Making waste reduction work


Published: Monday, March 18, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, March 15, 2013 at 4:29 p.m.

This is in response to Dwight Adams' Feb. 18 column, "Turning waste into products."

We applaud any efforts to reduce waste. We agree that the drive to attract processors and manufacturers of goods made from recyclables to Gainesville will offer local recycling companies more stable markets. This will reduce transportation costs and lower the carbon footprint, which is a good plan. This will improve the economics of recycling locally and create new local jobs.

In response to the University of Florida's zero waste goals and the state's "Strive for 75" campaign, a group of local recycling professionals have assembled a team in order to brainstorm and implement innovative and forward-thinking ideas required for the success of any waste reduction effort. Members of the Sustainable Waste Stream Solutions Team include Bearded Brothers, Gainesville Compost, Recycling Services of America, Technology Conservation Group, Tropical Recycling and Wood Resource Recovery.

Regarding the opinion that food waste and organics are not being recycled locally, there are, in fact, local companies already recycling source-separated organics. Additionally, all products made from source-separated organics recycling are superior to products made from organics separated from single stream municipal solid waste. Also, already digested biosolids from wastewater will not generate enough methane to warrant the expense of recovery.

It is better to compost with air and not create the methane at all. It is this team's opinion that aerobic processing is the more economically feasible alternative solution for organics recycling in Alachua County. The communities that Adams cited are much larger than ours, creating the volumes necessary to make methane production economically feasible.

It is our team's desire to be part of the process, along with our local governments, to create solutions to the challenges we face in waste reduction and recycling. We feel that it is far better for Alachua County and local municipalities to partner with the local recycling companies in order to increase recycling and reduce the waste being landfilled rather than competing with them by ordinance using flow control, which is not good for the environment, the local business climate or the citizens of Alachua County.

Mike Myers,

Bearded Brothers

Chris Cano,

Gainesville Compost

Rod Ingram,

Recycling Services of America

Jon Eskew,

Recycling Services of America

Don Andes,

Technology Conservation Group

Bob Garrett,

Tropical Recycling

Levin Gaston,

Wood Resource Recovery

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