EPA letter change

Fri, 22 Jan 1999 16:19:07 -0500

Dear Bill,

Thanks for cc'ing the letter to EPA re 35% recycling goal. I would like to
suggest one clarification in the wording, which I think would help get our
message across more strongly. However, let me say up front that with or
without this change, I definitely support sending the letter, and give my
authorization for you to sign my name & affiliation (Gretchen Brewer,
Principal, Earth Circle Recycling & Conservation).

The suggested change is in second sentence. I feel it is important to be
very clear at the beginning of the letter, since it is long, and all too
often things are not fully read. The point I refer to is made clear later in
the letter, but I think it should be very clear at outset.

The sentence reads: "We applaud..., but we urge EPA to set a waste
elimination RATHER THAN a recycling goal..." The difficulty is with "rather
than" which gives the impression of an either-or situation--either waste
elimination or recycling. I think what is meant is a broader goal that

>>bill proposes change to:
We applaud EPA for setting a national goal, but we urge EPA to set a
waste elimination that relies on waste prevention, reuse, recycling and
composting, and to set a far more ambitious goal.

embraces recycling, also includes source reduction, reuse, composting, etc,
AND goes beyond these things to the a priori causes of waste, namely,
resource utilization policies, subsidies on extraction of minerals, timber,
etc, (i.e., CORPORATE WELFARE); production, distribution, transportation, and
advertising practices of industry and agro-business, etc. I'm not sayiong
that all these things need to be added to letter, just that it should be
crystal clear at very beginning that waste elimination includes recycling.
(However, in a later paragraph that talks about subsidies, where the word
"welfare" appears, I'd be inclined to say "corporate welfare," picking up on
Clinton's mention of this in a recent campaign speech.)

>>bill sez: same comment from Mary.

I suggest clearing up the either-or part because I've worked with a lot of
govt bureaucrats, industry folks, etc, and found that they by and large do
not have the sophisticated understanding of this subject that we do, having
wallowed in it for so many years.

Otherwise, I think the letter is very good, and I express my thanks to Neil,
Brenda, you, and any others who put in the effort to write it. I, for one,
am grateful that you all are able to invest the time to stay on top of these
issues and write the letters (& responses to ridiculous pieces like
Tierney's) that others of us can't find the time to do. So, profuse thanks
to all of you. ...

Cheers, Gretchen Brewer