Letter to State Board re: Solid Waste Act

The 1991 Solid Waste Act was launched with a formal, public three year planning effort defined by  the 1988 Solid Waste Act.  The resulting 1991 Solid Waste Act is 25 years old. It has fostered more landfilling than recycling and composting.   Problems include local and state tabulation of solid waste, poor definition of what is solid waste and what is recyclable, and apparent low rates of recycling.   Page references in the letter are to the 2015-2025 State Solid Waste Plan…..LINK:   2015-2025 Solid Waste and Materials Management Plan Please find attached a letter from BURNT to Stacy Cothran, Chair of  the State of the Tennessee Underground Storage Tanks and Solid Waste Control Board. >pg   2-3,4,5    Waste Stream numbers and that US EPA has a completely different scale to measure solid waste and recycling;     >pg. 3, Summary of Tennessee waste reporting problems.   >pg. 5–8 Detailed exam of local solid waste reporting.  By law individual businesses can refuse to report   >pg. 8–11– Tennessee proposes to turn control of solid waste reporting and regulating to local governments which have refused a more active role and overtly support landfills as the most expedient solution to solid waste  >pg. 12-15       Waste Diversion and Class III/IV Landfills–Tennessee landfills construction waste  >pg. 15-18       Recycling and Conclusion NOTE     Edits and Corrections, pg. 19 This legislation has not worked.  Twenty five years after passage and Tennessee is the only state which gives credit for landfilling construction waste which can often be recycled (see page 14, Class III/IV landfills)   Read the letter above then go to the 2015-2025 State Solid Waste Plan to understand  how we arrived at the point where the... read more

Flyer to Metro Council, 2016

Please find attached two flyers for the Metro Nashville Council.  We had multiple issues–a proposed $250,000 solid waste study BURNT did not want as long as the chair of the Regional Board remained for the study; Nashville recycling is hurt by Tennessee pro-landfill policy;  that Tennessee Code Annotated (TCA) 68-211-871(c)(d) allows any commercial, institutional,  and commercial business to withhold a annual solid waste report; TCA 68-211-861 authorizes Tennessee to be the only state to give a credit for landfilled construction waste; and that the 2007 Solid Waste Plan was not implemented   Nashville is the 2nd largest county in the state.  Our Council has intelligent, capable people.  We  want to work to keep them informed of all points of view.  MC3May2016.1... read more

Earth Day ’16

ATTACHED:  NAACP Nutrition.3 is our course built on three nationally recognized web sites Earth Day’16-Page 1 &4 and  Earth Day ’16 pages 2 & 3 program completed by Dr. Blondell Strong  BURNT and the NAACP have opted for nutrition as a tool to impact environmental justice in poor and minority youth.  Last year we did a one day event at the Hadley Park Community Center which worked with 55 youth.  We developed a strong curriculum this year.  We were not able to establish a supply of teachers or a supply of high school and junior high students to teach.  Recruiting teachers of classes and classes to teach became complicated toward the end of the school year,.  We were very fortunate that a committee member knew the Maplewood principal.       First recommendation–start organizing before the beginning of the semester.. We recruited three teachers from Hands on Nashville, one from Meharry Medical College, and three from David Lipscomb University.  We should start much earlier to recruit from college clubs and professional classes such as nutrition and nursing.  Recruiting places to teach by starting with the school board members representing where we wish to teach.    We discussed stipends.  First, we did not have time to get them. Second, if it takes $25 to persuade someone to do something how deep is their interest.  Finally, making payments and record keeping. RECOMMENDATION    The poor and minority who go to prison are the ones who can not read in 4th grade.   Some churches have on-going tutoring of young students who can not read and write.  Perhaps we can activate NAACP members by feeding them into these church tutoring programs FINAL  RECOMMENDATION   Next year is our 5th Anniversary... read more

BURNT Event: “Can Nashville Recycle More?”

On Tuesday November 17 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Richland Park Library 4711 Charlotte BURNT will sponsor a presentation and discussion on “Can Nashville Recycle More?”  BURNT will explain what is in solid waste and why more waste can be recycled and composted.  The relationship between state solid waste law and metro practices will be considered.  The factors evident in Oregon and California, two high recycling state, will be discussed to see how to improve Nashville recycling. The event is free and open to the public. See the flyer below.... read more

Earth Day Recap…

55 youth, adults, and NAACP members gathered at the Hadley Park Community Center on Earth Day, April 22, to celebrate Environmental  Justice Earth Day with a program geared toward youth and nutrition. BURNT has a long history of observing environmental justice. Our issues–solid waste, landfills, chemicals, and pesticides have a significant impact on poor and minority.  Those with the worst health suffer the greatest pollution yet have the fewest tools to fight back.  Our events are targeted toward poor and minority.   At the “Environmental Justice Earth Day” we taught the youth that 50% of their calories came from sugar in soft drinks.  We thank Ms. Barbara A. Manual the Director of  the Hadley Park Community Center for hosting this event three years in a row. Dr. Blondell Strong and the NAACP compiled the program.  Community Food Advocates, Green Fork Academy, Master Gardeners of Davidson County,  Earth Saver’s-TN, and the NAACP were among those groups which participate.   Attached is the program for the event: Earth Day Program 2015... read more

TDEC Develops Solid Waste Plan 2015-2025

The Division of Solid Waste recently unveiled their Solid Waste Plan 2015-2025 (available here). The new Plan embraced all the elements of the past with vague promises for change.  Tennessee will remain the only state to credit landfilled construction waste as diverted, wildly inaccurate local reports will be expanded, and emphasis on rural waste will remain instead of larger counties which create the majority of solid waste.  Sometime in the future, regulations for landfills will be reviewed even though there are amply regulations now to control landfill pollution. Below is a letter to a State Solid Waste Board member then a longer letter to the Commissioner. “11 April 2015 Alan Leiserson, Member Underground Storage Tanks and Solid Waste Control Board You and I have a unique view on the Solid Waste Plan 2015-2025.  We testified before a Joint Government Operations Rule Committee in December 2011 where the Plan was a central point.  The Committee could not understand how I could oppose a TDEC Planning  effort. This Plan perfectly expresses that opposition. This Plan does nothing except continue the present status of Tennessee solid waste.  There is nothing but vague promises for future change.  The loop-hole riddled  local reporting where local governments report only on what they personally collect and guess on the rest, the unique  to Tennessee rule of allowing landfilled construction waste to count as diverted which inflates Tennessee recycling numbers, and the polluting landfills are ignored. The Department states that only complaints from local citizens will trigger remediation of landfills even though Tennessee is ranked 44th among all states in well being which reflects education, citizen participation, job opportunities,... read more

3rd Annual “Environmental Justice Earth Day” Delivers Food and Nutrition to Minority Youth

On 22 April 2015, the 45th Anniversary of the founding of Earth Day, the Nashville Branch of the NAACP and BURNT will lead a coalition of community groups to deliver a strong message to poor and minority youth on food and nutrition  at the Hadley Park Community Center from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Community Food Advocates and  their Mobile Food Market will be there for the youth to tour and to give information on food deserts.  Green Fork Academy will prepare a  healthy snack for participants and discuss nutrition. A representative of Mathew Walker will discuss diabetes and other illnesses in which nutrition plays a role.   Former Metro Council member Kwame Lillard will talk about environmental justice. The Master Gardeners will distribute seedlings and plants. Earth Savers-TN will discuss composting and gardening. BACKGROUND:Earth Day was founded on April 22 1970 and is considered the beginning of the modern environmental movement. ‘Environmental Justice Earth Day’ began as a Resolution written by the Nashville NAACP and adapted by the National NAACP. The Resolution will be available at the event and all participants will be available for interviews. View/download event... read more

BioCycle Magazine offer BURNT inspiration

BioCycle Magazine(c), published by The JG Press, Inc, always has articles which demonstrate initiatives to which BURNT aspires. We need to branch out into projects which provide leadership and to work with those who want to lead in Nashville. For an excellent example, check out this article about a major hotel and resort in San Diego committed to recycling and composting solid waste.  Two things are interesting in this article, included in the 17 February 2015 BioCycle: The number of things the hotel had to do to comply with San Diego recycling ordinances–no such list exists for Nashville That the hotel hit 83% diversion rate and a huge reduction in solid waste picked up every week Part of BURNT’s goal is to select projects like this and meet people in the business community to demonstrate that being green can save Mother Earth and ca$h.... read more

Peter Anderson Comes to the Tennessee General Assembly (in a sense…)

Peter Anderson’s  famous quote is “If you begin with the content of solid waste, solutions fall like rain from the sky.”   This says it all–make your plans on the actual content of solid waste, not on the number of garbage trucks, landfills, or local reports.  Tennessee and local governments virtually ignore the content of solid waste for quotas, reports, and inaccurate statistics. This is leading up to a hearing on a Rule to further obscure state and local numbers by allowing “Qualitative Assessment” local reports which allows the state to pass more local governments as meeting the 25% waste reduction goal.  Already, local governments get credit toward the 25% goal for diversion or recycling for construction waste which is landfilled,  even though construction waste is the richest waste for recycling and creating jobs.  Less than half of the local governments meet the 25%  waste reduction goal even with gaping loop-holes.  **Peter Anderson did not attend the General Assembly–he was represented by his famous quote. BURNT response to proposed amendment to TDEC Rule 0400-11-.01-.09... read more

BURNT Fails At General Assembly To Connect Air Quality to Landfills

BURNT  does a lot of work at the General Assembly which is not related to specific legislation.  Over the years,we have helped educate the legislature on problems of solid waste and landfills.  For this hearing of the Joint Government Operations Rule Committee we tried to link the refusal of the State Air Quality Board and Air Quality Department to consider odors.  Of course, this is quite strange behavior for an Air Quality Board–how can a State Air Quality Board ignore odors?  However, we found the General Assembly was not interested in this point.  It may be considered unfriendly to business. BURNT has worked two odor cases in Nashville (the four largest cities have identical enabling laws to the State which are interpreted to allow them to regulate air quality).  In both cases involving odors, businesses thrived after the offending plant was closed or regulated.  Of course, farms are a germane point against regulation. Here are examples of citizen testimony about Middle Point landfill in Murfreesboro on August 22 2013: Ms C.W.  –“…the smell [Murfreesboro landfill] is really bad on some days…[the people who live in] Walter Hill should not have to smell the odors that are emitted ” Pre-Hearing Comment #1, pg. 1 of 35 ** Mr. J. R. —“I live about 1 ½ miles from the landfill as the crow flies.  I have lived in my house for 28 years.  For the first 18 years it was not an issue.  In the last 10 years it has been a major issue.  Being able to go out and sit on my porch in the back and have to put up with... read more

Shortcomings of the TDEC Solid Waste Report

BURNT analyzed the TDEC Solid Waste Report and found many faults. We wrote to the Attorney General, the Governor, the Commissioner, and the Division of Audit, yet received only one perfunctory reply. There can be no doubt that TDEC solid waste policy is a group effort. We found in an economy which took advantage of highly processed raw materials in solid waste there would be almost nothing to landfill. We found that TDEC violates Tennessee Code Annotated 69-211-803 which requires that solid waste facilities do not injure people or the environment. We found that compostable food waste is the largest landfilled waste stream which insures that landfills hurt people and the environment. We found that TDEC and the State solid Waste Board materially changed the conclusions of the Solid Waste Task force, which repudiates the repetitive cry of the Tennessee municipal league for no unfunded solid waste mandates. It is the cities hosting the landfills which suffer unfunded mandates. TDEC_Annual_Report.letters... read more

BURNT AT METRO COUNCIL — Are We a Super City or Ranked #72?

Nashville has been on a self-congratulatory jag since the New York Times wrote a laudatory article about Nashville. BURNT has been in an office playing a loop on closed circuit television of top ten accomplishments of Nashville ranging from most performance reviews to number of head quarters companies per capita. Nashville is a hot city – or are we number #72, as ranked by the Gallup Poll? In a Healthways article, Nashville was #44 among states on the same ‘wellness’ scale. BURNT points out the terrible inequalities among colleges, the abuse of General hospital by Metro government and Vanderbilt, and the disparity in income between North Nashville and Davidson County. We would say the General Assembly–largely made of former local officials–has the firmest grip on the reality of the bottom level of citizens in Tennessee. Click to read or download our flyer addressing this... read more

BURNT Corresponds with the Government Operations Committee

BURNT spends time at the legislature on general matters—the impact of landfilling, how to create jobs from recycling, and how local numbers are inaccurate.  These letters illustrate our written approach, which is sometimes too technical.   25 June Government Operations Letter—concerns a request to review past rule decisions including the a Rule 0462 passed in December 2012, the Solid Waste Plan, and other concerns. Click to view or download 25 June 2014 Government Operations Letter 19 July Government Operations Letter—Is a review of statutes and enforcement Click to view or download 19 July Government Operations Letter We understand that every letter is not read.  That is why we go down to the legislature with flyers.  We are fortunate to be working in a non-partisan area of government.  If we can come up solutions and work with TDEC, we can make progress. ... read more

TDEC Solid Waste Report

BURNT wrote a lengthy analysis of the Annual TDEC  Solid Waste Report.  We found that laws were ignored, solutions not pursued, and landfills not cleaned up.  Included are one page letters to the Attorney General, the Governor, and  the Commissioner.  Someone told  BURNT that if we were located in any other state, that would be a Zero Waste State. TDEC Annual Report for 2014 with BURNT letters... read more

Tennessee Solid Waste Plan Allegedly Near Completion

Tennessee commissioned a Solid Waste Plan 2015-2025 in spring 2014.  This DRAFT Plan (see link) has inadvertently exposed the weaknesses of the the TDEC system. This plan: Is very unfriendly to citizen participation–no apparent meetings with groups and does not reprint letters sent in.  The Nashville hearing Tuesday is 2 hours and the vendor takes up one hour; Is very inadequate for a $327,000 study—see the attached PDF; and Inadvertently exposes the terrible weaknesses of TDEC— amorphous goals, bad numbers, and both TDEC and this plan ignore landfills. Please remember–as far as climate change, solid waste creates methane gas from landfilled food, yard, and paper waste which is very serious climate change threat. Points BURNT has repeatedly made on this issue: Construction waste is key material to recycle and create jobs. Food waste hurts landfills and creates dangerous methane— use it for animal feed and human food. From plastic to paper we are landfilling alot of waste which should be used to create jobs. The multi-national landfill companies have the skillls to do more than run landfills–recycle construction waste and process food waste to make animal waste.... read more

Middlepoint Landfill

Testimony on State’s Largest Landfill Makes Our Point   On 22 August 2013, TDEC Division of Air Quality held a formal  hearing on Middlepoint Landfill in Murfreesboro.   The state’s largest landfill is located on the Stone River in Karst geology  with caves and cracks that allow pollution to migrates.  There was testimony  that people on wells in the vicinity have black algae growing from their kitchen and  bathroom faucets.  120 people turned out on a week day night.     Testimony that odors were strong, very unpleasant, and hurt property values  were repeated.  Mr. J. R. said “I live about 1 1/2 miles from the landfill  as the crow flies.  I have lived in my house for 28 years.  For the first  18 years it was not an issue.  In the last 10 years it has been a major  issues.  Not being able to go out and sit on my porch in the back and to  put up with this smell and all the poor quality that’s coming from the landfill.   Hearing comment #10, pg, 19 of 35.   Mr. S.A. states “Okay, I was here before  they were and they have no right to stink me out of my home, but they are, they  are and they do a lot of other people, too.  So, if you want to talk about air quality  there you go, there you have something to work on.  Thank you.”—Comment #10, pg.  19 of 35   There are many side issues, as always, such as the sweet heart “host fees” of  $1.20 a ton Rutherford County gets, which is a small portion of the total... read more


Commissioner Bob Martineau, Jr. symbolizes the thousands of wonderful  TDEC employees across the state. Commissioner Martineau and other Commissioners have done fine things with Tennessee parks. Yet, the state has not grappled with the severe landfill pollution such as recent testimony about  Middle Point Landfill in Murfreesboro , general pollution from landfills [Advisory Committee], and diverting solid waste from landfills to create jobs and business.   Our feeling is that Tennessee does not basically understand how to regulate.   Click the below links  to download the  PDFs Comments Response Advisory Committee Hearing21 July... read more

Testimony Concerning “Solid Waste Plan”

BURNT Bob Martineau, Commissioner Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation 312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue—Tennessee Tower—2nd Floor Nashville, Tennessee 37243 RE: Testimony Concerning “Solid Waste Plan 2015-2025” Dear Commissioner Martineau: On behalf of BURNT, the State Conference of the NAACP, and the Nashville Branch of the NAACP, we appreciate the opportunity to testify concerning the “Solid Waste Plan 2015- 2025” This is a very difficult process. TDEC staff and managers will not accept that the loop-hole ridden TCA 68-211-861 or ignoring TCA 68-211-803(a) are not serious problems. The attached testimony about Middle Point Landfill demonstrates the horrible problems of rampant odors, devalued property, and powerless citizens common to a dozen TDEC regulated landfills. The ‘Solid Waste Plan 2015-2025’ should narrowly focus on construction waste recycling and composting. If the Tennessee ‘Solid Waste Plan 2015-2025’ is like the Georgia Plan with “GOALS” followed by three pages of “ACTION STEPS”, TDEC and the landfill companies will have another 10 years of pollution. Specific goals of composting and recycling construction waste need measurable goals and outside management. It is much more difficult to administer the environmental part of TDEC than the parks. Very few people sabotage the parks while many in Tennessee are still rooted in 1950’s thinking that allowing pollution is key to economic growth. Landfills and the current solid waste system employ very few people. Recycling and composting could create thousands of jobs and make money for all parties including the landfill companies. . There is a very strong element of environmental injustice. Landfills are located where poor, rural, and minority live. A. Distinguishing factors of solid waste in Middle... read more

Task Force Plans for Waste Reduction

CLICK THE BELOW TEXT TO VIEW THE PDF Solid Waste Task Force—A Wasted Effort  The ‘Solid Waste Task Force’  met from 2007 to 2009 to develop parameters for new solid waste regulations  following legislative passage of Public Chapter 0462.  This legislation was an omnibus  solid waste bill covering waste recovery  following disasters, work place recycling, and new solid waste  regulations.  Public Chapter 0462 allowed the Board to assume  powers to create regulations previously reserved for General Assembly  if a wide range of factors  such as jobs created, public education, and the costs and benefits of recycling were considered.  .    The Task Force was created to do this research.  The ‘Task Force’ populated with local public works leaders from across the state and several concerned citizens.  Two members of BURNT participated.  The Task Force considered a wide range of evidence and developed recommendations to reduce landfills, increase recycling and composting, and implement basic solid waste management.  This followed the dictates of Public Chapter 0462.  TDEC, and the Board, twisted these recommendations to then create a Rule 0400-11-01-.09 which overrode the recommendations of the Task Force while claiming to follow them.   Please see attached “waste reduction rule” to see that the rule continues the existing gaping loop-holes such as credit toward 25% recycling goal for landfilled construction waste.  Plus, the Rule added that changes in production process could be claimed by business toward the 25% goal with no proof of efficacy.     Please understand the high quality of state and local officials on the Task Force.  Local solid waste directors showed up with books on ‘Zero Waste’.  State managers are outstanding.... read more

Advisory Committee Hearing

July 21, 2008 To: Members of the Municipal Solid Waste Advisory Committee Solid waste reform is under consideration by the Advisory Committee and the Solid Waste Reduction Task Force. When developing your reform recommendations, I encourage you to consider that solid waste is also a water issue because landfills can and routinely do leak. The impacts from leaking landfills can affect our water resources for decades. Reform of Tennessee solid waste policy must consider the past results of our landfills and the impact on groundwater and surface waters. This letter summarizes key points that illustrate examples of how the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) procedures for permitting and monitoring landfills sometimes fall short of protecting our groundwater and surface water resources. Groundwater and surface water impacts are important considerations when determining needed actions associated with long-range solid waste planning and waste reduction goals. The public is becoming increasingly aware of the importance of clean surface water and groundwater. As drought conditions worsen, our groundwater is again being relied upon more by the public and municipal users for such purposes as drinking water and irrigation. Our surface waters too are at risk because shallow groundwater typically discharges into streams. General Conclusion To-date, TDEC’s data show that landfills have and routinely contaminate our groundwater. Further, landfill permits are being issued at sites that TDEC determined to be unsuitable for land disposal. These conclusions are based on a review of TDEC files for representative middle Tennessee landfills and from actual conclusions made by TDEC staff. Widespread Landfill Effects on Groundwater A database provided by the TDEC Division of Solid Waste... read more

Solid Waste Reform

Solid Waste Reform –BURNT Writes To the Commissioner  BURNT wrote a 6 page letter in May 2014 to TDEC Commissioner Bob Martineau (TestimonyMay2014).   The biggest impediment to reform of Tennessee solid waste is that the Department (TDEC) thinks everything is fine.  We included testimony from a hearing on the largest landfill in the State–Middle Point in Murfreesboro.  [556490_01_00 —Murfreesboro Testimony]    The people stunk out by this landfill did not think everything was fine.  Gut wrenching testimony about terrible odors traveling 2 miles from the landfill was heard.  Here is an example of what the State gets away with.  The State Division of Air Quality claims to not regulate odors!!!  How can an Air Quality Division not regulate odors?  This is not what it says in the board powers. Multiple groups are working on Tennessee solid waste reform—Sierra Club and also some national organizers, Tennessee Environmental Council, SOCM, and individuals.   Our main points are that landfills across the state are polluting and this violates TCA 68-211-803 which mandates that the State prevent solid waste facilities from hurting the environment and citizens.  Second, there is a solution–let the multi-national landfill companies lead the way on large scale composting across the state which eliminates from the landfills the paper, food, and yard waste which cause the pollution.   We also included an Expert Witness report by Professional Geologist Mark Quarles (AdvisoryCommittee) and the ‘Task Force Concepts‘ which was the work of a two year planning effort by leading Public Works officials across the state.  The Task Force Concepts’ were meant to guide rule making but were suppressed because recycling and reduced landfill conflict... read more

We return to a Victory

 BURNT 25th Anniversary—We return to a Victory    On Thursday 12 December. 2013 BURNT celebrated our 25th anniversary in BURNT: style—good food, symbolism, political leaders, and fun.   READ MORE Our anniversary was held at the Entrepreneur Center on Rolling Mill Hill which BURNT, working with the Metro Council, saved from becoming a $100 million garbage processor. And, where BURNT receives mentoring services from Owen School of Business (Vanderbilt) professor Dr. David Furse. Dr. Robert Wingfield of Fisk University was our main speaker who spoke about the solutions and problems of the urban environment. Dr. Wingfield is a long time activist and academician who participates on government panels and teaches children–a Nashville hero. Prior to Dr. Wingfield’s presentation, BURNT president Bruce Wood distributed framed copies of the cover of the program for the BURNT Anniversary which was done by noted artist Peggy Snow. This led to political reminisces by elected and formal elected officials about BURNT and our victories. Former Metro Councillor Rod Williams remembered how the Council laughed at the flyers on funny colors (most BURNT flyers are now done on pastel ivory) but once they were read the flyers made sense. Former Councilman Horace Johns remembered that the downtown incinerator had a good reputation for burning garbage to heat and cool 36 buildings but that BURNT educated people about the importance of the real estate. We appreciate the large turn out from the NAACP. A glance at our program shows that we are unique in the amount of time and resources we spend on environmental justice issues. We printed the “Principles of Environmental Justice” a powerful document which... read more

BURNT Goes To Metro Council

BURNT attends many Metro Council meetings because of the issues and talented elected and non-elected people participate.  We usually have a written flyer which leaves a record of our issues.  On May 20 2014 (mis-labeled mc20april2014), we discussed the Murfreesboro landfill used by Metro and which state officials continue to insist does pollute or cause odor problems. Testimony at the hearing about the Middle Point landfill in August 2013 stated   “I live about 1 ½ miles from the landfill as the crow flies. I have lived in my house for 28 years. For the first 18 years it was not an issue. In the last 10 years it has been a major issue. Being able to go out and sit on my porch in the back and have to put up with this smell and all the poor air quality that’s coming from the landfill”. Hearing Comment #9, pg. 18-19. Mass transit continues to be a challenge in Nashville.  We appreciate the efforts of the city leadership to tackle this problem.  It has been very difficult.  Yet, lost in the shuffle  is that compared to cities like Charlotte North Carolina and Denver,  Nashville has a woeful transit system losing ground yearly.  It would seem that doing any thing would be preferable even if later the first choice of route and transport was seen to be the 3rd or 4th best option                                               NASHVILLE NUMBERS–Metro budget hearing This is for the Citizen Budget hearing, a formality (mcJune2014).  Yet, the “BURNT Numbers” encapsulate many issues ranging from income... read more

Pervasive Chemicals

  Pervasive Chemicals Multiplying In Our Bodies and Environment  The link below leads to ‘Health Render’ with a variety of articles on multiple chemicals in our food, air, and bodies.  An article from ‘Scientific American’ found that chemicals in personal care products were pervasive in Chicago air. A little known fact: our water treatment plants do not process or clean pharmaceutical medicines we eliminate, over the counter the medications, or shampoos or soaps.  So, as rivers flow past one city after another, they accumulate these chemicals. Another study determined products designed for newborns, babies, and toddlers“…including car seats, breastfeeding pillows, changing pads and other items made with polyuretherane  foam, found that 80 per cent of the products tested contained chemical flame retardants that are considered toxic.”  The peer-reviewed study was published in the Environmental Science & Technology Journal. The issue of pervasive chemicals is a plague on our bodies, lives, and society.Unfortunately it is a silent plague.   Citizens do not take on multi-national businesses which have free reign to use any of the 80,000 untested and unregulated chemicals.  There is a link to landfills.  The chemicals enter the food chain through insects eating the landfilled materials and then being eaten by birds and on up the food chain. These are truly pervasive chemicals.  Apparent increases in birth defects, autism, cancer, obesity, and other chronic illnesses chemicals may be linked to these chemicals.  We need to WAKE UP.  A real question—what do businesses want to introduce these chemicals into our bodies and brains? BURNT has had successes in pesticides.  In the early 1990’s we worked well with the Metro Schools to clean up many dangerous practices in application of chemicals. ... read more


IMPROVING THE ENVIRONMENT THROUGH CITIZEN INVOLVEMENT WITH GOVERNMENT, BUSINESS, AND ACADEMIA 15 August 2013 Jackie Gupton Division of the Audit RE: Cover letters and redacted sentences For RFP 32701-01528 Dear Ms. Gupton Thank you for the sketchy information provided on RFP 32701-0158. I knew that TDEC would absolutely refuse to follow the mandate of TCA 68-211-803 (a), (b) for the simple reason that they have flouted this law since 1991. Why should they reverse fields now when polluting landfills and excessive pollution are their bread and butter? The only thing this plan should do is comply with 68-211-803—protect citizens from landfills and utilize the resources in solid waste fro jobs Next Thursday, why not come to an Air Quality hearing on the Middlepoint landfill in Murfreesboro, which is the highest point of elevation in the county. Even though an acrid, ammonia like odor is evident even when driving by, the landfill meets standards for landfill gas. Dickson County landfill has killed people, ruined wells, and there will never be a major business investment in Dickson County until the entire country is as polluted as this county. A recently permitted landfill in Camden is a major polluter and a prime example of “friends in high places” All I asked you to do, going back six months, was to not approve this study because it did not satisfy as 23 year old law TCA 68-211-803 (a), (b) TCA 68-211-803 (a), (b) is very, very clear. Make it so that landfills do not menace people or the environment. Ensure maximum utilization of resources in solid waste That’s the law. By all appearances, you are... read more

Basic Problems With Tennessee Solid Waste

B.U.R.N.T. Bring Urban Recycling Now to Tennessee IMPROVING THE ENVIRONMENT THROUGH CITIZEN INVOLVEMENT WITH GOVERNMENT, BUSINESS, AND ACADEMIA A. Tennessee has not identified the full costs of solid waste disposal including water pollution, de-valued property, and jobs lost from recycling and composting . Landfill companies receive an artificial subsidy from free water pollution. B. It is the leadership of our state which is responsible for our polluting, wasteful solid waste policy. Citizens will source separate food waste and paper just as they usually stop at red lights. It is the leaders who do not understand the basic importance of recycling and composting. Leaders fail to implement this job creation policy. C. Tennessee has no plan to compost large amounts of waste from urban centers. The key is source separation of food waste and paper in the ten largest counties which contain 50% of the population of the state. Commercial and residential targets would enable incremental diversion of dangerous food waste and paper from the landfills D. Since 1991, TCA 68-211-803 ‘Public Policy’ requires the State to ” … assure that solid waste facilities…do not adversely affect the health, safety and well-being of the public and do not degrade the quality of the environment…” TDEC has not developed a plan. Citizens and the environment are affected by solid waste facilities. E. The entire solid waste count is loop-hole riddled. The numbers are meaningless. Please see attached one page summary of loop-holes. Thank you, B.U.R.N.T 615.327.... read more

A Basic Primer To Treating Water

A Basic Primer To Treating Water  Water pollution by business and humans is a major problem. Below is a four step summary of water treatment. It appears as if … We use massive infusions of chemicals to sanitize water prescription medications,  over the counter medications, pesticides and other chemicals are not cleaned or removed. Septic tanks treat sewage at the place where it is located, rather than transporting the waste through a treatment plant or sewage system. Septic tanks are usually used to treat sewage from an individual building. Untreated sewage from a property flows into the septic tank and the solids are separated from the liquid. Solid material is separated depending on their density. Heavier particles settle at the bottom of the tank whereas lighter particles, such as soap scum, will form a layer at the top of the tank. Biological processes are used to help degrade the solid materials. The liquid then flows out of the tank into a land drainage system and the remaining solids are filtered out. Ozone wastewater treatment Ozone wastewater treatment is a method that is increasing in popularity. An ozone generator is used to break down pollutants in the water source. The generators convert oxygen into ozone by using ultraviolet radiation or by an electric discharge field. Ozone is a very reactive gas that can oxidise bacteria, moulds, organic material and other pollutants found in water. Using ozone to treat wastewater has many benefits: Kills bacteria effectively. Oxidises substances such as iron and sulphur so that they can be filtered out of the solution. There are no nasty odours or residues produced from the treatment. Ozone converts back into oxygen quickly, and leaves no trace once it has been used. The disadvantages of using ozone as... read more

USGS Documents Pesticides In Ground Water

USGS   Documents Pesticides In Ground Water The United States Geological Society is the research arm of  Department of Interior of the federal Government.  Their results carry a lot of weight except the USGS simply will not be drawn into policy discussions.  However, the Agency accepts many assumptions about society such as in this article that our growing population mandates certain crops which are high level users of pesticides.  Perhaps we should examine our diet and the sugar laden ‘food’ we eat. The real crime is what we are doing to ourselves.  These chemicals may dissolve but they do not disappear—until they come back to our bodies in the water or ‘food’ We invite you to explore this page and the USGS.   Please write BURNT with your Impression on how we are treating our most precious resource. GO TO ARTICLE   ... read more

Major conference for entrepreneurs headed to Nashville in 2015

BURNT is proud to have helped lay the groundwork to move out the old polluters and bring in the healthier business of growing more business. Thanks to everyone who treats nature with respect.-BURNT Written by Lance Williams The Tennessean Nashville will play host to a large conference for entrepreneurs from across the eastern United States in 2015. The NERVE conference is a regional conclave for Entrepreneurs’ Organization, one of the world’s leading groups targeting high-growth company leaders. During NERVE, more than 500 entrepreneurs will gather in Nashville to talk about their companies and the concept of entrepreneurship. The event is set to take place Sept. 16-18, 2015 at the Music City Center. “Nashville has a long history of being an entrepreneurial community and increasingly is receiving national recognition as one of the best places in the United States to start and grow a business,” Nashville Mayor Karl Dean said. “We look forward to showing off Nashville and all that our vibrant downtown has to offer to this great organization and its members.” In the first quarter of 2013, the global EO organization honored EO Nashville as having the most new members in all 131 chapters, ranking Nashville as the fastest-growing EO chapter in the world. For the third consecutive year, the EO Nashville chapter also earned “Rock Star” designation for it 2012-2013 year, placing Nashville within the top tier of EO. “Nashville is becoming a city known not just for its music, but also for its entrepreneurs. This is one more big validation of Nashville as an entrepreneurial center, building on the success of the Nashville Entrepreneur Center and... read more

The Solid Waste Task Force

TDEC and the Solid Waste Advisory board formed the solid Waste Task Force following passage of Public Chapter 0462. in year 2007 http://state.tn.us/sos/acts/105/pub/pc0462.pdf The Task Force was created to facilitate a new ‘Waste Reduction Rule’ however, on this basis, it was a failure. The bottom of page 3, Public Chapter 0462 , [link above] contains the specific information the Board has to consider to develop a “Waste Reduction Rule”— “incentives”, “disincentives”, “public education”, “costs and benefits of recycling”, or “the widely varying circumstances of the different solid waste regions”. TDEC failure to comply with this requirement led to our current appeal of this Rule. We noticed that 24 out of 24 Task Members were white and 22 out of 24 were men. Basically, the Task Force was composed of Public Works and solid Waste managers from across the state…and they were very sharp. The Task Force members knew solid waste, they knew landfills and they wanted “Zero Waste”. TDEC staff worked hard to indoctrinate the group—repeatedly asserting that ground waster pollution from landfills was not a concern and that stopping landfilling food waste due to injury to landfills and green house gasses was not a concern. This was a concerned, capable group. TDEC took their recommendations and “Findings” and developed a “Waste Reduction Rule” which had little to do with the “Findings”. The board voted down this Rule because the same Board member who led the vote in 2012 was against this Rule. For some reason, the US EPA is among the Agencies which were really concerned with this Rule. We are now appealing the 2nd ‘solid waste Rule... read more


1 ANNUAL REPORT To the GOVERNOR and GENERAL ASSEMBLY On the SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT ACT OF 1991 Fiscal Year 2010-2011 Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Division of Solid Waste Management Solid Waste Assistance Programs 401 Church Street, 5th Floor Nashville, Tennessee 37243 2 Introduction The Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) Division of Solid Waste Management (SWM) and the Office of Environmental Assistance (OEA) have collaborated to produce the 2010-2011 Tennessee Solid Waste Management Annual Report. The Solid Waste Management Act of 1991 requires that an annual report on Tennessee’s Solid Waste Management System (SWMS) be prepared and submitted to the Governor and General Assembly as directed by Tennessee Code Annotated (TCA) §68-211-873. Through the Solid Waste Management System (SWMS), TDEC acts as a facilitator for waste reduction by collaborating with county and municipal governments, industry and contract agencies. The goal is to coordinate the activities of these groups to maintain adequate health and safety standards, protect the environment through facility design and location, and maximize the utilization of resources that would otherwise be disposed at solid waste facilities. Tennessee’s SWMS is intended to further the protection of public health and enhance the quality of the environment. Overview & History Concern for solid waste issues has been prevalent since the United States Congress enacted the Solid Waste Disposal Act of 1965. During the 1980s, public interest in solid waste management rose to new levels because of shrinking landfill capacity, increasing disposal costs, and opposition to the siting of new landfills. To address this, the Federal government enacted the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. Subtitle D of this law... read more

Summary of Comments Waste Disposal Reduction Goal Rulemaking Hearing

1 Summary of Comments 4000-11-01-.09 Waste Disposal Reduction Goal Rulemaking Hearing June 21, 2012 (Comment Period Ending June 29, 2012) Bold and Emphasis added by BURNT 1. Comment: Justification for the rule changes. Identify how the proposed changes will benefit municipalities and other affected parties. Identify problems within the existing rules governing solid waste disposal. Identify remedies/solution to these problems that proposed rules correct, simplify, or save money. Response: As directed by the Solid Waste Disposal Control Board the Department is developing rules based on the findings of the Waste Reduction Task Force in smaller pieces to allow for better discussion and focus on specific topics. The proposed changes to this rule are housekeeping in nature and provide little change to the current policy, rules and existing statutory requirements. It harmonizes language from the law with the rule by taking existing statutory requirement language and placing it verbatim into the proposed rule amendment. Benefits come to affected parties though clarification of language-revisions to the existing listing of waste reduction methodologies to include newer technologies used by local governments and regions to allow them to receive waste reduction credit for these activities. It further protects local governments by establishing methods that will evaluate new technologies that may be misleading and costly to uninformed local governments, thereby protecting them. Other benefits for all local governments include inclusion of disaster debris management components in their solid waste plan that will assist local governments in receiving additional financial credit with FEMA and TEMA in the event of a disaster through their PA325 programs saving local governments millions of dollars, time and resources. The... read more


BURNT burnt615.org 615-327-8515 CURRENT State Law [confirmed by Rule 0400-11-01-09] —The stated goal of this statute is to reduce by 25% the amount of solid waste disposed of at municipal solid waste facilities in December 31 2003. B.) —Three separate methods for local governments to meet the 25% reduction goal– quantitative, qualitative, & economic growth basis. (TCA 69-211-861; p.5-6, #1–#5 A.) calculate 25% reduction per capita B.) economic growth basis (p. 9, #m), C.) lengthy description of ‘Qualitative Assessment Methods’ (p. 9-10— D.) REGIONS use either the 1995 base year or go back to 1985 (pg. 9, #n), NOTE: This Rule continues the credit for landfilling construction waste in Class IV landfills (pg. 9, #L) [only state to do this] NEW [loop-hole] Source Reduction of “municipal solid waste”—allows technical changes in businesses and industry to be counted as waste reduction without documentation Amendments, pg. 5, #6)—WILL THIS BE ACCURATE?—This will lead to more “good” 25% reports . Tennessee landfills are not safe with nearly 3 million tons of organic food waste, yard waste, and non-recycled paper landfilled annually. Major businesses testified at the 10—11 July State Senate Energy Committee hearing that Tennessee business and jobs are hurt by landfilling needed raw materials Tennessee local government reports are based on FALSE NUMBERS 2010 Bio-Cycle Magazine and Columbia University Survey determined Tennessee diverted 4.64% Waste and ranked 7th from the bottom among states. Tennessee claims nearly 50% diversion counting landfilled construction waste. .(Tennessean 22 April 2012 http:/tn.go/environment/swm/ppo/rules_0400_11_01_09_and_10_redline2.pdf APPROVED—State Board 7 August 2012 These methods to count solid waste are in the statute Each of these Regulations, except for “Source Reduction of... read more

BURNT Solid Waste Strategy

BURNT IMPROVING THE ENVIRONMENT THROUGH CITIZEN INVOLVEMENT WITH GOVERNMENT, BUSINESS, AND ACADEMIA May 2012 BURNT Solid Waste Strategy BURNT has a very specific proposal for reforming solid waste in Tennessee based on the content of solid waste, how to create jobs managing solid waste as a raw material, and facts. The State of Tennessee strategy of landfill, landfill, landfill is based on power, influence, not caring about hurting people with pollution, and $1 billion a year which multi-national garbage companies whisk out of Tennessee every year. Why do the leaders support multi-national corporations shipping $1 billion a year out of state? BURNT PROPOSES A.) Compost—with source separation of food waste (14% of waste), yard waste (13%), and non-recycled paper (25%) we can compost a significant portion of the waste stream–50% of the waste!! And, it is incremental—people in rural areas (even rural areas of big cities) throw their food scraps out for the animals…Tennessee has a lot of obese raccoons suffering from high blood pressure and diabetes because the raccoons eat the food we eat. B.) Construction waste—is 20% of the waste stream and it is the most recyclable and re-usable of solid waste. Tennessee, a lover of landfills, is the only state in the country which credits landfilled construction waste as recycled. This loop-hole was engineered by TDEC in 1996 to help counties reach the anemic 25% diversion goal created in 1991. DISCUSSION Landfill companies in Tennessee generate $1 billion a year. If they feel pressure, they will argue compostable waste is needed to feed their methane mining operations. We can mine methane much better by composting waste.... read more

Rolling Mill Hill

Overview MISSION STATEMENT    Improving the environment through citizen involvement with government, business and academia. APPLICATION   In our southern state, BURNT has shut down chronic polluters [incinerator, Rendering Plant, stopped garbage processor on Rolling Mill Hill, closed a liquid hazardous waste plant in Cockrill Bend] which led to major increases in value of commercial real estate and property taxes.   BURNT makes good decisions based on research and we work for years to gain support for our policies. BURNT believes most business is clean  and business needs a clean environment CHEMICALS A VITAL THREAT    BURNT has significant experience with pesticides in Metro and state government.  We follow the issues.  We think humans are saturated with these ‘trace’ chemicals.  Women are particular targets as the baby picks up the chemicals in the womb. Every river i n the world has a ‘dead zone’ where nothing recognizable lives because nitrates and agriculture chemicals   wash down yet we allow business, agriculture,  and   pharmaceutical businesses almost a free hand.  Think about cancer, birth defects, autism, peanut allergies,and growing mental illness to understand  something is wrong.  “We have met the enemy and it is us” BURNT has worked on the Dickson County Landfill  since 2005.   The groundwater has spread the industrial solvents, fiberglass waste, and pesticides out 12 square miles from the 75 acre landfill.  Yet, this was done legally, under full regulation by the State and US EPA.   Now, the governments have left, the landfill is closed and everybody has gone except the descendants of freed slaves who first came to Eno Road in 1865.  The point:  our mindless rush... read more

Classic Statement on Environmental Justice

“Delegates the First National People of Color Leadership Summit held October 24-27 1991  in Washington D.C drafter this Principles of Environmental Justice. With a starting point of Environmental Justice a full fledged statement is made about equality of participation, equality of people, and the equality of the environment.” Principles of Environmental Justice... read more

North Nashville—Left Out and Forgotten

The attached flyer to Metro Council quotes a study by the Metro Planning Department  that there was per capita income of $10,671 in North Nashville while remainder of Davidson County had a per capita income of $22,684  [2000 Census numbers].  In 2006,North Nashville income increased to $11,136. [attached] A flagrant example of environmental justice–Fisk, General Hospital, and Meharry Medical College  are neighbors on Albion Street.   Does the street bustle with banks, places to eat, copy stores, and drug  stores like every other hospital or university?Absolutely not.  It is bleak as far as commercial or residential development.  However, 15 blocks away Metro Nashville invested $2 billion ($2,000,000,000) in two Convention Centers, an Arena, a Hall of Fame, a Symphony, three up-scale hotels. For the PDF click here:  October 7... read more

Multiple Chemicals

Pesticides Used in California Farming Found In Remote Sierra Nevada Frogs  Two fungicides, commonly used in agriculture, pyraclostrobin and tebuconazole, and one herbicide, simazine, were the most frequently detected compounds, and this is the first time these compounds have ever been reported in wild frog tissue.... read more

Odd Rule for Joint Government Operations Committee

This concerns a major—to us—rule hearing.  This is also on accessible on tape.  By all appearances, the Department grossly violated procedural and substantive rules to get  yet another loop-hole riddled rule passé  The “Audits”, Sunset Reviews, and legislative decisions prop up a corrupt landfill based system.    The one thing they can not cover up is the festering landfills. View flyer here: December 5... read more

YES, WE CAN-Recycle And Compost To Create Jobs And Business

This  follows a two day hearing on 11-12 July 2012 in the Joint Senate and house Environment Committee.  It is all on tape.  A hearing was the compromise after we filed legislation with strong backing to force the Solid Waste Control Board   to consider job creation any time solid waste regulations are considered.  There were some very effective statements by industry.  It is all on tape accessible to us. View flyer here: July 18... read more


This flyer concerns the Audit of TDEC  and Solid Waste by the Office of the Comptroller   The Audit deliberately skipped vital subjects to give a whitewash.  For example, the Parks Division, far less than half the budget AND A winner of a prestigious “Gold Award” had more than 50% of the Audit while the scandal ridden Division of Solid Waste was barely acknowledged.  This is an example of an issue we do well on at the legislature. View the flyer here: February 9... read more

Happy 50th (Antiseptic) Birthday

This concerned the refusal of Metro government to acknowledge in the “50th Anniversary Celebration”  the two major citizen efforts—BURNT and Bells Bend which fought off a landfill and a major development.  We talk about the impact of an expanded incinerator… BURNT THE METRO COUNCIL 18 JUNE 2013 P. O. BOX 128555 NASHVILLE [37212] BURNT.TN@GMAIL.COM A MEMBER OF 615.327. 8515 www.burnt-tn.org COMMUNITY SHARES Happy 50th (Antiseptic) Birthday A Senior Member of Mayor’s Staff “BURNT and Bell’s Bend Are Not Part of OUR History” If not for BURNT [and the Metro Council], we would have a $200 million incinerator and a $100 million garbage processor as downtown anchors. Bells Bend led valiant fights in 1990’s against a landfill and more recently against a mega-development. These multiple year efforts are not part of Metro history because there is no raised stage, local leaders praising progress, and cheering dutiful citizens. Part of BURNT’s culture is the major changes we led in Nashville. We formed in December 1988 to stop the expansion of the downtown incinerator—a $200 million project. We stopped a $100 million garbage separator for Rutledge Hill. We stopped the Rendering Plant, and a liquid hazardous waste processor in Cockrill Bend. At every step we worked with citizens and neighborhoods, government, and business. . SOME LESSONS –If the incinerator expanded and the garbage separator built, Nashville would have 250 garbage trucks making round trips every day. No New York Times article as an ‘IT’ city…instead articles in Waste News —the incinerator decision came down to Councilman Guy Bates who had the votes but delayed indefinitely because he said “this is not the time... read more

Defer or Defeat

This was our best flyer ever—at least as far as results.  We opposed the Re-nomination by the Metro Council of three regional board members.  Another citizens group was active.  Metro council members wanted to Play catch-up—so all three deferred indefinitely.   Even though it was reversed a month later when the power woke up, seeing jaws drop when it was announced that three Board members—a very rare happening—was worth the price of admission View the flyer here: January 8 2013... read more