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RE: Re[2]: (All) Waste Prevention Technology

IF IT'S NOT A PRODUCT IT'S A WASTE !!!   I define a product as raw
material (any media including labor and energy) that you are not getting
more than you paid for it.  Under this definition, recycled material
usually is a waste.

If you have problems with this, fire away!

>From: 	RMichalo@conorpac.com[SMTP:RMichalo@conorpac.com]
>Sent: 	Monday, January 12, 1998 12:11 PM
>To: 	p2tech@great-lakes.net
>Subject: 	Re[2]: (All) Waste Prevention Technology 
>     The discussion about the prevention of waste prompts me to ask several 
>     questions:
>     1.    Does anyone have a good definition of waste?
>     My best definition of waste (so far) has been: "Any materials or forms 
>     of energy received which do not become a part of a desirable product 
>     or byproduct must, by default, be waste."  With this definition, I 
>     can't think of any technology which completely prevents waste.  There 
>     are of course many which are significant improvements over existing 
>     practices.  One might describe these as quantum leaps versus 
>     incremental improvements.
>     2.   Someone said zero discharge/zero waste would challenge the laws 
>     of thermodynamics.  Does anyone know of any work done on the 
>     thermodynamics of waste generation?  The second law of thermodynamics 
>     states that all finite processes result in a universe which is more 
>     disordered.  I interpret this to mean that all processes have some 
>     thermodynamic inefficiency.  Is this another possible definition of 
>     waste?, i.e. waste is the thermodynamic inefficiency of a process.  
>     This may sound theoretical, but if we estimated the thermodynamic 
>     inefficiencies of processes, we could know which are the most truly 
>     inefficient ones and which have the potential for the greatest
>     Therefore we could target research in P2 technologies to address the
>     inefficient processes and generate ideas as to how to reduce waste.
>     3.  Someone also mentioned risk.  Does anyone know of any risk
>     work used to prioritize P2 technology, technology development,
>     programs or regulatory initiatives?
>     Thanks,
>     Robert Michalowicz
>     Conor Pacific Environmental
>     Toronto, Canada
>     rmichalo@conorpac.com
>______________________________ Reply Separator
>Subject: Re: (All) Waste Prevention Technology
>Author:  mail@ih (Michael Keefe) {keefem@psinet.com} at MHS
>Date:    1/9/98 9:57 PM
>I'll throw in another couple of cents regarding this dialogue, consistent 
>with the M. Callahan's recent response...  I don't know that narrow focus on 
>"waste prevention technology" as defined in this dialogue really gets you 
>anywhere since it seemingly rests on an assumption that there is such a 
>thing as a zero-discharge/zero waste process, which I've never seen and I 
>believe would challenge some fundamental laws of thermodynamics.  Our goal, 
>in practice, is risk reduction.  Sure, there may be some wastes associated 
>with P2 techniques/technologies, such as powder coating, but, the waste 
>volume or toxicity is lower and more often than not substantiated by total 
>cost savings.  I hate to sound like an "incrementalist" but that's where the 
>"rubber meets the road".
>Michael Keefe
>Tetra Tech EM Inc.
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Callahan, Mike <Mike.Callahan@jacobs.com>
>To: 'p2tech@great-lakes.net' <p2tech@great-lakes.net> 
>Date: Friday, January 09, 1998 8:29 PM
>Subject: RE: (All) Waste Prevention Technology
>>I'll throw in my two cents,
>>No technology "prevents" waste unless you limit your discussion to a 
>>specific waste you are trying to prevent.  Powder coatings eliminate 
>>solvent fumes and liquid wastes but they create dust and solid waste. 
>>Solvent coatings can be air dried while powder coatings must be heated 
>>to effect cure.  Powder coatings also require a much cleaner surface so 
>>that cleaning wastes may be greater.
>>Every change has its trade-offs of benefits and disadvantages.  If we 
>>could sum them all up and establish one numeric rating of "pollution", 
>>then we could determine if a given technology actually prevented 
>>pollution compared to another for a given unit of production.
>>Since there is no easy indicator, industry relys on the costs society 
>>places on each raw material and waste stream.  In Europe at the turn of 
>>the century, raw materials were scarce and labor was cheap.  That's why 
>>so many inventions focused on ways to save material.  In the US, the 
>>opposite was true.  Most inventions were labor saving devices because 
>>labor was scarce.
>>Given a certain set of raw material, labor, energy, and disposal costs, 
>>an engineer will seek out the optimum mix (i.e., the lowest cost per 
>>unit of production).  Many of the P2 successes we are now finding are 
>>not so much due to any new technology but are a response to changing 
>>constraints and costs.  As waste treatment and disposal costs increase, 
>>the optimum setting may allow for more usage of labor and/or energy to 
>>offset these increased costs.
>>Just a few thoughts,
>>> ----------
>>> From: rpojasek@sprynet.com[SMTP:rpojasek@sprynet.com] 
>>> Sent: Friday, January 09, 1998 4:37PM
>>> To: p2tech@great-lakes.net
>>> Subject: Re: (All) Waste Prevention Technology 
>>> Many companies switched to powder paints to get away from the VOC and 
>>> Title V
>>> regs only to have large quantities of waste powder paiint to dispose 
>>> of.  P2TECH
>>> archives tell the story of the frustrating time these firms have had 
>>> disposing
>>> of these wastes.  I am not familiar with UV coatings.  How many firms 
>>> have been
>>> sold a solution to their air problem,only to be given a 
>>> solid/hazardous waste
>>> problem?    Are UV coatings free of worker health and safety problems? 
>>> Have
>>> these coatings taken over a large share of the market because they are 
>>> "waste
>>> free?"  Have they been developed by people in the industry as 
>>> improvements to
>>> the line or are they developed by people seeking to change the 
>>> marketplace?  I
>>> do not know if this is a good example.  Does anyone else know more 
>>> about these
>>> to help me believe that they are indeed waste PREVENTERS? 
>>> Bob Pojasek
>>> rpojasek@sprynet.com