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[GreenYes] Re: [ZWIA] Re: Zero Waste plans

Please clarify:  what is WTEF?

Also, your usage would be more correct if you said the MBT ought to be in the "wasting account," not the "disposal account," since all reuse, recycling, and composting are competing methods of disposal.  When you put it the way you do, you give the whole recycling field (and all the disposal service fees) to the wasters, in my opinion.  Is this what you want?

It's not "just semantics," either.  If X waste company has an exclusive franchise for disposal and disposal service fees, governments can intervene to put lower cost clean recycling competitors for the same tonnage out of business.  That's what happened in Canberra; the local compost contractor has to take plant debris for no tipping fee, severely weakening its market position.

Dan Knapp
On Jan 30, 2008, at 7:14 PM, Helen Spiegelman wrote:

Hello ~

Here's what we're looking at in our region:

- the politicians just cancelled a big landfill that was going to take our waste after 2010 (landfills are all publicly owned, at least as P3s, in BC)
- instead they promised to cut waste by 70% through recycling and composting
- but as part of that package, they are announcing their intent to have in place 680,000 metric tonnes WTEF capacity by 2015, ramping up to 910,000 tonnes by 2035 (note that the region presently disposes of 1.06 million tonnes per year... maybe the planners got the fraction upside down?)
- they even announced that the stated cost for "a state of the art WTEF" would be "in the order of $400 million"

- As an indication of their priorities, the budgeted figure to bring their single regional composting plant is $35 million.

So the way I'm exploring to head this off is:

- to repeatedly and publicly praise politicians for the 70% goal, so they get used to being associated with that goal;
- to make no public statements about incineration but instead to advise them quietly in private emails that there are practical alternatives to incineration that offer: lower cost, equivalent environmental benefits, greater flexibility ~ and more likely public acceptance.

What I'm talking about is MBT. This is based on Eric's sensible suggestion of a "bridge strategy", which was:

  1. 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 donÂ?t know how long it will take), and while weÂ?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. 
  2. This approach will triple or more the life of the existing landfill infrastructure in America, and itÂ?s possible that no new landfills or incinerators need be built for the next 100 years, if ever.
Several other contributors to the thread testified that MBT is not Zero Waste, but it is a better strategy for ramping down as we approach Zero. Gary Liss contributed the additional point that MBT must be clearly identified in the public's eye (and the budget) in the disposal account, not the Zero Waste/Waste Recovery account. I am thinking the term "stabilized landfill" will communicate this.

Rick, what prompted this long thread was the announcement from LA that "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....?

Maybe you could clarify what sort of system is envisioned in the LA plan. Is LA putting any specifics, or even hints like dollar figures, to signal whether this is a low-tech, flexible, down-scalable MBT system ~ or a half billion dollar burner/gasifier? Given the choice, would you really pass over MBT?


At 06:06 PM 1/30/2008, RicAnthony@no.address wrote:
In a message dated 1/29/2008 12:17:42 P.M. Pacific Standard Time, hspie@no.address writes:From what you say, the environmental case for MBT rests on 100% stabilization ("no methane").
Hi Folks
I have been reading this since it started with LA post and  have to say that the MBT plant we saw in Germany, that was recommended as the best of its kind,  takes the material not source separated and soaks it in water for a few days (the tea bag effect) and then derives energy from the organics in the liquid, organic solid material is digested and then burned in a paper mill.  I asked the biologist who gave us the tour whether he thought the result was toxic and he thought yes. 
I recommend better front end (required) reuse, recycling and composting programs. All compostable organics separated out by law up font. These programs could reduce non marketable material to less than 20%.  This might be treated wood, baby diapers and mistakes.

Start the year off right. Easy ways to stay in shape in the new year.

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