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RE: [greenyes] The environmental impacts of recycling according to the London Daily telegraph






I concur - I see figures of between 20% and "up to" 80% for bio-gas, but the upper 
limit is within closed systems, with careful management of what goes in etc...

yes, the chemical composition will be horrendous - some one like Paul Goettlich 
would have a good idea, I am sure, of what possible toxicity and cross toxicity issues 
could rear their heads in these environments....

just think: your household bleach, with industrial solvents, with various plastics, etc 
etc etc....= horrendous soup!

Muna


On 5 Mar 2003 at 13:55, Eric Lombardi wrote:

> Jeff,
> 
> I just wanted the readers to know that when you say you used the "...
> ridiculously overly conservative assumptions in favor of disposal such
> as that 75% of landfill methane is captured by landfill gas collection
> systems..." that in fact our national EPA routinely uses this number
> without any scientific proof that such a number is even close to
> reality.  Recent research by Peter Anderson shows that a lifetime gas
> capture rate for a landfill is probably much closer to 25% than 75%.
> (Peter's research will be going public sometime soon.)
> 
> Does this number matter?  Well, considering that landfill gas (50%
> methane) is one of the top Greenhouse Gases on the planet today...YES
> !! Add to that the unknown public health impacts related to the
> chemical composition of the "other 50%".  I wouldn't be surprised that
> if someday living near an off-gassing landfill is as scary as living
> near the stacks of a trash incinerator.
> 
> Keep up the great work Jeff !!!
> 
> Eric Lombardi
> Executive Director
> Eco-Cycle, Inc
> Boulder, CO
> 303-444-6634
> www.ecocycle.org
> 
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jeffrey Morris [mailto:jeff.morris@no.address] 
> Sent: Wednesday, March 05, 2003 12:09 PM
> To: greenyes@no.address
> Subject: [greenyes] The environmental impacts of recycling according
> to the London Daily telegraph
> 
> Those of you interested in some actual life cycle data on the
> environmental
> benefits of recycling, developed through a project with the Washington
> State Department of Ecology using life cycle assessment data from the
> EPA's WARM and MSW DST tools and databases, can download the Mar/Apr
> (Vol. 4, No. 2) issue of my newsletter The Monthly UnEconomist from
> our website at zerowaste.com.  Access and downloading is free, just
> follow the instructions to get your password.  The article is entitled
> "The Pollution Prevention and Biodiversity Enhancing Benefits of
> Curbside Recycling." It analyzes environmental impacts/benefits of
> curbside recycling versus both landfill and waste-to-energy (WTE)
> incineration.
> 
> The Swedish analysis would have to really bend some numbers to get the
> results claimed in the London Daily Telegraph news article.  The
> environmental advantages of recycling shown in my article are
> calculated using ridiculously overly conservative assumptions in favor
> of disposal such as that 75% of landfill methane is captured by
> landfill gas collection systems, and that WTE substitutes for only
> fossil fuel energy generation while the upstream energy conservation
> from using recycled materials in place of virgin materials to
> manufacture products substitutes for the average mix of power
> generation sources.  Because close to 40% of electricity generation
> comes from nuclear and hydro, which have no greenhouse gas emissions,
> this latter assumption in the EPA's WARM and MSW DST models gives WTE
> a 167% advantage for every BTU of energy generation offset by burning
> MSW versus offsets from conserving energy by using recycled materials
> in place of virgin materials.  And still curbside recycling, including
> the energy to run trucks and the pollution from those trucks, wallops
> WTE and landfill.  That's why I say the Swedish study must have really
> bent the numbers because the EPA models almost lie on their backs to
> favor disposal and they still show recycling beats landfilling and WTE
> by a large margin for (1) energy conservation, (2) reduction in
> greenhouse gas emissions, (3) reductions in acidifying gases emissions
> (e.g., sulfur dioxide), (4) reductions in eutrophication emissions
> (that promote e.g., algae blooms in waterways), and (5) reductions in
> emissions of substances toxic to humans.
> 
> Resource Recycling ran a very summary version of my article in its
> August 2002 issue. That article is titled "Measuring the advantages of
> curbside collection."
> 
> What has as yet not been adequately developed is an environmental
> assessment of organics diversion that includes the benefits of using
> compost to reduce the usage of petroleum based fertilizers,
> insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides and to improve the water
> retention in soils thereby reducing use of this increasingly scarce
> natural resource.  I'm convinced based on the scattered bits and
> pieces of evidence I've assembled, and that others have shown me
> they've assembled, that the results for organics diversion will be
> similarly strong.  But we need to develop that analysis definitively
> as part of our evidence for continued expansion of recyclables and
> organics diversion programs and policies.
> 
> Jeffrey Morris, Ph.D.
> Economist
> Sound Resource Management - Durham
> 2219 Whitley Drive
> Durham, NC 27707
> 
> WA: 360-319-2391
> NC: 919-401-4444
> jeff.morris@no.address
> www.zerowaste.com
> 
> 
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