GreenYes Digest V96 #45

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GreenYes Digest Wed, 11 Dec 96 Volume 96 : Issue 45

Today's Topics:
(Fwd) Humor: The bureaucratic story of Genesis
3 Zero Waste Columns for Local Papers
Sustainable UNH: Indicators of sustainability
Used Oil Regulation

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Date: Tue, 10 Dec 1996 10:41:31 EST
Subject: (Fwd) Humor: The bureaucratic story of Genesis

------- Forwarded Message Follows -------
From: "J. Bonitz" <>
Organization: NCDEHNR, Office of Waste Reduction
CRC Active Members
Date: Tue, 10 Dec 1996 10:36:12 EST
Subject: Humor: The bureaucratic story of Genesis
Priority: normal

------- Forwarded Message Follows -------
>> In the beginning God Created heaven and the earth. Quickly
he was faced with a class action suit for failure to file an
environmental impact statement. He was granted a temporary permit for the
project, but was stymied with the Cease and Desist order for the earthly
part. Appearing at the hearing, God was asked why he began his
earthly project in the first place. He replied that he just liked to
be creative.
>> Then God said, "Let there be light." Officials immediately
demanded to know how the light would be made. Would there be strip
mining? What about thermal pollution? God explained that the light would
come from a huge ball of fire. God was granted provisional permission to
make light, assuming that no smoke would result from the ball of
fire, that he would obtain a building permit, and (to conserve energy)
would have the light out half the time. God agreed and said he would call
the light "Day" and the darkness "Night." Officials replied that
they were not interested in semantics.
>> God said, "Let the earth bring forth green herb and such as
manyseed." The EPA agreed so long as native seed was used. Then
God said, "Let waters bring forth creeping creatures having life;
and the fowl that may fly over the earth." Officials pointed out this
would require approval from the Department of Game coordinated with
the Heavenly Wildlife Federation and the Audubongelic Society.
>> Everything was OK until God said he wanted to complete the
project in six days. Officials informed him it would take at least 200
days to review the application and the environmental impact statement.
After that there would be a public hearing. Then there would be 10-12
months before...
>> At this point God created Hell.


Date: Tue, 10 Dec 1996 07:07:51 -0800 (PST)
From: "David A. Kirkpatrick" <>
Subject: 3 Zero Waste Columns for Local Papers

Grassroots Recyclers -

Attached are the three columns I wrote, with your input and edits, for
our local paper promoting a zero waste strategy. Feel free to adapt them
for your local papers. If you use my text verbatim, just note "reprinted
with permission of the Herald Sun Newspaper and David Kirkpatrick,=

Thanks again to those of you who gave editing feedback. My apologies for=
long posting.

First in series
Reprinted with permission of the Herald-Sun Newspaper--Published 12/8/96
Editor's note: this is the first of a three part Forum Page series=
ways Durham might reach the goal of zero waste for the next century. Author
David Kirkpatrick, a founder and former director of SunShares, is the=
of KirkWorks, a recycling and environmental economic development firm based=
Durham=92s public officials are facing a dilemma similar to that faced by=
of us in the polling booth -- choosing the lesser of two evils. Do we build
a new landfill in Durham or do we construct a transfer station and ship our
waste to an out-of-county landfill?=20

I propose we consider a third alternative -- building the public and private=
infrastructure for near total recycling of Durham=92s discarded materials=
pursuing a zero waste goal for the next century. By "total recycling" I=
waste prevention, recycling, composting, repairing or reusing all discarded=

As a nation, we recently exceeded 25% recycling, a level many skeptics
called impossible a few years ago. Now, several cities are achieving nearly
50% diversion from landfills, including Seattle, San Jose, Minneapolis, ST.
Paul and Takoma Park in Maryland. Canberra, the capital of Australia, has
set a zero waste goal by 2010. =20

Here in North Carolina, the state legislature has established a goal of 40%
per capita waste reduction by June 30, 2001. By working with big industrial=
generators, some rural counties have already exceeded the goal, including=20
Northampton (54% per capita waste reduction) , Richmond (51%) and Stokes=
Alamance County, including Burlington, reports 35 % waste reduction,=
in part by a landfill ban on a wide range of recyclable commodities, in=20
conjunction with a comprehensive recycling program.

Durham has also made much progress -- achieving 11 % per capita waste
reduction from 1988 to 1995 -- the best record of NC=92s six most populous
counties, according to the state=92s solid waste management report. We have
achieved this through some of the state=92s first recycling and composting
programs, instituted around 1990, combined with higher landfill tipping
fees. However, with the right investments, public policy, and civic and
business leadership, we could move towards 100% reduction of our mixed waste
disposal in the next few years.

Many companies are already striving for and have nearly achieved zero
emissions and zero waste, such as Hewlett Packard in CA, Interface Carpets
in GA, Wellmark Corp. in Asheboro, and Main Street Caf=E9 in Durham. These
companies are working to achieve higher profitability by eliminating
environmental liabilities and often generating new scrap product revenues.

Why pursue zero waste? Because disposal of mixed solid waste is inherently
dangerous to the environment and public health -- whether handled in
landfills, incinerators, pyrolysis plants, mixed waste composting or other
"black box" garbage processing facilities. When we mix our refuse together,
we unfortunately sometimes include batteries, waste oil, pesticides,
chemicals, and other toxics that will eventually contaminate groundwater,
the air, or the soil. By providing opportunities to separate and recycle all
of our discarded materials, hazardous materials will have "nowhere to hide"
in mixed garbage containers and will have to be reduced at the source,
recycled, or treated separately.

Beyond public health and environmental concerns, we are losing economic
opportunities by burying our discarded material. A waste stream analysis
generated by the state estimates that the paper, glass, aluminum and steel
cans and #1 PETE and #2 HDPE bottles in Durham County=92s "trash" would be
worth about $3.9 million dollars if all were recovered and sold to recycling
processors =96 yet we are currently recovering only about one-fifth of these

If we attracted or started manufacturing businesses that not
only processed our scrap materials but made new products -- such as glass
tiles, molded fiber packaging, cellulose insulation, or plastic containers
-- the local sales revenues and job creation would be that much greater. The
Institute for Local Self-Reliance estimates that processing recyclable
materials generates ten times more jobs on a per ton basis than landfilling,
while recycling-based paper mills and plastics manufacturers employ 60 times
more workers than do landfills. Especially with upcoming welfare reform and
the recent loss of two manufacturing employers in downtown Durham, these
manufacturing jobs could offer new employment to citizens of our inner city

"Zero waste!" Is this a crazy goal or a prudent strategy for the future?
If I have persuaded you that a zero waste goal could make sense as an
environmental and economic development strategy for Durham, your next
question might be "How can we do it?" and "Is it affordable?" In my next
column, I will note that if we can separate our discarded materials into a
few reusable, recyclable, and compostable streams, there are companies
interested in profitably recovering nearly all of our materials. In the
third and final column, I will suggest some immediate next steps to move
Durham towards total recycling and away from reliance on either local or
out-of-town landfills.

Second in a series
Reprinted with permission of the Herald-Sun Newspaper--Published 12/9/96
Achieving zero waste and full materials recovery from homes and businesses
in Durham will require new thinking, new policies, and new businesses. We
currently often mix all of our discarded materials together and call them
"garbage", "trash", or "solid waste." When we mix different commodities
together in our garbage cans, dumpsters, packer trucks, and landfills we
lose their inherent value had they been kept separated at the source. =20

It would be like taking all of the food out of our refrigerators and=
and throwing it all in a big boiling pot together =96 who would want the=
However, if we take each ingredient out separately and prepare it according
to a recipe we can be sure that at least someone in the household will eat=

So, too, with almost all of our discarded materials. If we keep them
separated in a few reasonable categories, recycling entrepreneurs will be
eager to process or manufacture them into new products. The NC
Environmental Business Study released in July 1996 identified 586 recycling
companies in the state, with $945 million in sales and 8,970 employees.
These companies are involved in collecting, processing, reusing, composting
and remanufacturing a wide range of materials.

In Durham, these companies include Automotive Waste Recycle, Bakery Feeds,=
BFI, Building Supply Recycling Center, Durham Scrap Metal, Orange Recycling=
Services, Paper Stock Dealers, Reynolds Aluminum, S. Swartz & Sons,=
Waste Industries and Waste Management.

By declaring a zero waste goal and instituting the policies and
infrastructure to achieve the goal, Durham can help these ventures to grow
and encourage more companies to relocate or start-up in the city. Instead
of investing most of our public funds in solid waste collection containers,
fleets, transfer stations, and landfills, we should build the infrastructure
to foster these sustainable ventures. =20

For example, West Virginia=92s Solid Waste Management Board commissioned=
Ore, Inc. to develop designs for an Integrated Resource Recovery Facility
(IRRF). =20
The IRRF is designed as a "reverse shopping center" with several recovery=20
businesses leasing space as tenants. Each of these businesses specialize=20
in recovering one or more of the "clean dozen" master categories of=
material, as defined by Urban Ore: reusable goods, paper, plant debris,=
scraps, woods, ceramics (brick, concrete, etc.), soils, metals, glass,=
textiles, and chemicals.

Durham=92s local governments could play a role in fostering the development=
an IRRF by doing site preparation, installing shared truck scales, providing
business incubator services, employee training and placement, and providing
a flow of source separated materials from municipal collections. With these
incentives, recycling entrepreneurs would find the IRRF site an ideal
start-up or expansion site. At a minimum, these ventures would need to

* recycling processors for cleaning and compacting glass, metals, paper,=20
plastics and textiles for manufacturing markets=20

* soil products companies for shredding, composting and screening
plant debris, food waste, soil, and mixed paper=20

* salvage and reuse firms to receive, organize, and sell reusable goods=20
and to salvage building materials=20

* one or more aggregate processors to separate, crush and screen=
and demolition materials not otherwise salvageable. =20

Companies receiving higher value discards, such as reusables,=20
could accept materials for free (or pay for them) while processors of lower
valued discards such as aggregates could charge a per ton drop-off fee that
would cover processing costs but be less than the cost of landfill disposal.

Taking this design even farther, plans for Canberra, Australia=92s zero
waste/100% recovery facility also include space for dozens of small scale
manufacturing companies around the perimeter of the core tipping and
processing areas =96 shipping out glassware, fertilizers, furniture, rebuilt
computers, cellulose insulation, plastic lumber and a host of other products
made from recovered materials. An industrial site like the soon-to-be
vacated 150,000 square foot Golden Belt factory in downtown Durham could be
renovated as an IRRF, providing new manufacturing jobs for central city
neighborhoods and a host of new entrepreneurial opportunities.

The IRRF concept helps us to visualize what is possible. Given the
realities of existing development and businesses, it is likely that a
network of recovery ventures across Durham would also grow and develop if we
put public support behind a full recovery strategy. However, the
centralized and networked recovery locations must be convenient and
affordable for citizens and haulers, so that they have an economic incentive
to separate and recycle their discards. In the near term, some residual
mixed solid waste will be generated, but high local or out-of-county
landfill costs should strongly discourage wasting and encourage patronage of
local recycling companies. I will suggest some next steps for Durham to
move from a "solid waste disposal system" to a "recovered materials economy"
in my next column.

Third in a series
Reprinted with permission of the Herald-Sun Newspaper--Published 12/10/96

How can we convert our garbage into commodities and jobs in Durham? By
making it easy and cheap to recycle and reduce waste while difficult and
expensive to create waste. In our homes, this means convenient, weekly
collections not only for newspapers, bottles, cans, leaves, and brush, but
also for magazines, junk mail, office paper, textiles, used oil, reusable
goods and food scraps. With all of these materials collected for recycling
and composting, we should generate very little if any waste for landfilling.=

However, household waste is only about one-third of what goes in the Durham
landfill =96 the rest comes from businesses, industries, and universities.
Each of these generators also needs convenient collections of the materials
it discards=96 paper from offices, cardboard from retail outlets, food=
and containers from restaurants, and specialized scrap materials from
industrial facilities. =20

If we institute more comprehensive recycling collections, though, how can we
be sure everyone participates? Some businesses and homes in Durham already
reduce waste and recycle aggressively, but many still are throwing
everything "away". Many communities have decided to adopt "pay as you
throw" fees in which each home and business pays for the full cost of their
solid waste collection and disposal, based on how much they waste. If one
printing company fills up a garbage dumpster per week, they pay accordingly,
while another printer that recycles all of their paper scrap avoids the
waste fees and sometimes even earns recycling revenues. At the residential
level, pay-as-you-throw programs need to provide credits for fixed or low
income residents to help assure that the fees do not make the tax structure
more regressive. Everyone has the opportunity to cut waste costs by
reducing their waste at the source and recycling.

Other cities have made recycling a mandatory civic duty =96 like stopping at
stop signs. Easy recycling opportunities are provided for all and all are
expected to participate. Homes and businesses that mix their recyclables
into waste containers are generating more expenses and environmental
liabilities and are cited and fined accordingly. Already, the city has
taken this type of initiative with one material =96 cardboard. Businesses=
provided with free cardboard recycling dumpster collections and if
commercial garbage trucks dump waste loads at the landfill including large
amounts of cardboard, they are double charged tipping fees.

If we provide strong economic incentives, civic requirements, and thorough
education, Durham residents will respond by recycling, composting and
reusing more and reducing waste at the source. But how will we pay for the
new recovery efforts? One way would be to cut back on mixed solid waste
collections, once we all have the opportunity to recover the majority of our
materials. In my household and home office, only about 15% of our discarded
materials goes into the garbage roll out cart, the rest are recycled or
composted. At that rate, once per month mixed waste collection would be
quite sufficient.

Currently, much of the city=92s revenue to support solid waste and recycling
programs comes from the tipping fees charged at the landfill, along with
property taxes. As of January 1, 1998, state law will require all unlined
landfills, including Durham=92s, to close. We will have to find a new way=
fund our discarded materials system. Reduced mixed solid waste collection
and disposal costs, higher recycling and composting revenues, property
taxes, and pay-as-you-throw fees can all be part of the mix to address this
fiscal shortfall. Our new financing plan should provide more revenue and
less expenses as we reduce waste. Unfortunately, we now have the
counter-productive economic incentive to landfill more so as to collect more
tipping fees.

The added benefits of overcoming our reliance on landfills and fostering a
sustainable materials economy can be significant. With the loss of many
cigarette manufacturing jobs, Durham needs new industries that are
accessible to skilled blue collar workers. If we keep our scrap commodities
separate, many new employment opportunities could be generated in
manufacturers using recovered materials, in repair and reuse shops, in
processing plants, in soil products companies and in collection programs.
By realizing that our "solid waste problem" is really a "commodity
manufacturing opportunity," Durham has the chance to develop a win-win=

Achieving zero waste will be a challenge for every household and business,
and especially for Durham as a whole. But what is the alternative?
Accepting the continued community divisiveness, environmental hazards, and
expenses of landfilling? Accepting the lost economic and employment
opportunities of burying valuable commodities? Surely we can do better. As
our parents and grandparents knew and our children remind us -- We can
"waste not, want not."

David Kirkpatrick
Post Office Box 15062
Durham, NC 27704-0062

919/220-8065 (Voice)
919/220-9720 (Fax)

David Kirkpatrick
Post Office Box 15062
Durham, NC 27704-0062

919/220-8065 (Voice)
919/220-9720 (Fax)


Date: Tue, 10 Dec 1996 13:06:26 -0400
From: (Becky Herman)
Subject: Sustainable UNH: Indicators of sustainability

I don't remember who requested info on indicators of sustainability (or
even if the request was on this list!). Anyhow, here's something I got
today on my University's Sustainability listserve concerning
sustainability indicators. I hope it gets to the person who wanted it!

-Becky Herman
UNH Recycling Office
>Date: Tue, 10 Dec 1996 10:41:50 -0500 (EST)
>From: Amy M Seif <>
>To: Robert T Eckert <>
>Subject: Sustainable UNH: Indicators of sustainability
>MIME-Version: 1.0
>On Mon, 9 Dec 1996, Robert T Eckert wrote:
>> The following is a list of possible indicators for a sustainable university.
>> It is taken from: Uhl, C., D. Kulakowski, J. Gerwing, M. Brown, and M.
>> Cochrane. 1996. Sustainability: A touchstone concept for university
>> operations, education, and research. Conservation Biology 10(5):1308-1311.
>> Campus environment
>> Green space % total area
>> Native vegetation; intor spp. % of green space
>> Area covered by impervious surfaces1 % total area
>> Pesticide use (grounds/bldgs) kg/ha or kg/student
>> Campus drinking water quality ppm pollutants/L
>> Resource Consumption
>> Renewable and nonrenewable energy use BTU/student
>> Energy resource cleanliness ppm pollutants/student
>> Water consumption (primary & recycled) L/student
>> Paper consumpt. (primary & recycled) kg/student
>> Locally produced food consumed % of total
>> Solid and hazardous waste generated kg/student
>> Main transportation mode (car, bus) % students each
>> Campus Community
>> Campus crime rate crimes/student
>> Student volunteerism % of total students
>> Educational Quality
>> Student faculty ratio no. students/no faculty
>> Courses focusing on ecological literacy no. and students affected
>> Successful degree completion rate no. completed/no. started
>> Spending/student dollars/student
>> Research
>> Funding for sustainability-related res. dollars/topic
>> Faculty conducting research on
>> sustainability related topics % of total
>> I suggest we look at this list and think about it from our own areas of
>> expertise and interest to see how we might adapt or modify these
>> indicators for UNH.
>> There are several criteria helpful in choosing indicators, they:
>> 1. reflect something basic and fundamental to the long-term
>> educational, economic, environmental, or social health of a community.
>> 2. are understood by people in the community to be a valid sign of
>> well-being (or symptom or stress)
>> 3. are statistically measurable
>> 4. are logically or scientifically defensible
>> A discussion of these indicators ought to help us get to know each other
>> better, and should contribute to the overall process of moving our campus
>> community toward a sustainable future.
>> I especially thank Amy Seif for pointing this article out to me, and I
>> urge people to read the entire article. The Conservation Biology journal
>> is in the Bioscience Library in Kendall Hall.
>> Bob Eckert

Recycling Coordinator
Grounds and Roads Dept.
21 Waterworks Rd.
University of New Hampshire
Durham, NH 03824-3519
PHONE: (603)862-3100
FAX: (603) 862-0139


Date: Tue, 10 Dec 1996 15:42:07 -0600 (CST)
From: Rod McCormick <>
Subject: Used Oil Regulation

Manitoba Department of Environment is proposing a number of changes to
regulations and policy in order to develop a more effective management
system for used oil.

For more information see the discussion paper at:


Comments to:


Date: Tue, 10 Dec 1996 23:07:21 -0800 (PST)
From: (Christine Pinkham)

unsubscribe greenyes


End of GreenYes Digest V96 #45