March 11, 2012
When Trash Becomes a Resource
When I think about my hometown, I think about trash. No, not because there is a trash problem, but because the waste management system in place in Livermore, California is amazing. I took the photo above in January because every time I visit I am blown away at how small the trash receptacle is! My parents are able to compost or recycle almost everything.
Therefore, it is no surprise that I was inspired to write this post when I came across this article from Forbes Magazine. Read on to learn about how the County is doing such great work!
Alameda County recently passed a mandatory recycling ordinance in a bid to divert 90 percent of its “readily recyclable and compostable materials” by 2020. Alameda County includes much of the east San Francisco Bay Area, including Oakland and Berkeley.
The county is following in the footsteps of its ambitious neighbor across the bay, the city and county of San Francisco, which has a goal of zero waste by 2020. It has already achieved a 77 percent diversion citywide.
Some municipalities fear that intensive waste management will be expensive. But the value of the resources extracted more than compensates for those expenses, according to a study by StopWaste.Org, a program of the Alameda County Waste Management Authority.
Alameda County calculates that it is currently burying $100 million worth of materials in landfills each year.
StopWaste.Org conducted a study and found that the cost of collecting and processing recyclables and compostables is less than that for collecting, transferring, and landfilling garbage. The difference was between two to seven percent because the value of the commodities and the avoided landfill tipping fees offset incremental increases in collection and processing.
Additionally, the study predicted that increased recycling and reduced disposal will reduce solid waste service bills for many businesses because most cities charge higher rates for trash disposal than for recycling.
For the complete article, click here.
posted at 5:00 AM