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Trash - July 29

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German waste disposal industry faces crisis

DPA Agency, Deutsche Welle
Since legislation went into force in 2005 banning untreated household garbage from landfills, incineration plants have been built all over the country. More, in fact, than it presently needs.

"In effect, the flow of garbage has been diverted into incineration," explained economist Christoph Partisch of Dresdner Bank in Frankfurt. What is more, solid waste can be a cheap fuel alternative to gas and oil, which are soaring in price...

...The result is likely to be a shortage of solid waste to feed the furnaces of Germany...

...The German waste-disposal industry federation says about 100 new incineration plants are being planned around the country.

It warns that such plants will only be economic if the owners obtain long-term "supply" contracts with industry and other sources of waste. A spokesman, Karsten Hintzmann, said the group would like to see an end to government regulation of waste disposal.

"We should be able to 'trade' in garbage as if it were an ordinary commodity," he said.
(22 July 2008)
One man's trash is another man's commodity-SO

Feed from waste

Risa Maeda, The Star Online (Malaysia)
WITH animal feed and fertiliser prices at record highs, Japan’s food recycling industry is seeing greater demand than ever before for pellets for pigs and poultry made from recycled leftovers.

Japan disposes of some 20 millions tonnes of food waste a year, five times as much as world food aid to the poor in 2007. The leftovers used to be dumped in land fills where they decomposed and produced the greenhouse gas methane.

But government legislation since 2001 has spurred a recycling industry that turns food scraps into animal feed and fertiliser, or ships leftovers off to facilities where the methane gas produced by rotting food is harnessed to power industrial plants...
(29 July 2008)

Houston resists recycling, and independent streak is cited

Adam B. Ellick, New York Times
HOUSTON — While most large American cities have started ambitious recycling programs that have sharply reduced the amount of trash bound for landfills, Houston has not.

Recycling Rates Vary Widely Among Cities The city’s shimmering skyline may wear the label of the world’s energy capital, but deep in Houston’s Dumpsters lies a less glamorous superlative: It is the worst recycler among the United States’ 30 largest cities.

Houston recycles just 2.6 percent of its total waste, according to a study this year by Waste News, a trade magazine. By comparison, San Francisco and New York recycle 69 percent and 34 percent of their waste respectively. Moreover, 25,000 Houston residents have been waiting as long as 10 years to get recycling bins from the city...
(29 July 2008)

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