[GRRN] Help for a graduate student's research

Blair Pollock (bpollock@town.ci.chapel-hill.nc.us)
Wed, 17 Feb 1999 14:05:46 -0500

The woman whose address is listed below is trying to get some answers to the
questions for her research on the overall energy consumption/impacts of
recycling v. wasting. I am simply forwarding her kind-of-broad queries and
maybe one of you enlightened ones can respond from the broad eco-physics
perspective or simply by identifying the energy effects and residuals from
the various processes and refer her to articles, books etc. thanks.

>From: Rachel Beth Kron <Rachel.Kron@sph.unc.edu>
>The type of article for which we (a class at Univ of NC) are searching can
take any of the >following perspectives for MSW/recycling management:

>1) Law of Conservation of Matter - matter is neither created nor
>-whenever a contaminant is removed from a waste stream, it must be put
>somewhere else
>-matter therefore is in a form that is not usable
>-these are wasteful practices and depleting our natural resources
>2) First law of thermodynamics - the sum of the "useful" and "not useful"
>energy in the universe is a constant
>- Energy is not produced by humans
>-"Useful" energy is needed to make products, therefore production may be
>limited to the supply of useful energy (and we are depleting these
>resources quickly as well)
>3) Second Law of Thermodynamics - Energy is required for any system to
>become organized (production)
>- No production process is 100% efficient in converting one form of energy
>to another
> - in any production process, "useful" energy will be converted to
>"not useful" energy (ie. all production processes produce waste heat)
> - the supple of "useful" energy must be decreased by the
>production process
>Any help that you or your colleagues could provide would be greatly
>appreciated. Thanks again.
>Rachel Kron
Blair Pollock
Phone: (919) 968-2788
Fax: 932-2900
Town of Chapel Hill
Solid Waste Management Department
306 North Columbia St.
Chapel Hill NC 27516-2113