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


I agree that a bridge strategy is needed, and it needs to be one that the public can easily understand. 

But I am uncomfortable with the use of digestate or compost as daily cover, because I see keeping organics out of dumps as a key objective.  And does this not presume that a large fraction of the 30% will be organics?

So I'd like some help understanding this part of your thinking.  What data are available?  That is, in places that achieve 70% diversion and aren't burning, what will that 30% fraction actually contain?



At 01:36 PM 1/24/2008 -0700, Eric Lombardi wrote:
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
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-----Original Message-----
From: 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.

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