Mar 9 - ARB Misses Opportunity at Symposium

Omission of Recycling from Symposium a Missed Opportunity

If you attended the ARB's International symposium on Near Term Solutions for Climate Change mitigation this week, you may have been impressed by the international panel and sheer number and breadth of presentations. We would have been had it not been for a glaring omission.

Presenters covered topics from plastic coated fertilizer pellets to reducing SF6 emissions from electricity transmitters. While landfill gas recovery was the topic of two consecutive presentations at the symposium, not one of the thirty plus presentations was devoted to recycling or greenwaste/foodwaste management.

As the implementation of AB 32 unfolds the ARB appears to be narrowing its role in reducing the solid waste sector's GHG emissions to recovering gas from landfills. Recycling is simply too important to be left off the table by the ARB. While we agree that mitigation of GHG pollution from landfills should be required by all landfill operators, landfill gas recovery is not and should not be viewed as a a goal in and of itself.

Diverting organic materials from the landfill through composting and recycling not only obviates the need for landfill gas collection, but offers innumerable additional economic and environmental co-benefits.

The Climate Action Team and the CIWMB will have an opportunity to address the role recycling and composting can play in climate change mitigation at Monday's CAT meeting in Sacramento.