Switchgrass also *really* produces nanoparticles when burned .... more
than, say, coal by some data I have seen..... There is too much
promotion of burning "biomass" without consideration of the
health and environmental consequences...
At 05:17 PM 1/28/2008 -0700, Eric Lombardi wrote:
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
Sent: Thursday, January 24, 2008 2:55 PM
To: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org;
email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com;
Subject: RE: [ZWIA] Re: LA Zero Waste pans
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.
No matter where you are in the world the organic fraction of your soils
is falling rapidly.
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.
The only things which will burn in an incinerator are organic in origin ?
the vast majority of this material is compostable and retriveable by
The increase 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 products.
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 ?yuk? factor.
Moving 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
Could I 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
mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Jeffrey Morris
Sent: Friday, 25 January 2008 8:02 AM
To: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com;
Subject: [ZWIA] Re: LA Zero Waste pans
Thanks for making the effort to put this argument together. I would
add a couple of points to your list:
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
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
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?
mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Eric Lombardi
Sent: Thursday, January 24, 2008 12:36 PM
To: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org;
Subject: [ZWIA] Re: LA Zero Waste pans
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 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:
separated community MSW is the cleanest and cheapest way to manage 70% of
the community?s discards, and this has been proven in numerous
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.
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?
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mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of Helen
Sent: Thursday, January 24, 2008 10:24 AM
To: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com;
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, firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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