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P2 For Waste Handlers



    FROM: R. Illig
    RE: P2 For Waste Handlers
    
    Waste handlers should look more to hauling and handling waste 
    rather than incineration, treatment, or disposal.  Everything  
    changes over time and it should be no supprise that picking up 
    waste to haul to the dump, or incinerator, may not be the smooth 
    ride it once was.  Although industrial waste minimization efforts 
    are gaining momentum, commercial and residential P2 is not as 
    developed.  There is still plenty of waste to manage out there.  
    Also, there are, and probable will always be, some wastes that are 
    very resistent to reduction efforts...which leads to reuse, 
    reclamation and recycling alternatives.
    
    Reuse, reclamation, and recycling (RRR) still requires containers, 
    and the hauling of materials from location to location.  In many 
    instances, these materials need processed prior to reuse or 
    reclamation.  Perhaps waste handlers should consider the 
    processing of waste rather than the incineration or disposal.
    
    One Pa. landfill had a plan for a major waste processing 
    operation.  Incoming waste was to be unloaded and essentially 
    picked through for valuable commodities...virgin wood, scrap 
    metal, compostable materials, plastics, glass, etc., etc.  The 
    amount of waste going for disposal was reduced, which extended the 
    life of the landfill.  The separated materials were managed 
    accordingly.  (I'm still not sure just how well it worked.)   
    
    Waste handlers are in a position to have some keen insights into 
    the facilities with which they do business.  Until one talkes to 
    an industry about P2, most of them have very little idea about 
    exactly what ends up in their dumpsters.  I would expect waste 
    handlers to have some insights in this area.  Also, in Pa., a 
    waste handler could get a permit to allow for the alternate 
    handling (other than incineration or disposal) of waste...much 
    like the way a scrap metal broker acts as middle-man...all they 
    need is an homogeneous waste (unless they want to sort through it)  
    and a use for the waste.  How many businesses try to go around 
    their scrap dealer directly to the smelter?  A waste handler, 
    armed with a permit, may actually have more protection.