Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - March 4, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta
THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD - THURSDAY, MARCH 4, 1971 Whey is waste In Vermont, waste is whey- 380-million lb. of the water-laden by - product that will re-suit from this year's production of 50 - million lb. of cheese. A University of Vermont study says that whey accounts for 83 per cent of the state's industrial organic waste. Half of it is converted into animal feed and fertilizer. But, the authors found, "A hog cannot subsist on whey alone." So the other half goes down the river. A steel mill's processing byproducts include iron oxides, lubricants, acids, coke by-products, and slag. Iron oxides, one of the more troublesome, often collect as tiny articles in water filtration systems and in smokestacks. They are almost irretrie v a b 1 e, says C. Thompson Stott, a Bethlehem Steel Corp. vice - president. They are only a micron thick- "finer than talcum powder," he says - and are nearly impossible to mold into iron ore pellets suitable for recharging into blast furnaces. Nuclear power plants throw out spent - but still radio-active - materials. Fossil - fueled plants waste ash, particulate matter, and gases. Both types waste more heat than they use to generate power. Mining wastes include the 67,000 long tons of taconite mine tailings that Reserve Mining Co. has been accused of discharging daily into Lake Su- Cheapest means are sought Municipalities usually seek the cheapest means of refuse handling, which tends to be dumping and open burning. Communities that might buy new technologies to convert waste to salable" product, whether kilowatts or scrap, wait to make sure it works elsewhere. "That," says one incinera tor maker, "is an absolute bar to innovation. Initiating broad - scale recycling requires broad - scale federal initiative, and this is only now appearing. Waste handling, especially of solid waste, has long been a jealously guarded community responsibility, ensnared in local politics. States called upon Congress in the early 1960s, when the waste problem finally outgrew local control. Congress enacted the Solid Waste Disposal Act in 1965 along with a spate of antipollution measures. The focus began to shift in Congress from disposal -to recycling only this year. The most significant bill, in terms of funds and intent, is Senator Edmund Muskie's proposed Resource Recovery Act, which both houses have passed unanimously in slightly differ i n g forms. perior. In Pierce County, Wash-the Bureau of Mines has found 14-million tons of refuse left from mining 21 - million tons on coal. A Pennsylvania State University study reports that spoil banks cover 370,000 acres of Pennsylvania. Roll-Junk on economy From Business Week Waste has become pollution. What goes into the air, the water, and the garbage can rolls back to confront an economy ill - equipped to deal with it. At the same time that waste increases, res o u r c e s shrink. About 25 tons of minerals were taken from the earth and processed last year to support each American. Even the supply of regenerable resources, such as trees and natural fibers, is diminishing. Given present rates of consumption and replacement, the nation will be using more trees than it grows in 1980. Technology has found means of relieving the pinch by speeding the growth of forests and pulling copper from increasingly poor rock. But even technology cannot mine a void. The idea that waste is raw material - that it can be converted into new and useful products by recycling it - is gaining support- I* solves the converging dilemmas of pollution and disap p e a r i n g resources. "We can no longer look at pollution as something to get rid of," says Aaron J. Teller, former dean of engineering at Cooper Union. "We have to look at pollution as unused resources." Recycle glass TORONTO - The Glass Container Council of Canada announced today an extension to other areas of Canada of its recycling program of buying back no - deposit soft drink bottles from consumers and using them to make new bottles. A test program under which the glass container manufacturers are paying Vi cent each or $15 a ton for no - deposit soft drink bottles is presently being carried out in Toronto, Hamilton and Wallaceburg. In announcing the extension of the program, H. E. Dalton, Executive Director of the Council, said that the results of the three - month program which got underway at GCCC member company plants in July had more than justified the decision to extend the program to Quebec, New Brunswick and Alberta. Three depots will be in operation in Montreal shortly; one depot in Moncton, N.B.; and one in Redcliff, Alberta, on the outskirts of Medicine Hat. Plant a tree Junk cars, of course, are waste. A Bureau of Mines study has located 15-milIion of them, weighing 26-million tons, scattered over the nation. Of 6-mil-lion junked annually, the bureau says, 80 per cent (General Motors says 88 per cent) are reclaimed for recycling. The rest pile up. All solid wastes totalled 4.4-billion tons last year, according to the environmental council report. Mineral wastes, mostly from mining, were 1.7-billion tons. Agricultural wastes largely manure in feed - lots, came to 2.3 - billion tons. Non-recyled industrial wastes were 110 - million tons. Residential, commercial, and institut i o n al wastes came to 250 - million tons, of which 190-million tons were collected and disposed of by public agencies. Aluminum A steel can, thrown away, will eventually rust away, but an aluminum can thrown on a park or along a highway will lay there for years. But, it is precisely this indestructible quality of aluminum which makes possible a recycling system which will both inhibit litter and stretch out die supply of aluminum almost indefinitely. Aluminum has certain basic qualities that make it attractive to salvage and reclaim. 1-Aluminum is immune to rust and resists corrosion. 2-Because of its light weight it is easy to handle. 3-It is in demand for thousands of uses and new uses are being found daily. 4-It can be remelted readily and used again. Sir George P. Thompson, Nobel Prize winning physicist and author of "The Foreseeable Future" has said that "what we should do is recover used metals even when not economic at present prices - a process like planting an oak tree for future generations." Free pick-up SPOKANE, Wash.-City Refuse Supt. Floyd R. Bowers said today 1,323 pounds of newspapers were collected in the first day of a refuse-collection pilot project intended to determine the feasibility of a city-wide recycling program. The month-long project, in which city crews are picking up free of charge old newspapers, corrugated boxes and cotton rags, began Monday in the area bounded by Division, Cedar, Wellesley and Francis. SCHEDULE TOLD Bowers said the crews this week picked up the items on Monday and yesterday and will continue on a two-day-a-week schedule. He said the crews, in addition to the newspapers, picked up 90 pounds of rags and 127 pounds of cardboard boxes on Monday. Yesterday's collection, he said, has not yet been tabulated. The project, in which the value of the collected material will be weighed against the cost of its pickup, is part of a 20-year solid-waste management plan study the city is making under a state grant. He said it is far too early to conclude anything about a full-scale recycling effort. Bowers said he also wanted to remind residents in the pilot area to place the separated refuse on their front porches. Start in your backyard Recycling scrap There is considerable recycling already being done. Some examples: The Scrap Iron and Steel Institute in Washington estimates that its members churned out $2-billion to $3-billion in sales last year. Diversified Industries, Inc. in St. Louis alone collected $175 million in sales in 1969, mainly from scrap aluminum and copper. Kimberley - Clark Corp. depends on recycled paper for 90 per cent of the packaging material for its Kleenex, Ko-tex, and other products. Container Carp's Pion e e r Paper Stock Div. alone handles 1-million tons of the more than 11 - million tons of waste paper recycled each year by the whole industry. Glass and aluminum companies have repurchased perhaps 50 - million waste cans Our system The economic system has been built upon near cost-free use of the most abundant resources - air, water, and land. It has spawned sophisticated processes to extract raw materials and to turn them into finished products. But it has done little to turn exhausted products back into useful material. Government supports the system by awarding tax incentives to deplete raw materials. and bottles so far this year to make new ones. Like other paper companies, Westvaco Corp. causes pollution around its mills. But the company is also the world's leading supplier of activated carbon, a cleaning and filtering material that it has been making from pulping wastes for 40 years. One use: cleaning polluted water. M. J. Mighdoll, executive director of the National Assn. of Secondary Materials Industries, Inc. (NASMI), says 52 per cent of all the lead consumed in recycled, as well as 45 per cent to 50 per cent of the copper. The glass industry cannot make new glass without old glass in the vat to start the process. Haunted TORONTO - A pair of Lake Simcoe ice fishermen who sat drinking beer and dropping their empties down the ice hole, last weekend, were astounded to see a wet black hand emerge from the hole and drop an empty beer bottle and other litter on the fishing hut floor. It was the band of one of four young Toronto divers, searching beneath the ice for a lost snowmobile. He'd come upon the litter pile on the lake bed. "I'm afraid it's all to common to find this mess below huts," diver Gordon Robinson said later.