Your points are spot on… so …
we need to bring it all together into something that creates a simple vision
for the masses. I am currently in discussions about the “slogan”
and the “hook” for the new GRRN campaign we’re launching in
April called COOL2012…”Compostable Organics Out of Landfill by 2012”.
We have decided that the healthy soils/water/CO2 capture/local food angles are
all important… but how to pull it together into a winning soundbite?
We are going to make a major link with global warming and the landfill industry
bullshit on gas capture… but that is all very technical. That
is why I have always loved your City to Soil program down there in Australia … and I use in my
conversation often with elected leaders. Recently I’ve been
thinking about bringing something like switchgrass into the “circle”
since it could be one of the best biofuel alternatives to oil, and, it grows in
marginal lands, and… with the application of compost it REALLY
produces. So not only do we lower GHG methane by keeping biodegradables
out of the ground, but we also grow biofuels to replace oil … now THAT is
a virtuous circle !!!
What do you think?
From: Gillespie Gerry
January 24, 2008 2:55 PM
email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com;
firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; GreenYes@no.address; email@example.com
Subject: RE: [ZWIA] Re: LA Zero
I agree with
Eric and Jeff.
To back up all
the points from Helen, Eric and Jeff can I suggest that a focus on the return
of organic material to the food chain must defeat incineration in the long run.
where you are in the world the organic fraction of your soils is falling
You in the
northern hemisphere may have started with a lot more organic material in your
soils than we had in Australia but with sheer guts and determination you will
reach the same point.
A report from
the UK in 2001 stated that the soils in the UK are unstable due to a lack of organic material. This was confirmed
with the DEFRA Soil Strategy released in 2004. The silly thing is that the same
Department which looks after the Soil Strategy looks after waste.
things which will burn in an incinerator are organic in origin – the vast
majority of this material is compostable and retriveable by source separation.
in the price of fossil fuel will make fertiliser much more expensive – in
rural Australia it just hit $1000 per tonne. This is driving the
farming market in the direction of compost and biologically active fluid
I feel that if
we can shift the argument over to concentrate of organic recovery it defeats incineration
because there is nothing to burn and it defeats landfill because the only
reason we were burying it in the first place was because of the
argument over from waste disposal and solving a ‘problem’ to
agricultural protection and taking and ‘opportunity’ is going to be
a very sound argument now that chemical fertiliser has hit the wall.
Even in Australia now there are more calls for incineration – we need a broad
suggest that a combination of Helen’s comments on the needs of nature,
Eric’s points on source separation and Jeff’s on the 30% residual
could all be combined under an organics protection banner which takes us in the
direction of a carbon economy.
Perhaps if we
all worked toward a 5 point plan for resource protection we could have a
world-wide document defining the Zero Waste in all countries around the world
against mixed waste incineration and disposal to landfill.
firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of Jeffrey Morris
Sent: Friday, 25
January 2008 8:02 AM
firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org;
Subject: [ZWIA] Re: LA Zero Waste
Thanks for making the
effort to put this argument together. I would add a couple of points to
1. Many of the products
left in that 30% are in fact made up of fossil fuel material that will generate
GHGs when burned – e.g., plastics, rubber, paints and pesticides.
This is why incinerators even with energy recovery are net GHG emitters even
after taking into account the electric power grid offsets from the electricity
that incinerators generate.
2. Production of
incineration equipment and emissions control equipment that make up the
incinerator facility, as well as the fuel and other energy consumed in
constructing the incinerator, are also sources of GHG emissions.
3. composting done correctly
should emit little GHGs, although the equipment and energy to operate a compost
facility will be GHG sources. However, the cost of a compost facility
compared with the cost on an incinerator indicates the relative amount of GHGs
for a composting operation versus an incineration disposal facility.
What do you think?
email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Eric Lombardi
January 24, 2008 12:36 PM
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Subject: [ZWIA] Re: LA Zero Waste
Helen is right, and I
just got an email from Scotland that their “ZW Scotland” will include 25% efw.
I suggest we come up with
a position on how to build the bridge to a ZW Future. Since 90%+ resource
recovery isn’t going to happen immediately, we need to advocate for a
positive solution to the remaining mixed waste fraction. “They”
out there are saying “it’s a waste to NOT make energy out of
it”… and in today’s world that is a very compelling and
logical position. If we don’t like that, than what is our
Let me share what
I’ve been saying to counter the efw proponents … (just did it this
morning) … and I know this isn’t the preferred future we are all
working for, but I do present it as a “bridge” strategy:
community MSW is the cleanest and cheapest way to manage 70% of the
community’s discards, and this has been proven in numerous communities;
The remaining 30% of
mixed waste will be gradually phased down to only 10% over about a ten year
period (in truth no one has done this yet so we don’t know how long it
will take), and while we’re getting there we will process the material at
the landfill either through (1) an energy-producing anaerobic digestion system
and then using the stabilized digestate as daily cover (this approach is for
big cities that can afford it); or (2) a simple windrow composting system that
will stabilize the biowaste fraction of the mixed waste, and then again use as
daily cover. After ten years, there will no more than 10% mixed
waste, maybe even zero (but I doubt it), and it will continue to be processed
This approach will triple
or more the life of the existing landfill infrastructure in America, and it’s possible
that no new landfills or incinerators need be built for the next 100 years, if
Since there is a flood of
new incinerator and “bioreactor” proposals popping up all around
us, I suggest that the above argument combined with a moratorium for five years
on new incinerators and landfills is a winner. We need to argue that
there is no sense in moving forward with the multi-million dollar facilities to
bury and burn our resources until after a serious pursuit of 70% has been
Feedback? Where is
this argument weak? My goal is to stop the flow of investments into the
new bury/burn facilities, so what else can we do to accomplish that?
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[mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Helen
January 24, 2008 10:24 AM
Subject: [ZWIA] Re: LA Zero Waste
is a dragon coiled in these paragraphs.
Our metro politicians made a momentous decision this week to cancel a huge
landfill project. The political buy-in was achieved through the promise that we
can build a suite of 3 - 6 waste-to-energy plants here in the region to manage
"what cannot be further recycled or composted..." Our regional staff
have even hijacked the "Zero Waste Challenge" issued by our
politicians and are saying that WTE is a component of ZW.
Citizens in our region are getting organized to challenge this. We all know
that an incinerator ~ or any facility that turns waste to any kind of "fuel" ~ is a tapeworm that will
suck more and more resources that are needed to build a healthy economy (or
needed to stay right where they are in nature...)
Activities that facilitate the transformation of material to energy is what is
driving climate change.
Please assure me and the citizens of LA that your Zero Waste plan doesn't have
a waste-to-"fuel" provision.
At 08:44 AM 1/24/2008, email@example.com wrote:
Whatever cannot be further recycled
or composted from the department's 750,000 weekly customers could be turned into alternative
fuels, such as biodiesel or electricity to power our grid,
said Alex Helou, assistant director for the city's Bureau of Sanitation.
"Instead of just burying it in the ground and creating greenhouse gases,
we could use it as a resource to recycle, reuse and convert into a resource
that could create clean energy," said Helou.
It's too early to say how much money the city could make from these alternative
fuels, but there is definite potential to generate revenue, Pereira said.
garbage into electricity for its residents. And it uses about 100 tons of trash
from Los Angeles a day to do it and also charges
$42.50 a ton to take our garbage, said Helou.
But by using Los
garbage to create energy for our city, we can also reduce our costs instead of
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