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stantially impoverished. Instead, the objective should be to utilize to the fullest the self-purifying properties of the environment, which are enormous when properly understood and managed. Even stanch conservationists may concede in good conscience that not every single acre of land is best utilized by being left alone.

CONCLUSION In conclusion, I would like to express the opinion that a growing partisanship for one or another disposal method on the part of many who comment publicly on solid waste management problems is a disservice to the orderly investigation and development of all methods that may be of value. It seems likely that when every community is employing its optimum waste handling system, we will see a wise diversty of plans in operation. Research and demonstrations on all proposals likely to result in a new and useful management plan, or contribute to the improvement of an existing one, are needed to provide the dirersity of programs that will be required. The growth of solid waste management problems promises to increase at a more rapid rate than the solutions unless greatly expanded research and development programs are sponsored soon by the Federal Government. We expect that expanded research will result, sooner or later, in one or more spectacular breakthroughs to new and better technology, but in the interim it would be prudent to increase efforts to improve existing waste management systems in an orderly fashion to care for existing needs that already have created serious contemporary problems.

It has been a pleasure to present my comments to you, Senator Muskie and Senator Randolph, and I shall be happy to try to answer any questions you may wish to ask.

NEW AND BETTER TECHNOLOGY

Senator MUSKIE. Thank you very much, Professor First, for your excellent statement. In the closing lines of your paper you refer to the possibility of new and better technology. Are there some interesting ones on the horizon which hold any promise!

Dr. First. The only interesting ones are those associated with return to the environment. So far, no interesting ones have been developed which seem likely to cause the waste to disappear or at least to disappear completely.

Proposals have been made to deposit the material in very deep ocean waters where the compressive effect of the ocean deeps will cause the density to become greater than sea water and presumably the material will stay put for an indefinite period.

Other proposals that have been actively advanced are to compress the material into very dense cubes, coat them with plastic or other impervious materials, and again deposit them in the deeps of the ocean where they will stay presumably for an eternity.

ABILITY OF THE ENVIRONMENT

Senator MuskIE. Senator Randolph, did you have some questions? Senator RANDOLPH. Dr. First, you have suggested that we use the ability of the environment to receive and degrade our wastes. Now, would you supply the members of the subcommittee with your thought

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on this capacity of the environment to degrade the wastes and how it is to be allocated between the public and private sectors of our economy.

Dr. First. I believe we must do the same as we do for air pollution where emission limitations apply not only to the private sector but to the public sector also. As you are well aware, I am sure, the Federal Government is making as strenuous an effort as private industry to control its pollution emissions to acceptable standards. Ultimately, of us are consumers and all of us, equally, are polluters. Whether we call it the private sector or the public sector, we all participate in both to a great extent, and I think it is difficult to say that one or the other will predominate.

USE OF THE OCEANS Senator RANDOLPH. Mr. Chairman, I would like to inquire of Dr. First further about his discussion of the waste being deposited in the depths of the ocean.

În long-term programs of solid waste disposal may we not find uses for these wastes. As you deposit them in the sea, in effect are you not saying they are gone? They are not recoverable. Is this what you are saying, Doctor?

Dr. First. Yes, Senator Randolph, this is correct and I would like to emphasize that I think this is in part a resource that we must exploit for the near term until much better technological means for recovery and reuse are developed. We have a serious problem now. It seems likely that it will require about a 30-year period before we develop an entirely new technology. In the meantime, we have to take care of what is here now. Also, there will always be, as I tried to point out in my formal remarks, a residue which cannot be recycled, which is absolutely valueless for any foreseeable purposes, and this fraction must be disposed of to the environment. Need for diversity of programs

Senator RANDOLPH. Mr. Chairman, I think that you and Dr. First could both emphasize that there are needs for diversity of programs, research, pilot projects, and demonstrations. We can't write any of them off or we can't just say one is the answer.

We have got to try to mix them together. In certain areas some of these will be useful, will be flexible, and will be economical to a greater extent than in other areas of the country. That is what you are saying, Dr. First?

Dr. First. Precisely, Senator. Even if the ship incineration project should turn out to be the very best way of handling solid waste, it is obviously completely impractical for the people in Kansas and it would be foolish to maintain that here is a waste disposal method that has universal applicability. It is perhaps useful for the large urban cities along the coastlines and only for these.

KEEPING PACE WITH THE PROBLEM

Senator RANDOLPH. Dr. First, will we be able to keep pace with the problem? Is it going to run ahead of us so that we will not be able to catch up with it, or do you feel that science and technology and proper government and private industry application can do this job? Or, is it going to outdistance us in the immediate and the long look ahead! Dr. First. I feel very strongly, and this is based mostly on our experience in this part of the United States, that if we can find the proper political solutions right away, we can buy a great deal of time by utilizing disposal sites which are available, which are practical, but which are outside the political boundaries of the communities that have a very grave need for them at this time.

We can buy time by organizing regional programs in much the same way as air pollution control regional systems have been formed. We must recognize that solid waste management is also an environmental problem and solutions must be based, not on air sheds, in this case, but on solid waste sheds, if I may borrow that terminology. We must seek a larger approach to the problem. In the Boston community, for example, there are 79 independent towns and cities and each one is a law unto itself with respect to designating disposal sites. This must be broken up soon, otherwise Boston quite literally will have absolutely no place to put its solid waste products. So, if we can achieve the needed political solutions soon, I think the advanced technological solutions will have adequate time for development within the next 20 to 30 years.

Senator RANDOLPH. Then we have a political hydra-headed octopus and we have got to somehow or other unloosen these tenacles?

Dr. FIRST. Yes, sir, and these heads only talk to each other in angry tones. (Laughter.]

Senator RANDOLPH. Thank you, Doctor.

INCINERATOR INDUSTRY

Senator MUSKIE. May I ask, why is it that we haven't got a good incinerator? We have been talking about air pollution for a long time now: is it your impression that the incinerator industry has not applied itself to the task of developing a new, efficient incinerator?

Dr. First. There isn't an incinerator industry in the same sense that there is an automobile industry. The customary way of handling incinerator construction in municipalities is to engage a consulting engineer to develop a plan and, possibly, supervise construction in the same manner that all other major construction projects are undertaken. A subcontractor will install the grates, another the conveyor, and so it goes. Overall responsibility for proper functioning of the plant is broken up into too many small pieces for effective control of operations.

I believe Professor Wilson made a remark that he had talked to a major consulting engineer in this field and asked him how much research he had done in the development of this area and the answer was absolutely none. Well, the reason is that the client does not pay for research and development and consequently the consulting engineer does the best he can with limited knowledge and limited experience.

Senator MUSKIE. Well, it sounds like an area in which government is going to have to do the research.

Dr. FIRST. I quite agree, Senator Muskie.
Senator RANDOLPH. Not a hydra-headed government. [Laughter.]

ECONOMIC VALUE OF WASTE

Senator MUSKIE. On this question of the economic value of the waste materials as against the salvage costs, does the judgment you make on that point take into proper account tomorrow's value of such waste materials ?

Dr. FIRST. I believe it does, Senator Muskie. I stated that we will come soon, perhaps by the next century, to the point where we will have to salvage materials because there just will not be adequate resources available to satisfy needs.

When this occurs, of course, the economic cost of the salvaged material will be in a much more favorable balance with respect to the cost of obtaining it than it is today. We have two separate problems. When the economic value of the recovered material is high enough to pay for its recovery, we will not have to urge people to reclaim it. Now we are in a period when the value of the reclaimed material, in almost every case, is so far below the cost of obtaining it that there is no incentive for doing so. We can go one step further by saying that if we subsidize the recovery of these materials, we cannot at this point even be certain that anyone will take them off our hands for nothing. I believe that here is an area where a great deal of study will be required before we engage in costly, long term studies of how to salvage materials from waste collections.

Concurrently we must look into ways in which salvaged material can be used. I was in Europe a few years ago spending many weeks visiting all sorts of waste disposal facilities there. I went into many composting plants in many countries in Western Europe and I was astonished to see that in many they had literally mountains of compressed tin cans which they had very carefully salvaged from the waste collections. I asked them what they were doing with them and they told me that the steel industry in Western Europe doesn't want these tin cans because they are not clean enough and they have metal contaminants which interfere with their production. Therefore they were just stacking them up and at that time they didn't know what to do with them. Here is a good example of an operation which went halfway, but didn't foresee the end of the line, the actual reuse of the material.

Senator Muskie. Well, if this is an economic truism, then its implication is that the faster we waste materials, the sooner we will come to the day when it will be economically feasible to salvage them.

Dr. FIRST. Well, this sounds more like a nightmare.

INTEREST OF THE ACADEMIC COMMUNITY

Senator RANDOLPH. Mr. Chairman, may I make a postscript in the form of a question ? Dr. First, you are from the academic community. Now, are colleges and universities falling down on the job of training the people who can perhaps do this job even with limited tools? What are we doing in the academic community to train these people? What is the value of the competent services, perhaps even consultant services, to supplement what we are now doing in connection with planning and engineering?

Dr. First. There are programs oriented toward solid waste problems at a number of universities. We have a program at Harvard, School of Public Health. In our case it is highly oriented toward the technical aspects but there are universities that offer programs highly oriented toward the managerial aspects of solid waste management. Therefore, training is available.

The primary problem I see is that after we attract students to this discipline, train them, and graduate them, these new skills are transferrable to many other activities. They are, of course, transferrable

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to private industry and the salaries they offer to graduates are so much more attractive than those of cities and States that I am afraid the governmental units just lose out.

Senator Muskie. Well, thank you very much, Dr. First. May I say that we will include in the record your excellent paper from the New England Journal of Medicine.

Dr. First. Thank you very much, Senator Muskie and you also, Senator Randolph.

(The following article by Dr. First was ordered to be included :)

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