I've invited nationally known zero-waste expert Neil Seldman (President of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance) back to Poughkeepsie today (Friday) 3-5 pm at Vassar College's New England Building Room 201 for a Dutchess County Zero Waste work session to get down to the brass tacks of next steps in this effort after fifty area residents came out to hear Neil Seldman speak last Thursday at our forum-- recall my new listserv on this-- http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ZeroWasteDutchess/ ...
[map of Vassar campus here: http://www.vassar.edu/visitors/pdfs/map.pdf ; see http://www.ILSR.org too]
[...and yes-- $$$ still very much needed to help defray costs of Neil Seldman comin' all the way here!...call me at 489-5479...]
I also wish to publicly thank and recognize Town of Poughkeepsie County Legislator Jim Doxsey for agreeing to co-sponsor for our County Legislature's Mar. 5th Environmental Committee meeting next Thursday the resolution below drafted by yours truly for Dutchess County to get a piece of the new federal stimulus money for local zero-waste planning (regionally with other counties if possible)-- just made available from the $3.2 billion dollar appropriation for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants authorized by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007...
Thanks much again to the following folks who turned out for Neil Seldman's talk last Thursday sponsored by myself and Vassar Sustainability Committee folks Lucy Johnson and Jeff Walker-- Laurie Husted of Bard's Environmental Program, David Dell of Sustainable Hudson Valley, Manna Jo Greene of Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Allison Morrill Chatrchyan of Cornell Cooperative Extension's Environmental Program, Patricia Zolnik of the Cary Institute for Ecosystem Studies, Michelle Leggett of the Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency, Co. Leg. Jim Doxsey (and Co. Leg. Barbara Jeter-Jackson earlier), Rhinebeck Village Boardmembers Barbara Kraft and Svend Beecher, environmentalists extraordinaire Marie Caruso, Nancy Swanson, and Tom Baldino, Dems extraordinaire Jonathan Smith, Richard Dennison, Fred and Alice Bunnell, and Cary Kittner, Vassar students Katherine Straus, Anna Weisberg, Nadine Souto, and Susan Unver, and Damon and Stephanie Lewis, Mary Schmalz, Margaret Slomin, Chris Wimmers, Patrick and Liz Noonan, Amanda Adams, Caitlin Zinsley, Peter Prunty, Chris Eufemia, Allie Chipkin, Jamie Roderick, Sarah Womer, Frank Haggerty, and Frankie Mancini...
[recall-- http://www.midhudsonnews.com/News/2009/February09/20/recyc_selfrel-20Feb09.html ]
Note as well-- nationally known zero-waste expert Gary Liss (see http://www.GaryLiss.com ) will be a guest on our 5-6 pm "Real Majority Project" radio show with Rich Carlson on WVKR 91.3 FM http://www.WVKR.org -- today interviewed by the one and only Neil Seldman (ILSR.org President) in the studio(!)...
There's no reason why Dutchess, Ulster, Orange, Putnam, Columbia, and Sullivan counties couldn't join together to collaborate on a pilot regional comprehensive zero-waste plan proposal to the Environmental Protection Agency and NYS Department of Environmental Conservation similar to what zero-waste expert Gary Liss developed for Central Vermont Solid Waste Management District...
[great example for us here-- see http://www.CVSWMD.org ]
[for example, Neil Seldman has pointed out that recycling/processing equipment could be purchased jointly by area counties and transported around on a flatbed truck (e.g., a tub grinder costs about $500,000, C & D processing machine costs about $400,000)]
It's time to move solid waste management here in Dutchess solidly into 21st century. We need to start seriously working on stopping the spending of millions of our county tax dollars annually on our county incinerator-- it's time time to create jobs (and save money) by shifting towards zero-waste!...
Fact: Dutchess taxpayers spent $1,167,271 on "Solid Waste" (incineration) in 2006...
Fact: Dutchess taxpayers spent on this in 2007 too-- and $5,005,364 last year as well (in 2008)...
Recall-- the County Executive has proposed that we spend $6,330,612 on this in 2009...
Town of Poughkeepsie Co. Leg. Jim Doxsey: "With green issues in the forefront now-- finally, all can continue on the path of recovery. Having insights set in place, Institute for Local Self-Reliance President Neil Seldman has brought new exciting avenues-- the creation of multiple jobs, cleaner safer Counties, yes Counties-- now we must practice what was preached. Kudos to everyone who participated in last Thursday's forum-- cleaner air qualities and jobs, let's go to work."
Dutchess County itself should also follow the good example of Los Angeles and have a goal of a 70% recycling rate by 2012 and a 90% recycling rate by 2025-- by banning organics from being landfilled or incinerated as in Hawaii County, collecting food waste weekly as in San Francisco, and an eco-industrial Resource Recovery Park for composting, recycling, manufacturing firms as in California...
[ http://www.america.gov/st/env-english/2007/September/20070927163915mlenuhret0.4670832.htm ;
Dutchess County could also create clean, green jobs here in Dutchess County by recycling as much organic matter, yard waste, and construction and demolition debris as possible as in Detroit, Toronto, San Francisco, and Los Angeles (instead of incinerating so many local resources)...
[see http://www.cool2012.com/community/collection/ ;
Dutchess County could create a track for good-paying union jobs as well in deconstruction-- as Neil Seldman and the Institute for Local Self-Reliance has successfully done in Hartford and other cities across the U.S., working with AFSCME, Laborers International, Sheetmetal Workers, and Teamsters...
[see http://www.ilsr.org/recycling/rebuildeconhartford.html ]
The Institute for Local Self-Reliance/Teamsters goal of a national recycling rate of 75% would create two million jobs and save millions of tax dollars, as already more Americans work in the recycling industry than in auto industry, and Americans already pay $40 billion to $70 billion a year handling solid waste... [see http://www.ILSR.org ]
Don't forget these crucial facts from http://www.StopTrashingtheClimate.org:
Fact: Incinerators emit more CO2 per megawatt-hour than coal-fired, natural-gas-fired, or oil-fired
power plants. Incinerating materials such as wood, paper, yard debris, and food discards is far from “climate neutral”; rather, incinerating these and other materials is detrimental to the climate. By reducing waste creation and disposal, the U.S. can conservatively decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 406 megatons‡ CO2 eq. per year by 2030. This zero waste approach would reduce greenhouse gas emissions the equivalent of closing one-fifth of the existing 417 coal-fired power plants in the U.S. This would achieve 7% of the cuts in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions needed to put us on the path to achieving what many leading scientists say is necessary to stabilize the climate by 2050.
Fact: By reducing waste generation 1% each year and diverting 90% of our discards from landfills and incinerators by the year 2030, we could dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions within the U.S. and around the world. This waste reduction scenario would put us solidly on track to achieving the goal of sending zero waste to landfills and incinerators by the year 2040, the target established by the Urban Environmental Accords, which 103 city mayors worldwide have signed.
Recall as well these two gems from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance's Neil Seldman:
"Investing in Zero Waste: Some Lessons for L.A."
"Debunking the Waste-to-Energy Scheme"
Recall great news sent to us last Friday from Institute for Local Self-Reliance Pres. Neil Seldman:
From: Neil Seldman
Date: Fri, 20 Feb 2009 09:13:24 -0500
Subject: Re: [CRRA] Fwd: President Signs Stimulus Package That Includes Opportunity for Community Recycling Funding
"New information on the Stimulus Bill passed through Congress. See the NRC Statement below. Specifically of interest, the Stimulus package contains a $3.2 Billion dollar appropriation for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants that were authorized by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Under Section 544, Item 10, the funds may be used for "activities to increase participation and efficiency rates for material conservation programs, including source reduction, recycling, and recycled content procurement programs that lead to increases in energy efficiency." These funds are available through Cities and Counties, by direct application for federal block grants. Please consult your local government grant coordinator for advice on how to access these funds for your local recycling programs."
Recall as well-- on Feb. 17th some county legislators (five Dems including me-- Majority Leader Sandy Goldberg, Bill McCabe, Dan Kuffner, and Barbara Jeter-Jackson-- and one G.O.P.-- Angela Flesland-- and Co. Leg. staffer Marie-Celeste Edwards)-- took a tour I arranged of the Dutchess County/Veolia/Montenay incinerator in Poughkeepsie-- see http://www.DCRRA.org ; http://www.VeoliaES.com...Thanks to these folks who took us on tour of incinerator (see new info below from them): Bill Calogero, current Ex. Dir. for Dutchess County Resource Recovery Agency (in position since '98) and Ray Chance, Manager of Facility for Montenay/Veolia...
[recall background-- "Talking Trash" by Cara Patterson (Weekly Beat 9/14/07):
http://www.theweeklybeat.net/2007/09/14/cougarbage.html ; recall-- http://www.americanhealthstudies.org/wastenot/wn/36.pdf ; http://www.americanhealthstudies.org/wastenot/wn268.htm]
[one comment from a county legislator during Feb. 17th tour of incinerator facility: "it smells in here too"-- response to this from Ray Chance, manager of incinerator facility for Veolia/Montenay: "the smell penetrates the whole facility"]
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From Ray Chance, Manager of Poughkeepsie Incinerator for Montenay/Veolia Feb. 17th during tour:
[see http://www.VeoliaES.com ]
"Ideally, there's zero waste-- that's a lofty goal-- to get to zero, we've got a long way to go...Waste-to-energy plants have an operating life cycle of about twenty to thirty years; construction on this plant started in 1986 by Pennsylvania Resource Systems, Inc."
[Note-- it was also shared with us Feb. 17th that incinerator emissions like acid gases (hydrochloric acid and sulfur dioxide), organics like dioxins and furans, metals like cadmium, lead, and mercury, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxides are all very much ongoing issues that need to be monitored at DCRRA/Veolia/Montenay plant in Poughkeepsie.]
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From Dutchess County Resource Recovery Agency Ex. Dir. Bill Calogero Feb. 17th during tour:
[see http://www.DCRRA.org ]
"$16.8 million until 2027 will be needed from the County to pay off improvements to incinerator required under Clean Air Act; now we're only paying for the interest. The original debt for building the incinerator doesn't fall off until 2014; the original bond to build the incinerator was between $30 million and $40 million; there was a grant from the state for this, and the rest was bonded.
The current recycling rate in Dutchess County is 56%; California has a higher rate. Nationally on average each person generates a ton of garbage every year (using 2006 numbers before recession)-- so the estimated annual waste generated in Dutchess County is 320,000 tons a year. We're permitted to burn about 162,000 tons a year of municipal solid waste. In Europe, the emissions limits for incinerators are stricter
The transportation costs to deal with our ash jumped more than a million dollars from 2007 to 2008. This plant makes 50,000 tons of ash each year. Sullivan County used to take our ash as cover (up until the end of 2007); New York State had allowed a beneficial-use permit for our ash to be used to cover landfills. It's not profitable to transport ash long distances. Our ash now goes to landfills in four counties in NYS-- Delaware, Madison, Ontario, and Steuben counties. Orange and Ulster counties take all of their waste and transport it out of the county. The only landfills that are open now are in the western part of the state; there are no real landfills around here.
If we wanted to completely eliminate the DCRRA's annual fee of six million dollars, we'd have to raise the gate rate to $120/ton-- and still pay debt service. Up until last year, there was enough garbage coming into the plant; in 2007, about 10,000 less tons came in. We need to put demands on waste haulers in Dutchess County to bring in MSW in staggered amounts. Last year we tried to bring in 10,000 more tons of garbage during the first half of the year; we offered a special deal to New York City, Royal Carting, and Waste Management, Inc.
Royal Carting, the largest waste hauler in Dutchess County, delivers 115,000 tons a year-- 82% of the garbage that comes into the incinerator. Now Royal Carting pays $74/ton to bring their garbage here; rate for everyone else is $80/ton. The 2009 contract is about to be solidified. The gate rate as most landfills is now less than $20/ton. The City of Poughkeepsie brings in about 13,000 tons of garbage annually to the incinerator-- about 10% of the total. At one time Waste Management, Inc. used to bring in 14,000 tons annually, but last year they brought in only 8000 tons, less because they were losing business-- now they only bring in about 3% or 4% of our garbage.
Most other counties have a large number of small haulers and carters. As of last year there were 24 licensed waste haulers in Dutchess County-- but only five or six of them brought their garbage to the incinerator."
[resolution here drafted by yours truly, co-sponsored by Doxsey will be on Mar. 5 Envir. Committee agenda]
WHEREAS, the federal stimulus package legislation that just passed through Congress in February contains a $3.2 billion dollar appropriation for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants that were authorized by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007; under Section 544, Item 10, the funds may be used for "activities to increase participation and efficiency rates for material conservation programs, including source reduction, recycling, and recycled content procurement programs that lead to increases in energy efficiency", these funds are available to counties like Dutchess County by direct application for federal block grants, and
WHEREAS, this presents an opportunity for Dutchess County to get federal dollars with other area counties for collaboration on a pilot regional comprehensive zero-waste plan proposal to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and NYS Department of Environmental Conservation similar to what has been successfully developed for the Central Vermont Solid Waste Management District, and
WHEREAS, a zero-waste approach to resource recovery in Dutchess County will save tax dollars, create green jobs, lower carbon emissions, and help clean up local air quality; Greenway Environmental Services has provided an excellent working model of this type of intense composting and recycling approach already at Vassar and Marist colleges, and
WHEREAS, a zero-waste approach to resource recovery in Dutchess County will also create a track for good-paying jobs, as the Institute for Local Self-Reliance has successfully done in Hartford and other cities across the U.S., working with the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Laborers International, Sheetmetal Workers, and Teamsters, and
RESOLVED, that the Dutchess County Legislature requests that the Dutchess County Department of Planning and Development and Dutchess County Resource Recovery Agency work with Representatives John Hall and Maurice Hinchey and Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer to bring federal funding to Dutchess County for a new zero-waste planning approach for resource recovery, regionally if possible with other area counties, from the national stimulus package legislation passed in February containing a $3.2 billion dollar appropriation for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants authorized by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, and be it further
RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be sent to Dutchess County Executive William Steinhaus, Dutchess County Department of Planning and Development Commissioner Roger Akeley, Dutchess County Resource Recovery Agency Executive Director William Calogero, President Barack Obama, Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer, Representatives John Hall and Maurice Hinchey, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, Governor David Paterson, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Alexander "Pete" Grannis, State Senators Vincent Leibell and Stephen Saland and Assemblymembers Greg Ball, Kevin Cahill, Joel Miller, Marcus Molinaro, and Frank Skartados.
From http://www.GaryLiss.com .......
1. Oakland, CA Zero Waste Strategic Plan: http://clerkwebsvr1.oaklandnet.com/attachments/14983.pdf
2. Palo Alto Zero Waste Plan: http://www.cityofpaloalto.org/civica/filebank/blobdload.asp?BlobID=7100
3. Nelson, BC Zero Waste Action Plan: http://www.city.nelson.bc.ca/pdf/zero_waste.pdf
4. Zero Waste Communities Strategy: http://www.crra.com/grc/articles/zwc.html
5. Del Norte Zero Waste Plan: http://www.grrn.org/order/order.html#del_norte
6. Resource Recovery Parks - A Model for Local Government Recycling and Waste Reduction: http://www.ciwmb.ca.gov/LGLibrary/Innovations/RecoveryPark/
7. Zero Waste Businesses: http://www.grrn.org/zerowaste/business/profiles.php
8. Zero Waste Business Principles: http://www.grrn.org/zerowaste/business/
9. Local Government Incentives for Zero Waste: http://www.grrn.org/zerowaste/articles/loc_gov_zw_incentives.html
10. Case Studies of Model Local Government Recycling Programs and Policies prepared for the CA Integrated Waste Management Board at: http://www.ciwmb.ca.gov/LGLibrary/Innovations/, including _- Resource Recovery Parks _- Organics Recycling _- C&D Policies _- Business Recycling Policies and Programs _- Incentives for Maximizing Waste Diversion
11. What is Zero Waste (1997): http://www.grrn.org/zerowaste/articles/whatiszw.html
12. Letter to California Gov. Re: Zero Waste Challenge (Nov. 2006) http://www.garyliss.com/id17.html
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From http://wasteage.com/Landfill_Management/austin-tx-zero-waste/ ...
AUSTIN CITY LIMITS FEB 1, 2008 12:00 PM, BY CHRIS CARLSON
Texas capital considers zero-waste goal.
City officials in Austin, Texas, have turned to the Loomis, Calif.-based consulting firm of Gary Liss & Associates to develop a zero-waste plan. A draft of the Austin plan is expected to be ready in May and presented to the city council in October, after the city budget is finalized.
Gary Liss, president of Gary Liss & Associates, says the plan will focus on the reduction goals the city established in 2005 when Mayor Will Wynn signed the United Nations Urban Environmental Accords. That agreement called for a 20 percent per capita waste reduction by 2012 and zero waste by 2040. Over the next few months, Gary Liss & Associates will hold several meetings with the Austin community and local officials to get input and gauge the policy, program and facility needs that must be addressed in the plan. Liss points out, for example, that policies like an city ordinance passed in 1998, which mandated recycling for businesses with more than 100 employees and multi-family dwellings with more than 100 units, need to be examined. "Why only focus on those buildings and complexes?" he says.
"We're letting him drive the report," says Willie Rhodes, Austin's director of Solid Waste Services. Gary Liss & Associates has worked with local governments to develop zero-waste plans since 1998 - most notably Del Norte County, Calif., Palo Alto, Calif., and the Central Vermont Solid Waste Management District. Rhodes says the city's diversion rate is currently less than 30 percent. City officials requested the inclusion of five key aspects of the plan based on their research, Liss says, including improved infrastructure for recycling and composting programs, new rules and incentives to encourage participation, considerations for green industry, bans for problem materials, and public education.
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From http://fourstory.org/features/story/investing-in-zero-waste-some-lessons-for-la/ ...
Investing in Zero Waste: Some Lessons for L.A.
by Neil Seldman
[Neil Seldman is co-founder and president of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. Seldman is a social enterprise technician. He assists in the startup and expansion of recycling enterprises for profit and non-profit entities. Seldman is an advisor to the City of Los Angeles Zero Waste Program, also known as the Solid Waste Integrated Resource Program (SWIRP).]
Zero Waste is becoming the new conventional wisdom when it comes to handling municipal solid wastes. Public and private sector investors are staking claims to growth industries and doing well. At the same time, however, there are lemons and pitfalls to avoid. In the last few months, for example, it was announced that two successful Hollywood regulars were caught up in tens of millions of dollars of bad investments in a crumb rubber enterprise. (Processing old tires into useful products.)
The urge to do well by doing good can lead to a bad bottom line.
Here are some things to look for as you explore zero waste investment opportunities:
1. Identify key sectors that will need immediate and long-term attention
... e.g., tires and rubber compounds, electronic scrap, construction and demolition (C and D) waste, organic materials.
2. Focus on companies that address large sections of the waste stream, and produce quality products that will be in demand.
Here are a few great examples:
o Crumb rubber companies that produce high value virgin-substitute quality directly back to the tire, shoe or gasket manufacturer ... not companies that produce crude low value material suitable only for roadbeds and asphalt mixes. The key strategy in crumb rubber from old tires is the pre-processing, or deconstruction of the tire into its component parts, before final processing. This includes separating the different kinds of rubber that comprise a modern car or truck tire. There is a crumb rubber company that meets these requirements; and, it is already qualified by the California Integrated Solid Waste Management Board. The company is looking for a site in the state.
o Electronic scrap hand dismantling companies that recover working parts and segregate alloys ... not companies that shred mixed products to recover lower value metals.
o C and D companies that recover materials for reuse in construction and rehab ... not those that dispose of the estimated 200 million tons of this material annually.
Organic matter comprises 50% of the estimated 250 million tons of municipal solid waste (garbage) discarded annually by households and businesses and government offices. These materials are a perfect recipe for high quality black gold-topsoil, amendments needed by agriculture and industry-worth $100 per ton and a requirement for a sustainable food sector.
3. Look for companies that are responding to new rules and regulations.
Electronic scrap and old tires, for example, have been or will soon be banned from landfills and incinerators. In Pasadena, California, a new ordinance came into effect in October containing new standards aimed at reducing C and D waste from going to the city's landfill. Contractors must recycle at least 75% of this material. In San Jose, a contractor must put up a bond before building takedown. The bond is reimbursed after proof of recycling is presented to the city.
4. Track record.
Only consider companies with an operational history and established markets. Only consider newly developing companies that have provided independent, objective financial, market, political and legal review.
5. Purchase industrial land for recycling and composting industries.
Referred to as Resource Recovery Parks, these zones can form the backbone of the infrastructure needed for sustainable resource management in the near and long-term future. California has pioneered in developing Recycling Market Development Zones throughout the state. The City of Los Angeles has such an RMDZ. Private developers can invest in properties and recruit companies that would pay rent, as well as provide the zone developer with equity positions in each company recruited. Other innovative local governments include Hawaii County, Hawaii, and Alachua County, Florida. Hawaii County has developed an industrial site for the use of companies that process green waste and FOGs (Fats, Oils and Greases) into new biological products. The County has issued an RFP for companies that would use the public facility. In Alachua County, 300 acres adjacent to the current county solid waste facility have been purchased for the development of an ecological industrial park. The Gainesville Chamber of Commerce is assisting the county in recruiting new companies as well as helping existing recycling companies expand.
There are many companies out there that meet these few simple requirements for safe and profitable investment. Many companies are open to and often more than willing to partner with local non-profit community development organizations. These joint ventures open up additional sources of project financing.