Wednesday, January 28, 2009

BURNT Calls Solid Waste Plan 'Fraud'

BURNT Files Complaints Against Licensed Engineers over Nashville solid waste plan
Nashville Solid Waste Plan Written By National Researcher Called “Fraud”

BURNT, a Nashville, Tennessee citizens solid waste group has filed complaints with the Metropolitan Nashville Purchasing Department, Nashville Public Works, and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation that two licensed engineers, one an official with a national solid waste group, who wrote a "Solid Waste Plan" for Nashville used false figures to justify years of future landfilling.

Jeremy K. O'Brien, P.E., Director of Applied Research, SWANA [Solid Waste Association of North America], wrote a "Davidson County Region Solid Waste Plan Update" for Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County under supervision of Mike White, P.E. of Gresham Smith and Partners. BURNT president Bruce Wood said “despite months of written and oral testimony by citizens, engineers O'Brien and White submitted a 'Solid Waste Plan" which was approved by the Metropolitan Regional Board that used false solid waste numbers that will cost Nashville government and business millions in excessive landfilling fees.”

On 3 February the State Solid Waste Disposal Board will decided whether to allow proposed solid waste regulations to go out for public comment. BURNT has asked the State Board to require more planning before amended regulations are released for public comments.

Wood said the "Plan" relies on false data that the engineers were obligated to correct. “The only accurate solid waste number Metro has is the amount of waste landfilled in Class I municipal solid waste landfills yet Table 3-1 [pg, 14] lists recycling totals for the private and public sectors down to 20 pounds–a hundredth of a ton out of a 1.2 million ton waste stream.”

Table 3-1 of the “Plan” states the private sector generates 46,328.58 tons of "Corrugated cardboard" in 2007 and 128,001.17 tons of "Ferrous Metals". Wood said there was no basis of fact in this claim.

Wood also challenged the findings of engineer O’Brien that “Total Public and Private Sector Recycling" is 421,405.46 tons or 33% of the waste stream. “This is a completely fabricated number. There is absolutely no way Metro Nashville recycles 33% of the waste stream” Wood pointed out Table 5-2 of the “Plan” claims that from year 2008 to year 2017 ALL [100%] of the industrial recyclables will be recycled. “This is an incredible claim which has no basis in fact or reality. This false claim justifies and camouflages high landfilling.”

BURNT also contends the “Plan” failed to examine the full environmental and fiscal costs of landfills--Metro government and business spend approximately $25 million annually to landfill waste--to determine how to compost and divert portions of the waste stream.

Said Wood “This “Plan” reminds us of the television show which began with “Ze Plane, Ze Plane” except this "Plan" is no fantasy–it is a serious injury to public discourse and decision making.”

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