Ottawa’s Garbage Issue
Harold from Ottawa asked me:
What is your position on waste reduction (recycle, reuse etc.)?
What is your position on IC&I and C&D waste?
What is your position on waste to energy programs?
What is your position on landfill expansion?
1. What is your position on waste reduction (recycle, reuse etc.)?
Waste reduction, reuse and recycling are important components of a sustainable environment. The City of Ottawa should do everything it can to encourage residents to reduce the amount of waste produced, and to reuse and recycle waste products as much as possible.
Ottawa’s population is growing at a significant rate. Increased waste caused by this growth will continue to be an issue. We need to do everything we can to promote the reduction, reuse and recycling of waste products. By doing so, we will minimize our impact on the environment and improve the quality of life for all Ottawans.
2. What is your position on IC&I and C&D waste?
Waste reduction, reuse and recycling are also important components of sustainable growth.
The City of Ottawa should be doing more to promote the reuse and recycling of IC&I and C&D waste. Much of this waste can be reused or recycled.
Easy to recycle
· concrete (often recycled and reused at the site)
· steel and other metals
· packaging and paper products
· fluorescent tubes
· wood beams, joists, studs, baseboards
· cabinets and cupboards
· doors and casings
· interior windows
· bathroom fixtures
· light fixtures
· ceiling grid and tile
· replant trees, shrubs
3. What is your position on waste to energy programs?
I believe waste to energy programs should play an important role in the future of waste management in Ottawa.
Waste to energy has proven to be an effective method of waste management and volume reduction while at the same time providing the added benefit of generating clean energy. Burning trash effectively destroys waste stream bacteria, pathogens and other harmful elements. The waste-to-energy process also reduces the incoming volume by about 90%. The remaining ash can be used as a road bed material or be safely landfilled.
A waste to energy program would create jobs and local economic benefits, and create a reliable source of electric power for our city.
I believe the city should take immediate steps to invest in waste to energy technology. It’s time the city took a forward-thinking approach to waste management.
4. What is your position on landfill expansion?
I am strongly opposed to the proposed landfill expansions. The City of Ottawa should be looking at alternative solutions to waste problems rather than relying on outdated methods of handling its trash.
5. Do you have any other comments on Waste management in Ottawa?
Yes, I do. Waste management is a very important topic that impacts the lives of every resident of our city. Please continue reading…
Ottawa’s Garbage Issue, my opinion, information, and solutions.
- A new technology converts garbage into construction materials.
- We should use more friendly materials to make containers; a new type of starch technology using corn and potatoes.
- City should participate in buying the recycled bottles and cans.
- Shortage of recycling containers on beaches where there are hundreds of empty bottles on every hot day.
- Incineration reduces waste volume, destroys combustible toxins, destroys pathogenically contaminated materials and allows recovery of energy. All dilemmas like: incineration causes air pollution, ash that can be hazardous, must be landfilled, there are high capital and operation costs, and wastewater is a problem, are presently using a modern technology solved.
- Reduce 225 ton of garbage produced a day in Ottawa by more recycling and ‘Plasma Gasification’.
- Ottawa can make money on the waste-to-energy program taking garbage from other cities and receiving free energy.
Huge garbage collections, close to the Capital, located in Carp and Navan, create unhealthy environment and danger for our society. Rainwater flushes it under ground and it flows eventually into Ottawa River. Quality of water in our homes will deteriorate. Beaches will be closed more often. The healthy and beautiful natural environment around the city will slowly be gone.
Garbage is 30% residential and the rest is industrial and institutional. Only 51% of fine paper such as computer paper and envelopes is recycled. It is recycled much less than cardboards and newspapers because in Government City such as Ottawa we do not have recycling containers in most of the offices and schools. We recycle 21% juice boxes and only 5% aluminium foils.
Industrial, commercial and institutional (IC&I) waste includes materials generated from construction of building structures and those created during the wrecking of a building, demolition debris.
It is very good idea to recycle IC&I waste and it is already partially adopted. However, it is not always easy to accomplish and requires additional funds.
All these new technologies listed below have already passed many quality controls and environmental safety tests.
Environmental Friendly Packages
To reduce use biodegradable food containers applying a new type of starch technology from PEI using local potatoes that composts fully in as little as 14 days and is less expensive than plastic.
Canadian entrepreneurs have been developing a new type of starch technology using local potatoes http://irap-pari.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/success/apack_e.html. New line of packaging can be baked, frozen and microwaved, but above all it composts fully in as little as 14 days.
There are many compostable packaging solutions out there (using corn or potatoes), just becoming commercially viable. Some competitive in today's market and others which require a premium at the moment.
Yet even though a plastic bag, for instance, may cost only a penny or two, what is the real cost of that bag, once the environmental costs are factored in. The bags are manufacture primarily in India or China, thus all the benefits of the jobs are there. Yet we have to gather and dispose of them.
San Diego has calculated the actual cost of such a bag to be more like 0.18 $U.S.
Now a compostable bag is competitive. There are all kinds of similar examples with regards to plastic packaging.
Then what about the leeching caused by the bags once they are in our landfills. What are they doing to our environment? What carcinogenic substances are leeching into our groundwater?
Convert Garbage into Bricks
To remove garbage use Shanghai Tiannan Environmental Protection Technology Co Ltd method, which can convert garbage into bricks. The company first compresses the waste and sterilizes it several times. An additive then turns the waste into bricks. The technology was patented in 2003. The bricks can then be used for sidewalks or pathways in parks. From 100 tons of garbage it will create 40 tons of construction materials (40%).
It is a better way to handle waste in addition to traditional methods - burning, landfill or biochemical treatment.
Waste-to-Energy (my calculations are based on research I made comparing several existing plants)
Proven Waste-to-Energy program for Ottawa (investment approximately $300 million) means cleaner disposal of trash, less need for landfill space and cost-effective, safe power generation. These plants can burn by average about 3,000 tons each day. Each plant can generate approximately 100 megawatts of electricity to meet the power needs of nearly 100,000 homes. It serves the disposal needs of more than 1.2 million people. This means 200 jobs for Ottawa workers.
The value of energy produced annually at waste-to-energy plant by average exceeds $27 million. Waste-to-energy provides a reliable form of power because even after source reduction and recycling, the supply of fuel (trash) is dependable.
Waste-to-energy is one of the cleanest sources of power in the world. Energy is produced from trash as cleanly as it is produced from natural gas. Since the power from modern waste-to-energy plants usually replaces older oil- or coal-burning technologies, the plants can actually improve the air quality in the communities where they operate.
Plant creates less pollution than the trucks used to haul trash to a nearby landfill. It reduces carbon dioxide emissions. By replacing fossil fuels, waste-to-energy reduces the buildup of carbon dioxide in the air. Combusting biomass - materials such as paper, wood and food waste - does not add to the buildup of greenhouse gases.
Communities with waste-to-energy plants recycle an average of 33% of their trash.
Waste-to-energy enables the recovery of materials that would not otherwise be recycled. Ferrous metals remaining in the ash are extracted by powerful magnets and sent to recycling centers. Since these metals are often combined with non-recyclable materials during manufacture, extraction of the metals would not be feasible without combustion. Nearly 25,000 tons of steel are recovered for recycling each year at waste-to-energy plants.
Each year, an additional 939,000 tons of glass, plastics, white goods, batteries, paper, cardboard, metals, yard waste and ash are recycled on-site at waste-to-energy plants.
Ash landfill studies conducted over the past decade show that leachate is like salty water with metals content at about the same level as the standards set for drinking water.
In US more than 300,000 tons of ash are used annually as daily and final cover in place of soil in landfills and in roadbed construction. Ash is used as a substitute for aggregate in road base materials, building construction and artificial offshore reefs.
Waste-to-energy residue ash is safe for landfilling. The ash exhibits concrete-like properties causing it to harden once it is placed and compacted in a landfill. This reduces the potential for rainwater to leach contaminants in landfills into the ground.
There are 102 waste-to-energy plants operating in 31 states throughout the U.S. These plants burn about 14% of the trash generated nationwide or about 97,000 tons each day; they generate more than 2,800 megawatts of electricity to meet the power needs of nearly 2.5 million homes; they serve the disposal needs of more than 37 million people.
Dangerous Food Containers
Plastic water bottles hide dangerous side. A cool drink of water from a plastic bottle may not be as safe as it seems. Container may be adding dangerous chemicals to the water.
Filipos Kirkitsou, president of the Ecological Recycling Society, said data show that the water retains dangerous chemical substances from the plastic and the procedure speeds up if the water bottle has been left in the sun or has been stored for a long time.
According to recent research, traces of acetone were among the chemicals that had affected the water while bottles exposed to the sun showed traces of carcinogenic and neurotoxic substances.
Scientists raise spectre of cancer-causing packaging. Compounds found in plastic food packaging could be possible cancer-causing agents.
Researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, US claim to have demonstrated that two plasticiser compounds, BPA and BBP, are environmental estrogens capable of affecting gene expression in the mammary glands of young female laboratory rats exposed to the compounds through their mothers' milk.
Plastic products used to wrap or contain food and beverages have therefore aroused concerns as possible cancer-causing agents because they can sometimes leach out of the plastic and migrate into the food. The scientists found that this was especially true after heating or when the plastic is old or scratched.
BPA (bisphenol A) is a synthetic resin used in food packaging and polycarbonate plastic products. BBP (n-butyl benzyl phthalate) is a widely used plasticiser used in food wraps and cosmetics.
We should not be heating our food in the microwave using plastic containers. This applies to foods that contain fat. Combination of fat, high heat and plastics releases dioxin into the food and ultimately into the cells of the body.
Dioxin are carcinogens and highly toxic to the cells of our bodies. Instead, he recommends using glass, Corning Ware, or ceramic containers for heating food. You get the same results... without the dioxin.
As an addition to Save the World and MoneyEducate children in recycling programs and provide recycling containers in schools; educate adults to buy only what they can eat.
To see my entire platform go to: http://www.anweiler.ca/platform.htm