Zero Waste

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Waste Management to construct recycling plant in Cambridge, Ontario

from Solid Waste & Recycling magazine
2012-02-06

 

Waste Management, Inc. recently announced that it will build a single-stream recycling centre in Cambridge, Ontario that will process up to 550,000 tonnes of material a year.

Waste Management has already acquired the property and existing plant at 505 Conestoga Blvd. and will now begin a major retrofit.

Scheduled to begin operations in fall 2012, it will be the largest private-sector recycling facility in Ontario. The total investment is expected to be $30 million.

Approximately 80 local green jobs will be created at the 126,000-squate-foot plant when it becomes operational, and this employment figure could increase as recycling volumes grow over time.

As well, the area economy will get a boost during the construction and operation of the centre as Waste Management sources local suppliers and contractors wherever possible.

A single-stream recycling facility (SSRF) eliminates the need for customers to separate recyclable materials prior to collection since sophisticated material-handling equipment inside the SSRF handles the task. This makes it easier for customers to recycle.

Experience has shown that recyclable material volumes increase an average of 20 to 30 per cent after customers switch to single-stream collection.

The Cambridge plant will use advanced technology -- such as magnets, screens and optical scanners -- to separate, sort and process a variety of materials, including:

-residential and commercial cardboard, paper, glass, plastics, and metals

-construction and demolition waste materials

-electronic equipment, such as cell phones and computers

-compact fluorescent light bulbs and batteries.

Zero Waste

In order to defeat the incinerator, Regional Councillors needed to be satisfied that there was a readily available alternative - which in Durham's case, because of prior decisions, could not be landfill.

The EA did only a cursory analysis of Zero Waste and rejected it - this was back in 2005 when Durham's own diversion was at 36%. Numerous councillors scoffed at the idea.

To achieve anywhere near Zero Waste, you need to change the mindset. Garbage is not something to be disposed of , it is raw materials (albeit messy) to be recovered and reused.

The first step is to analyse what garbage consists of. The following chart is primarily from a report prepared by Golder Associates for the Region in early 2009.

The most important take-away from this list is that there is nothing here that is labelled garbage. In fact the vast majority of it would have been less than a year old at the point it was discarded. There is nothing here that we can't identify easily and figure out what it is made of.

The other take-away is that everything here can be recycled and MOST IMPORTANTLY, EVERYTHING ON THIS LIST IS CURRENTLY BEING RECYCLED SOMEWHERE. So if it's being recycled somewhere, why not here. ZERO WASTE IS ACHIEVABLE.

Many municipalities are actively pursuing Zero Waste, most notably San Francisco which is currently at 78% and aiming for Zero in 2020.

In order to ensure that Durham regional councillors are aware that zero waste can be achieved, DurhamCLEAR president, Doug Anderson, made a presentation to Regional Council on April 6, 2011 using these Durham-specific numbers and spelling out in some detail how it could be achieved.

First-of-its-kind small appliance recycling program coming to BC

Sep 26, 2011 reprinted from Solid Waste & Recycling

 

British Columbians will soon be able to recycle their used or broken small appliances at over 100 convenient drop-off locations thanks to Unplugged, the Small Appliance Recycling Program.

Starting October 1, 2011, Unplugged will accept more than 120 small appliances for recycling, ranging from toasters and electric toothbrushes to countertop microwaves and vacuum cleaners.

Unplugged - the first small appliance recycling program of its kind in Canada and the only government-approved small appliance recycling program in British Columbia (B.C.) - aims to divert two million small appliances from landfills, helping to reduce pollution, save energy and protect the environment.

The program, administered by the Canadian Electrical Stewardship Association in partnership with B.C.-based Product Care Association, will also help save energy by recycling materials such as aluminum, which takes 95 per cent less energy to recycle than it does to make the material from raw resources.

After an appliance is brought to a drop-off location, it is transported to processors in Western Canada and separated into different materials, which are then recycled. Metals will be smelted down and recycled into other metal products, while plastics and glass will be sorted and sold or reused in various manufacturing processes.

As a non-profit program, Unplugged will be fully funded by a recycling fee applied to new products brought into B.C. by small appliance manufacturers and retailers.

The recycling fee covers all program costs, including collection, transportation and recycling, and may be included in a product's price or displayed as a separate charge at check-out.

Zero Waste is Do-able

In order to defeat the incinerator, Regional Councillors need to be satisfied that there is a readily available alternative - which in Durham's case, because of prior decisions, cannot be landfill.

The EA did only a cursory analysis of Zero waste and rejected it - this was back in 2005 when Durham's own diversion was at 36%. Numerous councillors have also scoffed at the idea.

However, many other municipalities take it very seriously and are actively pursuing it within the near term.

In order to ensure that Durham regional councillors are aware that zero waste can be achieved, DurhamCLEAR president, Doug Anderson, made a presentation to Regional Council on April 6 using Durham-specific numbers.

The powerpoint of his presentation can be viewed HERE. This file includes the speaking notes which clarify the slides. There are also a few extra slides here which were omitted from the presentation in order to compress it into the 10-minute limit.

There are references in the presentation to other sites and the links to these are listed here:

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom’s press announcement on achieving 77% diversion.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kNtcmG3GFw

San Francisco's Environment Department site which links further to all sorts of information on how SF handles its waste.

http://www.sfenvironment.org/our_sfenvironment/our_programs.html.

Brief interview with one of the people who helped defeat efforts to locate an incinerator for San Francisco's garbage in the neighbouring community of Brisbane

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