroy, in unincorporated Lake County,
> pays
> $12 a month for trash pickup, including a $2 recycling fee. Hein said it
> would be worth a couple bucks more a month for a countywide system that
> ensures recycling is done.
>
> Porter County solid waste officials admit that dwindling landfill space
> is a
> "looming concern," but not pressing enough to prompt a more expensive
> alternative at this point.
> "It's all about economics," district director Lance Hodges said.
>
> Like much of Lake County's waste, Porter County waste goes to different
> landfills outside the county, with tipping fees averaging about $25,
> Hodges
> said. Some of Porter County's trash is taken to the Berrien County
> landfill
> in southwest Michigan.
>
> "We feel the pressure. But we're not moving full speed ahead right now
> in
> any direction," he added. "The Michigan landfill still has a lot of life
> left."
> As for the high-tech capabilities of the Ohio plant, Porter County is
> taking
> more of a wait-and-see attitude.
>
> "It sounds interesting, but we need more information," Hodges said.
> "This is
> obviously a regional problem."
>
> Jerry Davich can be reached at jerryd@howpubs.com or (219) 933-3243.
>
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