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 MICHIGAN CITY, Ind., Nov. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- The following was written by Gerald Scott, director of corporate communications, of Cadence Environmental Energy Inc.
 Day one ... Turkey dinner.
 Day two ... Turkey casserole.
 Day three ... Turkey sandwiches.
 Day four ... Turkey salad.
 Day five ... Turkey soup.
 Grandma knew all about it. With a little creativity you can use leftovers in many ways till everything has been beneficially used. That's just plain smart.
 Smart people in industries large and small are working hard to minimize the amount of waste they generate. Waste minimization programs are nothing new. They've been around a long time because they make good business sense. It's no surprise that economic rather than environmental factors have been the driving force behind most of these programs. Savvy industries know that waste is one of the most expensive parts of their product. Minimizing it drives raw material costs down, profits up, and sharpens market competitiveness. Waste minimization is good business and makes sense any way you look at it.
 While waste minimization must continue to be encouraged, we cannot lose sight of the fact that even at the fastest reduction pace, hazardous waste is going to be around for a long, long time. In fact, the problem may never completely disappear. This year, American industry will generate more than 197 million tons.
 The question is, while waste is being minimized, what do you do with the waste that is generated?
 Perhaps we have to look at industrial waste the same way Grandma looked at the turkey after Thanksgiving dinner. It's really not waste at all, just something leftover that needs to be creatively used in other ways. The key word is used. Back in Grandma's day "waste" was a foreign concept. Sure, there were things left over, but nothing was wasted ... everything was used somehow. Today, we might chuckle at how things were saved, used, and reused in the past; but the fact is, they had a different way of looking at things back then. We accept the concept of waste ... they didn't. We can learn from that.
 Some industrial leftovers have raw material value: Glass, steel, aluminum, plastics, for example. These materials can be recycled into the same or other products made from the same basic material. Some industrial leftovers have no further material value but are rich in carbon and hydrogen, the building blocks of all fossil fuels. These leftovers have a double value. One ... they can be used as fuel; and two ... their use conserves non-renewable fossil fuels. Clearly, any material that can meet those two criteria cannot be considered "waste."
 The trick is to find a way to safely and beneficially use the energy contained in these industrial leftovers.
 Enter the cement kiln.
 Cement kilns have been around for more than a hundred years. They produce the world's most important building product ... cement, the "glue" that holds concrete together. Cement kilns are huge rotating cylindrical furnaces. In fact, they're the largest manufacturing machines in the world. Some are 750 feet long and 20 feet in diameter and are internally heated to temperatures exceeding 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Today, there are more than 200 cement kilns in the country. Each one uses about 12 tons of fossil fuel such as coal every hour. Combined, they can use as much as 20 million tons of coal or other fossil fuels each year. While cement is vital to the nation's economy, the cement industry places crushing demands on non renewable fossil fuels.
 If we can conserve valuable non renewable fossil fuels by safely using the energy contained in industrial waste we would be managing our resources in a most responsible way. We would be conserving the new by using up the old. Grandma would like that.
 The operative word here is safely. Can cement kilns safely use these leftovers as fuel or do some of the hazardous qualities of the fuel escape from the process and wind up in the environment? The question is the subject of hot debate. Opponents of the technology argue that the practice is not only unsafe but actually encourages the production of industrial waste.
 Regarding safety, the cement industry has spent millions on hard scientific studies to verify the safety of their technology. All point to the fact that a cement kiln, operating under the strict controls of the BIF (Boiler and Industrial Furnace) regulations, can not only safely and efficiently destroy hazardous waste but productively use all the elements contained in the waste more completely than any other method of thermal treatment. Opponents summarily dismiss volumes of supporting scientific evidence from around the world choosing rather to keep their arguments focused on the emotional component of "hazardous waste." The facts are that cement made using "waste-derived" fuel along with fossil fuels is as safe and strong as cement made using fossil fuels alone; and, because of tight BIF regulations, overall kiln stack emissions are often reduced. The BIF regulations, designed by the US EPA, make cement kilns the most tightly regulated thermal treatment devices in the nation. Some thought BIF set the regulatory bar so high that no cement kiln could operate within its limits. They were wrong. Repeated tests have shown that BIF-regulated kilns can clear the bar with room to spare, and do it again and again. Talk is cheap, but good research is not. Opponents have yet to produce any broad-based evidence grounded in equally good science that supports their position.
 Another focal point of the opposition's argument is that the thermal combustion of industrial leftovers in cement kilns actually encourages waste generation. So long as there is a way to get rid of it, they argue, industries will have no incentive to reduce. Their solution ... ban a safe, working answer while searching for other ways to solve the problem. That's like saying let's stop vaccinating people against diseases while we look for a way to stamp out the disease. Without exception, thermal treatment technologies, including energy recovery in cement kilns, are the most expensive disposal options available to generators of organic waste. For years that high cost has provided an ample incentive for all smart businesses to reduce the amount of hazardous waste they generate. Is that incentive working? In 1987 more than 238 million tons of hazardous wastes were generated; in 1989, that number was 197 million tons. A 17 percent reduction in 3 years. Though the vast majority of that 197 million tons was waste water, the trend towards minimization is obvious.
 Today, source reduction fueled by market-driven economic issues and resource recovery through cement kiln recycling are working hand-in-hand to keep hazardous wastes out of the environment. As good as cement kiln recycling technology is today, it will continue to get even better.
 One more thing, we can take another huge step in the right direction by re-thinking the definition of "waste." Even though manufacturers cut leftovers down to the bone, something will always remain. What you call it determines how you'll think about it and handle it. The dictionary defines waste as "a worthless or useless byproduct." With respects to Mr. Webster, that definition is a relic from the "throw away" society of the '50s and '60s. It's the kind of thinking that caused the pollution problems we face today. We need to understand that everything can be used for a beneficial purpose. We have to use our creative energies to determine what those uses are. If Grandma could do it, we can too.
 The technology that uses industrial hazardous leftovers as fuel to make cement is hard at work today helping industry and the environment. It is conservational creativity at its best.
 Grandma would be proud.
 -0- 11/19/93
 /CONTACT: Gerald Scott, director of corporate communications, of Cadence Environmental Energy, 219-879-0371/

CO: Cadence Environmental Energy Inc. ST: Indiana IN: ENV SU:

BM-KL -- CLFNS1 -- 6365 11/19/93 07:32 EST
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Date:Nov 19, 1993

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