Open Letter to AFL-CIO: Jobs and business from solid waste

12 March 2012
Gary Moore
Tennessee AFL-CIO
1901 Lindell Avenue via electronic mail and hand delivery
RE: Jobs and business from solid waste
Dear President Moore:
Thank you for the opportunity to discuss how to manage solid waste as a raw material to
create jobs and business. This is a growth opportunity for clean jobs. Tennessee landfills 11 million tons of waste at a cost to citizens, business, and local government of $1 billion annually. Solid waste is transported 10 million miles annually from cities to landfills. Landfills are our organizing focus. There are fundamental solutions—compost food waste and non-recycled paper, recycle and reuse construction waste, and source separation of food waste in homes and business. Environmental justice is very important—reduce landfills near poor and minority and we create jobs and business for poor and minority. We are active with the NAACP is active on this issue. The logic is very clear—it pays to recycle and compost to recover materials and to recover energy from highly processed solid waste. Labor can lead in management and research. Food waste composting and reuse of construction waste creates jobs. Simple steps such as individual source separation of food waste in residential and business greatly enhance creating new jobs and business. Food waste is valuable as compost material but very harmful if landfilled. Polluted landfills and high hidden costs to landfills are the key to solid waste reform. Our waste is laden with risky chemicals. BURNT offers strong opportunities for solid waste in our work on landfills. On 11-12 April, we are hosting Dr. Neil Seldman, president of the Institute for Local Self Reliance ( in his third visit to Nashville. Neil Seldman is a national expert on creating jobs and businesses. BURNT wants to organize a one day seminar for real estate interests and builders who benefited from our work to create a clean environment by stopping chronic polluters downtown, Germantown, Metro Center, and Rolling Mill Hill. Thank you.
Bruce Wood, President

R C Bartlett, Vice President
615.327. 8515
P.O. BOX 128555

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