Monday, February 20, 2012

Don't waste your energy.

A bit of a pun on words. I'm really speaking about Waste to Energy solutions. Aren't I clever? I clearly understand that waste to energy is by no means true recycling. Well, I mean it is.. sort of, but not the real deal.

In an ideal world everything that we consume, use or have left over should be reused or recycled. The continued green demand and education will spur that "dream" along but right now that is just not the reality of things. In addition, some products have a reuse lifespan. Plastics can only be recycled and reused so many times before the material begins to breakdown and are adequate as only a filler in small quantities or not usable at all. What do we do with items when the recycling option just doesn't seem to be there?

I think this is the ideal situation for waste to energy. CRI has a program in place that we sort out every  recyclable plastic type that we can. We are than left with the plastics that would otherwise find their way to the landfill. Instead of dumping plastic waste in the landfill to sit for; well pretty much forever we process it to be used as an alternative fuel. Assuming that the waste to energy facility has the proper filtering technology it is pretty much a win, win situation (in my humble opinion).
There is of course a negative side to this. Some companies seeking out the zero waste badge who are doing it more on a merit of recognition than stewardship for our planet may sometimes ditch the sorting efforts and just include it all to be an alternative fuel source. When the sorting and reclaiming of recyclable material stops the forward progress of waste to energy is lost.

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