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Gershman, Brickner & Bratton, Inc. - Solid Waste Management Consultants

Innovation and Leadership
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Quality - Value - Ethics - Results

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Speaker's Corner

"Overview of Waste Management 'State of Mind' In the U.S."

Presentation by
Harvey Gershman


On April 16, 2010, GBB President Harvey Gershman made a presentation entitled "Overview of Waste Management 'State of Mind' In the U.S." during a symposium entitled: "Science, Policy & Politics of Waste... Revisiting Our Solid Waste Management Infrastructure," hosted by King County, WA Councilmember Kathy Lambert. 

The event, which was aired on KCTV, featured presentations and interactive dialog about international experience with recycling and waste-to-energy, best practices and the future of solid waste planning in the Northwest.

>> PDF of presentation
>> Broadcast of presentation
(20 minutes)
>> Symposium info/presentations

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Recent GBB Assignments

In the past few months, GBB has been selected for several new assignments, including:

Review/Procurement of Collection Programs
City of Fort Wayne, IN

Integrated Waste Management Routing Solution Implementation
Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, KY

Recycling Policy Analysis
The Aluminum Association

We appreciate the opportunity
to assist these clients with their needs.

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Gershman, Brickner & Bratton, Inc.

Gershman, Brickner & Bratton, Inc.
8550 Arlington Boulevard, Suite 304
Fairfax, VA  22031

Phone: 703.573.5800
Fax: 703.698.1306

For more info about GBB:



Green-Ness is Next to Godliness: Organics Diversion at a Religious Institution

BaltimoreWhen Congregation Beth El in Bethesda, MD, first attempted to implement a recycling program, they had no idea how far into its organization the program would go, or how much it would be able to reduce its waste.

As a religious facility, the temple hosts activities all week long, including various spiritual services and functions on different days; daytime administrative activities; a preschool; evening meetings; and a variety of special events. The 1,100 members use the building's sanctuary, offices, classrooms, a kitchen, restrooms, and multi-functional banquet and meeting rooms. With a commercial kitchen preparing snack foods and meals, the challenge was even greater to reduce the amount of material in the building's waste container and increase recycling.

Volunteers from their Green Tikkun Environmental Committee performed a waste sort in the spring of 2008, using interested parishioners and input from GBB staff. Waste was divided into categories of interest to the Committee in examining materials for increased recycling and waste reduction. The recyclables container was also sorted and they found that, although setting out 38% (by weight) for recycling, some of it was non-recyclable material. The waste sort discovered that 52% of what was in the trash was organics which could be diverted for composting, and another 15% of the trash should have been put in the recycling container. The facility's waste generation breakdown (by weight) was as follows, based on total materials set out for collection, regardless of the container in which they were deposited: 45% recyclables, 33% organics, and only 22% trash.

Using the sort results, as well as knowledge of recycling services available in the area, the Committee rearranged waste container types and collection schedules to capture more volume and kinds of recyclables. In addition, they implemented policies and procedures inside the building and at various levels of the organization, to assist in delivering the appropriate materials to their respective containers. These activities included providing interior recycling containers as needed, complete with signage, and training service workers on the new segregation categories.

Although the program was initiated by citing the Jewish mitzvah "Do Not Waste," the cost of service was still an important consideration. While adding more recycling services and initiating food scraps/organics collections, by making initial small changes in waste collection services, the temple held its service cost stable. As the program continues to develop, oversight of waste collection needs is anticipated to allow a reduction in waste service levels and in collection costs.

After one year, another waste sort was performed to evaluate progress. The results showed marked gains and revealed additional activities that will help further improve waste reduction. Through operational modifications, program upgrades, and training, they had been able to revise their actual waste generation to a composition of 66% organics, 25% recyclables, and only 9% trash. However, not all of the material was being captured in the appropriate collection containers, and the facility was setting out 47% of its waste as compostable organics, another 20% as recyclables, and 33% (by weight) as trash. Amazingly, they noticed that even the 33% portion set out as trash still consisted of 52% organics, 23% recyclables, 5% reusable items, and only 20% actual trash, leading them to ponder further programmatic adjustments to capture all of the materials in proper disposal streams and reduce the actual volume in the trash container to virtually nothing!

Related Web Links:

>> Presentation made at the U.S. Composting Council Conference

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Updates from the Guam Receiver

BaltimoreIn a Court Order dated March 17, 2008, U.S. District Court Judge Frances M. Tydingco-Gatewood appointed GBB to be Receiver with full responsibility for bringing the Guam Solid Waste Management Division into compliance with the 2004 Consent Decree for violation of the Clean Water Act. The latest information about the receivership is available at:

Receivership Two-year Anniversary
March 2010 marks the two-year anniversary of work for the Receivership. In a Court Order dated April 9, 2010, Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood stated: "The court finds the work performed by GBB and SWMD employees in concert with the various governmental agencies over the last two years truly impressive... What was once perceived as an insurmountable hurdle is now becoming a long awaited reality for the people of Guam."

>> List of the major achievements of the Receivership

New Trash Cart Program
BaltimoreThe Solid Waste Management Division significantly increased its customer base during the 1st quarter of 2010. During the registration period for the new cart-based collection system, both new and previous customers were required to register. As of March 31, 2010, a total of 17,309 customers were registered, a 37 percent increase over the number of registered customers (12,589) before the registration period began.

Quarterly Report
On April 8, 2010, the Receiver submitted to the U.S. District Court of Guam its
eighth Quarterly Report, which included updates on the following: Review of Receiver's First Two Years; Layon Landfill and Access Road Construction, Construction Management, Design and Permitting; Trash Cart Rollout and SWMD Operations; Financial Issues and Capital Funding; Next Steps.

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Into Success Stories!

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