The November 16th, 2012 Tennessean published an editorial by the President of BURNT, Bruce Wood. The first few paragraphs highlighted BURNT’s stance for limiting landfills in order to implement more environmentally sustainable and job creating recycling solutions:
“America Recycles Day, observed on Nov. 15, came at an exciting time for Tennessee. Our desperate need for jobs means that landfill companies will no longer be the sole players in solid-waste policy making.
Jobs and economic development will drive Tennessee policy. On July 11, during a hearing by the state Senate Energy Committee on diversion of waste from landfills, the general manager of a construction waste processor testified his company had 26 employees. He testified that landfilling this same waste would create three jobs. A study by the College of Charleston illustrates that if Tennessee recycled 50 percent of the 8 million-9 million tons of solid waste we landfill, this would create 6,800 jobs and a payroll of $268 million.
Waste is growing. In 1960, 181 million Americans generated 2.2 pounds of waste per person daily. Our 2010 population of 310 million generates 4.6 pounds of waste daily per capita. We now generate 1.4 billion pounds of waste daily rather than 378 million pounds in 1960.
Waste is growing in toxicity. Groundwater within 12 square miles of the now-closed 75-acre Dickson County Landfill is permanently polluted with industrial chemicals, pesticides and fiberglass waste. Many of these chemicals did not exist 50 years ago. “Dead zones” at the mouth of every river in the world are testimony to the chemicals we use routinely in business, agriculture and consumer life.”