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[GreenYes] Quote from Resource Recycling

One energy conservation success story that has gone largely unreported
is recycling, but that's about to change. The U. S. Environmental
Protection Agency has developed a way to quantify the energy benefits of
improved materials management and found that recycling and source
reduction conserve large amounts of energy. Since the energy of waste
management practices for specific products accrue throughout the
life-cycle, EPA undertook a study to calculate the energy benefits of
improved material management using data from an existing greenhouse gas
(GHG) life-cycle analysis. During the 1990s the EPA began an ongoing
analysis of the life-cycle GHG impacts of waste management activities.
Using life-cycle data from the GHG emissions research effort, the study
developed net energy factors for a selection of commodities analyzed for
four waste management options: source reduction, recycling combustion
and landfilling. Energy impacts were calculated in million BTU per ton
of material, with negative values indicating net energy savings. The
study shows energy savings associated with recycling various materials
are driven largely by the difference between manufacturing the material
using virgin inputs and manufacturing the material using recycled
inputs. But recycling results in some energy savings for all of the
materials. The study demonstrates that recycling is not the only
materials management practice that saves energy. In fact, waste
reduction efforts such as source reduction can result in significant
energy savings, in nearly every case exceeding the energy benefits of
recycling. The study is summarized in the report, Solid Waste Management
and Greenhouse Gases: A Life-Cycle Assessment of Emissions and Sinks.
Resource Recycling, Jan 06, p 23, by Henry Ferland.

David Wollner
BRING Recycling
Business Manager
"Better to sink in boundless deeps, than float on vulgar shoals."

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