reuse

SWANA’s Timothy Flanagan Joins SCS Engineers

February 14, 2022

Timothy S. Flanagan, Project Director, SCS Engineers.

 

The former General Manager of the Monterey Regional Waste Management District and current Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) Vice President, Tim Flanagan, is now a Project Director with SCS Engineers in Pleasanton, California. Flanagan is putting his three decades of recycling and solid waste expertise to work for the firm’s clients.

Flanagan is well known in the waste industry and continues making significant contributions in North America and globally. He’s accomplished many successful waste diversion and recycling programs and sustainable facilities. He played a key role in developing a pilot anaerobic digestion facility, which processes food waste and other organics into energy. This facility was the first in California to process organics from the municipal solid waste stream.

He is the Past Director of SWANA’s Recycling and Special Waste Technical Division and presently the Vice President of the SWANA International Board. In that capacity, he plays an integral role in developing the Association’s new strategic plan and participating in identifying, selecting, and prioritizing the plan goals and strategies. Flanagan is also a past Gold Rush Chapter president, where he spearheaded efforts to team with the California Resource Recovery Association for the very successful Zero Waste Certification training program.

Flanagan’s public sector experience started in the City of Palo Alto and with the County of Santa Clara before he moved into the private sector. He was Waste Management’s Western Region Director of Recycling overseeing a thirteen-state network of MRFs and material sales and District Manager of collection, recycling, and transfer station operations covering northern and southern California for seventeen years.

In 2015, the Monterey Regional Waste Management District (MRWMD) appointed him as General Manager following his ten years as the Assistant General Manager. During his tenure, Flanagan oversaw $50 million of facilities expansion and development in materials recovery facility recycling and composting operations, equipment maintenance, household hazardous waste, engineering, and landfill site operations. MRWMD, a leader in effective solid waste management and resource recovery, has been recognized by SWANA as one of the “Best Solid Waste Systems in North America.” In 2016, SWANA’s Sustainable Material Management division recognized Flanagan with its “Distinguished Individual Achievement” Award.

In 2021, Flanagan initiated the partnership with the Veteran’s Transition Center of Monterey County with The Last Chance Mercantile. This public/non-profit partnership that Flanagan helped create has the benefit of providing stable jobs for veterans in transition and the reuse of recovered items instead of landfilling. The store offers an extensive inventory of unique items ranging from books to boats, scrap lumber to furniture, and clothing to household treasures. It’s been selected by the Monterey County Weekly Readers Poll as the “Best Eco-Friendly Business in Monterey County” for many years.

 

The Last Chance Mercantile

 

Michelle Leonard, SCS’s senior vice president leading its sustainable materials management practice, has this to say, “Tim is a collaborator, a mentor, a motivator. He embodies the spirit of resource recovery in all he has accomplished and his industry contributions. It is our pleasure and honor to welcome him to SCS Engineers.”

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

ISWA World Congress 2022

February 4, 2022

“Don’t Waste Our Future”

In recent years, sustainability is all about going “circular”. Across all industries, big or small, businesses are adopting sustainability strategy to stay competitive, but weaving our economic system into one harmonious, never-ending bundle of reduce, reuse and recovery is no easy task. And in this endemic situation, as we reopen borders and economies, “don’t waste our future” is a perfect opportunity and platform for business leaders and entrepreneurs, technology developers, solutions providers as well as policymakers to gather and discuss, What are the key trends and the opportunities for investors and businesses in Asia? How can we reinvent resource recovery and regeneration to promote decarbonization and climate change? How can we leverage technology, innovation, and sustainable solutions in order to rebuild faster and better? And also, how can we unleash young talents to contribute to future business sustainability?

Internal ISWA meetings will take place 2 days prior to the ISWA World Congress. Details to follow.

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 9:31 am

How to Quit Plastic

December 6, 2021

Ways to reduce plastic – change single-use disposable things to reusable.

 

As noted in Waste360, SWANA’s recent report, “Reducing Contamination in Curbside Recycling Programs,” shows stubborn resistance to recycling even after an intense education and enforcement campaign in two towns. A bit more than one-quarter of the households simply didn’t seem to care. While the solid waste industry finds that hard to comprehend, we’re always looking for solutions, and we don’t give up.

Here’s a simple set of recommendations from Consumer Reports published in September for using less plastic. After all, if you don’t recycle, at least try to use less plastic! Most of the recommendations will save you a lot of money and are easy to do, some of which you’re probably already doing.

Thanks to Consumer Reports for its outstanding article that we share with you here.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

Food system contamination, examining what’s going into anaerobic digestion or composting systems

April 26, 2021

 

When excess food at any stage of the food system can’t be diverted to people in need, the next best option is to feed it to animals. Even with the best systems in place to develop an efficient food system, there will always be some fraction that is not fit for consumption. This material should be recycled and reused to minimize the environmental burden and allow for recovery of part of the resources initially used in its production, processing and transport, creating a more circular food system.

In a circular system, food waste is recycled by treatment to stabilize it, anaerobic digestion and composting are common food waste treatment technologies used to stabilize waste and produce residual materials that can replenish the soil, thus contributing to a circular food system. While a circular system uses resources more efficiently, the approach is not without risk. The authors of this paper investigated heavy metals, halogenated organic compounds, foodborne pathogens and antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in the food system and their fates during digestion and composting.

While not impossible to mitigate, design, planning, and waste characterization play tremendous roles in sustainable systems.

SCS Engineers and the authors make this paper available online here.

 

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Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

SCS Sustainability Corner: Repurpose, Reuse, Upcycle

June 23, 2017

Everyone knows about recycling, especially if you work at SCS.  Many times, there are different ways that you can reuse those items for something else before, or instead of, getting rid of them.  Today, we are sharing easy zero waste tips to repurpose items you have around your house, rather than just tossing them in the recycle bin:

  • Magazines
    Roll up a couple of these and stick one into each of your calf- or knee-high boots so the footwear will keep its shape and save room in your closet.
  • Empty Paper Towel Rolls
    Flatten it, and use it to sheathe a knife kept in a drawer. Bonus health and safety points!
  • Small Glass Food Jars
    These make perfect see-through storage vessels for nails, screws, bolts, safety pins, paper clips, change… even small earrings or spare buttons.
  • Old Shower Curtains
    Stash one in your car’s trunk to line it when carrying potentially messy paints, plants, or picnic and beach gear during the summer.
  • Used Coffee Grounds
    Spread them over flower beds of acid-craving plants like azaleas or rhododendrons in your garden.
  • Plastic Tubs
    Keep the containers from your favorite yogurt, margarine, peanut butter, etc. so they can be rinsed and reused as a travel dish for pets, craft supply storage, or for storing leftovers and bringing your lunch to the office, instead of purchasing additional plastic storage containers.
  • Gallon Milk Jugs
    Cut off the top with a utility knife just above the handle and use as a scoop for kitty litter, bird seed, potting soil, etc.
  • Foam Packing Peanuts
    Put some in the bases of potted plants to help drainage.
  • Plastic Mesh Produce Bags
    Turn it into a no-scratch scrubber for a gunky pot or pan. Ball up the bag, scour, then throw the whole mess away.
  • Silica Gel Packets
    These can be used to keep moisture away from so many things. Put them in your car’s storage compartments to avoid mildew, in your toolbox to prevent tools from rusting, on windowsills in the kitchen to banish condensation, inside the drawer with your silver or jewelry box to slow down tarnishing, tuck a few into your luggage, boxes of holiday decorations, or in the box with your family photos to protect them from humidity and mildew.

Author: Jennifer Mancini

 

Zero Waste Services

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am