composting

WasteExpo 2021, Las Vegas

June 28, 2021

Save the Date!  WasteExpo 2021 will now take place June 28-30, 2021, at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

WasteExpo’s conference will provide education and training opportunities, Spotlight Sessions that explore top industry trends, Nothing Wasted! inspired talks from a wide array of thought leaders and visionaries, and four half-day workshops on: Zero Waste Certified Training, Food Waste & Organics Diversion Program Development, Safety, and Recycling.

Check back for details as the conference takes shape.

Visit the event website for details and registration information

 

 

Posted by Laura Dorn at 8:00 am

FREE Webinar: Staying Ahead of Odor Management at Solid Waste Facilities to Avoid Ramifications

January 18, 2021

Staying Ahead of Odor Management at Solid Waste Facilities to Avoid Ramifications

FREE LIVE WEBINAR & Q/A

Landfills, compost facilities, transfer stations, and renewable energy plants are cognizant of odor issues and strive to minimize odors. Proactive odor management is critical to the continued success and operation of these facilities.

More so than ever before, the solid waste industry faces complex and challenging odor issues based upon public, regulatory, and legal actions. Since odors are generally enforced through nuisance regulations, compliance can be difficult to achieve, not to mention almost impossible to define. Enforcement of odor nuisances is subjective, usually at the discretion of an environmental inspector or Air Pollution Control Officer, and often based upon citizen complaints. When citizen complaints mount, and enforcement action is leveraged, lawsuits often surface as an added ongoing challenge to waste facility operations. Now politicians are demanding action and using alleged odor violations as part of their environmental platforms. Facing odor issues can be costly and threaten the intended land-use designs that waste facilities require to serve their local communities.

DATE: Thursday, January 21, 2021

TIME: 2 p.m. ET

Click to Register

 You will receive a private link to attend. Share this page with others, but your private link from Zoom is only for you.

Register for SCS Engineers’ January webinar to learn more about the proactive strategies and practices you can implement at your critical solid waste facilities. This free webinar will help you develop capabilities to assess the potential for odor issues and, by doing so, set realistic benchmarks toward cost-effective and meaningful mitigation measures.

Our panelists bring comprehensive expertise to the table, including facility design and planning, technical experience in air quality compliance and pollutant dispersion and air measurement programs, atmospheric dispersion and transport of airborne pollutants, particularly in the area of complex terrain. They will provide decades of strategies, resources, and best practices and technologies based on successful solutions that help support your facility as you prepare for, and likely will, experience odor complaints.

The team answers questions throughout the presentation, and the second portion of the program is devoted to Q&A and idea exchange.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

FREE Webinar: Staying Ahead of Odor Management at Solid Waste Facilities to Avoid Ramifications

January 13, 2021

Register for SCS Engineers’ January webinar to learn more about the proactive strategies and practices you can implement at your critical solid waste facilities. This free webinar will help you develop capabilities to assess the potential for odor issues and, by doing so, set realistic benchmarks toward cost-effective and meaningful mitigation measures.

Thurs., Jan. 21, 2021   

TIME: 2 p.m. ET

Click here to register

FREE LIVE WEBINAR & Q/A

Landfills, compost facilities, transfer stations, and renewable energy plants are cognizant of odor issues and strive to minimize odors. Proactive odor management is critical to the continued success and operation of these facilities.

More so than ever before, the solid waste industry faces complex and challenging odor issues based upon public, regulatory, and legal actions. Since odors are generally enforced through nuisance regulations, compliance can be difficult to achieve, not to mention almost impossible to define. Enforcement of odor nuisances is subjective, usually at the discretion of an environmental inspector or Air Pollution Control Officer, and often based upon citizen complaints. When citizen complaints mount, and enforcement action is leveraged, lawsuits often surface as an added ongoing challenge to waste facility operations. Now politicians are demanding action and using alleged odor violations as part of their environmental platforms. Facing odor issues can be costly and threaten the intended land-use designs that waste facilities require to serve their local communities.

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

FREE Webinar: Staying Ahead of Odor Management at Solid Waste Facilities to Avoid Ramifications

January 7, 2021

Register for SCS Engineers’ January webinar to learn more about the proactive strategies and practices you can implement at your critical solid waste facilities. This free webinar will help you develop capabilities to assess the potential for odor issues and, by doing so, set realistic benchmarks toward cost-effective and meaningful mitigation measures.

Thurs., Jan. 21, 2021   

TIME: 2 p.m. ET

Click here to register

FREE LIVE WEBINAR & Q/A

Landfills, compost facilities, transfer stations, and renewable energy plants are cognizant of odor issues and strive to minimize odors. Proactive odor management is critical to the continued success and operation of these facilities.

More so than ever before, the solid waste industry faces complex and challenging odor issues based upon public, regulatory, and legal actions. Since odors are generally enforced through nuisance regulations, compliance can be difficult to achieve, not to mention almost impossible to define. Enforcement of odor nuisances is subjective, usually at the discretion of an environmental inspector or Air Pollution Control Officer, and often based upon citizen complaints. When citizen complaints mount, and enforcement action is leveraged, lawsuits often surface as an added ongoing challenge to waste facility operations. Now politicians are demanding action and using alleged odor violations as part of their environmental platforms. Facing odor issues can be costly and threaten the intended land-use designs that waste facilities require to serve their local communities.

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

You asked for it and we’re delivering – ODOR MANAGEMENT – the next SCS free webinar

December 30, 2020

Staying Ahead of Odor Management at Solid Waste Facilities to Avoid Ramifications

Register for SCS Engineers’ January webinar to learn more about the proactive strategies and practices you can implement at your critical solid waste facilities. This free webinar will help you develop capabilities to assess the potential for odor issues and, by doing so, set realistic benchmarks toward cost-effective and meaningful mitigation measures.

DATE: Thursday, January 21, 2021    TIME: 2 p.m. ET

Click here to register

Our panelists bring comprehensive expertise to the table, including facility design and planning, technical experience in air quality compliance and pollutant dispersion and air measurement programs, atmospheric dispersion and transport of airborne pollutants, particularly in the area of complex terrain. They will provide decades of strategies, resources, and best practices and technologies based on successful solutions that help support your facility as you prepare for, and likely will, experience odor complaints.

The team answers questions throughout the presentation, and the second portion of the program is devoted to Q&A and idea exchange.

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

ISWA Roadmap for Sustainable Waste Management in Developing Countries

December 9, 2020

The International Solid Waste Management Association (ISWA) is hosting a virtual presentation on Sustainable Waste Management in Developing Countries on December 9.

Agenda

  • 5 min Introduction from SCS Engineers Vice President, James Law, Chair WGL
  • 40 min presentation from Professor Sahadat Hossain
  • 15 min Q&A (moderated by James Law)

Sustainable waste management is a major issue for both developed and developing countries. Even though source reduction or recycling is the preferred choice of waste management, over 70% of solid waste is openly dumped or landfilled globally. The availability of land/space for building waste management facilities (landfills, composting, recycling, and/or Waste to Energy, WTE) can constrain the decision making. However, we need to pay special attention to both the availability of land/space and the applicability of technology in a specific region (based on waste characteristics). What works for developed countries like the USA or Europe or Japan, South Korea may not be applicable to Asia, Africa or Latin American countries because of the waste characteristics. The webinar will present and discuss roadways for sustainable waste management in developing countries.

Click for more information and registration

 

 

Posted by Laura Dorn at 9:00 am

WasteExpo 2020 Now Digital Event – Together Online

September 14, 2020

WASTE EXPO 2020 is now a digital event called WasteExpo Together Online, and will be held September 14-17.

The conference will feature a business forum and 20 virtual sessions on food recovery, composting, organics recycling, including the following presentations by SCS Professionals.

The Food Recovery Forum (FRF) will cover the progress of food waste prevention and reduction, including these presentations by SCS professionals  at the Reducing Food Waste and Increasing Recovery in Municipal, Regional, and State Programs sessions on Tuesday, September 15 – 2:15 pm – 3:00 pm EST:

  • SCS Vice President Michelle Leonard, will co-present with Judi Gregory, Go2Zero Strategies on Food Recycling and Rescue – Los Angeles County’s Three-Pronged Approach 
  • SCS Project Manager, Lisa Coelho, will cover Community Based Social Marketing (CBSM) for Food Waste Prevention and Food Recovery Programs in Santa Clara County and Central Contra Costa County

At WasteExpo Together Online (WTO) these two sessions will air on Wednesday, September 16:

  • SCS Vice Presidents, Pat Sullivan and Ray Huff, will discuss Comparison of Organic Waste Management Options in Terms of Air Quality and GHG Impacts at the Anaerobic Digestion, Composting, Successful Case Studies, and Comparison of Organic Waste Management  session – 12:30 pm EST
  • SCS Project Director, Tracie Bills, will moderate the session on A Balancing Act: Municipalities Talk Waste & Recycling (Ginger Spencer – Phoenix, AZ; Tori Carle – Charlotte, NC; John Welch – Dane County, WI) – 1:30 pm EST

Click here for the full agenda and registration information.

 

 

Posted by Laura Dorn at 8:00 am

Recycling, the Comeback Kid

August 28, 2020

changing recycling programs and the catalysts behind new innovations - infographic by SCS Engineers

Co-authors: Karen Luken of Economic Environmental Solutions International, an SCS consultant with Krista Long, Mike Miller, Anastasia Welch of SCS Engineers.

In 1987, the Mobro barge was carrying six million pounds of New York garbage. Its final destination was North Carolina, but the state turned it away. The Mobro barge spent the next five months adrift – rejected by six states and three foreign countries. The plight of the “Garbage Barge” was covered by the mainstream media throughout the summer. This unprecedented attention to trash generated a heated national debate about landfill capacity and recycling to reduce the municipal solid waste (MSW) stream. This dialogue swiftly and permanently transformed recycling in the U.S.

Between 1988 and 1992 alone, the number of curbside recycling programs increased from 1,050 to 4,354. Today, 49 U.S. states ban at least one product from landfill disposal, and twenty-seven states and the District of Columbia have at least one mandatory recycling requirement. The U.S. recycling rate has steadily increased from the Garbage Barge era; by 2017, the U.S. recycling rate reached 35.2 percent, with more than 94 million tons diverted from landfill disposal (67 million tons recycled and 27 million tons composted).

The U.S. was becoming increasingly proficient at collecting recyclables; however, our performance in domestically remanufacturing these resources into valuable commodities was less than stellar. China was the main destination for U.S. recyclables for most of the early twenty-first century. A number of factors contributed to this, including:

  • The growing need for metal, paper, and plastics in China’s expanding manufacturing industry;
  • Lax environmental regulations;
  • Cheap labor; and,
  • Inexpensive transportation of recyclable materials using shipping containers that would have been returned to China empty.

By 2018, China was the top importer of U.S. fiber recyclables, buying 2.73 million tons of U.S. corrugated cardboard during the first half of 2018 and 1.4 million tons of all other U.S.-sourced recovered fiber during the same time. The U.S. became dependent on China to process fiber recyclables, which contributed to the closure of 117 American fiber mills and the elimination of 223,000 jobs since 2000.

Sending plastics to China also impeded the U.S. progression of advanced plastic-recovery technologies, such as gasification and pyrolysis. Products created by these technologies can have a market value that exceeds the cost of collection and processing. This was not always the case when selling plastics to China, as this market could be highly volatile. Even with unpredictable revenues, recycling companies perceived China as an eternal end market for their plastics. With China basically locking up the plastic supply chain, advanced plastic recovery technologies in the U.S. could not secure sufficient quantities of feedstock and, consequently, could not demonstrate financial viability for commercial-scale facilities.

Not only did China enthusiastically accept our recyclables, but they also turned a blind eye to the large quantity of trash (contamination) mixed in with the recyclables. This lenient policy validated the U.S. preoccupation with collecting as many recyclables as possible without really considering their quality, potential to become a valuable commodity or the carbon footprint created by using fossil fuels to transport them halfway around the world. Some in the environmental community began to question the net ecological impact associated with transporting recyclables to developing countries for remanufacturing, especially with the limited environmental regulations in these countries related to processing them into a new product. However, state recycling goals are typically based on the quantity of materials collected (rather than if they actually become a marketable product), and local recycling programs were only turning a small profit, or barely breaking even. Thus, no one wanted to “rock the boat.”

However, in 2018, China introduced the “National Sword” that almost sunk the U.S. recycling boat for the short term. The National Sword banned many scrap materials from entering China and required other materials to meet an extremely strict (low) contamination level of only 0.5%. To put in perspective, contamination rates of U.S. recyclables before processing (directly after they are collected) can reach 25% or higher. Processing removes some of the contaminants, but not typically down to 0.5%. After the National Sword, U.S. recycling companies started looking for new markets in other Southeast Asia countries. However, one by one, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, and India also shut their doors by introducing new restrictions on waste imports. So far, there are few signs that any of these countries intend to relax their standards on contamination levels again.

In the short term, there is no question that the National Sword severely disrupted recycling in the U.S. The Chinese market for recyclable commodities was greater than the next 15 markets combined, leaving the U.S. with little in the way of backup to accept this commodity. Thousands of tons of recyclables are now in a landfill rather than becoming a new product. Some municipalities have stopped collecting recyclables (or specific items) altogether, and many more, both public and private, have been stockpiling collected materials in the hope that markets return.

In the long term, the National Sword may be the most significant catalyst to transform recycling since the Garbage Barge started its journey over 30 years ago. In 2019, seventeen North American paper mills announced an increase in their capacity to process recycled paper. Also, and somewhat ironically, Chinese paper companies have begun investing in North American mills because they could not import enough fiber feedstock. Experts anticipate the domestic market for fibers mills to improve for at least another three years.

Chemical companies have also begun investing in advanced plastic recycling technologies, improving recycling systems, and creating bio-based polymers since 2018. In April 2019, Brightmark Energy announced the closing of a $260 million financing package to construct the nation’s first commercial-scale plastics-to-fuel plant, which will be located in Ashley, Indiana. The plant is in a testing phase, and Brightmark anticipates bringing the facility to production-scale in 2021. Now, rather than using fossil fuels to ship plastics to China, more than 100,000 tons of plastics from Indiana and the surrounding region will become feedstock to produce fuel and other intermediate products.

While the U.S. recycling industry was busy making a comeback from the National Sword industry-wide disruption, in came another setback in the form of the 2020 global COVID-19 pandemic. Shelter-in-place orders began in March 2020 in many states, which resulted in families spending more time in their homes than ever before. As of August 2020, many businesses, schools, and governmental entities are still allowing or requiring their stakeholders to work or learn remotely from home.

This work or learn from home phenomenon has resulted in massive increases in MSW and recyclables placed at the curb for collection. From March to April 2020 alone, U.S. cities saw a 20% average increase in MSW and recycling collection tonnage. Struggling restaurants have to offer takeout and delivery services, which is further contributing to a rise in paper and plastic packaging waste. COVID-19 restrictions such as mask mandates have resulted in higher amounts of personal protective equipment in the waste stream, and many items that previously could have been recycled are now discarded due to sanitary concerns.

The higher volumes of MSW and recyclables encountered at the curb during a pandemic present both challenges and opportunities. Challenges include budget cuts due to lower tax revenues, adequately staffing and ensuring the safety of waste-handling employees, and preventing the spread of COVID-19 through the waste stream. During this unprecedented time where municipalities face complex decisions on how to manage their MSW, the opportunity for innovation within the solid waste industry could not be greater.

Cities have begun to “right-size” their recycling systems by evaluating the usage of community recycling containers and reducing/redistributing containers to maximize the quantity of recyclables each site receives. Communities are evaluating curbside recycling programs to increase efficiency, and decreasing contamination is a priority. “When in doubt, throw it out,” has replaced campaigns such as “Recycle more, it’s simple.”

Cities are embracing the concept of public-private partnerships with their recycling processors as they recognize the vital and interrelated role of both the public and private sectors in recovering recyclables. Lastly, the U.S. is beginning to drive manufacturing and end-use markets domestically to stimulate demand for recyclable materials – materials for which we have become so effective at collecting.

There is little doubt that through leadership, innovation, and strategic planning, cities will continue to help lead the way on recycling to achieve landfill diversion and provide for a more environmentally and financially sustainable solid waste management system for the next 30 years.

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 4:00 pm

SWANAPalooza 2020 is now a Virtual Event

June 22, 2020

SWANAPalooza has been rescheduled to the week of June 22, 2020, and will now be a Virtual Event titled “Connecting our Resources”.  SWANA’s leadership anticipates that the virtual conference will allow even more of the solid waste community to participate in this important industry event.

SWANApalooza is SWANA’s leading conference for solid waste professionals to explore environmental solutions for integrated solid waste management.  SWANA is working around the clock to organize this important virtual event.

Numerous SCS professionals will deliver presentations, including these and on-demand at the SCS Booth.

  • Tuesday, June 23, 3:40 PM – 4:15 PM
    How Innovative Technologies are Improving Landfill Operations – David Hostetter, Chris Woloszyn, and Sam Rice
    Join a lively discussion on current and emerging technologies and how they are applied to landfills.
  • Can’t wait? Listen to this recently published podcast.
  • Wednesday, June 24, 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM
    Keynote: PFAS Management Research in Solid Waste Landfills – Viraj deSilva, Bryan Staley, Thabet, Tolaymat, Morton Barlaz, Timothy Townsend
    Learn about research to understand the environmental risks posed by PFAS in solid waste management.
  • Wednesday, June 24, 2:45 PM – 3:30 PM
    PFAS Treatment and Concentrated Waste Management Alternatives in Solid Waste Landfills – Viraj deSilva
    Compare the benefits, costs, and potential drawbacks to PFAS treatment options in landfill leachate.
  • Wednesday, June 24, 3:40 PM – 4:15 PM
    Navigating the Maze of Federal Air Quality Regulations for Landfills – Pat Sullivan
    Learn about the EPA’s landfill regulations, including NSPS, NESHAP, and Emission Guidelines.
  • Thursday, June 25, 4:30 PM – 5:15 PM
    Keynote: COVID-19 Steps to Recovery – The Path Forward – Michelle Leonard
    Join us to discuss the steps that the industry will take as we navigate to the ‘new normal’

 

For details and registration information visit https://swanapalooza.org

 

 

Posted by Laura Dorn at 8:00 am

Five industry leaders provide insight on organics diversion strategies

February 10, 2020

Recently, Waste360 published “Organics Diversion Drives Changes in Landfill Operators’ Roles,” an article examining the evolving role of landfill operators in organics waste diversion. Five industry leaders provide insight into how landfill operators and the solid waste industry are adapting to accommodate the evolution and the cost of organics management.

Waste360 interviewed:

  • Susan Robinson, senior director of sustainability at Waste Management
  • Robert Gardner, senior vice president at SCS Engineers
  • David Biderman, executive director, and CEO for Solid Waste Association of North America
  • Jason Munyan, manager of engineering for the Delaware Solid Waste Authority, and
  • Jim Stone, deputy director of public works/operations for San Joaquin County, California

The article provides best practices, strategies, technology, and systems that could support or supplement landfill operators’ response plans to the changing policies and contract requirements in more economically sustainable ways. Waste360 rounds up answers to the most common challenges operators and public works departments face including how to reduce permitting time, cost, and environmental impact.

Read the article

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:01 am