GreenYes Archives

[GreenYes Home] - [Thread Index] - [Date Index]
[Date Prev] - [Date Next] - [Thread Prev] - [Thread Next]

[GreenYes] Re: [GAIA Zero Waste] RE: [ZWIA] Re: LA Zero Waste pans

Bon jour luc,

In my posting on a bridge strategy, I specifically named "MSW" (municipal solid waste) as the subject.  In the EPA definition, MSW does not include industrial or C&D or a lot of other waste streams that do need to be addressed.  But part of our bridge strategy has to be that we are focused on a specific waste stream, and MSW is the one that that the landfills/incinerators live and die for.  In Colorado, we have separately regulated industrial and C&D waste streams, so they will need their own bridge strategies.

As for the consumer element, you are spot on because the "source separated universe" doesn't work without their buy-in.  Converting the general public away from the single trash can and into the world of separated waste (hate to call it waste, but that is what the masses know it as), whether its a 2,3 or 4 sort system, is really the big challenge.  I can't say that strongly enough ... moving the public into a separated waste future is the real battle, and most elected officials and public works directors don't want to even go there... thus the single trash can world and bury/burn "solutions" gain an advantage from the start.  I don't have a "simple" approach to public behavior change, even though I've been at it for 25 years!!   But part of the story, and a strong part, is your point about "ecological products" and the power of shifting consumer and government spending.  So, I advise communities that to make the ZW Park work, I also advise that they budget at least $3/per capita/year for a "culture shift and education program" that once established will not be going away for at least a generation or two.  This number is not based on any science, just experience.


-----Original Message-----
From: "Table Concertation Agro Alimentaire" <tcag@no.address>
Sent 1/24/2008 3:14:05 PM
To: gaia-zero-waste@no.address, hspie@no.address, ricanthony@no.address, zerowaste_sd@no.address, zwia@no.address, GreenYes@no.address, crra_members@no.address
Subject: Re: [GAIA Zero Waste] RE: [ZWIA] Re: LA Zero Waste pans

I like things resume simply. Eric made a good job on that. Merci.
Household residual matters are one part of waste production. Industrial and construction are the other parts. Are they included in your reflection?
I agree  that resource recovery is on the way.  By example, Biochemistry (l am not talking of GMO) is bringing lot of new matters that will change the datas. Communities and business investing in incinerator made wrong choices. Soon or later, they will loose their fuel.. Since there, I agree with you.
What I do not understand,  is when you are talking to compost or digest the remaining 30%. In my head, if you divert 70%, that include main part of organic part. Right? If yes, can you really manage it the way you are suggesting? I see in that 30%, all king of dirty matters, organic and non organic, not easy to deal with and dispose after. Right? Finally I think technical ways working on disposal is not enough.
Maybe solution should count on 3 parts: Consumers, industries, governments.
If we inform consumers on the impact of bad (nonecological)products, they will able to make good choices. From that, industries will change their products to save their markets. For sure, if Govnmt are enough willing to tax nonecological products and support good one, that will accelerate the process.
If not with Govnmt, how do we start the process?
Look at organic or sustenable forestry certification products. It's amazing how they are bringing changes. Can we think of something similar for industrial processes vs packaging or internal disposal or their residus??
Best regards
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, January 24, 2008 3:36 PM
Subject: [GAIA Zero Waste] RE: [ZWIA] Re: LA Zero Waste pans

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 alternative?


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:

  1. Source separated community MSW is the cleanest and cheapest way to manage 70% of the community’s discards, and this has been proven in numerous communities;
  2. 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 and stabilized. 
  3. 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 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?




Eric Lombardi

Executive Director

Eco-Cycle Inc

5030 Pearl St.

Boulder, CO. 80301



Vote for 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!



-----Original Message-----
zwia@no.address [mailto:zwia@no.address] On Behalf Of Helen Spiegelman
Sent: Thursday, January 24, 2008 10:24 AM
To: ricanthony@no.address; zerowaste_sd@no.address;
zwia@no.address; gaia-zero-waste@no.address; GreenYes@no.address; crra_members@no.address
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, ricanthony@no.address wrote:

Whatever cannot be further recycled or composted from the department's 750,000 weekly customers could be turned into alternative

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.

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.

List of the GAIA Zero Waste workgroup: gaia-zero-waste@no.address
To unsubscribe: cecilia@no.address
List of the GAIA Zero Waste workgroup: gaia-zero-waste@no.address
To unsubscribe: cecilia@no.address 

[GreenYes Home] - [Date Index] - [Thread Index]
[Date Prev] - [Date Next] - [Thread Prev] - [Thread Next]