Zero Waste Zone ~ Downtown Atlanta Mary Beth Van Pelt RCRA Programs & Materials Management Branch April 15, 2009
RCRA • Resource Conservation & Recovery Act • To protect human health and the environment from the potential hazards of waste disposal • To conserve energy and natural resources • To reduce the amount of waste generated • To ensure that wastes are managed in an environmentally sound manner
RCRA • Focused on hazardous waste • Built the cradle-to-grave system • Permitting facilities • Corrective action focus on high priority sites
Resource Conservation Challenge • Recycling of Municipal Solid Waste • Beneficial Use of Secondary Materials • Priority and Toxic Chemical Reduction • Electronics
How will economics, climate change and energy savings be achieved?RCC Goals Three goals: • Prevent pollution and promote recycling and reuse of materials • Reduce the use of priority chemicals at all life cycle stages • Increase energy and materials conservation
Municipal Solid Waste Generation251 Million Tons Food Scraps 12.4% Yard Trimmings 12.9 % Other 3.3% Wood 5.5% Rubber, leather, and textiles 7.3% Paper 33. 9% Plastics 11.7% Metals 7.6% Glass 5.3% EPA 2006 Facts and Figures
Waste Management Hierarchy • Avoid • Reduce • Reuse • Recycle • Recover • Dispose Most Desirable Least Desirable
Bring new ideas to old issues Landfills are a precious resource
Why is it important? ● Conserve Landfill space ● Reduce GHG emissions ● Recovering valuable feedstock materials
Composting: Food and Yard Waste • 67 million tons of organic material generated • 31.3 million tons of food waste • 32.4 million tons of yard trimmings • 62% of yard trimmings was composted, 2% of food waste composted
ZERO WASTE ZONE ~ Downtown Atlanta Project Summary VISION: Develop a prototype of a zero waste zone with an initial focus of diversion of recoverable products produced by foodservice operations from landfills. DEFINED AREA: The foodservice operations within Atlanta’s downtown convention district BACKGROUND: Georgians dispose of more than 17 million tons of solid waste in MSW (municipal solid waste) landfills per year and the Georgia MSW per person is more than twice than the national average. Recoverable products (paper, organics and plastics) make up 82% of the materials disposed in landfills. In 2008 Atlanta lost a convention to Orlando because the client’s perception that Orlando was a greener city.
ZERO WASTE ZONE Participation Criteria Zero Waste Zone participants are required to meet the following criteria: COMMON RECYCLABLES: By the end of three months or the end of their current hauling contract, whichever is sooner, participants are required to recycle common recyclables generated in their operation. Common recyclables consist of cardboard, paper, glass, plastic and metals. The Georgia Recycling Coalition will provide a list of local recycling companies.
SPENT GREASE: By the end of three months or the end of their current hauling contract, whichever is sooner, participants are required to recycle their spent grease from fryers with a local bio-fuel production facility and/or bio-fuel companies. Southern Alliance for Clean Energy will assist with referrals to biodiesel companies who meet ZWZ standards.
FOOD RESIDUALS All participants must have a formal plan for donation of excess food to charitable organizations within the parameters of applicable federal, state and/or local Good Samaritan Food Donation legislation. By the end of three months, participants must compost food residuals produced in their operation. No food residuals may be hauled to landfills. Referrals to food residual hauling and composting companies will be provided.
GENERAL Participation in the EPA WasteWise program Membership in the Green Foodservice Alliance via Georgia Restaurant Association membership Training sessions will be facilitated by Atlanta Recycles to participants to assist in meeting Zero Waste Zone criteria.
Partners in Leadership with EPA • Green Foodservice Alliance • Georgia Restaurant Association • Atlanta Recycles • Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau • Georgia Recycling Coalition • Georgia Department of Agriculture • Georgia Department of Community Affairs • Georgia Department of Natural Resources
Charter Partners in ZWZ • Georgia World Congress Center • Georgia Aquarium • Georgia Dome • Philips Arena • World of Coca-Cola • Centennial Part • 5+ Major Hotels • 10+ Restaurants
What’s Next? • ZWZ ~ Buckhead • ZWZ ~ Midtown • ZWZ ~ Athens • ZWZ ~ Savannah • ZWZ ~ Florida along hospitality corridors
Zero Waste Zone Biofuel Production Standards Biofuel companies must meet the below standards in order for a foodservice operator to comply with the Green Foodservice Green Certification criteria and the Zero Waste Zone parameters. The production facility must be within 250 miles of the foodservice operator kitchen. The company must be a registered member of the National Biodiesel Board (link to www.nbb.org) The company must send a biofuel/biodiesel sample to an independent third party lab for testing to ensure the product meets EPA specifications (ASTM D6751). Testing must be done at least annually. The company must be registered with the IRS as a fuel producer and report quarterly to the IRS. To qualify as a qualified biofuel company, evidence of the above standards must be provided.