Friday, January 6, 2012

Hey Grinder Guy, is the Yard Waste ban repeals affecting your business?

 Original Post July 1, 2011
First, thank you for considering my welfare. I am accepting donations to my PayPal account.
I won't be the only one affected. There are many companies in the equipment field of recycling organic waste along with the many green waste and C&D recycling sites that have made a business out of recycling organic waste.
Secondly, maybe not immediately, but it will absolutely affect the organics recycling industry in the long run. Two States, Florida and Georgia have recently changed rules to allow yard waste back into the Landfills if they have a Landfill Gas Recovery System. Georgia’s repeal is awaiting the Governor’s signature.
Waste Companies have not been left out of the recession of the past few years. Volumes are down from the Construction Boom years. They need volume to turn dollars. How do you increase revenue? The answer? Increase the tonnage into the Landfill.  Also, the numerous Recyclers, large and small, whose business relied on the boom in construction and demolition material along with organic waste took a lot of volume from the Landfill Companies.
I was involved in several conference calls where lobbyists for the big waste companies were trying to convince, i.e. lobbying, others that recovering the methane from the yard waste in the landfill was a better idea than keeping it out of the landfill. Unfortunately for them, they were speaking to mostly Organics industry professionals that laughed and told them to at least tell the truth and say that they just wanted more landfill revenue. I mean come on, just tell your shareholders you are working in their best interest and not the best interest of the environment.
The Waste Industry money spent lobbying, and I'm sure some donations along the way, were able to convince a couple states, even though the percentage of methane they would be able to capture is supposedly under 20%, If this is such a great, lucrative idea, why don’t they just build anaerobic digesters and capture all the gas?
Speaking of filling the landfill, how much yard waste is actually diverted from our garbage burial grounds every year? That’s a good question for the US Composting Council,, which worked tirelessly trying to stop the repeals. Log on and become a member and show your support.
I know in my County alone, about 200,000 ton per year of yard waste is collected and kept out of the Landfills. Loose quantities, that is equivalent to about 1-1.5 million cubic yards or a pile 10 foot high, 10 foot wide and 2-3 miles long. Doesn’t take long to fill up a Landfill with that kind of volume, and that is just one County. Still think possibly capturing 20% of methane from Yard waste is a good idea?
                The original Yard Waste bans commenced in the late 80’s and early 90’s to reduce the amount of material being disposed of in Landfills, primarily so we could extend Landfill life and not have to keep building more Landfills. This repeal does nothing to extend Landfill life.
So, for those in States that have pending similar Legislation, ask your Representatives if they want to keep filling and building Landfills? Then make sure any new Landfills that are built, are built in the neighborhoods of all the Representatives that voted for the repeal.

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