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No Waste Technology



At the risk of keeping this discussion going for a little while longer, I will 
note that DuPont has set a ZERO WASTE goal for its facilities (maybe they have 
this on their web site).  Incremental improvement will not get them there 
quickly.  GE has instituted a "six sigma program."  They currently have about 
35,000 defects per million (3 sigma).  They are trying to go to 3.5 defects per 
million (6 sigma) in 5 years (See Forbes, 1/26/98 p.44).  I have spoken to some 
of their environmental people who believe this program will be applied to wastes 
as a defect.  Xerox has a goal of zero waste factories (check out their website 
at www.xerox.com).  The paper industry has been looking at minimum effluent 
mills (TAPPI Press, 1996).  There is a great note on GREEN CHEMISTRY in C&EN 
(ACS) in the December 22, 1997 issue (p.47).  There are making things with 
totally new pathways eliminating large amounts of waste along the way.  Will 
TetraTech or other large engineering firms be working on these projects if they 
are so worried about the laws of thermodynamics?  We need new technology in some 
of these cases, totally new ways to make the things we want.  Finding "safe" 
substitutes will only get us new wastes.  Why have large companies been flocking 
in this direction and the P2 community is refusing to budge?  By the way, we 
have received some good examples along the way with this discussion.  I am 
surprised at the resistance to this concept by some members of the list.  

Bob Pojasek
rpojasek@sprynet.com