Communities facing the prospect of having “waste-to-energy” incinerators established in theirneighbourhoods have a right to know the full details of the project and its impact on their health and environment. Host communities carry the direct burdens of these technologies in terms of noise, environmental pollution, and health and social impacts.
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The importance of preserving material quality and avoiding cross-contamination has become a common theme in many recent technical reports on recycling.
While single-stream recycling is more convenient for consumers and results in lower costs than other collection systems, it also results in more contamination of collected materials, lower material quality, and increased waste. Using data from industry reports and interviews with recyclers, this report that highlights the economic and environmental impacts of switching to a single-stream system.
While the recycling's impact on jobs has been the subject of several studies in recent years, Returning to Work is the first report to take into account the vital importance of material quality, throughput quantities, processing dynamics and end-user needs to analyze the net gains in domestic jobs when beverage containers are recovered through recycling.
Container deposits increase container recovery, reduce environmental pollution, create jobs and place the cost of recovery on those who produce and consume the containers.
To estimate the environmental value for curbside recycling and composting in King County, Sound Resource Management developed a comprehensive recycling and composting environmental costs and benefits valuation model. This model estimates pollution reductions across all three phases of product life cycles that are caused by diverting material discards to recycling or compositing.
While major waste companies promote landfill gas to energy (LFGTE) projects that purport to capture methane released from landfills and convert it to electricity, a better solution lies in organics recycling.
Food waste is the single largest category of municipal solid waste (MSW) in California at 5.9 million tons or 16% of total MSW as of 1999 (CIWMB, 1999). Diverting a portion of food waste from landfills can provide a significant contribution toward achieving EPA, state, and local mandated solid waste diversion goals. In addition, diverting food waste from landfills prevents uncontrolled emissions of its breakdown products, including methane—a potent greenhouse gas.
"Landfill gas" is not the same as "natural gas" or "methane." They are three separate terms that mean different things. The term "landfill methane" is deceiving as it implies that landfill gas is simply methane. Landfill gas is about 45-55% methane, with the remainder being mostly carbon dioxide (CO2).