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Zero Waste: The conservation of all resources by means of responsible production, consumption, reuse, and recovery of products, packaging, and materials without burning and with no discharges to land, water, or air that threaten the environment or human health.
This panel focuses on the intersection between Zero Waste, environment, and health.
- Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), or “forever chemicals,” are artificial chemicals used in consumer and manufactured goods worldwide since the 1940s. PFAS is food packaging, almost anything labeled stain resistant and/or flame retardant (i.e., fabrics, clothing, carpets, furniture, curtains, pillows, mattresses), and even several firefighting foams. We will hear about how to address PFAS through measuring, mitigating, and managing PFAS in the short term, coupled with legislation removing PFAS use completely.
- Zero Waste means zero incineration, yet many governments and corporations still perpetuate the idea that incineration is preferable to landfilling and that “Zero Waste to Landfill” is Zero Waste. Incineration is the most expensive and polluting way to manage waste or to make energy — worse for health and climate than directly landfilling and dirtier than burning coal. It’s also a serious environmental racism issue. Learn what Energy Justice Network is doing to end incineration and reform EPA’s waste hierarchy and pro-incineration policies… and how YOU can join the movement to end incineration, “waste-to-energy,” “waste-to-fuels” and related false solutions.
- Delaware County commissioned a Life-Cycle Analysis (LCA) to examine the financial, health, social and other costs of their current system of incineration and landfilling ash compared to the alternatives of conventional landfilling and of a Zero Waste approach. Sound Resource Management Group prepared an LCA for Delaware County using their Measuring Environmental Benefits Calculator (MEBCalc) life cycle assessment model. MEBCalc computes public health and environmental impacts for waste prevention/reduction, diversion, and disposal methods over the full life cycle of materials, products and packaging in municipal solid waste, and construction, demolition, and land-clearing solid wastes, covering resource extraction from ecosystems and resource refining through production to end-of-useful-life fate.