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ISSUE #14  |  April 15, 2020
THE ORGANICS RECYCLING AUTHORITY
IN THIS ISSUE
Why Compost Is
Cheapest Irrigation System
The bottom line is more organic matter means that the soil holds more water.
Back in the early 1970s, scientists had already realized that adding compost to soils improved soil physical properties. They were measuring soil bulk density, water infiltration rate and water holding capacity. While much has been done since then, just about all of it is confirming or adding to what has been known.

We also now know the importance of putting that information into the broader context of the world we live in. A world where climate change and water scarcity are real concerns. A world where Drawdown is offering potential solutions and Farm Efficient Irrigation is one of them. Part V of our series — presented in two parts — shows you that a healthy soil is likely the best and cheapest irrigation system there is.
 
Seattle’s Winning Strategy
For Managing Organics
By Jeffrey Morris

Over the past 40 years, the City of Seattle, Washington, has developed a municipal solid waste (MSW) management system that is agile, cost-effective, and incentivizes diversion. This management system has yielded three long-term successes for residential MSW: steadily decreasing disposal per household; cost savings for ratepayers; and substantial reductions in public health and other environmental pollution impacts.
 

This article discusses outcomes from Seattle’s innovative residential yard trimmings, food waste and food-soiled paper (“organics”) management programs and regulations that incentivize composting over disposal to landfill.

Readers Respond: COVID-19 And
Organics Recycling

In her “Letter To The BioCycle Community: COVID-19 And Organics Recycling,” BioCycle columnist and Senior Advisor Sally Brown explained that while “COVID-19 is new and scary … it is part of a family of viruses that we know plenty about. In other words, our existing knowledge of the behavior of coronaviruses in the environment can be applied here.” Brown’s letter walked us through the different steps and different roles of people involved in composting. “Wearing the lens of prior knowledge and common sense, you will hopefully see that this is not something we have to give up” and concluded with these wise words: “This is a time to be careful — to be vigilant about following health recommendations. It is not the time to stop composting.” Sally’s message resonated with our readers. Some notes written to Sally Brown …

Market Opportunities For Anaerobic Digestion In India

Under the auspices of the Global Methane Initiative, U.S. EPA developed a report, “Market Opportunities for Anaerobic Digestion of Livestock and Agro-Industrial Wastes in India,” to help inform project developers, policymakers, and other interested stakeholders about the potential for biogas capture and use in India.

Food Waste Solutions Amid The Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how food waste solution providers and food businesses must operate to safely do their work, states ReFED, a food-focused organization. What are the new challenges they’re facing? What can they be doing to overcome them? And what can they learn from others who are successfully adapting their operations to this new reality? To help answer these questions and more, ReFED is launching a weekly discussion series, Better Together: Food System Best Practices for Navigating COVID-19. The series launch today, April 15 at 3:00 PM Eastern, 12:00 PM Pacific, and continues for the following 5 Wednesdays.

 
“The Waste
Between Our Ears” 

By Neil Seldman
In times of rising heat, fire and rising waters, this new book by Gerry Gillespie presents recycling and composting as the means to achieve a zero waste economy.

Why does each modern industrial economy annually treat hundreds of millions of valuable raw materials with embedded capital, extraction, energy and labor costs as waste? And then spend extravagantly to transform waste into threats to the economy and environment through landfilling and incineration?  The practical reason is that these materials are all mixed and crushed so they cannot be economically recovered as secondary materials for industry and agriculture. All the value is destroyed and the earth and inhabitants are less well off as a result.
 
William Leiss points to the deeper determinants for our current circumstances in his 1976 essay, “The Limits To Satisfaction”:  The permissive use of Nature as a free warehouse for industry and a free sink for its waste. The by-products of production, instead of serving as the feedstock for more production, become ”excretions of production” left to destroy our wellbeing.
 
THE ORGANICS RECYCLING AUTHORITY
Founding Publisher
Jerome Goldstein

Editor
Nora Goldstein

Publisher
Rill Ann Goldstein Miller

Associate Publisher
Ina Pincus

Senior Editor
Craig Coker
Senior Adviser
Sally Brown, University Of Washington

Contributing Editors
Ana Carvalho, Peter Gorrie,
Michael H. Levin, Robert Spencer

Advertising Director
Teri Sorg-McManamon

Art Director
Doug Pinkerton

Administrative Assistant
Celeste Madtes
FOR EDITORIAL INQUIRIES, EMAIL NORA GOLDSTEIN

FOR ADVERTISING INQUIRIES, EMAIL TERI SORG-MCMANAMON
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