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Re: E-M:/ Applicable to Michigan municipal waste?



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Enviro-Mich message from Barbara Jean Madsen <bjmadsen@umich.edu>
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Lowell,

	Michigan does have a law that makes at least a small step in this
direction, by banning organic yard wastes from landfills. As a result of
this law, many municipalities and townships now have large-scale
composting operations, which earn a part of their keep by selling the
compost they produce (the Ann Arbor city compost is beautiful stuff, and
cheaper than anything you could buy in a bag!).

	Of course, that doesn't include household compostable waste (like
food waste), and doesn't address the issue of recycling other materials.
There are some significant logistic and health problems to be solved,
though.  Animal products (meat, fats, bones, etc.) and grease do not
compost well and tend to attract scavenging animals.  Many residents
(especially those in apartments) have no place to store even the
compostable vegetable wastes for more than a few days.  Recycling requires
different kinds of materials to be separated; many residents are unwilling
or unable to do this, so there would be a cost for the labor to do this at
some central facility.  Perhaps most seriously, there would need to be
some way of dealing with toxic materials.  There are already problems with
people flushing toxic materials down the toilet, and sewage-treatment
plants not being able to deal with all of these substances.

	Certainly recycling everything in one way or another is an
excellent goal, but it's going to take a lot of work to approach this
goal, given the variety and volume of wastes we create.

	--Barb Madsen


On Fri, 1 Nov 2002, Lowell Prag wrote:

> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Enviro-Mich message from Lowell Prag <lprag@mail.msen.com>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Hello,
>
> Given all the protest in Michigan regarding landfills and incinerators
> for the processing our municipal waste, below is a link to a study by the
> European Commission to move those countries towards the composting of all
> their municipal waste.
>
> In light of Michigan proposing to spend $10 billion on clean water:
>
> I should think this study and the many other studies with the same
> conclusion, should convince us to also spend a similar amount on banning
> landfills and incinerators in Michigan, by adapting state-wide composting
> technology for all our municipal organic waste and the re-cycling of all
> our non-organic waste.
>
> Here is the report by the European Commission:
> http://www.environmental-center.com/articles/article1163/article1163.htm
>
> Lowell Prag
>
>
>
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