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RE: Carbon Emissions



Title: Message
Hello P2Techers:
 
Sara in Iowa asks some interesting questions about estimating carbon emissions when creating virgin and recycled content products.  I'm sure she will get some useful information from our forum.
 
I am writing to ask the prevention corrolaries of her questions...
 
 What are the carbon emissions that are prevented when a ton of paper, aluminum, plastic, glass or steel products are not generated in the first place? 
 
The questions would go something like this...
We have an opportunity here in Minnesota to inject much-needed resources energy into our solid waste source reduction efforts by providing quantifyable estimates of carbon emissions PREVENTED when a ton of solid waste is not generated in the first place.  Our Governor-appointed "Minnesota Climate Change Advisory Group" -- see http://www.mnclimatechange.us/ for more information -- is wanting from us concrete information about the role solid waste source reduction can and should play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
 
We have a pretty good handle on the composition (e.g., fiber, plastic, metals, glass and other) of our solid waste steam.  What we do not have a handle on is the estimate of the carbon emissions that are prevented when a ton of solid waste is not generated in the first place.  Surely, the reductions resulting from prevention far outpace those from recycling or other waste management methods.  We need real estimates to back this up.
 
Any help out there would be much appreciated,
 
Kevin McDonald
State of MN
651-297-1282
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To Whom it May Concern,
I am attempting to do some research in finding out the difference in carbon emissions in creating products; for virgin products and recycled products.

Hopefully you can point me in the right direction.
Here is specifically what I am looking for:

And so forth for plastic, glass and steel. Can you offer any assistance or guide me in the correct direction?
Thank you for your time and I hope you have a wonderful day.

Sincerely,

Sara James
Communications Department
Metro Waste Authority
300 East Locust, Suite 100
Des Moines, Iowa 50309
515-323-6524 (direct)
515-244-0021 (office)
515-244-9477 (fax)
e-mail address: sja@mwatoday.com
Web site: www.mwatoday.com