Episode-1375- John Bushe’ on Zero Waste Technologies

John Bushe’ is a a Marine corps veteran, entrepreneur, and permaculture designer specializing in Zero waste municipalities. John is the founder of zero waste advocacy firm Adbongo, Inc. which offers market research and sustainable development services to municipalities.

Bushe’ founded Adbongo in 2006 as an advertising firm that beat to a different drum. In 2008, Adbongo expanded focus to become a zero waste advocacy organization. Since that time, we have served clients in over 40 industries and from all four economic sectors (government, business, nonprofit and for-benefit).

John Joins Us To Discuss…

  • What is zero waste
  • What are benefits of zero waste
  • How many cities are zero waste
  • What businesses are zero waste
  • How can a person learn more about it
  • What has been done in several Texas cities
  • How does this relate to permaculture
  • What is the cost/reward analysis for zero waste systems

Resources for today’s show…

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25 Responses to Episode-1375- John Bushe’ on Zero Waste Technologies

  1. Lots of counties in Texas have a recycling center in place, call your local county and just pick up a few bins separate your waste into them and when they fill up take them to the recycle center and for paper usually a local school will have a big green bin they have out front to recycle the paper.
    When I lived near College Station TX we didn’t have trash pick up and once a month we went to town drove through the recycling center and they unloaded it, we went to the dump once a year and never had more than a $6 charge for what couldn’t be recylced

    • Ohh we had to buy the bins our self but they were cheap at Wall-Mart and we learned quick to rinse out everything so it wouldn’t stink after few days of being outdoors LOL

  2. Thermal depolymerization? Gunter Pauli converting thistles to bio plastics …

  3. Jack you’re too lenient on politicians. The last time this country had a president that was slightly above criminal was George Washington. 🙂

  4. I like how you finally got him to give some examples. I wish the show was about that. The biggest thing I took away was mixing styrofoam with cement instead of rock, that was cool. I want more of those tips.

    Personally my thought is, you are better off working with your company and yourself. We have a “green” team at our company. I got them to setup compost containers and I was taking home 15 gallons a week. Others on the team got the company to add a recycling stations at work where we recycle everything from paper to styrofoam. I have little waste coming from my homestead.

  5. I think the future in “Zero Waste” will be something like this (http://www.popsci.com/scitech/article/2007-03/prophet-garbage), but rather than burning the organic matter it can probably be put to different uses as described in the podcast.

  6. joanne damon

    About Amazon Certified Frustration-Free Packaging
    I have ordered many items from Amazon that come without all the extra plastic. See:
    http://www.amazon.com/b/?&node=5521637011
    Hopefully they will add more items in the future.

  7. I really enjoy the concept of what John spoke about today, but I also wish he was a little more descriptive about the whole concept in showing practically what it looks like in real life. Especially when you say “more jobs”, “higher profits” etc.

  8. I think that the concept that the interviewee presented (zero waste) is a bunch of marketing mumbo jumbo. Anyone who has worked for a large industrial company knows that the purpose is to make money and if that means selling the by products, so be it. This is nothing new. The ford model t’s engine was packed in a crate that was used as the floorboards for the truck.

    Can more be done, absolutely but do we need snake oil salesman who speak in abstracts? Heck no!

  9. Jack, I have been listening to you for about a year now. Including the past episodes that I have listened to including the women of preppin series, this has to be my favorite episode so far! What a great thing and something that I will look into for my own city. Thanks so much for everything you do Jack! Keep up the great work!

  10. I appreciate the work John is doing, but I’m with Adam R.. I found it frustrating not to hear more practical applications for home implementation. I’ll definitely be looking more into EPIC.. perhaps someone can refer the gentleman he mentioned as a future guest.

  11. Hi John,

    Thank you for taking the time to talk about this topic today. It is definitely an area that I can personally greatly improve on!

    I felt very lost for most of the interview, and if I could make a suggestion, echoing Adam and Cory’s concerns, in future interviews you might want to focus on drawing the listeners in within the first few minutes, then expand on the theory, talking about other people doing the same thing, and what we “should” be doing. Keep in mind that you live and breathe this one topic for countless hours, every single day. For many (most?) of us, this is the first time we have ever heard of the term.

    For example, in the first ten minutes of the interview you could have said, “Zero Waste sounds like a gargon term, right? Well let me boil it down for you and the listeners; Zero Waste is a personal, corporate, or governmental goal of systematically identifying every area where processes produce garbage, and either fixing it at the front end by modifying the process to not require the waste, or at the back end using one person’s waste as another’s resource.”

    Then go into a VERY specific example, so the audience has a concrete example to reference when they hear who else is doing this, and what we “should” be doing. For example, you could tell a story about how an ATV manufacturing company you helped would receive wheels from their supplier in thick plastic bags. Every month they produced 14 tons of trash, and it cost them $20,000 per month to haul that garbage away. By working with their supplier to put the wheels in cardboard boxes, the supplier saved $5,000 per month in packaging, and the ATV company was able to sell 25 tons of cardboard to a paper towel manufacturer for $2,500 per month. This turned a $60k/yr expense into a $30k revenue for the ATV manufacturer, saved cost for the supplier, provided a resource for the paper towel manufacturer, and kept 168 tons of garbage out of a landfill.

    Again, I hope you take this advise as constructive. I think it takes a lot of balls to do an interview that will be heard by over 100k people in the first day. I also have no doubt that you know this subject incredibly well, and just a slight tweak in how you present it could make a massive difference in how the message is understood by the unwashed masses, like me.

  12. Thank you, Great advice. The moral of the story is ask the leadership in your community to create a task force and to investigate Zero Waste so they can become more resilient and sustainable.

  13. I must admit that at first I wasn’t really into this episode but some point along the way I caught the spirit of the idea and my mind ran away with the idea. I envisioned companies designing their products or their waste containers with the next user in mind. Like plywood shipping boxes cut to the dimensions to be used as the bodies for kitchen cabinets. Or maybe a packaging container designed to be a secondary product to the consumer. Like maybe Tupperware shoe boxes. Like flour sacks were printed to become dresses and blankets.

    • Modern Survival

      At Michael, good stuff.

      Little story about how what is old is new again. When Henry Ford started Model T production he had companies bid to build the engines, he didn’t build them in house. The spec sent out for bid stated the engines must be in oak crates of X thickness, Y dimensions and even that a few holes must be drilled at certain spots.

      It really didn’t add that much work and when you want business you do whatever the new crazy horseless carriage guy wants in return for the business.

      Ya, well, crates came in, workers uncrate motor, motor goes to line and gets installed, crate pieces are taken to another part of the line, and guess what, they perfectly fit and become the floor boards of the Model T.

      Now I know we don’t make cars with wood anymore, BUT why can’t we do more things like this? It isn’t hard it just takes THINKING, oh there’s the problem! Thinking, we don’t do a lot of that as a species any more.

  14. When I first heard this it struck me as a company trolling for government grants. Through the comments I realize there are viable ways to reduce waste and profit from it. When I was a metal fabricator, my waste was recycled, it was common sense, just as I sell my aluminum cans rather than throw them away.
    The Model T example and EricM’s explaination were very eye-opening. Thanks for the show.

  15. Hey Rod,

    I live in Michigan, and we have a .10 deposit for cans, so we are quite forced into returning cans. But for folks that do not have a deposit, how much can you get for your crushed cans?

    For example, at my company I have the fridge stocked with everyone’s favorite drinks, and that ranges the gamut from raw milk, to juices, to energy drinks, to a lot of canned beverages. I collect about a full kitchen garbage bag of cans every day. So that makes me wonder if our state did not have deposit, how much would a non-crushed bag of cans be worth in raw aluminium? Or do you have any other example of “I had this many cans, and I got $x?”

    • Modern Survival

      How much? Not much! Spot price on aluminum is 84 cents. 33 cans to the pound, equals 2.5 cents a can. Meaning if you pick up and crush 100 cans you can make a whopping 2.50! Well shit damn, yehaw!

      When I was a kid I had a keen eye for scrap metal, I quickly learned all the money to be made was really in copper. It is how I paid for my first car.

  16. James St. John

    John, what are your thoughts about single stream recycling centers? I didn’t hear any mention of them in the podcast.

  17. The Starbucks example was good, but only touched the surface of one aspect of waste management. I always though there could be a business in many cities of collecting food waste from restaurants and grocers to sell to livestock(or mushroom farmers apparently). The example above of what the ATV maker did could be the basis of a consulting business for other firms that produce office waste. Overall, this is a very thought provoking topic.

    -Ben