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[GreenYes] Re: GreenYes - 6 new messages in 2 topics - digest


Amy, Doug and Brad:
Great points and I am very happy to hear about the 2009 Urban and Suburban Communities Regeneration Act.  As we see recycling rates tumble, the short term view (since it's been reported broadly in the NY Times, 60 minutes, etc.) is that people will immediately stop doing the right thing because of lost financial values inherent in recycling.  The LCA of all of these materials is crucial to building the values Amy referred to into the market and TCO of production.

Great conversation and please keep me posted on any new developments in this area.
Thanks,
Rob

Rob Howe
Principal
www.sustainnovation.com
978-255-2620

On Tue, Dec 16, 2008 at 4:13 AM, GreenYes group <noreply@no.address> wrote:

GreenYes
http://groups.google.com/group/GreenYes?hl=en

GreenYes@no.address

Today's topics:

* are government subsidies going to save recycling? - 2 messages, 2 authors
 http://groups.google.com/group/GreenYes/t/eea2b23d0beb8e4b?hl=en
* infrastructure and recycling - 4 messages, 3 authors
 http://groups.google.com/group/GreenYes/t/66bc55b3ef309f8a?hl=en

==============================================================================
TOPIC: are government subsidies going to save recycling?
http://groups.google.com/group/GreenYes/t/eea2b23d0beb8e4b?hl=en
==============================================================================

== 1 of 2 ==
Date: Sun, Dec 14 2008 8:41 pm
From: "Doug Koplow"


The other element often overlooked is that recycling's main competitors, WTE and landfilling, are getting increasingly subsidized via assorted support for "making" energy by burning their waste for heat or electricity; or converting it via some other process into a liquid biofuel.  Landfills may also be able to generate carbon credits on the Chicago Climate Exchange by installing methane capture even if they are no required to do so by law.  The energy savings and reduced GHG from reuse and recycling is getting neither the support or the attention that it should.

Doug Koplow

_______________________________
Doug Koplow
Earth Track, Inc.
2067 Massachusetts Avenue - 4th Floor
Cambridge, MA  02140
www.earthtrack.net
Tel:  617/661-4700
Fax: 617/354-0463

          CONFIDENTIAL
This message, and all attachments thereto, is for the designated recipient
only and may contain privileged, proprietary, or otherwise private
information.  If you have received it in error, please notify the sender
immediately and delete the original.  Any other use of the email by you
is prohibited.
>>> Amy Perlmutter <amy@no.address> 12/13/08 11:10 AM >>>
I was surprised to see this message on a clean tech blog.  It clearly
reflects to me the lack of understanding of recycling and
environmental issues even among the clean tech community.  My response
is below it.  The link to the blog is http://cleantech.com/news/3960/are-government-subsidies-going-save-recycling
  Not sure if you need to be registered to use it. But do add your
voice if you can!


Blog Post:
Are government subsidies going to save recycling?
December 9, 2008 - Casual musings by Emma Ritch, Cleantech Group

The value of materials recovered in the recycling process is
plummeting alongside oil and other commodities.

Since favorable economics are credited with driving the recycling push
of recent years (as opposed to eco-conscious consumers), the future of
recycling is now in question.

The New York Times reports that the price of tin is down from $327 a
ton earlier this year to about $5. Mixed paper is down from $100 a ton
to $20 to $25. Glass is an exception, with prices remaining steady.

Prices are dropping because there's no longer a demand for recycled
materials as the largest customer, China, has pulled back. Some
collectors are stockpiling the recyclables until prices go back up,
while others are refusing to accept more plastic and paper. Some are
even beginning to charge to accept materials that they previously paid
to obtain.

A new report last week showed that recycling paper and plastic
consumes more energy and resources than it saves (see Report calls
recycling a waste of energy). Metals were considered an exception to
the findings, which suggested trash was better served as a fuel source
for waste-to-energy plants.

So what does this mean for the businesses that have popped up to
capitalize on the value of recyclables? It's unclear.

Philadelphia-based RecycleBank, for example, gets paid by
municipalities to divert trash from a landfill to a recycling center.

If there's no value left in recyclables, will the industry have to
resort to government subsidies to survive?


My response:

We forget that throwing garbage away is a 100% subsidy, we don't ask
for garbage systems to pay for themselves, yet some people seem to
think that recycling has to stand on its own two feet, whatever that
means.

There are many reports showing that materials reuse is benefits the
environment. Stop Trashing the Climate is only one of them: http://www.stoptrashingtheclimate.org/

Recyclables are probably the only commodity that can still be used
even with a negative price, meaning paying someone to take them is
still cheaper than throwing them in the dump. So these commodities can
still move in a slow market, as long as there is a use for them.

But despite all the clear environmental and economic reasons to
recycle, let's ask these questions: who among us wants to live near a
landfill, garbage incineration plant, strip mine or other extraction
industry? If the externalities of virgin materials extraction and
waste disposal were internalized- health impacts of air and water
pollution, long term monitoring and clean up of landfills, etc-
recycling would make even more sense economically.  We've seen this
over and over with many more environmental solutions: if the costs of
pollution were internalized, you bet clean tech would be farther along.

The drop in primary, as well as secondary, commodity prices means that
we aren't buying as much stuff.  Hopefully it means we won't be mining
or throwing away as much stuff, either.




Amy Perlmutter
Perlmutter Associates
23 Avon Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
617-354-5456
Strategic planning, partnership building, communications, and program
design for a sustainable future












== 2 of 2 ==
Date: Mon, Dec 15 2008 3:55 pm
From: Neil Tangri


A very good point, and something that GAIA is now working hard to stop.
I am actually on my way back from the climate change negotiations in
Poznan, Poland, where GAIA had a small but significant presence, asking
for incinerators and landfills to be ineligible for carbon credits, and
pointing out that ZW has potential to make major reductions in
emissions. But it is going to be a long road to convince governments. If
anyone is interested in keeping up with these efforts or collaborating
on them, do let me know.

cheers,

Neil


Doug Koplow wrote:
> The other element often overlooked is that recycling's main competitors, WTE and landfilling, are getting increasingly subsidized via assorted support for "making" energy by burning their waste for heat or electricity; or converting it via some other process into a liquid biofuel.  Landfills may also be able to generate carbon credits on the Chicago Climate Exchange by installing methane capture even if they are no required to do so by law.  The energy savings and reduced GHG from reuse and recycling is getting neither the support or the attention that it should.
>
> Doug Koplow
>
> _______________________________
> Doug Koplow
> Earth Track, Inc.
> 2067 Massachusetts Avenue - 4th Floor
> Cambridge, MA  02140
> www.earthtrack.net
> Tel:  617/661-4700
> Fax: 617/354-0463
>
>            CONFIDENTIAL
> This message, and all attachments thereto, is for the designated recipient
> only and may contain privileged, proprietary, or otherwise private
> information.  If you have received it in error, please notify the sender
> immediately and delete the original.  Any other use of the email by you
> is prohibited.
>>>> Amy Perlmutter <amy@no.address> 12/13/08 11:10 AM >>>
> I was surprised to see this message on a clean tech blog.  It clearly
> reflects to me the lack of understanding of recycling and
> environmental issues even among the clean tech community.  My response
> is below it.  The link to the blog is http://cleantech.com/news/3960/are-government-subsidies-going-save-recycling
>    Not sure if you need to be registered to use it. But do add your
> voice if you can!
>
>
> Blog Post:
> Are government subsidies going to save recycling?
> December 9, 2008 - Casual musings by Emma Ritch, Cleantech Group
>
> The value of materials recovered in the recycling process is
> plummeting alongside oil and other commodities.
>
> Since favorable economics are credited with driving the recycling push
> of recent years (as opposed to eco-conscious consumers), the future of
> recycling is now in question.
>
> The New York Times reports that the price of tin is down from $327 a
> ton earlier this year to about $5. Mixed paper is down from $100 a ton
> to $20 to $25. Glass is an exception, with prices remaining steady.
>
> Prices are dropping because there's no longer a demand for recycled
> materials as the largest customer, China, has pulled back. Some
> collectors are stockpiling the recyclables until prices go back up,
> while others are refusing to accept more plastic and paper. Some are
> even beginning to charge to accept materials that they previously paid
> to obtain.
>
> A new report last week showed that recycling paper and plastic
> consumes more energy and resources than it saves (see Report calls
> recycling a waste of energy). Metals were considered an exception to
> the findings, which suggested trash was better served as a fuel source
> for waste-to-energy plants.
>
> So what does this mean for the businesses that have popped up to
> capitalize on the value of recyclables? It's unclear.
>
> Philadelphia-based RecycleBank, for example, gets paid by
> municipalities to divert trash from a landfill to a recycling center.
>
> If there's no value left in recyclables, will the industry have to
> resort to government subsidies to survive?
>
>
> My response:
>
> We forget that throwing garbage away is a 100% subsidy, we don't ask
> for garbage systems to pay for themselves, yet some people seem to
> think that recycling has to stand on its own two feet, whatever that
> means.
>
> There are many reports showing that materials reuse is benefits the
> environment. Stop Trashing the Climate is only one of them: http://www.stoptrashingtheclimate.org/
>
> Recyclables are probably the only commodity that can still be used
> even with a negative price, meaning paying someone to take them is
> still cheaper than throwing them in the dump. So these commodities can
> still move in a slow market, as long as there is a use for them.
>
> But despite all the clear environmental and economic reasons to
> recycle, let's ask these questions: who among us wants to live near a
> landfill, garbage incineration plant, strip mine or other extraction
> industry? If the externalities of virgin materials extraction and
> waste disposal were internalized- health impacts of air and water
> pollution, long term monitoring and clean up of landfills, etc-
> recycling would make even more sense economically.  We've seen this
> over and over with many more environmental solutions: if the costs of
> pollution were internalized, you bet clean tech would be farther along.
>
> The drop in primary, as well as secondary, commodity prices means that
> we aren't buying as much stuff.  Hopefully it means we won't be mining
> or throwing away as much stuff, either.
>
>
>
>
> Amy Perlmutter
> Perlmutter Associates
> 23 Avon Street
> Cambridge, MA 02138
> 617-354-5456
> Strategic planning, partnership building, communications, and program
> design for a sustainable future
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> >
>






==============================================================================
TOPIC: infrastructure and recycling
http://groups.google.com/group/GreenYes/t/66bc55b3ef309f8a?hl=en
==============================================================================

== 1 of 4 ==
Date: Mon, Dec 15 2008 1:57 pm
From: Amy Perlmutter


When Obama is sworn in, there is going to be a big stimulus package
passed that will include two things: green jobs and infrastructure
repair.  Recycled materials can probably be incorporated for many
aspects of infrastructure repair- glass aggregate in road beds, tire
shreds as light fill, compost for erosion control, recycled asphalt,
maybe even bring back glassphalt or rubber modified asphalt, etc.

Does anyone know if anyone is thinking about  or advocating for this?
And, if not, any ideas on who should and how to get them to? I would
imagine there's a list out there somewhere of recycled highway
products. I think things are going to be flying fast and furiously
come the beginning of the year.  Any language to spec require recycled
products should probably get moving now, maybe get some key
legislators on the public works committee to run with this.

This seems like a great opportunity to boost local markets.

Amy


Amy Perlmutter
Perlmutter Associates
23 Avon Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
617-354-5456
Strategic planning, partnership building, communications, and program
design for a sustainable future









== 2 of 4 ==
Date: Mon, Dec 15 2008 2:07 pm
From: Amy Perlmutter


When Obama is sworn in, there is going to be a big stimulus package
passed that will include two things: green jobs and infrastructure
repair.  Recycled materials can probably be incorporated for many
aspects of infrastructure repair- glass aggregate in road beds, tire
shreds as light fill, compost for erosion control, recycled asphalt,
maybe even bring back glassphalt or rubber modified asphalt, etc.

Does anyone know if anyone is thinking about  or advocating for this?
And, if not, any ideas on who should and how to get them to? I would
imagine there's a list out there somewhere of recycled highway
products. I think things are going to be flying fast and furiously
come the beginning of the year.  Any language to spec require recycled
products should probably get moving now, maybe get some key
legislators on the public works committee to run with this.

This seems like a great opportunity to boost local markets.

Amy


Amy Perlmutter
Perlmutter Associates
23 Avon Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
617-354-5456
Strategic planning, partnership building, communications, and program
design for a sustainable future









== 3 of 4 ==
Date: Mon, Dec 15 2008 2:33 pm
From: Brad Guy


One piece of legislation being prepared to address housing and vacant lands issues see below excerpt - directed to older urban communities suffering 20% population loss since 1970 - I was able to provide the language in items (6) and (7).

""To authorize the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to make grants to assist local governments and others to address large-scale property vacancy and abandonment, and for other purposes.

SHORT TITLE.  This Act may be cited as the "Urban and Suburban Communities Regeneration Act of 2009".

(6) establishment of recovered building materials reuse and recycling infrastructure, facilities, incentives, and technical support;
(7) establishment of local government purchasing requirements for deconstruction to make use of existing building materials stock in new and rehabilitation construction""


Brad Guy, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP
Cell: 814-571-8659








== 4 of 4 ==
Date: Mon, Dec 15 2008 8:10 pm
From: "Doug Koplow"


One thing the Obama "green" plan is likely to definitely have are very large new subsidies for conversion of biomass into energy.  My guess is that any benefit recycled materials get through higher demand for materials in construction projects will be far outweighed by a continued erosion of the relative competitiveness of recycling versus waste-to-energy technologies due to poorly thought out public policies.

_______________________________
Doug Koplow
Earth Track, Inc.
2067 Massachusetts Avenue - 4th Floor
Cambridge, MA  02140
www.earthtrack.net
Tel:  617/661-4700
Fax: 617/354-0463

          CONFIDENTIAL
This message, and all attachments thereto, is for the designated recipient
only and may contain privileged, proprietary, or otherwise private
information.  If you have received it in error, please notify the sender
immediately and delete the original.  Any other use of the email by you
is prohibited.
>>> Amy Perlmutter <amy@no.address> 12/15/08 5:13 PM >>>
When Obama is sworn in, there is going to be a big stimulus package
passed that will include two things: green jobs and infrastructure
repair.  Recycled materials can probably be incorporated for many
aspects of infrastructure repair- glass aggregate in road beds, tire
shreds as light fill, compost for erosion control, recycled asphalt,
maybe even bring back glassphalt or rubber modified asphalt, etc.

Does anyone know if anyone is thinking about  or advocating for this?
And, if not, any ideas on who should and how to get them to? I would
imagine there's a list out there somewhere of recycled highway
products. I think things are going to be flying fast and furiously
come the beginning of the year.  Any language to spec require recycled
products should probably get moving now, maybe get some key
legislators on the public works committee to run with this.

This seems like a great opportunity to boost local markets.

Amy


Amy Perlmutter
Perlmutter Associates
23 Avon Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
617-354-5456
Strategic planning, partnership building, communications, and program
design for a sustainable future












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