Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Rethinking Landfills

                                                  Time for the US to 
                       consider more options
                            for our trash 

Sweden incinerates 49% of their trash for energy, only 4 % goes to landfills.
They also recycle 36% and compost 14%
Sweden's program is so successful that they are the only county that currently buys
another country's trash. 


One of 8 Waste to Energy plants in Sweden 

Sweden takes the trash, burns it and turns it into hot water heat and electricity.
Their goal is to be fossil free by 2030. Right now they create 20% of their heat 
Recycling is not forgotten and still is an important part of their waste program. 

They also create bio mass to replace gasoline for cars. 
(station shown above) 

England is also jumping on the bandwagon (Belividere Incinerator show above).
China has 50 plants on line. 
 Mitsubishi is building a 170 million dollar plant in Japan 

The US has over 459 plants, but the bulk of these plants are burning industrial waste and not day to day trash. The picture above is the Waste to Energy facility in Broward County Florida. This facility sits at the landfill  and is partnered with a landfill gas to energy facility. 
Photo: Waste Management

Canada sends trash to the US to landfill and New York send over 10,500 tons of waste to landfill sites in Ohio  and South Carolina.  Isn't time to rethink our trash

Mary Jarrett
Amazing Recycled Products
P.O. Box 312
Denver, Colorado 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

DOE Recycling Metal from Nuclear Facilities

Recycling Metal from DOE Facilities                                                           

Department of Energy is proposing to release tons of metal from their nuclear facilities for recycling. One of the facilities hired me as a consultant to review this issue years ago. They have warehouses packed with old metal desks, file cabinets, bookcases. In fact the little town the facility was located in looked like old Mexico with their backyards full of non working refrigerators, old cars etc.

NO ONE WANTS THEIR METAL. The quantity of metal the DOE is looking at releasing would be around 14,000 tons which is actually a small amount in the scheme of things. But do you want any amount of radioactive material in your recycled metal products?

Most of the metal recycling facilities in the US have radiation detectors,but Europe does not have detectors
at all facilities. You also have to look at the idea that the employees in  the recycling facility will continue to handle the metal over and over and may expose themselves to ongoing radiation.

Robert Middaugh,communications coordinator for the department's National Nuclear Security Administration  has stated , "The department will not authorize sites to release metal from areas
contaminated with radioactive material." So, if the whole town is radioactive, where are they getting the metal that is not contaminated?

Now I am concerned about metal that was taken from the Rocky Mountain Flats nuclear weapon plant  when it was closed near Denver,Colorado. What did they do with all that metal? All I could find out is that they torn down the buildings and removed them as part of a Superfund Project. Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge remains controversial, and the talk around town is that the fish glow in the ponds and you don't want to spend much time out there. The real question I have is how much of the local contaminated metal was recycled before the radiation precautions were in place? How many structures are built with metal that was exposed to radiation across the US. How many other places are there that have been torn down over the years before the controls?  We know Cancer and birth defects are a direct result of exposure to radioactive contamination. One has to wonder the affects are on our communities.

Radiation is a serious, complex issue and I join with other groups in opposing releasing this material
for recycling. Even though the material may contain a low but above-background of levels of radiation, this material can enter the stream to the consumer through metal products made from recycled steel. No more radioactive contaminated metal should be introduced. Not one more spec.

Mary Jarrett
Amazing Recycled Products

Monday, April 22, 2013

Earth Day 2013


Today the biggest issue across our world is water. 
How much do we have? How much do we waste? How can we clean it up?

New devices our being invented everyday to simply the process of providing clean drinking
water for all. Larger processes are being designed and installed to recycle large communities water. With drought conditions in the West, many look to the snowpack for their water and are crossing their fingers for a late spring with heavy wet snows.We all need to see how we can conserve water within our home and outside. Some communities will be under water restrictions this summer while others are experiencing flooding. 

How can we best address the variety of water conditions within the US let alone across the world?
Do we need an International Water Commission overlooking how water is used in various countries? How can we prevent opportunists trying to sell water in arid areas of the world? Or how can we prevent corporate or country greed?

As the Ice Pack melts and our oceans rise, it seems to me we need to spend quite of bit of energy and money on how to best use this large open water storage of water, to both reduce the impact of the rising oceans, but to secure water for the next generation. Perhaps we can attempt to store water back in ground aquifers, or in above ground storage tanks.

With water being more frail now, it seems Oil still rules and we continue use this valuable resource to drill deeper,or risk large spills by drilling in water itself. 

So as we all go about this day celebrating our Mother Earth, let us stop and consider, just how important this basic life ingredient is. We can't live without water no matter how much oil and gas we have, and the world needs to keep their focus on water and push this to top of the priority list in every country, every event, every conversation.