This is not an accurate characterization of the campaign and
The greatest barrier to achieving Zero Waste is not
technological. No, not at all. That's the easy part. If industry can make
a Blackberry with more processing power than the computers that sent the
Apollo astronauts to the moon, then we can and will design waste out
of the system.
Then what's our challenge? The greatest barrier to Zero
Waste is the institutional, cultural, and economic incentives embedded in the
fabric of our society that encourage and reward wasting. Those must be
reversed and should not be underestimated.
Therefore, the costs of pollution remediation and managing the
downstream impacts of garbage generation should not come out of the pot of money
set aside to develop renewable sources of wind and solar energy. It is
laughable to produce garbage, bury it, capture the methane and then claim this
activity is a "carbon offset" that makes it OK to drive your car around.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, November 13, 2007 9:31
Subject: RE: [OrganicsOutOfLandfills]
[GreenYes] Garbage is NOT RenewableEnergy
Our battle was to not give carbon
credits to landfills to bury "sequester" organics.
But using the methane from what's already
there - why not?
Folks, I think you are throwing the baby out with the bath water,
By trying to impose an overly idealized notion of how waste is created
and handled you are proposing to financially punish environmentally
beneficial projects that convert methane to usable forms of energy.
Our Power Generation Facility takes methane captured from a landfill
that closed 14 years ago, combines it with digester gas methane from our
sewage treatment process and makes electricity. If not produced this
way, that electricity would have to come from a power plant fired by natural
gas or nuclear fission. And you're saying that what we are doing
is bad and that we shouldn't get a small financial boost from selling the
Just like "stuff" happens, methane happens. I think that in taking such
a broad-based position on RECs you risk damaging worthwhile energy capture
projects and risk alienating current allies--like me!
Solid Waste Program Manager
City of Sunnyvale, California
On 11/12/2007 at 3:13 PM, Gary Liss
Apologies for Cross-postings
Subject: [GreenYes] please
spread the word ... don't buy garbage-based REC's!!
Date: Mon, 12 Nov
2007 13:38:06 -0700
has launched a new campaign about buying �renewable energy credits� (REC�s) that
are NOT from garbage-based energy, such as landfill gas or
incineration. The campaign, �Garbage is NOT Renewable Energy�, is described briefly in the press release
below, which I would encourage everyone to forward to anyone you know that
is buying REC�s. Also, send
folks to the GRRN website where there is a LOT more good technical
information on this topic. (
For Immediate Release--
Friday, September 14, 2007
National Movement to Stop Buying Energy from Garbage:
Waste Advocates say renewable energy credits may be supporting the
destruction of natural resources and the polluting practices of burning
and burying garbage.
The GrassRoots Recycling Network (GRRN) warns that
well-meaning public and business leaders working to offset their
carbon emissions may be inadvertently spending money on renewable energy
credits (RECs) that support the destruction of natural resources and the
polluting practices of burning and burying garbage.
incineration industries have lobbied to have the greenhouse gas emissions
from their facilities considered "green energy," worthy of tax credits
similar to the ones given to solar and wind energy projects. In fact,
"garbage-to-energy" is now being legally classified in numerous
states as a "renewable" energy source. Eric Lombardi, GRRN Board
President says �This is in direct
opposition to the goal of the Zero Waste Movement -- to eliminate waste,
not enshrine it as a renewable resource.�
GRRN Board Member Carly Weir says
�Giving tax credits and subsidies to the
garbage industry competes against wind, solar and recycling projects, and
creates a financial reward for producing garbage and destroying natural
resources. In the battle against climate change, we need to act decisively
against waste and greenhouse gas emissions by eliminating, not just
reducing these sources, and giving priority to clean, carbon-free
GRRN asserts that
ultimately reducing waste is still the best decision for the environment
and the economy. Communities and institutions would be better served by
committing to zero waste goals and keeping compostable organics out of the
landfill in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally
consumers and institutions can purchase RECs from carbon offset companies
that provide waste-free energy.
GRRN has a list of
waste-free carbon offset and renewable energy providers along with action
steps for college and institutions at www.grrn.org.
For more information visit www.grrn.org for facts and supporting
For quotes or information contact:
Eric Lombardi, GRRN Board
President (303) 444-6634
Carly Weir, GRRN Board Secretary
Linda Christopher, GRRN Executive Director
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