BURNT Solid Waste Strategy

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?
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.
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. Every business which installs methane gas mining pipes states “Ours works, the other methane mining operations do not work” Or, the landfill companies will iniaite their brand of , massive composting—plants that rely on food waste shipped hundreds of miles COMPOSTABLE WASTE is incremental. Start in the largest 10counties which contain over 50% of the waste from Tennessee’s 96 counties. And, start with businesses which generate compostable waste to develop the infrastructure of+composting companies which we need. Fast food, restaurants, schools, universities, and food stores generate large amounts of compostable waste.
These businesses are often national franchises or institutions which can keep their waste separate. If we start with large generators of compostable waste people at work will learn how simple it is to source separate compostable waste. Residential is 22% of the waste. We can concentrate composting waste from businesses in larger cities as a good strategy for success.
CONSTRUCTION WASTE bears dividends (and creates jobs and business) . A targeted class of builders and construction companies create this waste. Education in how to source separate and process this waste to create income is doable. Some states obligate builders to submit a simple plan and deposit for any job and the deposit is refunded when they finish the job and recycle the waste.