Press Release - Grassroots Recycling Network
Fri, 22 Jan 1999 16:14:30 -0500

TO GreenYes chat group
FROM Grassroots Recycling Network Steering Committee
RE GRN Press Release

The following describes a little of what the Grassroots Recycling Network
is about. Feel free to share it with newsletter editors and others (sending
us a copy, please).

CONTACT: Lance King
Grassroots Recycling Network


Pittsburgh, PA (September 19, 1996) -- Establishing a national goal to
eliminate waste and bring an end to *corporate welfare* for plundering
and wasting America's natural resources is the objective announced today
by 50 recycling leaders in a joint letter to the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency.

"Recycling is the most popular way Americans take action in their daily
lives to protect the environment. The real goal is to eliminate waste, not
manage it," said Bill Sheehan, chair of the newly established Grassroots
Recycling Network and chair of the Sierra Club Zero Waste Task Force.
"We are asking the federal government to set a new national goal that will
benefit all of our communities by creating jobs, conserving natural and
human resources, and assuring the highest quality of life for future
generations. It is our duty to be stewards for the environment," he said.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced in June 1996
that the agency plans to review the national recycling goal. Receiving
public comment on the possibility of establishing a 35 percent recycling
goal for the year is the purpose of a meeting scheduled in Pittsburgh at the
National Recycling Congress.

"Twenty years ago many solid waste planners thought that ten percent
recycling was the limit and in the late 1980s this perceived limit was said
to be 25 percent," said Brenda Platt, a recycling expert with the
Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Local Self-Reliance and a member of
the steering committee of the Grassroots Recycling Network. "the
potential for community economic development is tremendous. Recycling
creates 35 times more jobs, on a per-ton basis, than landfills or
incinerators. A dozen states already recover at least 30 percent of their
municipal discards. If, for example, the greater Pittsburgh region
recovered 75 percent of its waste, nearly 10,000 new jobs could be created
and the majority of those jobs would be in manufacturing."

Gary Liss, executive director of the California Resource Recovery
Association said, "Garbage is really an unfunded mandate. We need to
stop putting the burden solely on local government and taxpayers to
dispose of the seemingly endless flood of consumer products and
packaging." Based in Sacramento, California, the CRRA is the largest state
recycling organization in the nation. Liss also serves on the steering
committee of the Grassroots Recycling Network.

"The Grassroots Recycling Network is planning a national organizing
conference this winter as the kick-off for an outreach campaign focused on
community-based groups," said steering committee member Lance King,
who is an environmental consultant in Sacramento, California.

King said,"Local activists want to send the president and Congress a
simple message, 'lead, follow, or get out of the way.' More Americans
recycle than vote. It is not a partisan issue. Recycling is a part of
rebuilding our communities, creating jobs, and protecting the
environment. The next step is changing attitudes so that the goal of
eliminating waste can harness the creative energies of individuals, the
private sector and government. Some companies already report reducing
waste by 80 to 90 percent through cost-effective strategies centered on
waste prevention, reuse, composting, and recycling."