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Regenerative Studies

Recycling By Nature has expanded into the arena of integrating materials recovery with the wider world view of environmentally sustainable technology. The intent is to implement strategies to “regenerate” the earth – in essence to give back more than we take from the environment. For the last two years, the firm coordinated fuel cell, photovoltaic, hydrogen re-fueling station, and other demonstration technology experts to develop a Renewable Energy Education concept. Presently being implemented by the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD), Recycling by Nature was able to assist SDUSD in identifying strategic partners to participate in the project; locating and evaluating applicable demonstration technology; conducting LEED/CHPS analysis for all construction and demolition standards; grant writing to acquire implementation funds; and curriculum correlation to California Board of Education Standards.

Scripps Ranch Renewable Energy Education Center (ScR2E2C)
Recycling By Nature served as the project manager for development of a center to provide demonstration of renewable energy technologies and education for the 139,000 SDUSD students. The project included the following potential and technologies.
  • H2 Learning Lab
  •  Visitor/Student Center
  •  Photovoltaics
  •  Stationary Fuel Cells (B100/H2)
  •  Wind Turbines
  •  Outdoor Classrooms
  •  Xeriscape Gardens
  •  Hydrogen Bus
  •  Composting
  •  Weather Station
  • Flexcar
  • CO to H2 with PV
  • Bio Diesel
  • Community Seminars
  • Sustainable Food Production

High School Biodiesel Production
Recycling By Nature served as the project manager for development of a custom biodiesel unit to produce B100 (100% biodiesel) from waste grease for the San Diego Unified School District. The project included coordination of a seminar for high school auto and science teachers to learn how to fabricate a unit and then a follow up seminar to educate teachers in how the process operates. The project was funded through a grant from Miramar College.

Waste Stream Analysis

Recycling By Nature has conducted numerous waste characterization studies that define the overall types and percentages of materials in municipal waste streams as well as targeted wastestream analyses, providing information on specific commodities for proposed plans for materials recovery and recycling.

Recycling By Nature includes waste stream analysis in each waste audit it conducts. Having completed more than 200 waste audits, the firm maintains a significant amount of data and types and quantities of materials generated from commercial business (Please see Commercial and Industrial Recovery Program Implementation).

City of Los Angeles Solid Waste Generation Study
Recycling By Nature served as the project manager for the City's Solid Waste Generation Study and provided senior management review for the City's Source Reduction and Recycling Element.

Data Tracking System and Green/Yard Waste Composition Study
Recycling By Nature developed a data management tracking system for Mashburn Sanitation's (a private waste hauler) residential and commercial recyclable tonnages. The program calculates monthly summaries and revenue percentages, and checks actual tonnages against percentages paid to local cities. Also, under contract to Mashburn Sanitation, Recycling By Nature conducted an observational green/yard waste composition study. Results included information on the percentage of yard waste collected, the average set out per house, and analytical conclusions for planning the implementation of a yard waste diversion program.

Material Quantity and Composition Estimation
Recycling By Nature has provided quantity and composition estimates to public and private clients. We have estimated amounts of disaster debris that would be generated in the event of an earthquake for the City/County of San Francisco and well as assisted companies such as United Airlines project the types and amount of materials that would be generated from a building demolition at LAX.

County Of Alameda Source Reduction Assessment
Recycling By Nature assisted the primary SRRE Consultant in identifying existing Source Reduction levels in Alameda County for inclusion in the County's SRRE.

Technical Assistance in Developing Solid Waste Densities
Recycling By Nature has assisted a number of municipalities develop solid waste densities to use in converting visual estimates. Examples include the City of Los Angeles, private recyclers, and companies implementing recovery programs.

Market Research, Assessment and Market Development

Accurate market assessment is the foundation for any successful materials recovery program. Recycling By Nature has been instrumental in assessing local and regional secondary materials markets for a number of municipalities, while preserving the proprietary nature of the materials processors' information. Recycling By Nature also has worked on projects to expand the variety of materials recovered and to develop more stable markets to minimize the cyclical effects of secondary materials markets.

Generator Specific Marketing Plans
A significant element of Recycling By Nature’s business includes development of generator materials marketing plans. These plans identify local marketing options for generated reusable and recyclable materials. Plans have been developed for more than 200 companies. Types of companies range from construction and demolition contractors to the largest broccoli processor in the world.

Market Development Strategies
Recycling By Nature provided technical assistance to the City of Watsonville in developing an overall market development strategy. This project included development and coordination of a four county, 28 jurisdiction Central Coast Recycling Market Development Zone concept. Recycling By Nature then formulated the concept into a comprehensive application to the California Integrated Waste Management Board Recycling Market Development Zones Program.

Recycling By Nature also provided technical assistance to the City of Los Angeles in developing a Market Development Zone Application for the California Integrated Waste Management Board.

Region-wide Market Assessments
Under contract to Recovery Sciences, Inc., Recycling By Nature completed a market assessment of the existing and potential markets for materials generated in the City of Olympia, Washington recovery programs. As a function of larger planning projects Recycling By Nature has conducted market assessments for the City and County of San Diego, City of Oakland, City/County of San Francisco, and the City of San Jose.

Waste Fiber and Tire Pyrolysis Market Assessment
As a subcontractor to Cal Recovery, Inc., Recycling By Nature assessed waste discharge characteristics and options for treatment for waste fiber mills for the California Integrated Waste Management Board. Again as a subcontractor to Cal Recovery, Inc., Recycling By Nature evaluated the market development opportunities of the four products recovered from tire pyrolysis.

Implementation of Commercial and Industrial Recovery Programs
(Waste Audits)

Conducting waste audits for private clients is a major part of Recycling By Nature's work. Waste audits define the materials flow within a facility and form the basis for an optimal recovery program. Once a program's parameters have been established, Recycling By Nature offers training and technical assistance to successfully integrate the materials recovery process into the workplace. Recycling By Nature has conducted more than 200 waste audits for public and private clients. Four large studies are profiled below.

San Diego Unified School District
Recycling By Nature conducted a recycling evaluation of San Diego Unified School District in 2001. This project included analysis of the 180 school sites, the maintenance yard and supply center. The report determined that the District could save more than $450,000 per year.  SDUSD hired Recycling By Nature under Tetra Tech EMI to implement the report recommendations.  The project included the development of recycling programs for paper, wood, pallets, beverage containers, computers (e-waste), metal, green materials and food. Grants and strategic partnerships provided funding to develop Planet Protector Clubs at the 100 plus elementary schools; whereas, each of the 25 middle and high schools were treated individually. In addition, Recycling by Nature developed specifications to require recycling in all new building construction.

Moscone Center, San Francisco Convention Center
Recycling by Nature conducted a waste audit in 1997 and assisted with implementing a materials recovery program for Moscone Center. The study included sampling of the eight on-site compactors, identification of institutional barriers to program implementation, negotiation with more than 17 key types of working functions, and development of an overall source reduction and materials recovery program. At present, we have assisted with equipment specification and purchase, pre-program education and outreach as well as implemented six programs not requiring long equipment purchase lead times.

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
In 1992 Recycling By Nature conducted a waste audit for the 100 tenants located on LAX property. From 1993 - 1996, Recycling By Nature assisted the Department of Airports in implementing a Source Reduction and Recycling Plan that targeted 58% of the 50,000 tons of material generated at this site each year. The program includes a mandatory diversion level designation by generator type, and implements a 23-part phased recovery program to support generators in reaching the diversion rates. By its third year, the program had increased recycling at the airport from 5.6% (baseline year 1990) to 20.9% (1994). Recycling By Nature provided research, educational materials development, tenant training, and planning support for LAX. The City of Los Angeles maintains file copies of the LAX Waste Audit Update completed by Recycling By Nature in 1995.

United States Post Office Waste Audit -- Los Angeles District
In 1994, Recycling By Nature conducted a waste audit for the 72 postal service stations located in its Los Angeles division. The study and implementation plan showed that the postal service could save over $250,000 in avoided disposal costs and earn a minimum of an additional $250,000 in revenue from the sale of materials.

United States Post Office Waste Audit – Santa Ana Performance Cluster
Recycling By Nature is presently preparing a recycling strategy for the Santa Ana Performance Cluster. The draft report indicates potential savings of more than $455,000 if the 119 facility performance cluster implements a comprehensive reuse, recycling and monitoring program.

County Of Alameda Waste Assessment
Recycling By Nature participated in a solid waste assessment project for the Alameda County Waste Management Authority. A waste audit was performed at the Holiday Inn in Emeryville. In addition, Recycling By Nature provided technical assistance on development of a commercial recycling strategy for Alameda County.

Port of Los Angeles Waste Audit
Recycling By Nature conducted a waste audit of the Port of Los Angeles 60 tenants and City operations. Waste composition and quantity data were stratified by generator type and waste type. The audit served as the basis for lowering the estimated tonnage generated by the Port in the original AB 939 Solid Waste generation Study as random sampling showed a generation rate of more than 70,000 tons and waste audit sampling determined the generation levels were closer to 21,000 tons per year. Determining that more than 40% of the Port wastestream was wood based materials, the resulting plan recommended purchase of a horizontal grinder.

Described as the largest broccoli processor in the world, Recycling By Nature completed a comprehensive waste audit of the company’s processing plant in Monterey County. The resulting implementation plan recommended changes in purchasing as well as identified alternative markets for broccoli culls to decrease their waste disposal costs by more than 80%.

Ontario Airport
Recycling By Nature is presently implementing a comprehensive materials recovery and source reduction program for the Ontario Airport in Ontario, California. The project includes an aggressive recovery plan for both the airport managers and tenants.

Construction and Demolition Recycling

Recycling By Nature works with private construction and demolition (C&D) companies to provide equipment specification assistance, business opportunity identification, marketing and operational advice. Recycling By Nature also provides space allocation estimates for reuse and recycling in new and existing construction as well assists public and private clients with implementation of demonstration projects.

Northridge Earthquake Response Coordination
As project manager for the City’s recycling response, Recycling By Nature was responsible for the recovery of more than 1,880,000 tons of C&D materials. The project included a waste characterization study, development of a recovery strategy, debris processing operation technical assistance for private processors, contracts for more than 17 processing facilities, development of recycling language for City debris collection contracts, training of more than 300 collection contractors, facility monitoring, data tracking systems development and maintenance, a building salvaging program, public outreach materials, facility materials specifications, contractor training manuals, City inspector training and troubleshooting.

County of San Diego 2003 Firestorm Response
Recycling by Nature assisted the County in implementing a strategy to maximize materials recovery after the wildfires ravaged 400,000 acres.  The recovery program reached a 42% recycing rate by developing a hauler recycling guide and  offering bins for source separation of materials at each residence.  Recycling by Nature is presently assisting the County in developing a disaster debris recycling plan.

Space Allocation Analysis for Moscone Center West
Working for Gensler Architects, Recycling By Nature developed space estimates and equipment required for implementation of a comprehensive recovery program in a proposed three story, 240,000 square foot space. The project included equipment specification, material projection, and recommendations for equipment placement.

Space Allocation Ordinances for the City of Hayward, City of San Diego and City of Los Angeles
Recycling By Nature researched a space allocation ordinance for the storage of recyclable materials in new and existing construction for the City of Hayward. The study explored the code modification issues, identified internal and external implementation problems specific to the City of Hayward, and provided recommended municipal code language changes. Recycling By Nature conducted the same type of analysis for the City of San Diego and the City of Los Angeles.

Mixed Inerts Processing and Concrete Bagging Project
Recycling By Nature is presently on retainer to assist Specialty Crushing, Inc. develop a mixed inerts processing operation as well as develop a recycled concrete bagging operation for this Bay Area rock crusher. This project includes grant writing, equipment specification development, and permit review.

Technical Writing and Review

Recycling By Nature provides writing services to both public and private clients. From grant drafting to production of training manuals, Recycling By Nature creates timely and concise written products. As described in other sections, we draft collection and marketing agreements, materials specification sheets, as well as provide review of staff generated materials.

County of Sacramento Waste Audit Component
Recycling By Nature assisted the County of Sacramento, Department of Public Works in developing a waste audit component for their Sacramento County Business Recycling Guide.

Recycling By Nature has drafted more than 50 grants for public and private clients. Successful examples include funds to develop LAX recycling and education centers from the Department of Conservation, a baler grant from the City of San Francisco,and a hydrogen refueling station from the California Air Resources Board.

Public Education Program Development and Outreach

Technically competent programs cannot be implemented effectively without public education. Recycling By Nature has participated in developing over 100 successful public education campaigns for citizens, waste haulers, business and industry.

County of San Diego Mandatory Recycling Outreach Program
Recycling By Nature functioned as part of a three firm team in implementing a public education program for the County of San Diego's mandatory recycling ordinance. Recycling By Nature coordinated technical review of the campaign to ensure all work produced conformed to existing solid waste and materials recovery practices. Recycling By Nature was responsible for development of a comprehensive composting program targeting landscapers, residents and commercial on-site generators. In addition, Recycling By Nature conducted a Market Research Survey summarizing data from a random sampling of 400 telephone surveys.

City of Los Angeles Public Education Manuals
Recycling By Nature coordinated the drafting and technical production of the Los Angeles Baler Guide, All Papers are Not Created Equal and the City Grasscycling Brochure.

Municipal Framework Development

In working with municipalities, Recycling By Nature has had much success with its community specific approach. Because no two regions are identical, each area requires a local infrastructure analysis that precedes the development of policies and materials program configuration. Recycling By Nature provides community specific analysis and information, including one day workshops with municipalities, overall policy development, and subsequent plans for implementation.

San Francisco Disaster Debris Recovery Implementation Plan
Recycling By Nature and J. Edwards and Associates developed a disaster debris recovery system to allow the City to process debris for the purposes of recycling in the event of an earthquake. The project included evaluation of existing construction and demolition processors, prediction of the types and amounts of debris that could be generated, identification of potential processing sites, markets, mobile and equipment purchase opportunities and recommendations for expansion of the existing infrastructure. The plan includes an operational approach and action plan to be used in a disaster situation as well as an extensive communication materials and public outreach plan. The team was recently awarded a contract to implement recommended pre-disaster action items.

San Francisco Commercial Business and C&D Recycling Outreach
In partnership with J. Edwards and Associates, we were recently awarded a three year contract to provide technical assistance and outreach to San Francisco businesses. Under this contract we will develop strategies to produce actual reuse and recycling tonnage. In addition a significant component of this contract includes developing systems to increase C&D recycling within the City as well as directly working with C&D contractors to develop recycling programs.

Source Reduction and Recycling Elements
Under contract to CR&R, Inc. a solid waste services and secondary materials handling company, Recycling By Nature prepared a Solid Waste Generation Study and Source Reduction and Recycling Element for three cities in Orange County. The project developed the comprehensive plan in accordance with the "Planning Guidelines for Preparation, Revisions and Amending Countywide Integrated Waste Management Plans" (Chapter 9, Article 14).

Strategic Reuse and Recycling Planning for the City of Oakland
In cooperation with Recovery Sciences, Inc., Recycling By Nature prepared a recycling plan for the City of Oakland. The study included identification of program alternatives, analysis of the existing secondary materials infrastructure, and recommended policy formation.

Planning and Policy Development for the County Of Santa Cruz, City Of Scotts Valley, City Of Watsonville
Recycling By Nature functioning provided technical assistance to the County of Santa Cruz, the City of Scotts Valley and the City of Watsonville in developing a strategy for how to collect and process recyclables and discards. Recycling By Nature advised the County and two municipalities on how to incorporate local and small recycling and manufacturing businesses into existing and possible future refuse, recycling, and composting contracts.

Local Government Planning and Implementation Technical Assistance
Under the California Resource Recovery Association and Local Government Commission's technical grant from the State of California, Department of Conservation, Recycling By Nature worked with local agencies in the following manner:

• County of Riverside: Recycling By Nature provided staff training in integrated waste management priorities. In addition, Recycling By Nature reviewed the County's Source Reduction Plan and provided comments.

• City of Hayward: Recycling By Nature worked with the City's recycling coordinator to evaluate the City of Hayward's approach to the recycling requirements of AB 939.

• City of Atascadero: Recycling By Nature served as a technical advisor to the City's Recycling Advisory Committee and to the Atascadero City Council.

• City of Oakland: Recycling By Nature prepared a paper identifying the major decision making issues in developing a curbside recycling program. The firm also provided technical assistance in plans to meet AB 939 requirements.

Private Hauler Residential Collection Strategy
Recycling By Nature compiled an overall recycling plan for Wilmar Disposal, a local San Luis Obispo waste hauler, and designed a flexible curbside collection program that allows for the collection of additional commodities as markets become available.
Profiles of these projects are available upon request.