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Articles from 1997 In February

landfills: Ash Leachate: Problem Demands Innovative Solution

What's worse than heavily contaminated leachate? Ask landfill managers in Pasco County, Fla., who were facing a high concentration of contaminants plus a very high concentration of total dissolved solids (TDS). The contamination - mostly calcium chloride and sodium chloride, was found in fluids being generated from dedicated cells containing ash from a local 1,050-ton-per-day (tpd) waste-to-energy (WTE) facility.

In many cases, diluting leachate will solve pollution problems. Often, the treatment would occur in a large wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) where the effluent is a small percentage of the average daily flow. When Pasco began diverting its solid waste facility's flow to their small WWTP, it experienced elevated chloride concentrations in groundwater detection wells near the percolation ponds where treated effluent is disposed.

The county was forced to seek alternatives. A limited number of treatment and disposal process options remained:

* direct disposal in the Gulf of Mexico;

* deep well injection;

* microfiltration/reverse osmosis;

* evaporation/crystallization via mechanical and natural means; and

* spray drying in WTE spray dry absorbers.

After a preliminary evaluation, the project team led by Camp Dresser & McKee (CDM), Cambridge, Mass., and Pasco County determined that a combination of microfiltration/ reverse osmosis and mechanical evaporation/crystallization were realistic options.

For municipal sanitary landfills that do not produce leach-ate high in TDS, the microfiltration/reverse osmosis process is effective. In essence, it separates the leachate into a high-purity, drinking-water-quality stream and concentrated leachate.

The clean water is discharged to an on-site stormwater system and the concentrate's recycled portion is returned to the landfill. In Pasco County, though, cycling the concentrate back to the ashfill would in-crease the strength of the leachate over time, thus decreasing the process' long-term efficiency.

Pasco then opted for another solution: a brine concentrator (BC) and spray dryer system. This process re-duces the volume of leachate in the BC, in turn producing a high-quality distillate and a concentrated waste stream. This concentrated waste stream then is directed to a spray dryer for production of a dry free-flowing solid material, which is sealed in poly supersacs and placed in the landfill.

This approach allows for the re-moval of the salts from the hydrologic cycle in the landfill. It also produces distilled water, which is used as boiler feedwater makeup.

Removal of the leachate flow from the WWTP allows the reclaimed water to be used for landscape irrigation purposes, thereby reducing demand on potable water supplies.

Leachate management and treatment will continue to be a constant challenge for solid waste experts. In some cases, conventional chemical and biological treatment processes prove to be the most effective methods. In other cases, alternatives must be found.

Although the brine concentrator and spray dryer system solved Pasco's problems, it is necessary to consider all characteristics of a landfill site before determining and implementing the most appropriate and effective leachate treatment system.

Nostros Reciclamos: We Recycle

On the surface, Santa Ana, Calif., resembles any other city developing a new curbside recycling program. But, upon closer inspection, those similarities quickly disappear.

Santa Ana, situated in Orange County, had to find a way to expand its waste services in a politically and financially viable manner - an especially critical aspect given the county's recent and well-publicized bankruptcy. To complicate matters, the city also had to meet California's 50 percent waste diversion requirement by 2000.

Aware of the county's fiscal and political climate, Waste Management of Orange County, Santa Ana, which serves the area through its Great Western Reclamation division, developed an innovative agreement with the city which would help expand its services to meet the waste reduction requirement and also create cost efficiencies for both parties.

The key elements of the agreement included a 10-year extension of the city's contract with Waste Manage-ment and a city financing mechanism - made possible with the assistance of the California Environmental Finance Corporation - to acquire a fleet of new, automated vehicles and carts for the recycling program.

In turn, Waste Management promis-ed to implement a comprehensive recycling program that would provide long-term stable rates for customers and a $1.75 per month discount for eligible senior citizens. The company also guaranteed the city nearly $1.4 million in annual savings for the contract's duration.

Though the existing contract's extension sparked some controversy among city council members, customer reaction to the new program was positive, which indicated that the residents would accept major changes in their waste management system as long as they perceived that the service providers were looking out for their short- and long-term interests.

Language Barriers With the financial plan in place for the city-wide recycling program, Waste Management's next challenge was to fine tune the program's operational details and to develop a communications program that would generate widespread acceptance and participation. This common procedure turned complex because more than two-thirds of Santa Ana's 310,000 residents are Hispanic. The language barrier loomed large: 47 percent of the Hispanic population listed Spanish as their primary household language.

To ensure a smooth transition into the program, the city needed customer input on the planned operations. However, given Santa Ana's multi-lingual population, the city first had to develop an effective communications program that would reach its non-English speaking citizens.

In an effort to make the recycling program easy to understand and use, residents were surveyed to determine their opinions and understanding of recycling. Focus groups were gathered including both Spanish- and English-language dominant Hispanics as well as English-speaking, non-Hispanics.

The results revealed some interesting perceptions of recycling behavior and attitudes. For example, although separating recyclables is not currently part of the trash collection process in Santa Ana, the vast majority of residents reported that they already sorted items such as bottles, cans and newspapers.

Additionally, most were in favor of a curbside re-cycling program, citing the program's positive effect on Santa Ana's image and the belief that they would be creating a better en-vironment for their children.

The findings of the research were used as a foundation for making final decisions on the program's roll-out. For example, it found that customers preferred the 96-gallon carts over the 35- and 64-gallon carts for trash, recyclables and green waste.

Respondents who were hesitant about the size because they were told that items outside the cart would no longer be picked up were satisfied to learn that carts could be exchanged for other sizes after the program roll-out, and that additional carts would be available for a small monthly fee.

These results to questions about pick-up schedules, separation categories, compliance requirements and education methods served as a guide in making final decisions on these issues and also led to the selection of the program's slogan.

Using Ethnic Media Concentrating on issues uncovered in the focus group research, Waste Management conducted presentations at churches, schools and recreation facilities to introduce the new recycling program to community groups. All presentations - attended by bilingual staff members - were designed to address both Hispanic and non-Hispanic residents' concerns.

Isolating non-English speakers is often difficult and expensive. How-ever, making bilingual staff and information available is crucial to the success of programs in cities that have a high percentage of residents who are not proficient at English.

In addition to providing bilingual information to residents, it is important to develop relationships with local ethnic media to reach non-English speakers in a targeted and persuasive manner. Here, the media relays information of interest to their audience, and the organization supplying the information delivers its message through a credible and trusted source.

Media relations is also cost-effective and allows you to disseminate information to communities that may be too small to reach through other ways. For example, Santa Ana's small Vietnamese community can be reached through its Vietnamese-language print and radio outlets.

Effective Outreach Another vital component to any communications program is community outreach. After all, your recycling program employees are experts on the subject and, if well trained, can both introduce the program to the community and enhance the company's image.

Speaking to community groups prior to the program's implementation helps acceptance and can uncover additional reactions. Community presentations also are more persuasive - both before and after implementation - particularly with specific issues.

To help increase the proper separation of recyclables, and to reduce contamination, it is important to have company representatives present these details as often as possible. This is especially important among non-English speaking communities because much emphasis and understanding can be lost through translations of posters, stickers and reference materials.

Recycled Market Boosters Since the market for recycled materials is hardly steady or profitable, waste service providers need to take more responsibility for educating the public.

In Waste Management's case, much of the money that was once paid for county landfill services now is being used to send the recycled materials to vendors, since only about 25 percent of the recycled materials are profitable. And while a large company like Waste Management is able to find buyers for its recycled materials, it would be able to offer lower rates to customers and generate greater profit if there was a stronger recycled product market.

Though the dynamics of the recycled products market is complex, companies like Waste Management of Orange County are using the launch of its curbside recycling program to create an ongoing dialogue with community groups, school-aged children and the media on recycling issues. After all, the public and waste service providers both would benefit if consumers recycled waste and purchased products made from recycled materials.

Trucks: 23 Volvo WX42T tractors with 5th wheel; 23 Heil 33-yard trailers; fully automated grabber

Services provided: recycling, residential collection, greenwaste

Employees: 23 "commercial class A" rated drivers

Types of containers used: Cascade carts; Heil lifter

Customers: 40,000 residential

Service area: City of Santa Ana,Calif.

technology: Biowaste Useful: In New Emission Cleaning Process

A new technique for controlling sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from coal-fired boilers currently is being tested in Canada.

The process, developed by Dyna-motive Technologies Corp., Vancou-ver, British Columbia, converts bio-mass waste materials such as mu- nicipal solid waste (MSW), sawdust, sewage sludge and animal waste into a new product called Biolime. In addition to reducing emissions by using biomass as a raw material, this ap-proach recycles waste materials that would otherwise be landfilled or incinerated, according to the company.

Lime and water reacted with the pyrolysis oil produced from biomass waste - approximately 70 percent of all MSW can be converted into this oil - are the main ingredients in this process. The procedure results in individual particles consisting of hollow spheres with lime on their exterior surfaces.

Calcium oxide (CaO), or lime, reacts with the coal's sulfur to form calcium sulfate (CaSO4), also called anhydrous gypsum, that can be used to manufacture wallboard. The hollow sphere provides the most surface area for the least amount of lime, thus maximizing the effectiveness of the technique to capture emissions.

Biolime reportedly will capture both SO2 and NOx. Other emission control systems reportedly will attack one or the other, but not both. In tests conducted by Dynamotive where Biolime was injected into coal-fired boilers, the procedure reportedly removed up to 95 to 99 percent of the So2 and 80 percent of the NOx emissions.

To date, the testing has been done using sawdust, but the company anticipates equal results with other waste materials. Besides sulfur and nitrogen oxides, Biolime attacks organochlorines, furans and other toxic substances. The coal's heavy metals are tied up by the carbon in the char byproduct and can be safely landfilled. Finally, the combustible material in the product provides some reduction in coal consumption and also lowers net CO2.

This system can be used with equal effectiveness in either new or existing conventional fluidized or pulverized coal combusters. It can be injected directly into the boiler, or - in the form of previously prepared solid sorbent - can be mixed with pulverized coal.

When injected into the burner, Biolime explodes like popcorn into a pourous structure with large surface areas that capture emissions. High calcium efficiency comes partly from this popcorn effect.

Capital costs involved in using the technique are relatively low, according to the company, requiring only minor alterations to existing feed and storage systems. With Biolime, utilities can burn inexpensive, readily available high sulfur coal. The process is especially attractive for states and foreign countries with high-sulfur coal reserves and abundant organic wastes.

Biolime has been bench tested, pilot tested and soon will be commercially tested in a joint project with an American boiler manufacturer in a state producing high sulfur coal. Dynamotive plans to have the product on the market by the latter half of 1997.

For more information, contact: Bill Atkinson, Dynamotive Technologies Corp., 3650 Wesbrook Mall, Vancou-ver, B.C. V6S 2L2, Canada. (604) 222-5590. Fax: (604) 222-5545. E-Mail: [email protected]

POMONA, Calif. - In its efforts to help local cities meet Assembly Bill 939's diversion requirements, the California Integrated Waste Management Board, Sacramento, Calif., has found an ally in Pomona's California State Polytechnic University's (Cal Poly) Landlab experiment.

Cal Poly established LandLab - a 339-acre center for education and research in the sustainable use of re-sources that provides for recycling, waste diversion and the efficient use of refuse disposal facilities - as a collaborative project among itself, the Sanitation Districts of Los An-geles County and the County of Los Angeles in 1985.

The majority of the LandLab site is shaped by the 200-acre Spadra sanitary landfill. Under the terms of the agreement, Cal Poly provides the land needed for Spadra's expansion in exchange for funds to support its environmental education and research programs.

One such innovative program is the compost demonstration project and conservation garden, developed as a collaborative effort of LandLab, the Casa Colina Horticultural Therapy and Training Program, and the College of Agricul-ture. The demonstrations include a large-scale compost operation; small-scale enclosures; techniques for homeowners; landscaping and irrigation systems; mulching techniques and plant selection that reveal sustainable landscape strategies for Southern California. Research on the aerobic composting of different urban organic wastes also is being conducted, as well as direct application of paper sludge and other "raw" organics to agricultural fields.

The County Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles donated grinding equipment and Bengal Equipment Co., Fontana, loaned a Scat windrow turner to the project.

LandLab already has composted 1,000 tons of park leaves from the city of Claremont; 4,000 tons of greenwastes from the city of Riverside; 1,000 tons of newspaper fiber (sludge) from Smurfit, a local recycled newsprint manufacturer; and 1,000 tons of manure from Cal Poly's animal units.

Transforming these organic wastes into compost and reusing them can help conserve natural resources and recycle nutrients, improve soil physical properties, save valuable landfill space, and reduce detrimental effects on the environment.. Most communities, however, are just beginning to address the issues associated with diversion and composting of community yard wastes and need assistance in developing and maintaining effective and efficient compost programs. LandLab's compost demonstration project and resource conservation garden helps by bringing together resource conserving landscape strategies, composting demonstrations and intensive gardening techniques in one location .

Cal Poly realizes, however, that composting yard wastes is not the only solution to California's green waste problem. It believes that finding ways to reduce green waste volumes is equally important. Thus, the compost pilot project is being developed in conjunction with a low maintenance, water conserving landscape that generates minimal yard waste.

Alliance Otto Industries Inc., Charlotte, N.C., a manufacturer of solid waste systems and material handling products, has formed an alliance with Arkay Industries Inc., Miamisburg, Ohio, a manufacturer of plastic components.

Acquisitions Eastern Environmental Services Inc., Mt. Laurel, N.J., has acquired Donno Co. Inc., a Long Island, N.Y., collection and transfer station company with annual revenues totaling $13 million.

Safety Vision Inc., Houston, Clarion Sales Corp.'s largest distributor, has purchased FleetNet Inc., Clarion's Mid-West distributor, in a move designed to improve its customer service and sales territory.

USA Waste Services Inc., Houston, has acquired Empire Sanitary Land-fill Inc. and Danella Environmental Technologies Inc., a large landfill and collection operation near Scran-ton in Eastern Pennsylvania.

Downsizing Metro Waste Authority (MWA), Des Moines, Iowa, has downsized its administrative staff by 35 percent, due to lost waste stream revenue, an increasingly competitive market and expensive regulatory mandates. MWA also is scaling back on select programs and services.

New Association The New Youk State Association for Solid Waste Management and the New York State Chapter of the Solid Waste Association of North America, Silver Spring, Md., have formed the Federation of New York State Solid Waste Associations.

New Location The Public Recycling Officials of Pennsylvania (Prop) has moved its office from Kittanning, Pa. to Harris-burg, Pa. Prop's new address is: 301 Market St., Ste. 410, Harrisburg, Pa. 17101. (717) 232) 6775. Fax: (717) 232-6728.

Michigan-based MEC Environmental Consulting's new address is: 1003 Amelia Ave., Royal Oak, Mich. 48073-2704. (810) 585-3800.

People Frank W. Norris, Jr. has been named director of sales and marketing for Maintainer Corp. of Iowa Inc., Shel-don, Iowa.

Relocation LFG Specialties Inc., Middleburg Heights, Ohio, has relocated their Cleveland, Ohio engineering and administration offices. The new address: 705 South Friendship Dr., New Concord, Ohio 43762. (614) 826-7686. Fax: (614) 826-4948.

Shred-Tech Chicago, Mount Pros-pect, Ill., has moved their Wood Dale, Ill., office to a new location. The new address: 1907 Busse Rd., Mount Pros-pect, Ill. 60056. (800) 323-1265. Fax: (847) 589-8102.

Web Sites Jacobs Vehicle Equipment Co., Bloomfield, Conn., has established a home page on the Internet: http:// www.jakebrake.com.

Morbark, Winn, Mich., has a new World Wide Web home page: http://www.morbark.com. The company's E-Mail address is: [email protected] worldnet.att.net

Acquisitions USA Waste Services Inc., Houston, has acquired Empire Sanitary Land-fill Inc. and Danella Environmental Technologies Inc., a large landfill and collection operation near Scran-ton in Eastern Pennsylvania. Empire and Danella have annual revenues of approximately $48 million and $4 million, respectively.

Downsizing Metro Waste Authority (MWA), Des Moines, Iowa, has downsized its administrative staff by 35 percent, due to lost waste stream revenue, an increasingly competitive market and expensive regulatory mandates. MWA also is scaling back on select programs and services.

New Association The New Youk State Association for Solid Waste Management and the New York State Chapter of the Solid Waste Association of North America, Silver Spring, Md., have formed the Federation of New York State Solid Waste Associations.

New Location The Public Recycling Officials of Pennsylvania (Prop) has moved its office from Kittanning, Pa. to Harris-burg, Pa. Prop's new address is: 301 Market St., Ste. 410, Harrisburg, Pa. 17101. (717) 232) 6775. Fax: (717) 232-6728.

Michigan-based MEC Environmental Consulting's new address is: 1003 Amelia Ave., Royal Oak, Mich. 48073-2704. (810) 585-3800.

People Frank W. Norris, Jr. has been named director of sales and marketing for Maintainer Corp. of Iowa Inc., Shel-don, Iowa.

Relocation LFG Specialties Inc., Middleburg Heights, Ohio, has relocated their Cleveland, Ohio engineering and administration offices. The new address: 705 South Friendship Dr., New Concord, Ohio 43762. (614) 826-7686. Fax: (614) 826-4948.

Shred-Tech Chicago, Mount Pros-pect, Ill., has moved their Wood Dale, Ill., office to a new location. The new address: 1907 Busse Rd., Mount Pros-pect, Ill. 60056. (800) 323-1265. Fax: (847) 589-8102.

Web Sites Jacobs Vehicle Equipment Co., Bloomfield, Conn., has established a home page on the Internet: http:// www.jakebrake.com.

Morbark, Winn, Mich., has a new World Wide Web home page: http://www.morbark.com. The company's E-Mail address is: [email protected] worldnet.att.net

BRUSSELS, Belgium - Scrap metal from used cans is an essential ingredient in the steel making process and contributes significantly to saving natural resources, according to the Asso-ciation of European Producers of Packaging Steel (Apeal), Brussels.

Apparently, the rest of Europe agrees, with recently announced steel recycling rates reaching 41 percent, or 1 million tons, for 1995. In fact, this rate puts the steel industry well above the 15 percent reduction mandate set by the European Directive on Pack-aging and Packaging Waste for 2001.

Currently, Germany, with a recycling rate of 67 percent, is setting the trend in Europe, followed closely by the Netherlands with 58 percent; France with 40 percent; Belgium with more than 30 percent; Spain with 17 percent and the United King-dom with 16 percent. Apeal anticipates a European Union (EU) average of 60 percent by the year 2005 (see chart).

These above average rates may be attributed to uncomplicated collection methods, Apeal reported, and extensive ad campaigns. For example, the majority of recovered steel cans are extracted with magnets directly from household wastes.

In addition, large cities such as Par-is, Brussels and Madrid have raised consumer awareness about steel can recycling by promulgating impressive statistics. For example, every ton of recycled steel represents a direct savings of 1.5 tons of iron ore and 0.5 tons of coke, as well as an energy savings of 75 percent and a water savings of 40 percent, according to Apeal.

During the past five years, the steel industry has invested more than 40 million ECU in these activities.

New Association The New York State Association for Solid Waste Management, White Plains, N.Y., and the New York State Chapter of the Solid Waste Associ-ation of North America, Silver Spring, Md., have formed the Federation of New York State Solid Waste Associa-tions.

New Location The Public Recycling Officials of Pennsylvania (PROP) has moved its office from Kittanning, Pa., to Harris-burg, Pa., in December 1996. PROP's new address is: 301 Market St., Ste. 410, Harrisburg, Pa. 17101. (717) 232 6775 or (800) 769-PROP. Fax: (717) 232-6728.

Michigan-based MEC Environmental Consulting's new address is: 1003 Amelia Ave., Royal Oak, Mich. 48073-2704. (810) 585-3800.

People Frank W. Norris, Jr. has been named director of sales and marketing for Maintainer Corp. of Iowa Inc., Shel-don, Iowa.

Relocation LFG Specialties Inc., Middleburg Heights, Ohio, has relocated their Cleveland, Ohio engineering and administration offices. The new address: 705 South Friendship Dr., New Concord, Ohio 43762. (614) 826-7686. Fax: (614) 826-4948.

Shred-Tech Chicago, Mount Pros-pect, Ill., has moved their Wood Dale, Ill., office to a new location. The new address: 1907 Busse Rd., Mount Pros-pect, Ill. 60056. (800) 323-1265. Fax: (847) 589-8102.

Web Sites Jacobs Vehicle Equipment Co., Bloomfield, Conn., has established a home page on the Internet: http:// www.jakebrake.com.

Morbark, Winn, Mich., has a new World Wide Web home page: http://www.morbark.com. The company's E-Mail address is: [email protected] worldnet.att.net

New Location LFG Specialties Inc., Middleburg Heights, Ohio, has relocated its Cleveland, Ohio, engineering and administration offices to its expanding manufacturing facility in New Concord, Ohio. The new address: 705 South Friendship Dr., New Concord, Ohio 43762. (614) 826-7686. Fax: (614) 826-4948.

Michigan-based MEC Environmental Consulting's new address is: 1003 Amelia Ave., Royal Oak, Mich. 48073-2704. (810) 585-3800.

Shred-Tech Chicago, Mount Prospect, Ill., has moved its Wood Dale, Ill., office to a new location. The new address: 1907 Busse Rd., Mount Pros-pect, Ill. 60056. (800) 323-1265. Fax: (847) 589-8102.

People Frank W. Norris, Jr. has been named director of sales and marketing for Maintainer Corp. of Iowa Inc., Sheldon, Iowa, a supplier of heavy duty service, lube truck bodies and cranes.

Web Sites Jacobs Vehicle Equipment Co., Bloomfield, Conn., has established a home page on the World Wide Web. The address is: http:// www.jakebrake.com

Morbark, Winn, Mich., has launched a new World Wide Web home page: http://www.morbark.com. In addition, the company can be reached via E-mail: [email protected] worldnet .att.net

Disposal Intent Key In Drum Dispute

Returning used drums of solvent to get credit for the drum deposit could amount to an "arrangement for" the disposal of the drums' residual substances, according to a federal appeals court ruling (United States v. Cello-Foil Products, Inc.. et al., No. 94-1568, 6th Cir., Nov. 22, 1996).

Thomas Solvent - located in Battle Creek, Mich., before it closed - sold virgin solvents in re-usable 55 gallon drums and charged its customers a deposit. Routinely, the company's employees would retrieve used drums when delivering new, full drums, and credit the customers for the amount of the drum deposit.

The returned drums' contents varied. Some drums were emptied as much as possible, while others contained up to several gallons of unused solvents that were emptied onto the ground by Thomas employees. The empty drums then were refilled or cleaned with a rinsing solution that also was dumped onto the ground.

In 1992, federal and state authorities filed suit against former customers of the then-defunct Thomas Solvent un-der the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) for response costs at the company's facility. The plaintiffs al-leged that the defendants had ar-ranged for disposal of their hazardous substances through the drum deposit and return system.

Hearing no testimony, the district court summarily ruled for the defendants on the issue of arranger liability under CERCLA. The plaintiffs appealed.

The Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit overturned the ruling and sent the case back to the district court. This time, the court must decide "upon the merits" wheth-er the defendants "intended to enter into a transaction that included an 'arrangement for' the disposal of hazardous substances."

Without a contract or agreement, "a court must look to the totality of the circumstances, including any 'affirmative acts to dispose' to determine whether the defendants in-tended to enter into an arrangement for disposal," according to the appellate panel.

Once a party possesses "the requisite intent to be an ar-ranger," the party is strictly liable for damages caused by the disposal. It makes no difference whether the party intended that the waste be "disposed in a particular manner or at a particular site," the court added.

The three-judge panel criticized the lower court for its "overly restrictive review of what is necessary to prove intent, state of mind, or purpose, by assuming that intent cannot be inferred from the indirect action of the parties." The opinion referred to deposition testimony about scenarios from which a judge or jury could conclude that the defendants intended to arrange for disposal of leftover solvents in the drums. Such "interpretive issues" should be resolved on a case-by-case basis, the court ruled.

Whether a CERCLA plaintiff must prove intent in order to establish arranger liability, remains a thorny issue. The Sixth Court de-cision simply fuels the debate. Meanwhile, more than just money is at stake. A ruling against the drum-deposit customers could discourage the beneficial aspects of drum re-use and recycling.

Book Review As director of solid waste management for Ventura Coun-ty, Calif., Kay Martin confronts the matter-of-fact comings and goings of her community's trash and recyclables daily.

By itself, such activity would not distinguish her from other hard-working public sector solid waste officials throughout the country. However, she brings to her job more than just practical know-how. With a master's degree in public administration and a doctorate in cultural anthropology, she has a refreshingly unfettered outlook. She asks tough, penetrating questions about how society manages its wastes.

She has gathered some of her most thought-provoking and controversial notions into a book that will annoy or elate local government officials, public and private sector solid waste managers, and anyone else who is concerned about the present and future of waste management.

Strategic Recycling: Necessary Revolutions in Local Government Policy (1996) is Martin's wake-up call to local lawmakers. It challenges public officials to reject conventional command-and-control solid waste stewardship (what she calls "supply-side" management systems) and to substitute market-driven policies ("demand-side" management) for waste services.

Although brimming with provocative concepts and ideas, the book is short on cases or examples of success stories in communities that have adopted the market-based approaches she encourages. Nevertheless, Strategic Recycling is an important contribution to thought and action on public stewardship of waste management.

For more information or to order a copy of the book, contact: Darkhorse Press, 4227 E. Main St., Ste. 116, Ven-tura, Calif. 93003. Softbound, 260 p. $29.99 plus $2.00 for shipping (Calif. residents add 7.25 percent sales tax).

Don't Stumble Over Safety

`Safety hazards are an issue in any workplace, but employees at material recovery facilities (MRF) are constantly confronted with special risks. Left unchecked, MRFs could be a veritable accident waiting to happen.

Processing equipment, peripheral equipment, adjacent areas and the waste stream itself all present injury potential and in more severe cases, disease and death.

Fortunately for such employees, management is striving to take a proactive role in ensuring worker safety. Whether driven by a genuine desire to protect workers or by the more fiscal goal of minimizing worker liability issues and costs, an intricate system of safeguards exists to ensure that today's MRF environment re-mains as safe as possible.

A look at any five MRFs would reveal five different safety approaches within each facility. Much of this variance is reflective of the types of material processed through the site, the site itself, available equipment and management practice.

For the Medina County, Ohio, Central Processing Facility, operated by Norton Environmental, the emphasis starts with new employee safety orientations, adheres strictly to established safety guidelines in both operation and equipment procurement and comes full-circle with periodic worker safety updates.

That emphasis has paid off in a number of ways, according to Norton's Louis Perez. "Ours is a progressive management style that encourages workers to be more knowledgeable which improves their ability to sort effectively and therefore increase percentages," he said. "We do this through a good deal of video training that shows our view of the safe way to work within the MRF: what materials to look for, the correct procedure for dealing with heavy material and how to identify hazardous material."

In addition, Perez said periodic refresher training sessions help. "This has paid off in our recoverable rate - 15 percent on our percentage of recoverable recyclable commodities," he reported.

Early Identification Medina County's adherence to strict safety guidelines begins on the tipping floor.

"In my years of working with MRFs throughout the northeast, I've seen pretty much everything come through, including knives, guns and ammunition," Perez said. "Unlike most MRFs, we use a segmented approach to incoming material inspection. We first look at material on the tipping floor and try to identify potentially hazardous materials - such as a propane tank or a box whose contents are in question.

"Once material is identified as questionable, we use mechanical means to sort it out. It is imperative that we remove the material before it gets to the sorting room where it could pose a problem to the sorters. There is a similar checkpoint on the infeed conveyor."

Perez said all of the bags processed at the Medina County facility are opened in an enclosed, reinforced trommel, which eliminates the risk of injuries caused by manual bag opening.

Equipment Safety Four years ago, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), New York, N.Y., and an independent committee began to research and write a set of uniform standards for MRF operations (see sidebar on page 39).

The result was the ANSI Z245 report "Facilities for the Processing of Commingled Recyclable Materials: Safety Requirements."

"ANSI is an independent agency and, unlike OSHA regulations, the standards are voluntary," said Sidney Wildes, president of International Press & Shear Corp-oration, Baxley, Ga., one of the original committee members. "But although adherence is voluntary, it is very much to everyone's benefit to accept them because, in many cases, there are no others. Doing so makes good sense from both a safety and basic business standpoint."

Much of the emphasis on safety within the MRF is dependent upon the design and operation of the equipment used to process the waste stream. Equipment manufacturers regularly update designs to incorporate safety features, either as a standard element or to accommodate particular customer needs.

Wildes, who has been involved in compiling a similar set of guidelines to cover safety requirements geared specifically to balers, said he strives to design a safety-based baler line. Calling safety a "big concern from the initial design phase," he notes several features that aid in baler safety such as a startup alarm to indicate when the baler is in operation and a host of emergency stops located on various parts of the machine.

"The bale door keeps the material contained while it is being put under pressure; the door opens only when the baling process is complete and the bale is being ejected," he said.

These baler units also feature an oil temperature and level transducer which is monitored regularly by the computer. If an oil overheats or a low level situation occurs, the computer shuts down the unit and issues an alarm. The machine can only be restarted when the alarm resets.

Another feature to look for when considering a baler purchase is a through-the-panel disconnect switch that can be locked in the "off" position and tagged in accordance with the Occupational Safety and Health Association's (OSHA) "lockout/tagout" regulations.

Doing so ensures that once a unit is locked in the 'off' position, power cannot be turned on to that machine, Wildes said.

Safety In Shredding Reducing material size and volume often is the job of a shredder, and MRF operations - particularly those with a market such as refuse derived fuel (RDF) - have incorporated them readily into their designs.

Over the years, product modifications have been made to meet the safety needs of these customers, according to Grand Prairie, Texas-based Saturn Shredder's Damon Dedo, who says that the use of a slow speed shredder is itself an inherent safety benefit.

"In the past, MRFs and RDF facilities used to rely almost exclusively on high speed hammermill-type shredders and explosions were commonplace," he said. "We had one incident in Florida in which several sticks of dynamite were intercepted just before processing. In a hammermill, that could have been a serious situation. The slow speed of rotary, shear type shredders is definitely a factor in reducing the risk of explosions."

Even with that risk reduced, precautions are taken to ensure safety. At the Medina County operation, engineers designed a fully-enclosed feed hopper with a small exit port to contain the risk of flying debris caused in the unlikely event of an explosion.

"About 35 percent of Medina County's total daily waste stream - about 140 tons - is fed into a shredder in preparation for use as RDF," said Dedo.

Other non-standard safety features on shredders include side wall eject systems: In the event the shredder encounters an unshreddable material, users are no longer required to shut down the system and reach into the hopper to remove it. With the touch of a switch, the material automatically can be ejected from the shredder's side.

In applications that process bulky waste rather than separate it, a push ram modification feature is optional. Bulky material that, by nature of its shape and/or mass cannot be drawn into the counter-rotating cutters, now can be forced into the cutter throat using the ram option and shredded. This eliminates the need for the material's manual removal and, thus, reduces the worker's risk.

"As the role of the MRF continues to evolve, much will change with regard to new equipment use and process modification," said Dedo. "New demands will be placed on workers and new safety concerns will become evident. All parties involved in the material recovery process should continue to see safety as a critical issue.

"No one gains by relaxing the emphasis upon this issue."

ANSI Z245, compiled by the American National Standards Institute Inc., New York, N.Y., offers the following safety guidelines: Prepared aerosol cans - Aerosol cans are considered to have been prepared for processing if they have been emptied of all residual propellants and opened to the atmosphere. Additional Clean Air Act, OSHA and RCRA rules apply to the processing of aerosol cans and off gases. Emergency stop feature - All sorting stations shall have an emergency stop control located within 2.75 meters (3 feet) of each employee's normal working position, which shall control at a minimum: the conveyor, upstream feed and any system component immediately downstream from the sorting station, except for sorting on the floor to a sub-conveyor with a 3-foot transition to the next level. Prohibition from riding on conveyors - Employees shall not ride on any conveyor in a facility constructed subsequent to the effective date of this standard. In facilities which existed prior to the effective date of this standard, employees shall ride only on those conveyors which are specially designed for the purpose as permitted by their employer and the facility owner. Flooring (sorting station) - Flooring shall be constructed of a slip resistant material that can be readily cleaned of the types of wastes or recyclable materials which are processed in the facility. Basic hazard communications (Hazcom) - Employers are required to provide information to their employees about the hazardous chemicals or materials to which they are exposed by means of a Hazcom Program, labels and other forms of warning, material safety data sheets, information and training.

recycling: Quality Control Maximizes Market Return For Plastics

Maintaining the quality of post-consumer material collected for recycling is critical to finding and retaining markets.

The key is to maintain effective communication between recycling coordinators, haulers, and material recovery facility (MRF) operators, their employees and program participants. You must understand market specifications, determine the properties of materials and match program capabilities with market demand.

Before beginning to collect recyclables, match the program to a market. In plastics recycling, there are generally four market types:

* haulers that transport recyclables to handlers or reclaimers for further processing;

* handlers that sort and densify material through baling or granulating;

* reclaimers that convert the resin from bottles, containers or flake into pellets; and

* end users that manufacture products using recycled material.

Specifications and collection re-quirements differ with each market. Before a program begins or is modified, determine from the recycling services provider what plastics are acceptable, how the material should be prepared and in what form, what quality requirements must be met, who is responsible for transportation, what happens if a shipment is rejected and the rates and terms of payment.

Plastics, however, present challenges for recyclers. For example, buyers usually want plastics separated into single-resin streams because they melt at different temperatures during processing. If two plastics that melt at different temperatures are mixed, the feedstock's appearance and performance will be altered and may prevent its use in a particular end product.

Because the same resins can have different properties, markets may ask for plastic bottles (containers with a neck smaller than the base) to be separated from wide-mouthed containers. For example, HDPE milk jugs are blow-molded, while HDPE margarine tubs are injection-molded. These two processes require different fluidity levels, which, if mixed together, produce a fluidity level that may no longer be suitable for some manufacturing.

Quality must be maintained during plastics handling as well as collection. Plastics handling includes the processing, storage and transporting to market. A handler or MRF operator should take several steps to ensure quality control during the process.

Plastics have a high volume-to-weight ratio, and must be compacted to conveniently store and efficiently transport. Bales should be bound with nonrusting, noncorroding material, such as galvanized wire or polyester strapping and have target densities of 10 to 15 pounds per cubic foot.

Before granulating plastics, which are acceptable in some markets, handlers should know the specific equipment requirements and quality specifications.

Typically, plastics must be stored in loose form prior to baling and, once baled, are stored prior to shipment to market. Generally, they require an average of 36 cubic yards of storage space for 10,000 loose bottles or three cubic yards for 10,000 baled bottles. Clean concrete floors are ideal for plastics storage. However, if plastics are stored outside, they should be covered with an ultraviolet, light-protective material.

Consumer education is equally important to quality control. Re-cycling coordinators, haulers and MRF operators should continually educate their employees and program participants about proper handling, sorting and processing of recyclables.

Consumers need to know which plastics the program accepts. Use graphics and simple words whenever possible, such as thumbs-up and thumbs-down symbols. Curbside feedback tags, left by collection truck drivers, are another way to inform residents about materials the program does not accept.

Always explain in detail how the plastics should be prepared. Ask consumers to rinse and crush bottles and throw away their caps and lids. Also, include where to take recyclables or when to set them out for collection.

Because programs and their participants change, quality control education is an on-going process. Remem-ber to distribute information on all program changes and periodically remind participants of the program's specifications.

Don't forget about educating the hauler and MRF operators. At every stage of the recycling process, these employees help control material quality. Train employees about the threat of contaminants to ensure the highest quality of feedstock (see chart, pg. 8).

Following these principles should help increase the value of materials collected for market. Additional information about quality control can be found in Think Quality: A Key to Success in Plastics Recycling. To obtain a free copy, contact: The American Plastics Council, 1801 K St., N.W., Ste. 701-L, Washington, D.C. 20006-1301. (800) 243-5790. Fax: (202) 296-7119.

Are You A Member Of The Methane Generation?

At first glance, deciphering the new federal landfill gas regulations may appear as noxious and as nebulous as the emissions they were created to control.

Acronyms like NSPS, NMOC, EG and LFG are as prolific as the number of questions they raise. They can trick landfill operators into thinking they're wading through alphabet soup rather than preparing to implement guidelines on how to better manage and monitor their facilities' emissions.

Since being published in March 1996, the U.S. Environmental Pro-tection Agency's (EPA) methane regulations have prompted landfill owners to ask many questions. In the process, they are learning to become technically and financially creative in order to meet the challenges ahead.

The Time Has Arrived "Until now, landfill operators haven't had to collect and combust methane gas unless their facilities had migration or odor problems," said Mike McGuigan, project advisor, SCS Engineers, Reston, Va. "But landfills are responsible for one-third of all man-made methane gas sources. So, obviously, the EPA recognized the need to create the new regulations if we are to reduce global emissions."

Most solid waste experts agree that regulations were necessary, but the litmus test on their appropriateness is just beginning. "Major trade organizations generally support the control of methane from large landfills," Mc-Guigan conceded. "The level of specific procedures and reporting requirements, however, are greater than industry standards and will place significantly larger burdens on landfill owners."

Phil Carter, president of the North Carolina Chapter of the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), Silver Spring, Md., agrees.

"Even though they're still a little rough around the edges, the regulations are vital and necessary to deal with a problem that, in the past, hasn't been addressed on a wide scale," Carter said.

"North Carolina landfill owners have been monitoring methane since 1993," he continued, "so everyone is familiar with the reporting requirements. Now, we're waiting to see if we'll have to install collection systems."

Do The Regs Affect Me? The first step in determining whether the new regulations affect your landfill is to apply three criteria: dates of operation; permitted size; and non-methane organic compounds (NMOCs) emission levels.

Dates of operation are important. If your landfill closed prior to the passage of Subtitle D (November 8, 1987), your facility is exempt. However, many landfills operating past the regulatory deadline will fall into either New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for new landfills or Emission Guide-lines (EG) for existing landfills. "The requirements are very similar," Mc-Guigan explains. "The major difference is the compliance schedule."

An existing landfill is determined by whether it was:

* constructed, modified or reconstructed prior to May 30, 1991,

* received waste on or after November 8, 1987 or

* has additional capacity which maybe filled in the future.

"The standards for older landfills are more site-specific because the states have allowed more flexibility to deal with older sites," McGuigan said. "States are required to put together the implementation plans, and compliance generally runs about a year later than the regulatory requirements for new landfills."

According to EPA program manager Tom Kerr, "Existing landfills don't have to submit initial design reports until their state develops a plan that is approved by the EPA."

NSPS landfills are considered to be facilities that accepted their first waste loads after May 30, 1991 or are active facilities that received design capacity permit modifications after that same date.

Site-Specific Values Under the NSPS requirements, facility size is an important consideration, particularly for those landfills serving rural areas with low volumes.

"If your landfill has a design capacity of less than approximately 2.75 million tons, your facility is exempt from NSPS," McGuigan said.

Once your facility's design capacity has been determined, the next criteria to apply is determining your landfill's NMOCs. The EPA designed a model to help landfill owners compile basic information about their sites to determine their NMOC emissions: If a facility generates 50 megagrams or more each year, it must install a gas collection and control system. The EPA also has given landfill owners the latitude of incorporating site-specific values into their emission models.

"The rules were written conservatively with the mindset, 'Cast a big net and you'll catch everybody unless [landfill owners] perform additional work to test out [of complying],'" McGuigan said. "The [regulations'] base assumptions overestimate gas generation, and the real difference is going to be evident when comparing dry with wet landfills." For example, climate conditions are key components in methane gas generation, McGuigan said.

"The wetter the landfill, the higher the generation, however, landfill gas collection is more difficult. In a dry climate, a landfill will generate lower rates of methane over a longer period of time."

Tough Love Approach Although the new regulations appear to cover most of the facets associated with the installation of collection and control systems, one major pitfall awaits landfill owners.

"The biggest component is cost, especially for those closed landfill sites that must install a collection system with potentially no revenue stream," McGuigan said.

Capital costs associated with new collection systems are said to range from $300,000 to several million dollars. "And, operational costs can be anywhere from $30,000 a year to a couple hundred thousand. It's definitely a significant annual ex-pense to landfill owners," McGuigan said.

In devising the new regulations, the EPA made no provisions for funding. On the surface, it appears unreasonable, especially to owners of closed landfills. But, this may be a classic case of tough love.

"Technically, the regulations are onerous, but the biggest bone of contention is money," McGuigan said. "Owners will have a greater incentive to find economic uses for landfill gas at or near their landfill sites to reduce landfill gas compliance costs."

Landfill owners who must install collection systems will be required to operate them for at least 15 years.

"The theory is, if you put in a million dollar system, get as much bang for your buck as possible, even if your emissions are lower than the threshold," McGuigan quipped.

Carter's North Wake Landfill in Raleigh, N.C., is a prime example of this philosophy and demonstrates how local government continues to work with the private sector to solve universal problems.

When state regulators determined a recovery system was needed at the 120-acre facility, Wake County joined with a private company to collect and contain the gas, and to sell the gas to a pharmaceutical plant. "The system would have been an impact to us financially, but we contracted with a vendor to install the system for virtually nothing," Carter said. "In fact, not only did it save us money since we only had to pay for a temporary flare system, but we're saving the industry money to fire their boiler with our gas."

Help For Landfill Owners Landfill owners have been pushed and prodded to comply with a host of federal landfill regulations, but now they have an opportunity to participate in a program voluntarily that might actually make them money, and, in the process, make the new emission guidelines easier to implement.

Created in 1994 as a national initiative to the international problem of global warming, the EPA's Landfill Methane Out-reach Program (LMOP) is now maturing into a liaison between landfill owners and potential private users of methane gas.

"Our program doesn't require anybody to do anything," said LMOP's Tom Kerr. "It's strictly voluntary. What we're saying is, 'If it's a [gas] project at the landfill and it's good for the environment and you can make a profit or there's economic incentive in doing it, then [a gas program] makes sense.'"

The advent of the new regulations last year has put LMOP in the spotlight as the voice of authority concerning gas collection and combustion options for landfill owners. It offers a multitude of services with which landfill owners can determine their most cost-effective and realistic opportunities.

"We have a set of tools that can assess the options for landfill owners and help them to recognize whether our program can be an asset to them," Kerr said.

LMOP's Project Development Handbook is a 300-page "bible," providing landfill owners with all of the program possibilities, regulatory issues, legal considerations and economic factors to determine if a gas collection and combustion system is achievable.

In January, LMOP launched E-Plus, a new software that quickly determines whether a landfill gas system will be economically successful, based on landfill demographics and site specifics. "Landfill owners plug in the basic information about their facilities and the software generates everything from cash flow analysis, net present values and internal rates of return. Essentially, everything associated with making a decision about a gas collection system," Kerr said.

Landfill owners can call order the free handbook and software by calling the EPA's toll-free hotline: 1-888-*YES.

LMOP has developed partnerships with representatives from 63 industries, 13 utilities and 18 states. Its next venture is to promote these successes nationwide to initiate more partnerships.

Although Kerr admits LMOP's success has been hard to measure, EPA attributes 21 partnerships to the agency's assistance.

"Landfill owners and end-users don't normally make a practice of sitting down together in the same room and discussing landfill gas programs, but when the EPA facilitates the meetings, they're more likely to get together," Kerr said.

If you would like more information about LMOP, call (202) 233-9768.

Methane Gas, Part II will feature various applications of the requirements and the respective solutions.

* A-C Compressor Corp. Methane recovery systems. Contact: A-C, 401 East South Island St., Appleton, Wis. 54915. (414) 738-3088. Fax: (414) 738-5964.

* Fuller-Kovako Corp. Air, gas and vacuum rotary vane compressors. Contact: Anthony F. Dwyer, 3225 Schoenersville Rd., P.O. Box 805, Bethlehem, Pa. 18016-0805. (610) 264-6732. Fax: (610) 264-6711.

* Landfill Control Technologies. Landfill gas monitoring probes. Contact: Alex Roqueta, 6055 E. Washington Blvd., Commerce, Calif. 90040. (213) 722-8202. Fax: (213) 725-8772.

* Landfill Gas & Environmental Products Inc. Landfill gas, condensate and leachate control and recovery equipment. Contact: Ron Brookshire, 9855 Prospect Ave., Santee, Calif. 92071. (619) 596-9083. Fax: (619) 596-9088.

* Landfill Technologies Inc. Landfill gas systems and services. Contact: George Nealon, P.O. Box 519, West Sand Lake, N.Y. 12196. (518) 674-8694. Fax: (518) 674-8695. Reference: Chris Motyl, Town Of Rotterdam, 1100 Sunrise Blvd., Rotterdam, N.Y. 12308.

* Moretrench Environmental Services Inc. Landfill mining and reclamation. Contact: Carl Aspirinio, Moretrench, 7701 Interbay Blvd., Tampa, Fla. 33616. (813) 831-1871.

* Yesco Bva Cogen. Turnkey landfill gas developers. Contact: Yesco, 33 Christa McAuliffe Blvd., Plymouth, Mass. 02360. (508) 746-5500. Fax: (508) 746-1630.

City Finds Cutting: Edge To Recycling Glass

In efforts to provide a market for glass cullet - broken or colored glass that typically is landfilled - a number of states have investigated its use in roadway construction. For example, in early 1995, the Texas Department of Transportation (DOT) asked the College of Engineering at Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, to develop specifications for using glass cullet in roadway construction.

The study's results, plus the success of glass cullet use in other states, prompted the DOT and the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Com-mission (TNRCC) to seek places to test the material's longevity. Meanwhile, the city of Devine, Texas, was searching for funding and alternative methods to reconstruct many of their roadways since the city budget did not provide for major street construction.

Encouraged by the Alamo Area Council of Governments' solid wastes coordinator, the city applied for and received a TNRCC grant in May 1996 to use glass cullet in the reconstruction of approximately 4,000 linear feet of its streets.

Two 20-foot-wide streets were chosen for the project in the city's northern portion. Prior to their reconstruction, the roadways consisted of a single coarse surface, with numerous potholes filled with approximately four inches of asphaltic concrete, on six inches of compacted base material and a sand subgrade.

To save landfill space, the old asphaltic concrete was set aside to be mixed with the road base to form the subgrade for the new streets. Also, limestone rock asphalt, native to Texas, was slated to be used for the roadway surface.

Originally, the glass cullet was to be shipped weekly from Vista Fibers, San Antonio, Texas, to the road site to be used in the compacted base material; however, the size and grading of the cullet was not consistent with DOT gradation standards. So, an additional contractor, Vulcan Materials, San Antonio, Texas, was used to further reduce the cullet's size.

The mixture of two loads of limestone followed by one load of glass cullet followed by two more loads of limestone were placed in a crusher. The material then was crushed to a 31/44 inch maximum size. This gradation size versus the more typical one- and one-half inch grade, reduced the size of plastic bottle caps and other debris in the cullet.

Samples taken from Vulcan's stockpile showed that the combined mix was uniform in glass distribution and gradation. Laboratory tests confirmed that the amount of glass did not exceed 20 percent by weight of the total base material, which met DOT specs. More than 2,400 tons of the material then was produced, diverting more than 435 tons of glass cullet from the landfill.

The project, designed by Garcia & Wright Consulting Engineers Inc., San Antonio, Texas, included safety issues, such as the potential hazard of exposed glass on the roadways' shoulders. In response, the shoulder width beyond the pavement's edge was minimized and treated with asphalt emulsion prime coat material. In addition, existing gravel driveways also were paved to reduce concerns about exposed glass in Vulcan's combined base material.

The project's contractor, Evans & Evans Inc., New Braunfels, Texas, found that working with the combined base material did not impose any significant restraints to construction. However, plastic bottle caps were observed, particularly at the roadway's edge. Apparently plastic "floats" to the top and edges during processing, causing small "pockets" during construction. Pull tabs from drink cans also were noted, but were evenly dispersed within the material.

Although the construction costs of the combination material are comparable to those with standard materials, they still are somewhat higher. Some of this extra cost can be attributed to the additional handling of the glass cullet required during crushing. Notably, removing glass cullet debris either at the recycling center or at the aggregate plant can raise costs.

Vista Fibers saved money since it didn't have to pay disposal fees for the cullet used in the project. This savings will allow the center to buy the necessary equipment to process the glass prior to shipping it to the base material supplier. Cleaner glass cullet could process easier, cost less and ultimately be more competitive with standard materials.

New Programs Increase California's Diversion Rate

Editor's Note: Steven R. Jones has been appointed to the California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB), Sacramento, Calif., by Governor Pete Wilson. Jones, 46, has been the chief executive officer for Cal Sierra Disposal Inc. since 1993.

WW: How do you think California will overcome its final hurdles of reaching a 50 percent diversion goal?

SJ: Californians have met the goal of 25 percent diversion by 1995. That project diverted about 11 million tons of material out of the waste stream statewide. The 14 to 20 million tons of additional diversion necessary to reach 50 percent is going to come through programs designed to deal with organics and inerts as well as expanding traditional efforts through increased market development.

The Waste Board has put a number of things in place designed to help move towards the 50 percent goal including efforts to develop compost markets; Recycling Market Development Zones (RMDZ) - which offer low interest loans for businesses using recovered recyclables in new products, creating market-driven demand, jobs, and, hopefully, profit for the entrepreneur; and a tiered permitting program that allows the permitting process to move faster in some cases.

However, what I consider to be the most essential factor, is massive investment by the private sector in building infrastructure coupled with the public-private partnerships that spur progress. California's refuse industry is providing vision, operational expertise and investment to achieve the mandate.

WW: In what ways do you think California is a leader in solid waste management?

SJ: I think the private sector waste industry is essentially responsible for California's leadership in solid waste. But the Waste Board also has contributed to this reputation for leadership. Due to the ambitious nature of AB 939, the Board has expanded from a traditional "regulatory" role to include an "advocacy" role. Examples include: pursuing market development projects and public education, which is critical due to the magnitude of our goals, and demands that the public-private partnerships include the general public as well. Our education efforts are designed to promote reduce, reuse and recycle as everyday practices, and to eliminate confusion among the public about the varied aspects of integrated waste management, including the safe and efficient service offered by today's state-of-the-art waste handling facilities. Because, while we work on diverting 50 percent, we need to educate people that the remaining 50 percent needs to be disposed of and that will be the case forever.

The Board also has instituted regulatory reform to foster more diversion and regulations that strike a balance between the regulatory burden and the degree of environmental protection being sought. Additionally, $17 million dollars have been loaned to businesses throughout the state through the RMDZ loan program which has created or saved hundreds of jobs. The last I heard, our RMDZ program, a kind of enterprise zone for recycling-based manufacturing, was the only one of its kind in the nation.

WW: What issues are Californians facing that will eventually emerge in the rest of the country?

SJ: Organic waste management through composting and other recycling efforts is something to which we are devoting considerable time and resources. While this effort is taking place elsewhere, our approach will nevertheless get a lot of attention from others in years to come, because of the size of California's waste stream.

I think other states will start to face issues concerning household hazardous waste disposal. As a garbageman, I've experienced first hand what happens when two chemicals, which by themselves are harmless, but in a packer unit mix and can create some real health and safety problems. Finally, increasing costs of recycling combined with market development issues face us all.

WW: What are some of the creative solutions you've witnessed to solid waste problems?

SJ: In the AB 939 era, I would say curbside recycling programs, the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) concepts with design growth and technology growth, both for clean and dirty MRFs. The biosolids area concerning inclusion into compost mixes and land applications also.

And the one I'm most proud of is the solution to Tuolumne County's solid waste problems, where I worked with Dick Hanson at Cal Sierra to build a waste infrastructure that included a MRF, garbage baling, and exporting to Nevada when closure of the landfill was completed shortly after we opened (see World Wastes, May 1996).

WW: What advice would you give someone who would like to serve in a similar capacity to yours at the CIWMB?

SJ: Build your career on a couple of simple principals, whether on a garbage truck or a management entry level: be honest, be prepared and don't take yourself too seriously.

The real honor here is that my peers in the industry endorsed and supported me. The governor and his staff narrowed their list to a handful of finalists, and knowing the others, I can say any of us would do a great job for the governor, the industry, and the citizens of California.