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Re: [GreenYes] Fw: QUERY: What to do with used tires? [Q fromBra zil]
Thank you Jeff for bringing this discussion back into perspective - there is an
immediate need, to as safely and intelligently as possible, do something with
all those tires!  Issues like this are all over the place that can't afford a
loss of perspective.

Stephan

"Aluotto, Jeffrey" wrote:

> This has been an interesting discussion, but I would hope we can all agree
> (as I think Doug has pointed out) that there are really two issues here.
> First and foremost among these is the abatement of a public health risk.
> The message that prompted this discussion was a plea for help regarding an
> urgent health risk.  Any march toward "sustainability" which refuses to
> practically recognize the need to prioritize the immediate protection of
> public health is headed for failure.  While some may think that the more
> important question is "how do we get to sustainability", I guarantee you
> that the majority of the world's population would prefer to ask "how do I
> make sure my child doesn't get malaria from the pile of tires ALREADY
> stacked in our community?".  I don't think these folks would be willing to
> wait for the advent of a perfectly sustainable solution.  Refusing to
> recognize the urgency of these situations risks alienating our message of
> sustainability.
>
> The second issue is the sustainability concept (which obviously includes
> protection of health).  I don't think many would argue that reuse, waste
> minimization, closed loop recycling,etc. are preferable to energy recovery.
> However, if the situation is urgent, there are no other higher-value
> available markets, and/or the tires offer a source of energy which is
> superior (from an emissions and Btu standpoint) to high-sulfur coal or other
> fossil fuels they would replace, then I think we need to consider an
> integrated strategy which would include energy recovery.  As long as we
> recognize that this is only an interim solution, and as long as we continue
> to push ahead toward more sustainable alternatives, then this policy would
> be far superior to letting a problem fester until the day when someone just
> waves a magic wand to give us the answer - because that day will never come.
>
> Jeff
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Doug Koplow [mailto:koplow@indecon.com]
> Sent: Friday, March 01, 2002 10:30 AM
> To: hspie@telus.net
> Cc: greenyes@grrn.org; zerowaste@grrn.org
> Subject: RE: [GreenYes] Fw: QUERY: What to do with used tires? [Q
> fromBra zil]
>
> Helen,
>
> I must say I find your response puzzling.  There is no disagreement on this
> list about the energy balance of tires, or of the general themes of the
> waste management hierarchy.  We all think that it would be just dandy if
> tires never wore out, and if they did that they could be sustainably
> recycled into new tires.  There is no disagreement about getting on the road
> to sustainability.
>
> However, the original inquiry involved a public health disaster in Brazil,
> with 20 people dying per month due, in large part, to piles of waste tires.
> You have defined the "more important" question as "how do we get to
> sustainability?" dismissing the responses others posted to deal with the
> problem posed by the inquiry in an environmentally-sound manner.
>
> When is the last time 20 people per month have died in Vancouver due to an
> environmental problem?  If it happened, would you be up in the town meeting
> arguing that proven methods to recover energy from waste tires should not be
> used because we've got all of these other, somewhat higher value uses for
> the rubber that are just on the horizon?  Or that can handle 5% of the waste
> tires generated?  These very same technologies were just on the horizon 15
> years ago, and for some reason they haven't yet taken the continent by
> storm.  So let's see, 15 years is 300 months.  At current mortality rates,
> only 6,000 Brazilians would die from not eliminating the waste tires
> quickly.
>
> While I don't want to overstate the case too much, as I am sure not all the
> deaths are due only to tire piles, there is a more basic point here.  The
> road to sustainability needs to occur in a series of continuous small steps.
> Using tires for energy recovery is far better than leaving them in piles.
> Furthermore, you are not sapping needed supply from other uses (supply is
> still way larger than demand all over).  In addition, since cement kiln
> capacity is not being built only to use waste tires, you are not creating
> the types of infrastructure rigidities that arose with the take-or-pay
> contracts in municipal solid waste.  As a result, as higher value uses for
> the tires do finally reach maturation, there will be few barriers to
> diverting the waste tires in those new directions.
>
> In terms of Muna's comments that even waste tire burning in kilns is
> generating substantial environmental problems in his country, I would
> encourage him to integrate research done in the US and Europe to find out
> why.  This is probably more indicative of poor management of their
> industrial processes (regardless of the fuel), than to the use of tires.
>
> -Doug Koplow
>
> _______________________________
> Doug Koplow
> Earth Track, Inc.
> 2067 Massachusetts Avenue - 4th Floor
> Cambridge, MA  02140
> Tel:  617/661-4700
> Fax: 617/354-0463
> E-mail:  koplow@indecon.com
>
> >>> Helen Spiegelman <hspie@telus.net> 02/28/02 02:08PM >>>
> With all due respect, gentlemen, you have missed Muna's point:
>
> a simple energy balance
>  > will
>  > show that
>  > > "energy from waste" is simply another way of avoiding the issue in the
>  > first place -
>  > > that of re-use or avoidance...
>
> Mike and Jay are taking us down a road that answers the questions 'how do
> we get rid of old tires' and 'how do we find the energy to create concrete'
> -- but that road, arguably, leads us away from the more important question:
> 'how do we get to sustainability'.
>
> H.
>
> At 11:51 AM 02/28/2002 -0500, Jay Donnaway wrote:
> >Exactly, Mike
> >
> >Burning whole tires in a cement kiln is a much better option than mining
> >coal to fuel the kiln.  The Bavarian State Institute for Environmental
> >Protection (Germany)agrees, and concluded that the best means of disposing
> >of waste tires is to use them to tuel cement kilns.  In order to make good
> >cement, kilns much reach 1500 to 1600 degrees Centigrade, which is much
> >hotter than required for adequate breakdown of hazardous chemicals.
> >Hazwaste incinerators, on the other hand, know that higher temperatures
> make
> >for shorter equipment life, so they are incentivized to burn at the lowest
> >temp they can get away with.  This is a great example that sometimes,
> energy
> >recovery from waste is most appropriate.
> >
> >Jay Donnaway
> >
> >
> >
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From: Mike Morrow [SMTP:mmorrow@together.net]
> > > Sent: Thursday, February 28, 2002 9:30 AM
> > > To:   muna@iafrica.com; mfurtado@dialb.greenpeace.org; Doug Koplow
> > > Cc:   greenyes@grrn.org; zerowaste@grrn.org
> > > Subject:      Re: [GreenYes] Fw: QUERY: What to do with used tires? [Q
> > > from Brazil]
> > >
> > > You seem to have missed  the guys point here.  Making cement is a
> chemical
> > > process where "contaminants" are incorporated in the final product.  We
> > > have
> > > lots of examples here of fly ash and some bottom ash being easily
> > > incorporated in cement because of the properties of ash.
> > >
> > > Seems to me that using tires as part of cements fuel mix is a better
> > > option
> > > than mining more coal to make the same cement.
> > >
> > > Mike
> > >
> > > From: <muna@iafrica.com>
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > > On 26 Feb 2002 at 14:36, Doug Koplow wrote:
> > > >
> > > > > Hi Marcelo,
> > > > >
> > > > > Your inquiry regarding tires was posted to the Green Yes Listserve,
> of
> > > > > which I am a member.  I looked at waste tires in relation to work I
> > > > > did for the US EPA on hazardous waste combustion in cement kilns
> some
> > > > > years ago.  Based on this work, I concluded that disposal of whole
> > > > > waste tires (which are not considered hazardous waste) in cement
> kilns
> > > > > is actually a very good solution.
> > > > >
> > > > > The extremely high temperatures in the kiln, combined with long
> > > > > retention times in the burner, lead to very clean combustion, and
> > > > > nearly every region of the world has them.  Combustion in kilns does
> > > > > not generate the black smoke that one sees when tires are burned in
> > > > > open pits.  The metals found in the waste tires (either through
> steel
> > > > > belts or through additives to improve braking, wear, etc.) are
> mostly
> > > > > entrained in the cement clinker, and generally not released to the
> > > > > air.
> > > > >
> > > > Sorry to say, that I do not agree with Doug - we have found that waste
> > > incineration
> > > > has no positive spinoffs at all, and simply transfers the problem from
> > > solid waste to
> > > > mainly air pollution, the creation of highly toxic bottom ash, and the
> > > actual loss of the
> > > > resource and energy used in its manufacture - a simple energy balance
> > > will
> > > show that
> > > > "energy from waste" is simply another way of avoiding the issue in the
> > > first place -
> > > > that of re-use or avoidance...
> > > >
> > > > the chemicals that are liberated in burning, as well as the heavy
> > > metals,
> > > etc. cause a
> > > > much more serious problem than the one Marcello is trying to solve -
> we
> > > are very
> > > > sensitive here regarding eco-justice, and can say very clearly that
> the
> > > burning of ANY
> > > > waste is no solution, especially not for the people in our country...
> or
> > > indeed,
> > > > anywhere else...
> > > >
> > > > regards
> > > > Muna
> > >

Stephan Pollard
Environmental Dynamics Ph.D. Program
Research Specialist, Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies
University of Arkansas
Ozark Hall, Rm 12
Fayetteville, AR 72701
Tel: (479) 575-8498
Fax: (479) 575-5218
http://www.cast.uark.edu/~sp/


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