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Examining MSW

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A look at stats on what makes up our municipal solid waste stream in the USA and what we recycle...

A look at stats on what makes up our municipal solid waste stream in the USA and what we recycle...

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  • 1. Wasting Resources: Examining Our MSW Selected U.S. and CharMeck Data from 1997-2008 By Derrick Willard
  • 2. From Miller, WWE 10th ed., Figure 15-2 (pg. 348). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Bureau of Mines Sources of 12 Billion Tons of U.S. Solid Wastes Each Year: *Note MSW is low! Municipal 1.5% Sewage sludge 1% Mining and oil and gas production 75% Industry 9.5% Agriculture 13%
  • 3. Source: State of the Environment Report, 1997, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina Mecklenburg County
  • 4. Source: EPA Office of Solid Waste, Municipal Solid Waste Fact Sheet www.epa.gov/epaoswer/non-hw/muncpl/facts.htm What material dominates our MSW waste stream in the USA? #1
  • 5. Contact the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) . DMA is the oldest and largest trade association for the users and suppliers in the direct, database and interactive marketing field. You can use the DMA website to request their no cost Mail Preference Service (MPS). With DMA's MPS you can remove your name from DMA member prospect lists. Please note that signing up with MPS may prevent you from receiving mail you want, such as new catalogs, coupons, announcements about new businesses in your community, and notices of special offers. But, this can significantly reduce your “junk mail” load (at least 75%). If you want to REDUCE your paper MSW, here is an easy first step:
  • 6. Source: EPA Office of Solid Waste, Municipal Solid Waste Fact Sheet www.epa.gov/epaoswer/non-hw/muncpl/facts.htm
  • 7. Source: State of the Environment Report, 1997, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina
  • 8. What does the US currently do with MSW?
    • 55% in landfills
    • 14% incinerated
    • 7% composted
    • 24% recycled
    Source: Miller ESPCS text, 12th ed., 2008 *Note: EPA website says as of 2008, currently, in the US, 32.5 percent is recovered and recycled or composted, 12.5 percent is burned at combustion facilities, and the remaining 55 percent is disposed of in landfills.
  • 9.
    • Recycling has been on the rise since the 1980’s…
    Source: EPA Office of Solid Waste, Municipal Solid Waste Fact Sheet www.epa.gov/epaoswer/non-hw/muncpl/facts.htm
  • 10. We do have many programs for our country in place today…
  • 11. We do have many programs for CharMeck in place today…
  • 12. Source: State of the Environment Report, 1997, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina But most (55%) of our MSW still goes to landfills…
  • 13. Source: State of the Environment Report, 1997, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina
  • 14. What do we (USA) recycle?
    • 35% of total MSW is biodegradable and possible to compost, but only 5% is composted
    • 41% of wastepaper & cardboard
    • 5% of plastics by total weight
    • 56% of aluminum cans
    • 60% of steel
    • 22% of glass containers
    Source: Miller ESPCS text, 12th ed.
  • 15. Do you know?
    • Closed-loop recycling (primary recycling)?
    • vs.
    • Open-loop (secondary recycling)?
  • 16. Why Don’t We Recycle More?
    • Environmental costs are not passed on to consumers in market prices
    • Most government subsidies are for those extracting virgin materials
    • Fees/charges for dumping in landfills are low
    • Lack of large, steady markets for all recycled materials (varies)
    • Source separation inconvenient?
  • 17. Solutions?
    • Taxing virgin resource extraction and ending mining subsidies
    • “ Pay-as-you-throw” systems
    • Requiring government funded agencies to increase demand and lower prices by purchasing more recycleables
    • Pass “take-back” (cradle-to-grave) laws for manufacturing
    • Labeling of postconsumer vs. preconsumer recycled content
  • 18. Source: State of the Environment Report, 1997, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina Next: What do with do with the “really bad” stuff?