A Plan for a Plan

I went to the OCBoCC meeting on Monday about the transfer station. I came away more convinced than ever that locating a transfer station in a rural farming or residential area is a bad idea. I think a lot of good reasons for it being a bad idea were put forth, and as I took notes I realized that the OCBoCC all know most of these arguments and reasons not to do this, so rehashing it is not of any particular benefit. What I think has not been done yet is to put together an outline/timeline of an alternative that involves all of the potential players and describes the benefits with an end goal in mind.

So, rather than rehash, I thought I could take a stab at a plan for a plan. Obviously the outline below is a strawman (the 21st century equivalent of the back of a napkin) and needs refinement. A lot would need to happen and a lot could happen in parallel. I think you'll get the gist though.


Convince yourselves and the community at large.

WTE makes sense looking down the road five to seven years when tipping fees increase and as the county grows.

The anti-WTE arguments do not make sense to me. 1) when waste is used for WTE it is no longer waste it is fuel. So, the notion it encourages more waste does not wash. 2) WTE has been documented to be cleaner than coal which fires the plants on Lake Hyco and the UNC campus. 3) WTE has economic development potential. 4) Waste is a fact of life.

While I agree in theory that waste is not a renewable resource, waste needs solutions (plural) reduce/reuse/recycle is one of those. WTE is another promising possibility.

I think the benefits outweigh the risks hands down.


If the program is managed well and the research dollars can be attracted from the Feds, Bonds floated locally and venture capital is lined up appropriately; I think a reasonable goal is to have the plant on line and making money in 2013. The benefits are in hard dollars in a real energy generation, reduction of the ongoing costs of transport and operating a landfill as well as soft in economic development and not creating the bad feelings of a new Rogers road debacle.

A good plan need to be in place that tracks the movement of 1) Energy prices and 2) Tipping fees. It should be possible to project an educated economic guess as to when the cost of energy (payback) and tipping fees (savings) will intersect to make WTE an ongoing and viable enterprise. In fact, that day is probably here already when you include the transitive benefits of economic development and low impact to neighborhoods.

Once that plan, rational and goal is in place IMO the right chain of events is:

Design for the future: Build a transfer station now close to I85/I40 in a non-residential area (don't repeat the Rogers Road experience). Get enough acreage on the power grid with other necessary infrastructure to build a transfer station AND a WTE plant. The transfer station can be reused later as a place to bring garbage in for WTE.

Manage the current situation: Take trash out of state/county short term as long as the cost is below $xx.00 per ton using the transfer station while the WTE plant is planned and built. Use excess transfer station capacity in Durham/RTP as needed.

Partner: With Duke, Touchstone Waste Management energy to float bonds etc to build WTE on the same site as the new transfer station. Offer incentives (not too many, but make it worth their while by sharing risk. Use their superior project management discipline and knowledge on the subject.

Solicit the FEDs for research monies. Get David Price and Kay Hagen involved.

Solicit the State for development monies. This is their problem too, and when it is viable they have a blueprint for success.

Involve the universities http://www.scienceblog.com/community/older/1996/A/199600087.html. They are looking for ways to make a difference

Line up local venture capital (e.g http://www.svcic.org/ or http://www.intersouth.com/ or http://www.rtventures.com/ or http://www.mcnc.org/ or http://www.seinteractive.com/ and http://www.aurorafunds.com/. Again, help them help us manage the risk.

Use county economic development to attract the technology and research. I hope our county planning people can get on board with this to attract private industry, federal and state funds and negotiate with the vulture capitalists.

Once the plant comes online and the price goes over the $xx.00 per ton, use the WTE and begin taking waste from other sources.

Export the success and research to other places.

As the WTE technology gets more efficient the bottom line cost will go down, as the price of energy goes up top line profits from the endeavor will rise.



I'm sure this post would have made sense to me if only I'd known what WTE  was. (For others as uninformed as I, it means "waste to energy," according to another small town mayor who dealth with similar issues up north.) But I'll add anyway this article (http://www.chapelhillnews.com/front/story/27302.html) from yesterday's Chapel Hill News, stating that the BoCC is punting until next term when the new commissioners come on board.

As is wikipediahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waste-to-energyI don't think the BoCC is there yet. Whatever they do they need to look beyond hauling trash out of state, long term it is not a sustainable solution.If the BoCC does decide that WTE is something that is a possible solution, then they should plan for it, putting whatever collection facility they create in a place where WTE could be deployed in a cost effective way. (near suitable infrastructure, for starters)They should also begin the discussion and socialize the idea with the community at large.Furthermore they should start talking to the consumers of this technology, the power companies and see how they feel about it. They should also begin to see if this is something that could qualify for federal funding or from venture capital.Punting is a defensive play.

Dioxin is a by-product of energy-generating incineration. And the ash resulting from trash incineration is a concentrated toxic blend that is generally landfilled and can leak into the water table.WTE may produce less dangerous emissions (or could this be spin from the technolgy sector) than coal, but that is not exactly something to crow about.  

While Dioxin contaminants were a problem in early instantiations of WTE, the problem seems to have been largely solved (according to the EPA.http://www.epa.gov/region2/cepd/pdf/2robertwaylandspresentation.pdfThere does not seem to be a perfect solution, but WTE is (I think ) a viable possible solution. Technology has improved and (from the above presentation)"Studies show that for each ton of waste burned in waste-to-energy units, more than 1 ton of CO2equivalent emissions are avoided (for example, from landfills and combustion of fossil fuels)"I am not an expert on this whole issue, but I try to keep my mind open and participate by informing myself. If there truly is a better way to deal with the trash we produce beyond reduce/reuse/recycle I would like to hear about it........

I haven't yet seen a clear, comprehensive, unbiased study that shows new incineration technolgies do not pollute. Can someone point me to one?

WTE plats do still pollute, just not as much. In point of fact, there is no perfect technology solution. The technology is reported to be better by two orders of magnitude) than it was in the 1990's.I don't know if you consider the epa a reliable source? The slide presentation from Dr. Robert Wayland of the EPA (in RTP) shows a 99.7% reduction in Dioxins between 1990 and 2005, and a 93.4% reduction in Mercury (slide 11). Again, not perfect but considerably better. I do not know if it is reasonable to expect another order of magnitude improvement over the next few years or not.Sludge dumping also put Dioxins on the ground, but the same EPA maintains those are at safe levels. I would imagine that this issue and the epa findings are hotly debated.The process of reclaiming methane gas from landfills releases Dioxins and mercury in small amounts too. To me, the benefits of WTE outside of reducing the sheer volume of trash, transport cost/pollution and production of relatively clean energy depend on what is done with the remaining ash and filter residue. It has a much higher concentration of toxins and needs to be disposed of/stored suitably.

Some observations: WTE, Waste-To-Energy, is simply incineration by another name.  There is really not that much energy to be gained by such systems, as they generally need standby sources of energy to achieve proper temperatures, etc.  Calling them WTE makes incinerators sound sexy.   Incinerators are much better than they used to be, but economies of scale would not seem to make such an alternative appropriate for a relatively small population such as we have here.   One interesting factoid is that after the nuclear industry went kaput (following 3-Mile Island), the major players moved into the incinerator business.  Not that there's necessarily anything wrong with that.Such talk about incinerators and other alternatives pales in the face of the fact that we can't even get a bottle bill passed in North Carolina, and take other measures which can subtantially reduce the size of the solid waste stream.

I am not necessarily 100% up to date on using garbage as fuel, but we did study this option in the 1990's as I recall.  There are a number of issues with it, including emissions as Mark M. points out.  WeaverGuy's point about economies of scale was definitely an issue that came up.  A regional facility would be far more cost effective, but it raises lots of political problems (ie where do you put it?)  The other issue that I recall is that in order to have a waste paper incinerator, you need a large and continuous stream of paper to go into it.  But our number 1 goal is waste reduction (ie producing less waste to begin with).  The number 2 goal is to recycle waste.  Having an expensive paper incinerator that constantly demands waste paper is directly at odds with both the number 1 and number 2 goals.  And once you have spent millions on building the facility, you can't really afford not to feed it with as much paper as possible.

I agree that if it impedes or infringes on the goal of recycling for the sake of keeping the thing going it is possibly counter productive. There needs to be a very careful evaluation cost/benefit study not only in terms of money but in terms of what the impact on other goals/priorities are.This point was not mentioned in the "white paper" the BoCC commissioned to study the technology (which was not very comprehensive or conclusive IMO)http://www.olver.com/orangecounty/PDF%20files/Alternative_Technologies_Assessment,%20Orange%20County%20NC%208-15-08.pdfThe main concern I have that even with the paper above, the county seems focused on landfills as a solution. I believe that landfills are at best a short term solution and I am not sure that we have really thoroughly examined the longer term alternatives.

I end up recycling all of the bottles and cans thrown along the roadside in front of our property as well as our own junk. Having lived in a state with a bottle bill, I know it greatly reduced roadside trash and the solid waste. Not sure if WTE "pales" here because I understand the recycling rate in Orange County is pretty high, but I agree a bottle deposit is something that should be done statewide now.True. WTE is a fancy new name for burning trash but it does produce more energy that it consumes cleaner than coal and it reduces the need for landfill by over 90%. So it is fair to say it goes beyond simple incineration.As far as the size goes, yes there is an issue of scale. However, the size needed to be successful is coming down rapidly and our garbage problem only grows. I want to point to this problem as another example where a regional "triangle wide" solution would be in the best interests of everyone (except perhaps out of state landfill operators and cartage companies). Nevermind merging Chapel Hill and Carrboro; I do not understand why every county has a go it alone strategy on garbage.

I wish some of you would realize this 2008 and not the 1990's. If you think we can have 0 trash then you need more help than I can provide. Mr. Mayor has Carrboro analysis the additional cost if the trash tranfer site is one of the final three. Cost I mean the additional fuel, equipment wear, and the lost of manpower of riding to and back from one of these sites? if so can you share that info?

zero trash. Only that reduce/reuse/recycle was preferable to dealing with it after the fact. I agree. We do well in OC, but we can do better.I also agree that waste is a byproduct that we will never completely do away with, hence this thread.I am surprised at how few people seem to want to discuss it. Perhaps because the problem seems so intractable and no solution pleases everyone.

The staff has looked at this question.  I will have to enquire with them to obtain a copy of their conclusions for you.

The town staff evaluated the east highway 70 site under consideration two years ago. I don't think they've looked at the sites now under consideration.The Hwy 70 site was estimated to cost Carrboro $142k annually, about an 18% increase (see BOA minutes, 2/20/2007, for details). The sites on 54 are much closer and would cause a much smaller increase.

To the "garbage centroid" as determined by the county consultant Olver. I think by the time you build the infrastructure out (water, sewer, power roads, fire etc.) the sites on 54 will be at least as expensive and cost much more for Hillsboro and Chapel Hill to haul their trash.

I don't think there will be sewer.  Some points on US70 are closer to some areas of Carrboro than Oaks, NC.  It depends on where you measure from.  I am not sure where exactly the US 70 sites were, but it is basically about the same distance.  In reality, the number of traffic lights etc. might be a more relevant measure.   I can't address your other points one way or another.

I meant a proper disposal for the significant amount of waste water from the process. Each day the facility is washed down with solvents it will need to be taken care of unless the county wants to dump it in Collin's Creek with the Owasa sludge.I think a more relevant measure is the proximity to the roads built to take such traffic and the landfill.The garbage "centroid" is used to calculate the break even economics of transfer vs. direct haul:http://www.co.orange.nc.us/occlerks/080520e2c.pdf"Based on the EPA "Waste Transfer Stations; a Manual for Decision-Making"".....as a general rule in urban and suburban areas, transfer stations should be no more than 10 miles away from the end of all collection routes" I noticed that they did not include rural, and that is probably because the don't believe that anyone would even contemplate hauling trash away from the major infrastructure to a rural location to be transferred onto different trucks and be hauled back over the same route to gain access to that same infrastructure.But here we are.  

OWASA does not dump sludge into Collins Creek. It does apply sludge to open land in the Collins Creek watershed. However, the Collins Creek watershed is located within the unprotected portion of the Haw River watershed, meaning that DENR believes it is far enough away from any source of municipal drinking water as to be safe. However, I do agree with you that we should all be concerned about how the liquid waste from cleaning is going to be disposed of. I am even more concerned about sufficient water pressure in the event of fire.  For that reason, I would prefer to see the facility located within the OWASA service area.

No disrespect intended Mr. Coleman but 2 year old transportation data going in the opposeite direction is pretty useless. Fuel cost has and will go back up. If the towns continue to sit on the sidelines and let the County make the decisions without your input, are you provide leadership for which you were elected?

Chapel Hill and Hillsborough also need to think hard about the 3
selected sites along Highway 54. According to what Gayle Wilson said at
last weeks work session meeting, Chapel Hill might have to purchase new
trucks to handle the distance. I'm still amazed that operating costs
were not one of the requirements used in selecting the final sites.Although I have concerns about the site selection for the waste transfer station, I am not interested in jumping into a combustion facility for converting waste to energy before the landfill closes.  As WeaverGuy says, incineration is incineration. And the "clean-ness" of the process will be directly related to sophistication and cost of the technology AND, more importantly, on the day-to-day maintenance of the facility. I'm not thrilled with the idea, but I do think we should explore the possibility once we have a means of handling our trash when the landfill closes.Here's an interesting argument against WTE:http://www.grrn.org/landfill/notrenewableenergy/index.html

against classifying it as "green" energy or as a "renewable" resource. OK. The problem is we still have garbage and as Poppalax observes, we will not reach zero garbage anytime soon.I don't see it as an effective argument against WTE though.

The purpose of promoting renewable/green energy is to create alternative sources to fossil fuels. The goal of reducing and recycling is to eliminate trash. How does it make sense to use a resource that you want to eliminate as a source of energy, unless you want to stick with the current, non-renewable model of energy sources?For those who don't know, methane is one source of waste energy. OWASA is capturing a portion of the methane generated from the sewage treatment process and using it to run one of their boilers. UNC is planning to (or has already started) capturing methane from the landfill to use as a substitute for natural gas at the Giles Horney complex. So we already have waste to energy projects here in Orange County.

This is similar to the problem or taxing gasoline to subsidize public transportation - there's a negative feedback loop (that's not exactly the right term, but you get the idea): It can work in the short term, but long-term it is self defeating.

Sorry to comment so much on this thread.  Just trying to catch up.

....to deal with our own waste problem without hauling it all over the place and dumping it on someone else. To deal with the trash leftover after reduce/reuse/recycle and reduce it to a minimum volume while making as much use out of it as possible; relatively clean energy.

It's my understanding that combustion facilities are set up to burn one type of fuel or another due to required burn temperatures, residues, etc. One of the propositions being floated by the WTE advocates is to convert the UNC cogen to burn trash rather than coal. Besides the fact that I think the cogen neighbors would oppose this idea, I don't think Orange Co generates sufficient waste, if we continue to reduce and recycle, to support the university. So let's assume that for WTE to move forward, Orange County would have to build a new WTE facility for disposing of household waste. There would have to be an agreement in place with Duke and Progress to take the energy (probably steam) produced from that facility. At what point would it be cost effective (the other leg of the 3-legged sustainability stool)? What's the payback period? Would this count as part of the "renewable" portfolio requirement for Duke/Progress?

Rather than accepting or rejecting it prematurely, these are the sorts of hard facts we need to decide if WTE is a viable alternative.  WTE is in other parts of the country and abroad, does not mean it automatically is here. Why not do the homework and involve the experts in energy generation as well as venture capital and neighboring municipalities to see if it is the best solution here?

WTE at the UNC power plant was one of the options studied in the mid-1990's, but I think it did not quite work financially at that time.  It's possible that that has changed, of course.There is also the political problem that you have to build a facility that takes your paper supply and forms it into pellets that are suitable.  This facility would probably not be a whole lot more popular than the proposed transfer station.  Doesn't mean it couldn't be done.  Come to think of it, folks act as though our present recycling program is all peaches and cream, but it is actually a large industrial operation.  Some of it happens out at Eubanks Road, but some of it happens at various facilities in industrial areas of Durham.Just making the point that none of the various options is really all that neighborhood-friendly.  Except for waste reduction.  Reducing the amount of waste your family produces is very neighborhood friendly.

The neigbors of a coal plant would be happy to have it converted to a cleaner technology as well as solve another municipal problem. After all Chapel Hill and UNC produce 75-80% of the garbage:http://www.co.orange.nc.us/recycling/stats.asp

Clearly, paper recycling and the like reduces the feasibility of a WTE incinerator.  As for UNC's planning processs for its coal-fired station, there is something to be learned inasmuch as they really planned poorly in terms of neighborhood impacts.  They had to go back and spend considerable sums to effect noise reduction, and had to reduce light pollution as well, among other expensive endeavors.  (They built it as if it were in the midst of an industrial park, and not in residential neighborhood.  This all gets back to how decisions can be made without accountability when the real decision makers and power brokers--no pun intended--can hide behind committee decisions....committees that they control, one way or the other.)  One town I know of tried the idea of limiting the number of trash bags (coupled to its recycling program), by giving citizens tags to put on the bags, and only allowing a certain number of bagged tags per week.  I'm not sure how that panned out, but the idea does get in the direction of making it easy to monitor trash production by households. As for a trash transfer station out on 54, get ready to make it a 4-lane highway, especially after it gets torn up by repeated travel by heavy trucks.  That will help the airport proponents, also.

The cogen facility has been in place since the 1800s as a steam plant--always burning coal. The facility, and UNC's ability to provide cleaner and more reliable power than what they buy from Duke, was re-engineered as a cogeneration (to make electricity from the steam they were already making) plant sometime in the 1990s. So it really isn't fair to suggest they built an industrial park in the middle of a residential neighborhood. This is like HW airport. Neighborhoods grew up around the university and its services. Now the town's planning process has put the university in the position of having to either move existing services or invest significantly in their operations.The irony is that many of us objected when the Navy wanted to move its outlying landing field from Virginia Beach, due to pressure by the military retirees who spawned huge residential developments in the area of the existing OLF, to the rural area of eastern North Carolina.The problem, to my mind, is the pressure put on an existing institution's ability to provide infrastructure in the face of urbanization, whether than institution is the Navy, the university or the county and towns (think transfer station). 

You are right that HW Airport was way out in the countryside when it was built, but I am not sure that Cameron Avenue could be said to have been exaclty rural when the steam plant was built. Still, your point is valid.

I didn't intend to imply that the area around the cogen plant (formerly known as the university laundry) was rural. From the histories I've read, it's always been populated by university staff and faculty. The difference between then and now is that the residential areas around the facility were less dense and had an allegiance to the university. Times were different. There was an interdependent relationship between residents and the university. No one would have lived here thinking we should take the "gown" out.

The University power plant was originally on campus, behind where Memorial Hall is.  The railroad tracks ran to the power plant to deliver coal. When the power plant was moved to West Cameron, the tracks were removed and steam lines to campus put under what was the rail right of way. The plant was relocated to a place still on the rail line to get coal deliveries.  I am not exactly sure when the power plant was moved -- maybe the 20s or 30s? Cameron Avenue, McCauley Street, etc were already residential by that time. FOUND IT:http://planroom.unc.edu/bldg/detail.asp?id=039ZZ110Addresses for Power Plant, First (039ZZ110): Address Status AddressCity, State Start-End Date HistoricE Cameron Ave Chapel Hill, NC

Start of Construction: 1901UNC Occupied: 1901UNC Closed/Sold: 1924

Of course, I was referring to the expansion of the Cameron Avenue plant in terms of what UNC had to do later about noise and light pollution.  Before that, it was a comparatively small facility.  Perhaps the retrofits fixed the problems.  I've not heard any recent reports, nor complaints. It seems clear that infrastructure pressures make planning processes involving stakeholders from the outset all the more important.  The decisons to date about the airport do not seem really to have been moving in such a vein, which leads to the types of adverserial problems we see in the making.  Let a case be made among a group of truly representative stakeholders, who can help decide what really needs doing and help contribute to the way(s) that matters unfold.  Instead, we see the usual:  decisions being made and then justified by studies after the fact, and input from separate, relatively isolated stakeholder groups with no substantive interfacing with the decision-makers, other than reports and statements they produce on their own. 

....that we are all truly representative stakeholders. If we do not get involved and make the attempt to bring solutions we can live with to the table then we all suffer. This is not the only forum I have sent this strawman to. The county commissioners have it as well. So far, no response. I had hoped if they read the commentary in this thread that they might respond, join in the dialog, perhaps help refine some ideas..........I do not give up easily however :) What you say is true. Having a bunch of meetings, then putting minutes, studies and maps up on a web site is not enough. There needs to be planning beyond platitudes and nice sounding phrases. Hard decision need to be made and people need to be informed, but it really is up to us to be engaged too. With the creation of CN and it's impacts to the town and county that have not even been thought of yet, it is incumbent on the university to become a part of the planning process too and stop acting as if they can do whatever they please. (even though it is likely that they can do). For all their educational history, power and prestige I do not get the sense they are very good at listening and possibly worse at helping to find creative solutions to vexing problems and needs.I will say it again; Power, prestige, knowledge and position used to obligate. Given the universities behavior so far, it seems to do little more than entitle.

It really is the university's role to institute meaningful stakeholder involvement, prior to any decision-making.  After all, it is the university that is saying they have a need to be addressed.  But addressing those needs ought to involve the community in a proactive way, not in a reactive way.  The whole approach to Carolina North was just not community-wide.  It was a false choice in the end, as it was obvious which of the 3 "alternatives" would be the "best."  Better to have involved the community at square one, to include what to do with AHEC, etc., what CN really should be about, and the like.  Lot's of money has been and will continue to be wasted on planning.  Of course, the obvious lack of involvement of the Dept. of City and Regional Planning stands out like a sore thumb with CN, the latest airport shenanigans, and the like.  They have experts, but they are of course afraid to use them, as the bureaucrats might somehow have to play a reduced role--which is of course not the way they should view things.

Last January over on Orange County, you made this same suggestion to involve the Dept. of City and Regional Planning . I suggest you go over to the New East Building and specifically ask them about it. Personally, I don't think the answer will be what you want to hear.

As it happens, I did ask them about it, specifically.  The reply was
that they were not asked to be involved.  Go figure.  They are busy
people and have more than enough work to do where they are actually
being sought.  So, the question becomes:  why did the administration not involve these experts in a substantive way from the getgo?  I suggest you go to South Building and ask them.  I suspect you will get answers you do not want to hear, if you get any answers at all.  (I suspect the latter, because it makes too much sense to have done it that way.)

Did you introduce yourself as WeaverGuy or Mr. WeaverGuy?

Believe it or not, the contact was in fact a credible one, and was more than sufficient to show that what I've said is true.  The point remains, and it is not about me.  Are you defending UNC's not having involved in a substantive way its own experts on such matters?  (Actually, I don't think they were involved in any manner whatsoever.)  What does this say, if anything, about how this whole thing is unfolding (or, more recently, jerking around, with the economy in a spiral and all)?  And yet, we see matters of Town and Gown that surely would benefit from the types of expertise that could be brought in.  On the other hand, perhaps UNC's administrators work in a bubble.  In the end, this will all cost far more than it should. (As I have a doctorate in Weaverology, perhaps I'd be Dr. WeaverGuy, or Dr. Guy, although I'm not big on titles, and simply prefer Weaverguy; and call me anything, but don't call me late for dinner!)  

....disturbing article in today's NYT on recycling, I never thought of trash as a commodity, but indeed it is:http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/08/business/08recycle.html?partner=rss&emc=rss"The precipitous drop in prices for recyclables makes the stock market’s performance seem almost enviable."For those who do not subscribe, here is the bugmenot link to useable passwords for the NYT: http://www.bugmenot.com/view/nytimes.comI wonder what the impact will be on WTE?

about WTE this evening at the BoCC meeting. They has the consultant in who wrote the white paper I referenced above.1) WTE is as carbon neutral as a landfill is, it just gets he carbon out of the waste faster.2) No matter what is in the trash, WTE generates about he same amount of energy per ton (he gave me a figure, but I don't remember it), so recycling paper (or anything else) has no detrimental effect on WTE.3) OC does not produce enough waste (about 180 Tons per day) to make WTE economical (yet). Right now cost to transfer trash runs between $40-$49 per ton, WTE costs about $100 per ton (including netting out the energy at about $0.06 per KWH)4) OC currently subsidizes the recycling program to the tune of > $300,000 per year by inflating their tipping fees. We would have to make that up elsewhere when trash is transferred out of the county. (so quick back of the envelope = 172 TPD * 365 = 62780 TPY $300,000/62780 = 4.70 per Ton)5) Mass burn and Small scale WTE (also called modular) are the only proven technologies that are within the ballpark for OC6) New Hanover Co NC has a publicly owned WTE plant that has been online for 24 years that processes 500 TPD (don't know their cost per ton).7) About 5% by volume and up to 15% by weight still goes to a landfill as ash.8) Site selection is the second most critical component (behind volume) to cost.

that UNC may ram an airport down our throats - a facility much larger than a landfill & much more of  disaster in every way - but the Commissioners have avoided siting a landfill (or two small ones) because of the political difficulty of the process.

They may well ram an airport down the communities' throats.  These folks are working on it:  http://www.orangecountyvoice.org/home.html

Also Toronto has banned bottled water. Toronto approves 5-cent fee on bagsBottled water sales at city facilities bannedDec 03, 2008 04:30 AM  John Spears City Hall Bureau Toronto shoppers will start paying 5 cents for throwaway plastic shopping bags starting June 1, Toronto council has confirmed.And despite a determined industry lobby to block the measure, councillors voted to ban the sale or distribution of bottled water immediately at City Hall and civic centres, where contracts permit, and by 2011 at other city-owned facilities such as arenas and theatres.The final vote: 30 in favour of the bag and bottle measures, 13 against. Retailers will be required to accept reusable bags or containers from shoppers starting next June.Mayor David Miller said "free" shopping bags come at a cost. "There's a cost to the city and the people of Toronto in disposing of them, there's a cost to the environment and there's a cost to the retailers," he said after the vote.Canada's biggest grocery companies had negotiated the 5-cent bag fee with the city beforehand.But bottled water companies lobbied councillors hard throughout the meeting. Councillor Mark Grimes shuttled between water lobbyists in the public gallery and councillors on the chamber floor, trying to sell a compromise deal that ultimately failed.Miller defended the move, arguing that the city produces its own high-quality water. "I don't believe as Canada's largest purveyor of tap water we should be selling water in our facilities," he said.He said the city had asked the industry for ideas on reducing packaging a year ago and met a wall of resistance. "We asked for data, we asked for partnership, we asked for ideas. And it wasn't until our staff brought forward a comprehensive report that we saw any movement."Councillors also voted to force takeout restaurants to develop recyclable food containers. Some councillors argued the new rules go too far. Councillor Karen Stintz argued for a voluntary bag fee, saying a compulsory one is unnecessary because the city will accept plastic bags in its recycling program starting next week. But Councillor Howard Moscoe said voluntary fees would be useless. Councillor David Shiner said banning water in city-owned theatres like the Sony Centre will hurt their revenue, and workers will likely have to give away tap water in plastic cups.  

In 1995, I went on a month long trip to southern Africa.  While I was there I visited a very remote village in Zimbabwe, and saw several of the women using old Food Lion plastic bags to carry their purchases home from the market.   In fact, i am sure I have a picture of this somewhere.  One of the women said she found these bags "in the garbage heap" nearby.     When used  Food Lion plastic shopping bags can find their way thousands of miles around the globe to garbage heap in Zimbabwe, we have to admit that local actions have global consequences.   

"In December 1991, when he was the World Bank’s chief economist, Summers went so far as to write in an internal note: The under-populated countries of Africa are largely under-polluted. Their air quality is unnecessarily good compared to Los Angeles or Mexico (...) There needs to be greater migration of pollutant industries towards the least developed countries (...)"from: http://www.counterpunch.org/millet12012008.htmlMaybe Africans will continue to have a steady supply of plastic bags & other toss-off goodies.


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