Working in good faith...SWANA/CRRA course and the definition of ZW - update?

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Caroline Eader

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Sep 24, 2021, 8:07:55 AMSep 24
to Tracie Onstad Bills, Despina M. Kreatsoulas, Lauren Molinari, Rachel Adell, GreenYes, Stop Incinerators
Tracie, working collaboratively is optimum.  This is assuming that all parties are coming to the negotiating table in good faith.

Those of us who have fought (yes, this is the appropriate word) trash incineration are tired of others who don't understand our battles (again, the correct word to use here), tell us that all we need to do is to work with the industry shills.  

I know CRRA knows what is and what isn't zero waste, so I look forward to hearing of the amendments to the course:

p. 5-1 quote: "What processing technology should be considered in a Zero Waste plan?" 

The manual explains the 3 types of technologies - physical, biological, and thermal.  Yes, thermal technologies are a disposal choice, but not a Zero Waste choice.  That vagueness should not be allowed to stand, otherwise the attendee/reader can be misled to believe thermal technologies can be included as a part of a properly designed Zero Waste plan.

Quote: "After completing this lesson, the participant will be able to:"

Please add to the skill list, "Identify technologies which are not components of a Zero Waste strategy."

 

p. 5-13 WTE Chart at top half of page, "Some pre- and post-processing may occur:"

The second bullet point should be corrected to state, " Recover [some] recyclables"  This is a subtle change that is generous,because the correct term that should be used is "minimal."  I make this distinction because of my research and knowledge of the proposed Frederick & Carroll County, Maryland incinerator, that well-informed citizens defeated in 2014:

"The proposed [Frederick] WTE facility will be constructed and operated with energy recover[y]. The singular identifying feature of mass-burn facilities is they do not process incoming waste prior to combustion, other than the removal of and recycling of bulky white goods and other bulky items that may inadvertently be delivered to the facility."  (https://www.minnpost.com/letters/2013/06/incinerators-incentives-are-burn-not-recycle)

 

p. 5-14 Please see the Mass Burn chart at the top of the page, "Combustion is not 100% efficient leading to ash" - the first bullet point states, "Typically 10% by volume of the feedstock."  

It is imperative you also include, "30% or more by weight"  

 

p. 5-15 Under "Cons"

 

Correction from "More expensive form of electricity than fossil fuel," to "The most expensive form of electricity generation." Source = "Updated Capital Costs for Electricity Generation Plants" by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Table 1: Updated Estimates of Power Plant Capital and Operating Costs" (Nov. 2010)  

 

Third to last paragraph which states, "Acknowledging these fundamentally different views [whether WTE is considered to be recycling or material diversion] is essential in any discussion of WTE as a part of Zero Waste" must be corrected to say, "discussion of using WTE OR choosing a Zero Waste strategy," [My emphasis of "or" is for your reading, but not required in the training manual.)   

p. 5-21 The last sentence needs to be deleted: "Using a combination of technologies is essential in this phase of Zero Waste program development." Again, conversion (aka burning) technologies cannot be part of the "combination" of ZW technologies, and the attendees should not be misled.

 

p. 5-22 Chart = a big No-No!

 

The chart has to be changed to remove thermal technologies as part of "Zero Waste Processing - How to Get There?"

 

Additionally, the last paragraph needs to remove these two sentences, " Any remaining residues from the MRF, MMPF, or MBT facility are then thermally processed (possibly with RFD processing as well). Ash from the thermal process is put to beneficial use.  

 

As a reminder about the so-called "beneficial use" of ash, please view Paul Connett's video.

 

Thank you,
----
Caroline Eader, Esq., M.E.R.L. (pronounced "Ader"), 



On Fri, Sep 17, 2021 at 4:17 PM Tracie Onstad Bills <tra...@crra.com> wrote:

Caroline,

 

Thanks for your email. Yes, CRRA is working with SWANA on the content.

 

I am uncertain why everything has to be a “fight” “ do I need to prepare myself to fight your "students" for the next several years about what is and is not ZW?”

 

We find working collaboratively is a better method to getting things changed.

 

I will send you a separate email regarding the updates.

 

Tracie

 

Tracie Onstad Bills

California Resource Recovery Association / Association Contractor / Executive Director

SCS Engineers / Northern California Director Sustainable Materials Management

Office: 916-441-2772, ext 1

Mobile:  408-406-1991

Tra...@crra.com

tbi...@scsengineers.com

 

CRRA Contact Information

915 L Street, Suite C-216

Sacramento, CA 95814

Phone: 916-441-2772

 

From: Caroline Eader <caroli...@gmail.com>
Sent: Thursday, September 16, 2021 6:01 AM
To: Tracie Onstad Bills <tra...@crra.com>
Cc: Despina M. Kreatsoulas <des...@crra.com>; Lauren Molinari <Lau...@crra.com>; Rachel Adell <rac...@crra.com>; GreenYes <gree...@googlegroups.com>; Stop Incinerators <stopincin...@lists.riseup.net>
Subject: Re: Any word, please? Re: SWANA/CRRA course and the definition of ZW - update?

 

Good Morning,

 

Tracie, I know you were not in your position with CRRA when this deal was struck between CRRA and SWANA.  However, I know there were concerns at the time, and now as Executive Director of CRRA I hope you will work diligently to correct these wrongs.  

 

I am not asking a rhetorical question - I would like to know if the SWANA/CRRA course will be corrected (including teaching that incineration is the antithesis to ZW), or do I need to prepare myself to fight your "students" for the next several years about what is and is not ZW?

Attached is an additional video, wherein Sara Bixby clearly says, "Yes" when asked if the definition of Zero Waste can be "very tailored", and can be interpreted as "what [zero waste] means" for Baltimore County.  Through this wishy-washy explanation of ZW, Baltimore County now thinks "its" definition of Zero Waste can include Mixed Waste Processing that makes burnable RDF.  (As compared to composting as a priority, which is only being considered as 3rd-party pilot programs.) Many of us watched the presentations given to the Baltimore County Solid Waste Task Force about "converting" trash to energy, and then wrote emails to the Task Force explaining zero waste, but then Sara Bixby undid our work with her explanation that zero waste can be whatever you want it to be.

 

Not only did Sara Bixby misrepresent zero waste, there were at least three (3) other people on the Baltimore Task Force who completed your CRRA/SWANA course; and supposedly one of them is an instructor. None of them corrected Sara Bixby's mistake:

 

Jennifer Porter - GBB

Chris Skaggs - NMWDA 

Andrew Kays - NMWDA (CRRA/SWANA ZW instructor)

 

It's one thing to have flexibility with a community that currently uses an incinerator (or other burning technology) that wants to move towards zero waste.  However, it's unacceptable to have a "zero waste course" that allows a new incinerator or "conversion" facility to be promoted because a community has decided that "what zero waste means to them" includes a brand new burning technology, instead of using the bedrock policies and programs of real zero waste.

 

If a conversation needs to be had, I would be willing to discuss this further -  303 440 9585.

 

Thank you, Tracie.

 

Sincerely,

----

Caroline Eader, Esq., M.E.R.L. (pronounced "Ader"), 

 

 

On Tue, Sep 14, 2021 at 12:37 PM Caroline Eader <caroli...@gmail.com> wrote:

Good Morning CRRA,

 

It's been a month since I last contacted you.  Did someone speak with Sara Bixby, and has she agreed to correct her statements about Zero Waste?

 

Thank you,

----

Caroline Eader, Esq. (pronounced "Ader"), 

Zero Waste for Zero Loss
Please fund my work.  You can go here to make a tax-deductible donation. Thank you!

 

 

On Sat, Aug 14, 2021 at 5:30 PM Caroline Eader <caroli...@gmail.com> wrote:

Hello All,

 

"I will talk with Sara Bixby and the SWANA training team to see about making the appropriate changes."

 

Tracie, I'm wondering if you've had a discussion with Sara Bixby about correcting her statements on the definition zero waste? Please see this video:

 

"In a local government scheme, where someone wants to look at their waste-to-energy facility as part of minimizing land disposal, and that's how they count zero waste, because they're talking about zero waste to disposal, then [SWANA is] saying they have to make up their own mind.  You know, set their own policy." ~ Sara Bixby, January 21, 2021.

 

Again, Ms. Bixby can review SWANA's definition page to see WTE is not included in SWANA's definition, and of course the first peer-reviewed internationally accepted definition can be found on ZWIA's website.

 

Also, is there now a commitment by CRRA staff and board to immediately amend Chapter 5 of the CRRA course, please?  (FYI, I pointed out these mistakes four years ago.)

 

Thank you for an update.

 

Sincerely,

 

----

Caroline Eader, Esq. (pronounced "Ader"), 

Zero Waste for Zero Loss
Please fund my work.  You can go here to make a tax-deductible donation. Thank you!

 

 

On Fri, Jul 30, 2021 at 3:11 PM Tracie Onstad Bills <tra...@crra.com> wrote:

Caroline,

 

Thank you for sending this email, I will be sure to share with our Board. As I mentioned, we started working with Gary Liss on changes to Chapter 5. There is a process that CRRA must follow, and ultimately SWANA has the final say on content. With that said, we do understand the importance of using resources to its utmost higher and better use, as noted in our Mission, Vision and Goals.

 

I will talk with Sara Bixby and the SWANA training team to see about making the appropriate changes.

 

Tracie

 

Tracie Onstad Bills

California Resource Recovery Association / Association Contractor / Executive Director

SCS Engineers / Northern California Director Sustainable Materials Management

Office: 916-441-2772, ext 1

Mobile:  408-406-1991

Tra...@crra.com

tbi...@scsengineers.com

 

CRRA Contact Information

915 L Street, Suite C-216

Sacramento, CA 95814

Phone: 916-441-2772

 

From: Caroline Eader <caroli...@gmail.com>
Sent: Friday, July 30, 2021 11:55 AM
To: Tracie Onstad Bills <tra...@crra.com>; Despina M. Kreatsoulas <des...@crra.com>; Lauren Molinari <Lau...@crra.com>; Rachel Adell <rac...@crra.com>
Cc: GreenYes <gree...@googlegroups.com>; Stop Incinerators <stopincin...@lists.riseup.net>
Subject: SWANA/CRRA course and the definition of ZW

 

Hello CRRA Staff and Board Members, 

 

First, thanks to Tracie for her emails explaining CRRA's position on the CRRA/SWANA "Zero Waste Principles and Practices Certification Program" course content. I'm glad Chapter 1 of the training manual has been updated, but I still would like to understand why Chapter 5 still is not amended.  No, Covid is not an excuse - years ago I made the following suggestions:

p. 5-1 quote: "What processing technology should be considered in a Zero Waste plan?" 

The manual explains the 3 types of technologies - physical, biological, and thermal.  Yes, thermal technologies are a disposal choice, but not a Zero Waste choice.  That vagueness should not be allowed to stand, otherwise the attendee/reader can be misled to believe thermal technologies can be included as a part of a properly designed Zero Waste plan.

Quote: "After completing this lesson, the participant will be able to:"

Please add to the skill list, "Identify technologies which are not components of a Zero Waste strategy."

 

p. 5-13 WTE Chart at top half of page, "Some pre- and post-processing may occur:"

The second bullet point should be corrected to state, " Recover [some] recyclables"  This is a subtle change that is generous,because the correct term that should be used is "minimal."  I make this distinction because of my research and knowledge of the proposed Frederick & Carroll County, Maryland incinerator, that well-informed citizens defeated in 2014:

"The proposed [Frederick] WTE facility will be constructed and operated with energy recover[y]. The singular identifying feature of mass-burn facilities is they do not process incoming waste prior to combustion, other than the removal of and recycling of bulky white goods and other bulky items that may inadvertently be delivered to the facility."  (https://www.minnpost.com/letters/2013/06/incinerators-incentives-are-burn-not-recycle)

 

p. 5-14 Please see the Mass Burn chart at the top of the page, "Combustion is not 100% efficient leading to ash" - the first bullet point states, "Typically 10% by volume of the feedstock."  

It is imperative you also include, "30% or more by weight"  

 

p. 5-15 Under "Cons"

 

Correction from "More expensive form of electricity than fossil fuel," to "The most expensive form of electricity generation." Source = "Updated Capital Costs for Electricity Generation Plants" by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Table 1: Updated Estimates of Power Plant Capital and Operating Costs" (Nov. 2010)  

 

Third to last paragraph which states, "Acknowledging these fundamentally different views [whether WTE is considered to be recycling or material diversion] is essential in any discussion of WTE as a part of Zero Waste" must be corrected to say, "discussion of using WTE OR choosing a Zero Waste strategy," [My emphasis of "or" is for your reading, but not required in the training manual.)   

p. 5-21 The last sentence needs to be deleted: "Using a combination of technologies is essential in this phase of Zero Waste program development." Again, conversion (aka burning) technologies cannot be part of the "combination" of ZW technologies, and the attendees should not be misled.

 

p. 5-22 Chart = a big No-No!

 

The chart has to be changed to remove thermal technologies as part of "Zero Waste Processing - How to Get There?"

 

Additionally, the last paragraph needs to remove these two sentences, " Any remaining residues from the MRF, MMPF, or MBT facility are then thermally processed (possibly with RFD processing as well). Ash from the thermal process is put to beneficial use.  

 

As a reminder about the so-called "beneficial use" of ash, please view Paul Connett's video.

 

I would appreciate CRRA understanding the effects of your course on people working for zero waste, as opposed to "making fuel."  The above suggestions may seem like minor points to all of you, but are trying to close the windows of opportunities for building expensive and polluting burning technologies. For example, the current scheme being peddled as a "Zero Waste Strategy" in Maryland is mixed waste processing (a dirty MRF).  

 

Please see the attached about Mixed Waste Processing as a recommendation from the Baltimore County, Maryland Solid Waste Work Group which includes Sara Bixby, SWANA Deputy Executive Director as a work group member.  In this video please see Bixby explain zero waste:

 

"In a local government scheme, where someone wants to look at their waste-to-energy facility as part of minimizing land disposal, and that's how they count zero waste, because they're talking about zero waste to disposal, then [SWANA is] saying they have to make up their own mind.  You know, set their own policy." ~ Sara Bixby, January 21, 2021.

 

Bixby jumps in to correct the definition of zero waste, yet, she is contradicting the most basic definition of zero waste - the one posted on SWANA's website. 

 

To everyone involved with CRRA and/or this course:

 

Is CRRA okay with someone "making up [their] own mind" about WTE counting as zero waste?

 

What can CRRA do to reel in the statements of Sara Bixby (who acts as the de facto expert on ZW, possibly because of the CRRA/SWANA course)?

Why isn't CRRA's course about zero waste, instead of including the subtle allowances to the incinerator advocates?  

How can CRRA make it clear that incineration is not part of the definition of Zero Wasteplease?

 

Why can't CRRA make it clear to SWANA that there are two distinct paths, and the ONLY one that CRRA wants involvement with is zero waste?  (I do not believe anyone has told SWANA to disavow incineration, but it should not be confused with ZW.) 

 

Please advise.

 

Thank you,

 

----

Caroline Eader, Esq. (pronounced "Ader"), 

Zero Waste for Zero Loss
Please fund my work.  You can go here to make a tax-deductible donation. Thank you!

 

On Thu, Apr 1, 2021 at 5:34 PM California Resource Recovery Association <cr...@wildapricot.org> wrote:Image removed by sender.

 

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For more information, visit www.CRRA.com

 

ZERO WASTE PRINCIPLES & PRACTICES CERTIFICATION COURSE
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CRRA in partnership with SWANA presents the Zero Waste Principles and Practices Certification Program.  THIS COURSE WILL BE PRESENTED ONLINE VIA GOTOMEETING.  

For over 40 years CRRA has been a leader in Zero Waste education in California.  Now, joining forces with SWANA, CRRA offers a new professional development course that will certify professionals in Zero Waste Principles and Practices throughout North America.

 

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