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

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


The CO2 releases from composting are biogenic, the methane is not.  The
assumption is that a well-managed composting operation does not let the
compost pile become anaerobic if it's an aerobic compost process, or that it
is enclosed if its an anaerobic digester that is intended to capture the
methane for energy use.

The EPA's WARM report provides an estimate of the amount that soil carbon is
increased and sequestered through applications of compost.  That's one
source you can find on EPA's website.  You can find other sources as well by
searching the web.  I'm currently doing a brief summary for Seattle Public
Utilities (SPU) of the carbon sequestration potential from a variety of
natural lawn and garden care practices.  However, it probably won't be
available for release for a few months.


Jeffrey Morris
Sound Resource Management

-----Original Message-----
From: Neil Tangri [mailto:neil@no.address]
Sent: Thursday, January 24, 2008 1:32 PM
To: Jeffrey Morris
Cc: eric@no.address; hspie@no.address; ricanthony@no.address;
zerowaste_sd@no.address; zwia@no.address;
gaia-zero-waste@no.address; GreenYes@no.address;
Subject: Re: [GreenYes] RE: [ZWIA] Re: LA Zero Waste pans

Hi Eric,

I'm glad to see this effort to put together a good "bridge" argument. As
you note, we're running into this issue all over the world, and
municipalities really do need practical answers for the medium term,
even if they are sold on ZW in the long term. Here are some thoughts and
questions to add to the mix:

1) Incinerators require a hazwaste landfill to handle the ash. If the
residue isn't incinerated, a regular landfill is sufficient.

2) I think that understanding the residue composition is important. If
there is an aggressive composting program in place, might there not be
too few organics to make AD sensible? Conversely, without a good EPR
program, I would imagine that much of the residue is precisely what we
don't want to burn -- chlorinated plastics, paints and pesticides, for

3) Jeff, what sources do you rely on to show that composting releases
few GHGs? Or do you mean that all the releases would be biogenic in
origin? If there are sources that show significant (even short-term)
sequestration of carbon through composting, I'd love to see them.

4) Any plan to incinerate establishes, for all practical purposes, a cap
on diversion rates. In other words, if LA builds an incinerator for 30%
of its waste stream, it can never divert more than 70%. An incinerator
for 10% of the waste stream is going to be too small to be practical
except in the largest urban areas.



Jeffrey Morris wrote:
> Hey Eric,
> 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
> emissions.
> 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?
> Jeff

> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *From:* zwia@no.address [mailto:zwia@no.address] *On Behalf
> Of *Eric Lombardi
> *Sent:* Thursday, January 24, 2008 12:36 PM
> *To:* hspie@no.address; 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

> 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

> Eric Lombardi
> Executive Director
> Eco-Cycle Inc
> 5030 Pearl St.
> Boulder, CO. 80301
> 303-444-6634
> <>

> *Vote for Eco-Cycle, Help us win $5,000*
> To celebrate their new store opening in Boulder and continue their
> tradition of environmental activism, *Patagonia
> <>* will donate $5,000 to the local
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> for Eco-Cycle *before March 29!*


> -----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.
> H.
> 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
> 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,
> 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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