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The Zero Waste Residuals Processing Facility

Additional Information:

Eric Lombardi, Executive Director, Eco-Cycle International
Dr. Jeffrey Morris, Economist & Lifecycle Assessment Expert, Sound Resource Management Group

While leading communities continue to move beyond 70% landfill diversion, there is still the challenge of handling thousands of tons of mixed-waste residuals (a.k.a. "leftovers") that need to be disposed of. The question arises, "What is the best method for managing our residuals in order to reduce the harm and risks to public health and our environment?"

To answer this question, the team of Dr. Jeffrey Morris, Dr. Enzo Favoino, Eric Lombardi and Kate Bailey took the 30% residual waste leftovers after the successful landfill diversion programs in Seattle, Washington, and ran it through eight different "residual management scenarios," based on the three leading technologies in the marketplace today:

  • Landfill with landfill-gas-to-energy (LFGTE);
  • Waste-to-energy (WTE) as practiced today by leading WTE companies as mass burn incineration
  • Mechanical Recovery, Biological Treatment (MRBT), a dual-purpose sorting facility designed to handle both source-separated recyclables/compostables as well as mixed-waste, that in addition performs after sorting a bio-stabilization process before burial to prevent the creation of landfill methane.
Using the "Measuring Environmental Benefits Calculator" (MEBCalcTM), created by Dr. Jeffrey Morris, to assess each leftovers management scenario across seven lifecycle environmental impacts: climate change, acidification, eutrophication, respiratory diseases, non-cancers, cancers, and ecotoxicity, the study found MRBT had the lowest overall environmental and human health impacts of all the disposal technologies. The full paper can be found at

This webinar addresses the current controversies related to:

  • How do we build these systems in a way that doesn't undermine the growth of community source-separation programs in the way that traditional dirty MRF's do?
  • What is an appropriate name for this approach (MRBT or ZWRPF or ?)
  • How do we market this system as a part of a community Zero Waste plan?
January 01, 2015
Available for Immediate Download

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