Despite the myriad of recycling programs and opportunities we have in our communities, all of us go to the trash can every day and throw something away or someone providing us a product of a service throws something away on our behalf as a consumer.
We inherited four problematic landfills when our regional agency was formed and have closed three landfills with a goal of creating a non-landfill-based waste management system to replace the last landfill.
We collectively hold $3 million per year in public debt and environmental management obligations just to take care of our closed landfills.Despite these legacy liabilities, we have a very commendable 71% landfill diversion rate, but 165,000 tons of post-recycled waste remains to be managed.
The choices are few: continue to store this waste in landfills forever, or try to recover the only thing of real value left in the post-recycled trash residue: energy.
"If any of you still think landfills are a sustainable practice, you can stop reading now; landfills are not sustainable by any definition."
-- Patrick Matthews, Chief Administrative Officer