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RE: [greenyes] landfill bans

I think it would be well-advised for SWANA -- and especially for the elected officials who oversee municipal waste management in their communities -- to consider the original purpose of municipal solid waste management: to protect the public health by ensuring that the streets were cleared of garbage.

MSWM began as a policing authority, but it quickly became a public service that put private waste companies out of business (see Susan Strasser, Waste and Want: a social history...).

My local waste authority found in its 2001 waste composition audit that an estimated 33 million refundable aluminum cans went to our 2 publicly owned landfills and WTE facility in that year (at considerable profit to our local government, which sits on a huge capital reserve made up of surplus revenues from tipping fees). These aluminum cans have a redemption value of over $2 million -- in one year, from one metropolitan area with a population of 1.5 million. In addition, who knows how many wine and liquor bottles, juice containers, water bottles, and other refundable containers that have lower redemption rates were hauled away with the trash? (all beverages except milk are included in our deposit system)

I did a quick analysis of the waste audit and estimated that two-thirds of the material disposed in our region was either easily recyclable products (ones under deposit or included in municipal programs) or easily compostable organics. Some of these materials are banned from disposal, but the bans are not being enforced. Others should be banned but are not (e.g. yard waste, which is collected in all communities but not banned from disposal).

I showed this information to our elected officials and recommended that local waste authorities dedicate resources in two key areas:

- shut the gate: enforce disposal bans on products and materials that have recycling/composting programs available -- especially EPR programs. Bans are a key part of local government's policing function and should be resourced adequately.

- step up to the plate: don't allow our community's compostable organics to go to landfills where they contribute to global warming. This should be where SWANA engineers apply their considerable expertise: providing efficient, effective programs to manage this threat to public health and safety. Organics are the fraction of MSW that is "produced" by the community and the community should take responsibility for it, just as we insist the producers of soft drinks and electronics should take responsibility for their products.


At 12:33 PM 3/1/2005, Heidi Feldman wrote:
SWANA has a motto??No ban without a plan.? Often there is no mechanism in place to deal with the results of a ban. Our agency (landfill and recycling programs) is charged with carrying out a lot of the programs initiated by the state (and mostly we welcome that California has been the leader in these issues). Many times we have to scramble to meet the public demands after the state says ?no? to a material in the landfill.
Heidi Feldman, Public Educ.
Monterey Regional Waste Mgt. District

From: Amy Bauman [mailto:abauman@no.address]
Sent: Tuesday, March 01, 2005 12:16 PM
To: 'Jenny Gitlitz'; 'greenyes'
Subject: RE: [greenyes] landfill bans

That's a great point, Jenny. Regulations cannot operate in isolation. They need to be accompanied by enforcement budgets as well as educational programming.

Likewise, banning materials before there are markets for them is fruitless. This is beyond the original question, of course, but I'd like to say that in the case of Massachusetts, I was extremely impressed with the way in which the state called on a diverse group of interests over the course of two years for input into the pending ban of certain types of building materials from landfills. It was a collaboration among different departments within the DEP, haulers, transfer stations, consultants like myself, contractors,and architects.

In the end, DEP held off banning certain materials (like carpet, asphalt shingles, and wallboard) that were deemed to have insufficient markets to take up the slack. We continue to work as a team to explore markets so that one day they can be added to the list. In the mean time, it's up to people like me to find ways to divert materials back to industries that see the value in accepting post-consumer material in as feedstock.

Amy B.
-----Original Message-----
From: Jenny Gitlitz [mailto:jenny.gitlitz@no.address]
Sent: Tuesday, March 01, 2005 2:58 PM
To: abauman@no.address; greenyes
Subject: Re: [greenyes] landfill bans
Without state and local enforcement, landfill bans are inadequate. Here in Dalton, MA, for example, the town does not enforce its own regs requiring pvt haulers to provide recycling; much recyclable material ends up landfilled. Some of us are working to change this, but there's always local politics... Landfill bans were originally a back-door way of requiring local recycling--without being perceived as unfunded mandates. But since the enforcement is also largely unfunded, the onus remains on local government to act or not act when haulers violate the ban.


Jennifer Gitlitz
Research Director, Container Recycling Institute

Home Office:
2 Pomeroy Ave.
Dalton, MA 01226
Tel. (413) 684-4746
Mobile: (413) 822-0115
Fax: (413) 403-0233
Email: jgitlitz@no.address

Please note the new address for CRI's main office:
Container Recycling Institute
1601 North Kent St., Suite 803
Arlington, VA 22209-2105
Tel. (703) 276-9800
Fax: (703) 276-9587

On 3/1/05 1:58 PM, Amy Bauman at abauman@no.address wrote:
Hi Dan -

Massachusett's DEP's language on bans begins on page four of the document linked below

<> <>

Amy Bauman
Director of Business Development
617-504-2095 (mobile)

-----Original Message-----
From: Dan De Grassi [<mailto:dpw180@no.address%5d>mailto:dpw180@no.address]
Sent: Tuesday, March 01, 2005 1:08 PM
To: greenyes@no.address
Subject: [greenyes] landfill bans

Good morning. I'm looking for links to examples of local government ordinances banning recyclables, etc. from landill disposal. Any suggestions?

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