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Mar 19, 2010

Material use in a closed loop system remains relatively stable and minimizes ecological impact. This differs from an open loop system which requires a constant input of raw materials. This is a basic comparison:

In an open system that requires ten pounds(4.5 kg) of materials to produce a product or service every ten days to complete a lifecycle, then an entire year will result in 36.5 lifecycles which equals 365 lbs of materials(166.5 kg) per year.
The equation: Lifecycles multiplied by weight per lifecycle= weight per total lifecycles.

In a closed loop system that uses the same material per lifecycle to produce a product or service then the ten pounds(4.5 kg) will be reused for the entire year. Therefore, the amount for the entire year will be only ten pounds(4.5 kg). The closed loop system in this example uses less than 3% the amount of the open system. As the years pass, the closed system is an even better performer because it keeps reusing the same base material, whereas the open system needs an additional 365 lbs(166.5 kg) per year. In ten years the closed system is over 360 times more efficient.

An open system which is currently standard on a regional scale with a population of 3.5 million people who each produce 4 lbs(1.8 kg) per day (which is the U.S. average) calculates to over 5.1 billion pounds(2.29 billion kg) per year. The equation:
3.5 million people multiplied by 4 lbs(1.8 kg) per day multiplied by 365 days year = 5.1 Billion lbs(2,29 billion kg) per year. In ten years this same population will produce over 51 billion lbs(22.9 billion kg) of waste.

A Closed System can greatly reduce this amount.  In addition to the material savings many other indirect savings in water, energy and time can be realized. These include:
1) Saving via direct conservation by reducing daily waste.
2) Saving energy via recycling which typically uses less energy.
3) Saving by having less infrastructure to support.
4) Saving by having less transport involved in moving material in a closed loop system.
5) Saving water by using fewer processes.
6) Saving by reducing the need for landfills. 



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Posted: Friday March 19, 2010, 1:06 pm
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Nolan Cary
male, age 41, single
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