Fri, 22 Jan 1999 16:13:39 -0500

** High Priority **

>>> <on 10/19/96 7:01 AM >>>>

The Grassroots Recycling Network aims to promote three messages to
the American public:

1. Zero Waste
2. Create Jobs From Discards
3. End Corporate Subsidies For Waste>>>>>>>>>>>

Laudable goals.
Although folks will debate the proper tone for communicating the
message, the message is cogent and defensible. In addition to the
recycilng message that GRN is articulating do you see it as your
mission to put discards management in the larger context of materials
use policy?

The question is important because you do not make adequate reference
to reduction before recycling:

* treat all discarded materials as resources;
* replace solid waste management with resource management; and,
* tear down the market barriers that protect the solid waste
landfill and incinerator industries from competition from materials

...and unless you state positively that it is not your intention to
speak to materials use your advocacy could be construed to overlook
or minimize its importance. Of course, with a grassroots focus,
advancing a national/international agenda, as is the case with
materials use policy, could be confounding and a conflict of
priorities. waste management policy has a significant local
character - though not exclusive of national policy - and is more
suitable for a grassroots locality oriented campaign.

By materials use policy I refer to the gammet of issues that promotes
consumption of durable goods and penalizes product design that would
promote repair and reuse before recycling (use of materials). Here
we would deal with issues such as incentives for good design to
reduce waste, such as leasing rather than sale. Businesses would
sell a service - such as copying, but would retain ownership of their
copier. It would then become advantageous for them to design toner
and cartriges for reuse - since it would be their dime. Copiers
would be designed modularly to enable upgrades to components with
advances in technology - the whole unit wouldn't have to be scraped
(this is increasingly the case in Europe). This could apply to many
appliances from computers to washing machines. Repair (jobs) would
increase everywhere - mass production would decrease. Consider the
appilcation of this and allied strategies across the board for
durable products. The standing stock of wealth in the economy would
not change, the flow of resources though the economy would decrease
dramatically. Toxic material use reduction is another important area
of consideration.

This is a different tack than addressing disposable packaging - but
complementary. If GRN does not intend to advance reduction before
recycling, there should at least be some recognition of its
complementary function, and a bow to its objectives.
>>>>>Larry Martin
------The Other Economic Summit "TOES `97", Denver -------
"Working Alternatives: A World That Works"