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Article, Resource filed under Deconstruction, Stop Incineration, Waste to Wealth

ILSR’s Waste to Wealth E-Bits — Vol. 2, No. 1

| Written by ILSR Admin | No Comments | Updated on Jul 1, 2001 The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/ilsrs-waste-to-wealth-e-bits-vol-2-no-1/

1. WELCOME TO ILSR’s WASTE TO WEALTH E-BITS

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) is a 26-year-old nonprofit organization that promotes economic development that minimizes environmental damage while maximizing benefits to the local community. Our Waste to Wealth Program offers research, policy development, technical assistance, and public education and outreach on waste reduction and recycling-related economic development.

E-Bits highlights ILSR’s Waste to Wealth Program work, from creating jobs and recycling-oriented enterprises, to recycling policies that close the loop locally, to model waste reduction initiatives. Welcome to our third edition of E-Bits!

2. NEW MANUAL TO DEVELOP AND EXPAND DECONSTRUCTION BUSINESSES NOW AVAILABLE

Deconstructing buildings is a proven, environmentally responsible technique for removing unwanted structures and rebuilding communities. Valuable and perfectly usable building material can be recovered from obsolete buildings and reused within communities, providing residents with a low-cost alternative to purchasing new materials as well as providing opportunities for business development, training and employment. Deconstruction is also an excellent expansion opportunity for existing construction-related businesses interested and/or required to increase recovery rates.

ILSR’s new manual, written by Dennis Livingston and Mark Jackson, provides an excellent resource for anyone interested in starting a deconstruction company. No matter whether you are an entrepreneur, community-based organization, construction-related company, or governmental organization, this manual will introduce to you to many of the steps needed to form a deconstruction company. The manual takes the reader from setup and funding, to planning, deconstruction, and material resale.

Please check out http://ilsr.org/recycling/decon/index.html for more details and ordering information.

3. SEPTEMBER CONFERENCE ON DECONSTRUCTION

On September 5-8, 2001 ILSR will be co-sponsoring Harvesting The Future, a conference on deconstruction and reuse of building material, with the Used Building Material Organization (UMBA) and other organizations. The conference will be held in conjunction with the Oregon Sustainability Forum. Events include an early bird one-day deconstruction workshop, denailing demonstration, a products and services trade show, and conference tracks on business and management development, deconstruction A to Z, and material sales and marketing.

Get details and registering information at the UMBA Web site: http://www.ubma.org/jsmenu.htm.

4. INTERNATIONAL ALLIANCE FIGHTS WASTE INCINERATORS

Waste incinerators are being promoted around the globe including Poland, Slovenia, India, China, Malaysia, and Puerto Rico. A new group, the Global Anti-Incineration Alliance (GAIA), is an expanding international alliance of individuals, non-governmental organizations, community-based groups, academics, and others working to end the incineration of all forms of waste and to promote alternatives. To get involved with GAIA, or for more information, e-mail one-gaia@surfshop.net.ph or visit its Web site at: http://www.no-burn.org.

Under a project with GAIA and one of its coordinators — the Multinationals Resource Center, ILSR is producing a booklet on the economic pitfalls of municipal solid waste incineration and incineration alternatives. For more information on this ILSR/GAIA project, contact Brenda Platt at bplatt@ilsr.org.

5. ASIA ANTI-INCINERATION EFFORTS PRODUCE RESULTS

In the fall of 2000, ILSR produced two reports, which outlined waste management scenarios for Metropolitan Manila and Bangkok. In these reports, ILSR focused on waste reduction, reuse, recycling, and composting as alternatives to incineration-based proposals, which each metropolitan area was considering as a means to reduce its disposal. ILSR is happy to report that the Bangkok effort reaped immediate results. In February 2001, Bangkok governor Samak Soonthoravej decided to terminate a large incinerator project. Greenpeace is urging the Bangkok government to abandon all other plans to build incinerators as a method of dealing with the city’s growing garbage problems.

ILSR has undertaken a contract with Greenpeace China, Ltd. to compare the costs of landfilling, incineration, and alternative waste-management practices (waste prevention/ recycling/ composting/ reuse). In a report, ILSR will develop a long-term plan detailing regulatory changes; alternative waste-management programs; and education and outreach strategies necessary to reduce the need for disposal in Hong Kong. As part of this project, ILSR staff person, Kelly Lease, traveled to Hong Kong for eleven days in June 2001 to meet with the clients and learn about Hong Kong’s solid waste management systems firsthand. Contact Kelly at recycling@ilsr.org to find out more information on this project.

6. POLICIES TO PROMOTE REFILLABLE BEVERAGE CONTAINERS

In Germany, citizens consume more than 70% of all drinks in refillables. In Austria, 95% of beer and 65% of soft drinks are sold in refillable containers. In Finland, refillables make up 95% of beer and 99% of soft drinks. Closer to home, many Canadian provinces promote refillables too. All beer and soft drinks produced in Prince Edward Island, for instance, are in refillable glass bottles. Throughout Canada, 91% of beer sales are in refillable bottles.

What policies promote refillable beverage containers? Which ones can best be replicated in the U.S.? What are the economic and environmental impacts of switching to refillable containers in the U.S.? Under a joint project with the GrassRoots Recycling Network (GRRN), ILSR is addressing these and other questions. GRRN will publish a booklet on the subject by the end of the year. For more information on this project, contact Brenda Platt at bplatt@ilsr.org.

7. NEW NETWORK FORMS PROMOTING ELECTRONIC TAKE-BACK

ILSR is a founding member of the newly organized Electronics Take Back! Campaign, whose purpose is to develop a campaign “roadmap” to promote producer responsibility principals and programs in the electronics industry.

The Campaign opposes requiring taxpayers to pay for electronic waste collection, recycling, and disposal. Instead, the Campaign supports the guiding principal called Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for post-consumer electronics waste. EPR shifts the burden from taxpayers to effective “take-back,” recycling and hazardous substances phase-out programs.”

The Campaign’s ultimate aims are pollution prevention and waste avoidance through a hierarchy of practices, including source reduction, reuse, re-manufacturing and recycling.

Discarded electronic equipment‹particular computers and their components‹is one of the fastest growing waste streams in the industrialized world due to growing sales and rapid obsolescence of these products. Up until know, little attention has been paid to the mountains of junk electronics and its hazardous impacts on people and the environment.

Within the network, ILSR will focus on local enterprise development through joint-ventures between private companies and community groups and public schools. ILSR’s work within the network is part of its overall EPR program. See our Web page: http://ilsr.org/recycling/epr/index.html for more on EPR.

8. OTHER RECENT ILSR PUBLICATIONS

Seeing the Light: Regaining Control of Our Electricity System is timely book by David Morris about the problems with our electric system. The book chronicles new developments and reminds us that the best way to prevent another crisis is to build a better system. Order this new book by visiting our Web site: http://www.newrules.org/energy/publications/seeing-light-regaining-control-our-electricity-system.

The Home Town Advantage by Stacy Mitchell is a new resource guide that localities can use to prevent the proliferation of chain stores and preserve local business. To order this publication visit http://www.newrules.org/journal/hta.htm.

9. ILSR INTERNSHIP POSITIONS AVAILABLE

Please check out our Web site: http://ilsr.org/interns.html for more information.