By Arthur R. Boone, Center For Recycling Research and Total Recycling Associates
The only other one-day, recycling-centered, educational event in California besides ours is the Zero Waste Symposium held in San Diego, this year at the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation in SE San Diego. Laura Anthony, daughter to Rick, is the program coordinator and 20 people each get 15-20 minutes to tell what’s “new and different” in their work; over 100 in attendance with a good lunch provided by Kitchens for Good. I missed six of the speakers but there were a few gems worth noting. All of the presentations are now on line and retrievable. Definitely an upbeat day.
The US Business Council for Sustainable Development, headquartered in Austin, Texas, has started a “Materials Marketplace,” with its proprietary database making 176 transactions in two years between sending and receiving firms. State agencies in Ohio and TN are trying to start local versions of what sounds like what Bert Ball has done with LA Shares but has not yet been replicated elsewhere.
Darcy Shiber-Knowles from Dr. Bonner’s Company in Vista that makes soaps with imported materials (like coconut oil) gave a detailed explication of the virtue of fair trade principles and practices that assure the money gets to the little people in the sending countries.
Marina Kasa with Sony Electronics in Rancho Bernardo discussed the company’s goal of zero waste by 2050 with five year plans. Excellent talk; shrinking packaging is a big item for them. In response to a question about how Amazon seems to put the smallest item in the biggest box, she said there have been meetings and that concern is on Amazon’s agenda now.
Briefer Notes: A small brew-pub gets spent grains to a pig farmer for animal feed. Powdered concrete from sawing operations can be fed into new concrete batches at a 1-2% of volume rate (similar to using fine grind old tires in retread making mixes). Sustainable Surplus Exchange in Vista (about to change their name to REUSE4GOOD) mirrors the work of the Bay Area reuse depots but is open only on a few fixed days per year for teachers and others to come. J. Michael Huls, now an adjunct prof at Santa Monica City College, reminded us that the USA with 3% of the world’s population consumes 30% of the world’s resources. Reina Pereira from City of LA told of their new seven contracts for commercial collections ending the reign of 30 independent haulers; still waiting to see how this plays out – 65,000 accounts in America’s second largest city.