September 19, 2006

CALIFORNIA: National Latino Congreso Endorses Conversion Technologies

The deployment of community-based waste management technologies is not only a public sanitation and health issue, it is also an employment and an environmental justice issue. As Latinos are elected to strong leadership positions, they are devoting time and commitment to community action plans that will have a positive impact on the state's quality of life.

At the recent National Latino Congreso held in Los Angeles, many proposals were introduced and voted on pledging support for activities that will improve the health and environment of all Californian communities. One proposal that was passed demonstrates the group's awareness of the opportunities and benefits inherent in conversion technologies.


WHEREAS, the California Integrated Waste Management Board indicates that over 40 million tons of waste are landfilled every year just in California, despite a 50% recycling rate; and
WHEREAS, landfill space is at a premium, and disposal rates are estimated to increase; and
WHEREAS, the siting of landfills and solid waste disposal facilities is a major Environmental Justice issue, and eliminating the need for disposal reduces the impact on communities with nearby disposal facilities impacting their quality of life; and
WHEREAS, conversion technologies are processes capable of converting residual post-recycled solid waste and other organic feedstocks into useful products, alternative fuels, and clean, renewable energy, and offer strategic energy, economic, social and environmental benefits; and
WHEREAS, biofuels derived from solid waste and excess biomass via conversion technologies and can be a clean, renewable fuel source that reduces our dependency on fossil fuels; and
WHEREAS, the use of conversion technologies can contribute solutions to California’s critical waste disposal and environmental problems, and result in substantial environmental benefits for California, which include reducing the amount of waste disposed in landfills, production of renewable energy, and reduction air emissions including greenhouse gas emissions; and
WHEREAS, conversion technologies can create “green collar” jobs with good wages and benefits through increased private investment;

THEREFORE, be it resolved that the 2006 National Latino Congress:

1. Support the enhancement and expansion of waste reduction and recycling programs nationwide, and the adoption of zero waste goals to eliminate the concept of waste;

2. Conserve natural resources and reduce the amount of hazardous materials in the waste stream by supporting and promoting preferable purchasing programs, product redesign, advanced disposal fees and other manufacturer responsibility measures as well as enhanced collection and recycling infrastructure;

3. Urge state and local communities throughout the country to invest in landfill alternatives, such as conversion technologies, which create “green collar” jobs and make use of abundant biomass and organic waste resources in an environmentally beneficial manner;

4. Lobby lawmakers at the State and Federal level to provide clear permitting pathways for the development of conversion technologies, and properly define and incentivize the development of these technologies based on sound science and their life-cycle environmental impacts and benefits in relation to other solid waste management options.

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