I forgot to mention one thing about our situation in Metro Vancouver (for
those who are still tuned in to this thread) ~ we actually have 22
million tonnes of landfill capacity remaining within our region, in
additional to a WTEF that takes 287,000 tpy and was just outfitted with a
$36 million turbine to make electricity. They are actually having to drum
up supplies of waste for the 900,000 tpy WTEF they are planning to build.
source document. How do they think the public or politicians will
fall for this?
At 07:14 PM 1/30/2008, Helen Spiegelman wrote:
Here's what we're looking at in our region:
- the politicians just cancelled a big landfill that was going to
take our waste after 2010 (landfills are all publicly owned, at least as
P3s, in BC)
- instead they promised to cut waste by 70% through recycling and
- but as part of that package, they are announcing their intent to have
in place 680,000 metric tonnes WTEF capacity by 2015, ramping up
to 910,000 tonnes by 2035 (note that the region presently
disposes of 1.06 million tonnes per year... maybe the planners got
the fraction upside down?)
- they even announced that the stated cost for "a state of the art
WTEF" would be "in the order of $400 million"
- As an indication of their priorities, the budgeted figure to bring
their single regional composting plant is $35 million.
So the way I'm exploring to head this off is:
- to repeatedly and publicly praise politicians for the 70% goal, so they
get used to being associated with that goal;
- to make no public statements about incineration but instead to advise
them quietly in private emails that there are practical alternatives to
incineration that offer: lower cost, equivalent environmental
benefits, greater flexibility ~ and more likely public
What I'm talking about is MBT. This is based on Eric's sensible
suggestion of a "bridge strategy", which
Several other contributors to the thread testified that MBT is not
Zero Waste, but it is a better strategy for ramping down as we approach
Zero. Gary Liss contributed the additional point that MBT must be clearly
identified in the public's eye (and the budget) in the disposal account,
not the Zero Waste/Waste Recovery account. I am thinking the term
"stabilized landfill" will communicate this.
- 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 donÂ?t know how long it will take), and
while weÂ?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 and stabilized.
- This approach will triple or more the life of the existing landfill
infrastructure in America, and itÂ?s possible that no new
landfills or incinerators need be built for the next 100 years, if ever.
Rick, what prompted this long thread was the announcement from LA that
"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
Maybe you could clarify what sort of system is envisioned in the LA
plan. Is LA putting any specifics, or even hints like dollar figures, to
signal whether this is a low-tech, flexible, down-scalable MBT system ~
or a half billion dollar burner/gasifier? Given the choice, would you
really pass over MBT?
At 06:06 PM 1/30/2008, RicAnthony@no.address wrote:
message dated 1/29/2008 12:17:42 P.M. Pacific Standard Time,
firstname.lastname@example.org writes:From what you say, the environmental case for MBT
rests on 100% stabilization ("no methane").
I have been reading this since it started with LA post and have to
say that the MBT plant we saw in Germany, that was recommended as the
best of its kind, takes the material not source separated and soaks
it in water for a few days (the tea bag effect) and then derives energy
from the organics in the liquid, organic solid material is digested and
then burned in a paper mill. I asked the biologist who gave us the
tour whether he thought the result was toxic and he thought yes.
I recommend better front end (required)
reuse, recycling and composting programs. All compostable organics
separated out by law up font. These programs could reduce non marketable
material to less than 20%. This might be treated wood, baby diapers
Start the year off right.
ways to stay in shape in the new year.