My guess is that the remaining 30% is a lot of junk plastics combined with regular old mixed MSW that didn't get separated... so yes, there will be organics in it that need to be stabilized before they put into the ground. You can't assume that during the bridge period that ALL the organics will be out, and since it's not OK to just bury or burn them ... whatcha going to do?
One reason I like the daily cover angle is because the landfills will see an economic gain from using the residual materials this way, and at the end of the day (and the end of this discussion), we're going to be playing with them for many years to come.
From: "Alan Muller" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent 1/24/2008 3:31:02 PM
To: "Eric Lombardi" <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: [GreenYes] RE: [ZWIA] Re: LA Zero Waste pans
I agree that a bridge strategy is needed, and it needs to be one that the
public can easily understand.
But I am uncomfortable with the use of digestate or compost as daily
cover, because I see keeping organics out of dumps as a key
objective. And does this not presume that a large fraction of the
30% will be organics?
So I'd like some help understanding this part of your thinking.
What data are available? That is, in places that achieve 70%
diversion and aren't burning, what will that 30% fraction actually
At 01:36 PM 1/24/2008 -0700, Eric Lombardi wrote:
Helen is right, and
I just got an email from Scotland that their ZW Scotland will include
I suggest we come up with a position on how to build the bridge to a ZW
Future. Since 90%+ resource recovery isnt going to happen
immediately, we need to advocate for a positive solution to the remaining
mixed waste fraction. They out there are saying its a
waste to NOT make energy out of it
and in todays world that is a very
compelling and logical position. If we dont like that, than what
is our alternative?
Let me share what Ive been saying to counter the efw proponents
did it this morning)
and I know this isnt the preferred future we are
all working for, but I do present it as a bridge strategy:
- Source separated community MSW is the cleanest and cheapest way to
manage 70% of the communitys discards, and this has been proven in
- 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 dont know how
long it will take), and while were 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 its possible that no new landfills or incinerators need be built for
the next 100 years, if ever.
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 implemented.
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?
5030 Pearl St.
Boulder, CO. 80301
Eco-Cycle, Help us win $5,000
To celebrate their new store opening in Boulder and continue their
tradition of environmental activism,
Patagonia will donate
$5,000 to the local environmental organization that gets the most votes
in their Voice Your Choice contest.
Cast your vote online for
Eco-Cycle before March 29!
mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Helen
Sent: Thursday, January 24, 2008 10:24 AM
To: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org;
Subject: [ZWIA] Re: LA Zero Waste pans
There 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
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,
Already Long Beach converts 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 Angeles garbage to create energy for our city, we can
also reduce our costs instead of subsidizing Long Beach, Helou said.