Your city council just tasked you with developing a proposal to co-locate a conversion technology (CT) project with an existing transfer station or materials recovery facility (MRF). Your city [you fill in the name] will provide 500 tons per day of its residential black-bin wastestream. A neighboring jurisdiction has agreed to provide a minimum of 500 tons of “nonresidential” waste from its commercial and industrial sectors. Both cities have requested that the “facility” be able to process construction-and-demolition waste.
Since your city has a policy that it will only utilize CTs that don’t conflict with source reduction and recycling, you need to assess processes that allow you to reasonably recover any additional recyclables and prepare the best possible feedstock for the CTs.
You have one month to prepare your oral presentation and all written supporting technical documentation and detailed calculations, which include:
• the proposed project design that specifies the preprocessing requirements and develops the flowcharts and the site plan for the transfer station/MRF that will also be the “preprocessing” front end for CTs to be showcased as “demonstration facilities”;
• a proposed “process flow diagram” of your process or processes that would create the feedstock for the two selected demonstration technologies (entailing a description of the unit process or processes that will be utilized); and
• for each unit process, a description of the wastestream materials being fractionated and the resultant split of materials. To do this, you will use the size distribution materials that have been provided.
Are You Having Fun Yet?
How prepared do you feel that you and your staff are for accomplishing such heady tasks? Better still, how well off will your staff be five years down the road, when you or some of your most experienced people have headed off into well-earned retirement?
Today’s workforce is evaporating before our eyes…and that’s only one of the challenges we’re facing. While environmental concerns dominated the landscape for the last two decades, societal needs paced by energy and infrastructure challenges have moved to the fore, adding to the complexity of MSW management.
These concerns prompted the California Integrated Waste Management Board (now CalRecycle) to task Dr. Eugene Tseng, UCLA law professor and member of MSW Management’s editorial advisory board, to develop a training course that would not only capture the wisdom of the past but explore emerging possibilities as well.
Under the aegis of UCLA’s Engineering Extension program, Tseng’s program plan for the course, Principles of Recycling and MSW Management, is as follows: (1) What is MSW?; (2) MSW Management and Recycling Infrastructure; (3) Regulatory Framework for Recycling and MSW Management; (4) Introduction to Waste Reduction and Recycling Programs; (5) Overview of MSW Technology; (6) Other Topics [disaster debris management, education, public outreach, facilities siting, etc.]; (7) Field Trips to Support Classroom Presentations; and, finally, (8) Class Projects.
The co-location situation described above was one Tseng used to challenge his first class at the conclusion of the course’s MSW Technologymodule.
Experience levels of the class members ranged from newbie to old pro, representing private as well as public institutions, who were organized into teams to answer the challenge.
The implementation phase in a traditional classroom environment is complete, and the course elements are being formalized. But as it rolls out, the program will transition to distance-learning formats that allow it to be adapted to meet the needs of different jurisdictions and experience levels.
MSW Management is committed to the program’s success, much of which depends on the involvement of MSW professionals, both here and abroad. Ongoing information will be available on our Web site.