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Disposal By Whatever Method or Name Still Stinks Of Wasted Resources. Dr. Jeffrey Morris Sound Resource Management - Seattle [email protected] 206-599-6734 SWANA Winter 2005 Technical Symposia. Purpose of presentation.

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disposal by whatever method or name still stinks of wasted resources

Disposal By Whatever Method or NameStill Stinks Of Wasted Resources

Dr. Jeffrey Morris

Sound Resource Management - Seattle

[email protected]

206-599-6734

SWANA Winter 2005 Technical Symposia

purpose of presentation
Purpose of presentation
  • Outline life cycle analysis results to show pollution prevention/resource conservation benefits of recycling (and waste reduction)
  • Explain indexing of pollutant impacts
  • Examine the costs of diversion
  • Examine the non-market economic value of pollution prevention/resource conservation
  • Discuss ending subsidies for wasting vs. subsidizing waste reduction & recycling
  • Outline methods for subsidizing recycling
slide3

Environmental impacts of recycling in San Luis Obispo (SLO) County compared to landfill disposal with landfill gas (LFG) collection and energy generation

indexing of pollutants
Indexing of pollutants
  • Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) covers about 650 chemicals and chemical categories
  • There are 50,000 or 75,000 or more chemicals in use in the economy
  • Indexing releases of these chemicals according to their environmental impacts vastly simplifies the problem of interpreting pollutant release data
  • Example – global warming is one environmental impact category and is indexed by carbon or CO2: CO2 =1, CH4 = 23, N2O = 296; CF4 = 5,700, CFC-12 = 10,600.
  • Similar indexing for acid rain, nutrification, asthma and lung cancer, human toxicity; ecological toxicity, ozone depletion, smog, etc.
slide14
Environmental impacts of recycling in San Luis Obispo (SLO) County compared to hypothetical waste-to-energy (WTE) incineration
slide22

Environmental impacts of recycling in four regions of Washington State compared to landfill disposal with LFG flaring and to waste-to-energy (WTE) incineration

disposal methods in wa regions
Disposal methods in WA regions
  • Urban East – 90% waste-to-energy incineration
  • All Other Regions – 100% landfill
  • Landfill energy/environmental impact calculations assume 75% methane gas capture and flaring; in fact smaller, older landfills in WA do not have landfill gas capture systems. Also, 75% may be too high for actual landfill lifetime methane capture rate at most landfills.
curbside recycling costs revenues in four regions of washington state
Curbside recycling costs & revenuesin four regions of Washington State
  • Curbside recycling costs = $173 to $265/ton
  • Recycling market revenues averaged $70 to $80/ton over past five years
  • Avoided disposal costs = $32 to $77/ton
  • Curbside costs = $25 to $70/ton, net of market revenues and net of avoided disposal costs, for programs collecting all recyclable materials.
  • Curbside costs = $65 to $140 for programs not collecting all materials.
economic value of pollution prevention and resource conservation benefits of recycling
Economic value of pollution prevention and resource conservation benefits of recycling
types of subsidies for wasting
Types of subsidies for wasting
  • Direct - subsidies (local, national and international)
  • Direct - tax breaks
  • Direct - security, military and insurance services at low or no cost
  • Indirect - cheaper energy due to subsidies/tax breaks for energy production
  • Indirect – free disposal of pollutants to air, land and water
potential solutions
Potential solutions
  • End subsidies for wasting
  • Direct subsidies for recycling – e.g., Bundle recycling costs into garbage fees or provide direct payments for tons recycled
  • Bundle recycling costs into product prices – deposit/refund and other EPR systems
  • Internalize pollution costs in either garbage costs or virgin materials costs – e.g., greenhouse gas reduction credits for recycling or organics diversion programs
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