HOW THE MARRIAGE OF INDUSTRY 4.0 AND THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY CAN RADICALLY TRANSFORM WASTE MANAGEMENT—AND OUR WORLD
Do we really have to make a choice between a wasteless and nonproductive world or a wasteful and ultimately self-destructive one? Futurist and world-renowned waste management scientist Antonis Mavropoulos and sustainable business developer and digital strategist Anders Waage Nilsen respond with a ringing and optimistic “No!” They explore the Earth-changing potential of a happy (and wasteless) marriage between Industry 4.0 and a Circular Economy that could—with properly reshaped waste management practices—deliver transformative environmental, health, and societal benefits. This book is about the possibility of a brand-new world and the challenges to achieve it.
The fourth industrial revolution has given us innovations including robotics, artificial intelligence, 3D-printing, and biotech. By using these technologies to advance the Circular Economy—where industry produces more durable materials and runs on its own byproducts—the waste management industry will become a central element of a more sustainable world and can ensure its own, but well beyond business as usual, future. Mavropoulos and Nilsen look at how this can be achieved—a wasteless world will require more waste management—and examine obstacles and opportunities such as demographics, urbanization, global warming, and the environmental strain caused by the rise of the global middle class.
Explore the new prevention, reduction, and elimination methods transforming waste management
Comprehend and capitalize on the business implications for the sector
Understand the theory via practical examples and case studies
Appreciate the social benefits of the new approach
Waste-management has always been vital for the protection of health and the environment. Now it can become a crucial role model in showing how Industry 4.0 and the Circular Economy can converge to ensure flourishing, sustainable—and much brighter—future.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Antonis Mavropoulos is President of ISWA (2016-2020) and founder and CEO of D-Waste, a company that aims to make waste management services accessible to everyone that needs them. An internationally recognized waste management consultant with working experiences in 30 countries, he has invented the Waste Atlas, designed several mobile apps and information systems, and written many papers and reports. All his writings can be found at his blog wastelessfuture.com.
Anders Waage Nilsen is a business developer, design strategist, investor, technology columnist and public speaker. He is currently developing WasteIQ, a digital platform for public waste management, based on open standards and IoT integrations.
https://advancedwastesolutions.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/industry-and-the-circular-economy.jpg458300John Nicholsonhttps://advancedwastesolutions.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/coollogo_com-184851434-300x23.pngJohn Nicholson2020-08-05 21:30:052020-08-05 21:30:05Industry 4.0 and the Circular Economy: Towards a Wasteless Future or a Wasteful Planet?
According to a recent market study, the global waste to energy market size was valued at USD 17.3 billion in 2017 and is projected to reach USD 27.7 billion by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 6.1% from 2018 to 2025.
The Waste to Energy (WTE) or energy-from-waste (EFW) is the process of generating energy in the form of electricity and/or heat from the incineration of waste. The energy produced from this process is close to that produced from coal, natural gas, oil, or other processes. The waste to energy cycle is projected to reduce landfill municipal solid waste ( MSW) by 90 percent, which will further reduce the emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) produced by the waste.
TRENDS INFLUENCING THE WASTE TO ENERGY MARKET SIZE
Substantial growth in energy consumption, coupled with increased emphasis on energy generation from renewable energy sources, is expected to push global waste to the energy market.
Increased domestic and industrial waste has prompted governments across regions to generate energy from waste. Furthermore, the increased investment by various governing bodies, particularly in developing countries in Asia-Pacific, such as China and India, coupled with rapid urbanization and significant growth in consumer spending capacity, is expected to drive global waste to the size of the energy market in the forecast period.
Biological treatments include the treatment of waste with microorganisms to generate energy. Such approaches are considered more environmentally friendly than thermal techniques, and their market penetration is expected to grow over the forecast period.
It is expected that high installation costs and toxic gas emissions during incineration would impede market growth over the forecast period.
WASTE TO ENERGY MARKET SHARE ANALYSIS
Thermal technologies have emerged as the leading technology employed to produce energy from waste. In 2019, the segment generated 87 percent of total market revenue.
Asia-Pacific is projected to witness the highest growth rate from 2018 to 2025, mainly due to the rise in demand for energy. The rise in industrialization, coupled with rapid urbanization activities in emerging economies such as China and India, is expected to drive the market during the forecast period.
In 2017 Europe, in terms of sales, retained the leading waste to the energy market share. This dominance is attributed to the rise in the production of municipal solid waste (MSW), combined with the increase in energy demand. This region is investing heavily in developing renewable energy production.
TOP COMPANIES IN THE WASTE TO ENERGY MARKET
Many players operating in this waste to the energy market are actively pursuing marketing strategies such as partnership, company expansion, mergers & acquisitions, and joint ventures to improve their position.
Waste Management Inc.
Suez Environnement S.A.
C&G Environmental Protection Holdings
Constructions industrielles de la Méditerranée (CNIM)
https://advancedwastesolutions.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/03WestPalmBeachkrediteresSWAphotos8straightenup1360x765.jpg7651360John Nicholsonhttps://advancedwastesolutions.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/coollogo_com-184851434-300x23.pngJohn Nicholson2020-07-24 22:52:382020-07-24 23:06:00Waste To Energy (WTE) Market Size is Projected to Reach USD 27.7 Billion by 2025
The Lethbridge Alberta Biogas facility is undergoing a $7 million expansion. The expansion will introduce the company into the natural gas market by allowing biogas to be purified into pipeline-grade biomethane. With the expansion it will soon be able to supply renewable natural gas to the Lethbridge area and also expand into the British Columbia market.
The expansion will introduce Lethbridge Biogas into the natural gas market, by allowing for the plant’s biogas to be purified into pipeline-grade biomethane, (renewable natural gas or RNG), which will be injected into ATCO’s natural gas grid. This carbon-neutral biomethane will also be supplied to FortisBC under a long-term supply agreement by mid-2021. Once the expansion is complete, Lethbridge Biogas will have the first full-scale, commercial renewable natural gas application in Alberta.
“This expansion at our Lethbridge Biogas facility is another significant milestone in the history of our project,” says Lethbridge Biogas Director of Operations Stefan Michalski. “It is the result of dedication and very hard work from our team over many, many years to get our business established, not only in the Lethbridge area but beyond in the Canadian and North American context. A lot of players in the RNG market were interested to become part of this expansion, as RNG has become a highly sought-after commodity to reduce the carbon footprint in the natural gas supply chain.”
The Lethbridge biogas/cogeneration plant processes organic residues such as agricultural manures and food processing by-products. The facility is currently able to process the following categories of organic materials:
Silage from farm operations (corn, grain, grass etc.)
Pulp & paper sludges from paper mills
Animal by-products from slaughterhouses and packing plants and animal carcasses from intensive livestock operations incl. Specified Risk Material (SRM)
History of the Facility
In 2013 Lethbridge Biogas LP officially opened the largest anaerobic digester/co-generation facility in Canada at the time. Designed and built by PlanET Biogas, the $30 million facility has a generating capacity of 2.8 MW – enough to power 2,800 homes. It was built such that it has the capacity to expand to produce as much as 4.2 MW in the future with the addition of new generating units.
On July 8, 2020, the Ontario government introduced Bill 197 in the Legislative Assembly. Entitled the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act, the proposed changes within the Bill amend twenty different Acts, including the Environmental Assessment Act.
While some of the amendments proposed in Bill 197 seek to address challenges encountered during COVID-19 (such as the changes to the Provincial Offences Act, covered in our COVID-19 Update), the Bill primarily includes reforms that were on the government’s agenda prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. These reforms include some of the most significant reforms to Ontario’s environmental assessment regime in many years. The Gowling WLG Environmental Law Group will be publishing a series of articles on these proposed reforms, which are expected to be fast-tracked through the Legislature this week.
From the point of view of waste management in Ontario, one of the most significant changes to be made by the Bill is the addition of a new section to the Environmental Assessment Act that would give municipalities the right to veto new landfills proposed to be located within their own borders or in adjacent municipalities where the proposed new landfill is within 3.5 kilometers of the municipal border. This amendment to the EAA would provide municipalities with the unprecedented ability to stop new landfills for any reason, even where the environmental assessment for that landfill would otherwise be satisfactory to the provincial government.
Demand the right coalition emerges
In 2018, Ingersoll Mayor, Ted Comiskey, started the “Demand the Right” Coalition of Ontario Municipalities, seeking support from other municipalities for legislation that would allow municipalities to say no to projects like windfarms and landfills.
On March 1, 2018, Ernie Hardeman, MPP for Oxford, the riding that includes Ingersoll, introduced a private members bill dealing with the issue. Bill 201, Respecting Municipal Authority over Landfilling Sites Act, 2018, would have amended the EAA to prevent the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks from giving approval to an undertaking unless the municipal council had passed a resolution supporting the establishment of the landfilling site. The Bill did not receive Second Reading in the Legislature and died on the Order Paper when the Legislature was dissolved for the last provincial election.
During that election in 2018, Doug Ford stated that he respected “the right for local municipalities to make the decisions best for their communities.”
Following the election in 2018, the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (“MECP”) released the Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan, which stated it intended to provide “municipalities and communities they represent with a say in landfill siting approvals “. No firm commitment to a veto was made at that time and there were no consultations on the proposed amendments to the EAA affecting landfills prior to the introduction of Bill 197.
The state of landfill capacity in Ontario
Many Ontarians are not aware of the waste disposal crisis in which Ontario finds itself. The Ontario Waste Management Association reports that unless new landfills are built, Ontario’s landfill capacity will be exhausted by 2032. More than 80% of this capacity is located within a small number of sites (15 public and private landfills). These predictions assume that Ontario will continue to export approximately 30% of its waste to the United States, primarily to landfill sites in Michigan and New York. Should those exports stop, Ontario’s landfill capacity would be exhausted by 2028: only eight years from now. This is significant since it takes years, and sometimes more than a decade, to obtain approval for a new landfilling site.
Even before the introduction of Bill 197, the length and uncertainty of the environmental assessment process for new landfills and expansions to existing landfills meant that this crisis was not improving. While increased waste diversion is a laudable goal, even with significantly improved waste diversion rates, existing landfill capacity will be put under significant pressure in the next ten years.
Given the near future waste disposal crisis in the province, there is a demonstrated need for new landfills to be built and existing landfills to be expanded. While Bill 197 aims to streamline existing environmental assessment processes for some projects, it introduces a municipal veto over new landfills that is expected to almost entirely halt the planning for and building of new landfills in Ontario.
Section 10 of Schedule 6 to Bill 197 proposes to amend the EAA by adding a new section 6.01, which would provide that proponents who wish to establish a landfilling site that is subject to Part II of the EAA obtain “municipal support” for the undertaking. Municipal support must be obtained, not only from the local municipality in which the landfilling site is situated, but from any other municipality located within a 3.5 km distance from the property boundary of the proposed landfilling site. This support, as set out in s. 6.01(5), is demonstrated by providing a copy of a municipal council resolution from each of the municipalities, indicating that the municipality supports the undertaking.
This requirement applies to not only new future landfill proposals but also to landfills currently undergoing the environmental assessment process, even though EAA approval had been previously obtained for the Terms of Reference for that environmental assessment process and even though the environmental assessment process was proceeding in compliance with the approved Terms of Reference.
Proposed section 6.01 applies only to landfills, as opposed to all types of waste management facilities based on the definition of “landfilling site” which is defined as a waste disposal site where landfilling occurs.
While section 6.01 certainly applies to new landfills within the province, it could also potentially be read to apply to expansions of existing large landfills as well. Section 6.01(3) states that the section applies “in respect of a proponent who wishes to proceed with an undertaking to establish a waste disposal site that, (a) is a landfilling site; and (b) is subject to this Part.” While the plain meaning of “establish”, which connotes the initial or first approval and construction of a project, is consistent with the meaning used within the Environmental Protection Act in the context of waste disposal sites, “establish” is not defined within the EAA itself. This leads to the possibility that the unique characteristics of any landfill expansion could lead to an interpretation that the expansion involves the establishment of a waste disposal site. If that interpretation is adopted, then that has huge ramifications with respect to the future availability of landfill capacity in Ontario, exacerbating even more the imminent waste disposal crisis in Ontario.
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About the Authors
Harry Dahme is a partner in Gowling WLG’s Toronto office and past leader of the firm’s Environmental Law Group. He has practised exclusively in the area of environmental law since 1984, and has a solid reputation as one of the foremost environmental lawyers in Canada. Harry is certified by the Law Society of Ontario as a specialist in environmental law, and is described by Who’s Who Legal: Canada 2014 as “widely regarded as a leading authority in the field,” by Legal 500 Canada 2017 as “absolutely fantastic” and by Acritas Stars 2017 as “an acknowledged expert in environmental law.”
Jessica Boily is an environmental lawyer in Gowling WLG’s Toronto office. Her practice focuses on environmental litigation, drawing on her commercial litigation background to achieve successful and cost-effective outcomes. She uses her procedural expertise and technical knowledge to advocate for her clients. Jessica understands that complex disputes require creative scientific and legal approaches. Her clients appreciate her practical advice when managing and resolving multi-party environmental disputes. When litigation is necessary, her clients know her courtroom and tribunal experience will help them achieve the outcome they want.
https://advancedwastesolutions.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Region-of-Waterloo-Landfill.jpg5001600John Nicholsonhttps://advancedwastesolutions.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/coollogo_com-184851434-300x23.pngJohn Nicholson2020-07-24 00:03:292020-07-24 04:04:21The End of Landfills in Ontario? Proposed amendments to the Environmental Assessment Act and the Impact on Waste Management
Statistics Canada recently released its data from its latest survey on waste management in Canada. The survey was for the 2018 calendar year. The previous survey covered 2016.
The data shows that almost 26 million tonnes of non-hazardous waste went to private and public waste disposal facilities in Canada in 2018, an increase of about 3% since 2016. Disposal of non-residential waste amounted to almost 14.9 million tonnes, representing 58% of all waste disposed, while waste from Canadian households accounted for the remaining 42% (10.8 million tonnes).
StatsCan cautions that the data is preliminary. Complete data on waste disposal and diversion for 2018, as well as financial data for the same year, will be released at a later date.
Waste management industry surveys are completed by businesses and municipal government bodies involved in waste management activities. These surveys collect information on the quantity of waste that is disposed of in—or diverted from—landfills. Financial and employment information is also collected.
Peter Hargreave of Policy Integrity Inc. noted that although only a small year over year increase – it is interesting to see the percentage of residential waste disposed in Canada steadily grow as compared to non-residential.
Analysis by Peter Hargreave, Policy Integrity Inc., of Stats Can’s data
In anticipation of the curbside collection contracts renewal, pending regulatory/policy change and the development of a 30-year Solid Waste Master Plan, the City of Ottawa retained Dillon Consulting Limited (Dillon) to complete a study and develop a curbside collection model. The model assisted the City in identifying the most cost-effective curbside waste collection system to help support increased waste diversion and reduce residential garbage, while also considering greenhouse gas impact, and cost of implementation.
The Microsoft Excel model was designed as a tool to assist staff in developing curbside collection options and/or new policies. It is based in Microsoft Excel.
The different waste diversion policies that were considered in the model were:
Bag/container limits for garbage
Pay As You Throw
Clear bag program for garbage
Containerized garbage program
Mandatory participation in diversion programs
Material bans e.g., grass clippings, organics and recyclables in garbage
The collection options considered in the model were:
Weekly co-collection of blue/black box
Status quo level of service with a 4-day collection week
4 day collection week
Status quo with separate weekly leaf/yard waste collection
Separate bi-weekly leaf/yard waste collection
Weekly collection of recyclables and leaf/yard waste
The model requires input of household information, collection seasons/periods, materials collected, truck compartment and utilization parameters, collection factors, collection costs and waste tonnage breakdown by material type to establish a baseline scenario, which is then used to compare against several different collection and policy options. It can compare new collection and policy options against status quo parameters including costs, vehicles required for servicing, diversion rates, and greenhouse gas (GHG) impacts.
Modeling required resources and system performance
Designed for adaptability, the model will allow other Ontario municipalities to analyze their integrated waste collection system by revising the inputs to the model and waste collection program policy customizations. The model produces several estimated outputs, including:
Number of trucks required (per season, per collection stream);
Number of hours required to collect materials (per season, per collection stream);
Annual cost per household and per person ($);
Capture rate (kg/person);
Diversion rate (%); and
GHG impacts (tonnes CO2 equivalents per year).
Note that this study only looks at residential households that receive curbside collection and does not include bulk material collection.
Lessons learned in Ottawa
Key outcomes of the modelling exercise for Ottawa were:
Higher curbside collection costs are attributed to weekly co-collection of dual stream recyclables and leaf/yard waste over a four-day collection week due to the number of vehicles required.
The lowest collection costs are for the status quo, and separate weekly or bi-weekly leaf/yard waste collection due to a lower number of vehicles being required than the other scenarios. Separate bi-weekly leaf/yard waste collection may produce less CO2 equivalents per year than status quo for all policy scenarios modeled.
Weekly co-collection of blue/black box under a four-day collection week is likely to produce the most CO2 equivalents per year due to the number of vehicles required and hours collecting waste materials.
There appears to be a correlation between cost effectiveness and greenhouse gas emissions; higher costs are attributed to model runs that have the higher number of CO2 equivalents per year.
Terrapure Environmental® and East Penn Canada recently announced that they received an Environment + Energy Leader Award for Project of the Year for their closed-loop, circular-economy approach to lead battery recycling. The Environment + Energy Leader Awards is a program recognizing excellence in products and services that provide companies with energy and environmental benefits, and in projects implemented by companies that improve environmental or energy management and increase the bottom line.
East Penn Canada collects spent batteries from its customers and ships them to Terrapure to break the batteries down to their base components for recycling. Terrapure processes and refines the lead to East Penn’s specifications, and it is then returned to East Penn’s battery manufacturing facility in Pennsylvania for use in new batteries.
“This approach is a real win-win,” said Ross Atkinson, Senior Vice President of Battery Recycling at Terrapure. “It provides East Penn a closed-loop recycling process for their batteries, ensuring a beneficial reuse of a valuable commodity, while also helping preserve a finite natural resource. We’re proud to be recognized for our battery-recycling efforts.”
“Not only does Terrapure’s recycling process provide a circular-economy solution for a portion of East Penn’s lead batteries, it also takes 60 percent less energy to produce recycled lead, helping to reduce our carbon footprint,” said Mike Bouchard, President East Penn Canada.
While the overall caliber of entries was exceptionally high this year, judges agreed that East Penn and Terrapure’s closed-loop recycling process demonstrates impressive results. One judge noted: “Building a closed-loop circular-economy system is a significant challenge and expense. Great to see an investment that will impact a broad sector, since lead batteries are used in so many products, both consumer-focused and manufacturing/industrial. The entry provides multiple environmental management results, including preventing waste and promoting reuse, reduced energy consumption for production, and reduced waste to landfill.”
This is the fourth consecutive year Terrapure has been honoured with an Environment + Energy Leader Award. Previously, the company was recognized for its innovative centrifuge technology, its oil-recycling program and its innovative use of biosolids to remediate a mine site with Vale Canada.
“With rapid advancements and a near-constant rate of change in the field, sustainability and energy professionals had to prove to our judges that they were really the best of the best this year,” said Sarah Roberts, Environment + Energy Leader publisher. “With a highly respected – and critical – judging panel and a strict set of judging criteria, entrants faced an extremely high bar to qualify for an award.”
Terrapure receives approximately 10 million batteries annually and produces 125,000 metric tonnes of recycled lead per year, recovering 99 percent of batteries in Canada and diverting them from the landfill.
About East Penn Canada
East Penn Canada specializes in the distribution and safe recovery of lead batteries in Canada. East Penn Canada is headquartered in Ajax, Ontario and operates the largest Canadian distribution and recovery network supported by 17 fully stocked warehouses, a company owned fleet and over 300 employees of battery solution experts.
Terrapure Environmental is a Canadian provider of essential environmental and industrial services for industrial, commercial and institutional customers, including those in the manufacturing, mining, municipal, oil and gas, pulp and paper, refining and petrochemical, transportation, and utilities sectors. Headquartered in Burlington, Ontario, the company employ approximately 2,000 people and operate an integrated network of over 70 locations across
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Mi Terro, a Los Angeles-based cleantech startup recently began manufacturing T-shirts using spoiled using fibers manufactured from spoiled milk. The company uses biotechnology to re-engineer milk proteins into sustainable fibers. The fibers can replace plastic in fashion, medical, and packaging industries. The fibers can also be used to make t-shirts using 60% less water than required for an organic cotton shirt.
The fiber-from-milk method was invented in just three months by co-founders Robert Luo and Daniel Zhuang. After visiting his uncle’s dairy farm in China in 2018, Luo saw just how much milk product gets dumped first-hand, and after some research, he found that the issue was one of a massive global scale.
Mi Terro is make up of a team of Ph.D material scientists and chemists. The company aims to redefine circular economy in which everything begins with food waste and ends as recyclable or biodegradable.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) recently announced the nationwide expansion of an interactive dataset that maps recyclers and landfills for the planning, response, and recovery of debris. This debris recovery tool has already proven valuable in training exercises and response activity to natural disasters.
“EPA is prepared to help communities more rapidly recover from natural disasters,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “EPA’s debris recovery tool will assist federal, state, local and tribal emergency personnel to quickly identify recycling, composting, and disposal facilities near affected areas that may be able to accept disaster debris.”
The expansion of the recovery tool was supported by the E-Enterprise Initiative that emphasizes collaboration and data sharing among EPA, states, and tribes. The recovery tool advances EPA’s goals of recycling and material recovery following natural disasters, such as hurricanes, and is one of several resources mentioned in EPA’s Planning for Natural Disaster Debris Guidance.
The recovery tool can also assist with debris management planning by identifying potential facilities before a disaster occurs, which can help communities recover faster. Better management of debris may reduce injuries, minimize or prevent the environmental impacts of mismanaged wastes and ultimately support compliance with environmental regulations.
Early adoption of the interactive tool in EPA’s Region 5 office has already led to successful disaster debris management planning for the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe and tornado response by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.
For more information on EPA’s debris recovery tool, visit https://www.epa.gov/debris-recovery-map.
For more information on EPA’s Planning for Natural Disaster Debris guide and managing materials and wastes for homeland security incidents, visit: https://www.epa.gov/homeland-security-waste.
For more information on the E-Enterprise Initiative, visit: https://www.epa.gov/e-enterprise.
For more information on EPA’s emergency response program, visit: https://www.epa.gov/emergency-response.
Source: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
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The Ontario Government recently introduced legislation that will provide municipal governments with the right to approve new landfill projects. When the legislative process is complete, impacted communities will have a final say on whether a proposed project can move forward. The legislation provides that municipalities within 3.5km of a proposed landfill site – whether a host municipality, or a neighbouring municipality – will have the right to approve or reject these projects.
The Demand the Right Coalition of Ontario Municipalities (www.demandtheright.ca) has championed the need for municipalities to have approval rights over landfill projects beginning with the in 2017. Since that time, the Coalition has grown to over 148 municipalities across Ontario including both urban and rural communities.
The legislation proposes amendments to Ontario’s Environment Assessment legislation. Once passed, the legislation will affect any new landfill project that has not already received the approval of the Ministry of Environment, Conservation, and Parks (MOECP).
“We fought hard to have adjacent municipalities included in the approval process,” said Mayor Ted Comiskey, Chair of the province-wide group, and Mayor of Ingersoll. Comiskey. “This is very important, as the new landfill proposals can have just as much or more impact on an adjacent community as the host community.”
Comiskey said, “All the members of our coalition are anxious to see the legislative process completed as soon as possible. Once set into law, private waste management companies will finally have to respect the wishes of local communities.”
“This does not mean the end of new landfills in Ontario,” Comiskey said. “The legislation creates an even playing field for municipalities and the waste management companies that may want to develop a landfill in or near that community’s jurisdiction.”
Peter Hargreave, President of Policy Ingretity Inc., stated in a LinkedIn post, that the new legislation will mean less landfills and greater recycling, more Energy-from-Waste, or more trucks heading to the landfills in the United States.
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