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RE: Questioning the P2 Hierarchy

In the early days (@1984-86), there was much discussion over definitions and
hierarchy as it related to waste minimization.  Waste minimization split
into source reduction (product changes and source control) and recycling
(reuse and reclamation).  Source reduction was ranked higher over recycling
in terms of environmental desirability.

In simple terms, it's reduce, reuse, recycle.  For the non-purist, you can
add treat to the end of this list.  As you move down the chain, your energy
and environmental impacts go.   The recycling of a waste material takes more
energy than if you can reuse it as is, and the reuse of a waste material
takes more energy than if you reduce the initial generation of waste.

What amazes me is that someone thinks this is worth a masters degree.  I
believe all these relationships were discussed in the USEPA Report to
Congress (EPA/530-SW-86-033) back in 1986.  A little digging through the
popular literature around 1988-92 would uncover many pertinent articles.

The law of entropy is not the issue.  The needed study is why do people tend
to think in the reverse order ?  Recycling may use more energy than source
reduction but it tends to take less brain power and dedication.  Its easy to
throw something in a still and push a button, but to eliminate the use of
some material takes creative effort.  This is not an engineering problem,
it's a social problem.

Just my two cents,


> ----------
> From: 	Kevin Dick[SMTP:dick@unr.edu]
> Reply To: 	Kevin Dick
> Sent: 	Wednesday, October 21, 1998 9:47 AM
> To: 	p2tech@great-lakes.net
> Cc: 	tw1712@erols.com
> Subject: 	Re: Questioning the P2 Hierarchy
> What P2 Hierarchy??
> The Pollution Prevention Act includes an environmental management
> hierarchy which identifies source reduction (P2) as the preferred
> environmental management technique.  To call this a P2 hierarchy trashes
> the whole concept of pollution prevention.  Not that it hasn't been
> done, but it certainly shouldn't be referred to as a P2 hierarchy in a
> masters thesis.
> Kevin Dick
> (702) 689-6677