Pro-Recycling press release
Fri, 22 Jan 1999 16:21:26 -0500

For Immediate Release Contact: Allan
Margolin 212 505-2100

Lisa Swann 202 387-3500

Group Issues Critique Of The New York Times Sunday Magazine Cover Story On

(25 July, 1996 -- Washington) The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) today
lauded statements made in support of recycling by the paper, steel, glass and
plastics industries. At a press conference convened in Washington, DC by the
National Recycling Coalition, trade association representatives from these
industries confirmed that recycling reduces environmental impacts and also
creates jobs and competitive manufacturing industries. The industry press
conference was called in response to an article entitled Recycling is Garbage,
which ran in the The New York Times Sunday Magazine on June 30. EDF today
issued its own response to the Times Magazine article -- a detailed rebuttal
entitled Anti-Recycling Myths.

While EDF strongly supports a vigorous appraisal of the environmental and
economic consequences of recycling, Recycling is Garbage was anything but a
fact-based assessment. The Times Magazine did not quote from any sources who
work in recycling businesses or public agencies, but instead relied on the
claims of a small group of anti-recycling think tanks and consultants who
oppose recycling on ideological grounds. EDF's 18-page commentary on the
Times Magazine article counters the claims made in the Times Magazine, and
documents the environmental and economic benefits of recycling. Copies of
Anti-Recycling Myths can be obtained by calling EDFs Washington office; the
report is also posted on EDFs site on the World Wide Web at

It is time to stop comparing recycling to garbage collection as if they
provided exactly the same benefits to society, said John Ruston, EDF economic
analyst. Recycling protects the environment while creating jobs and
competitive manufacturing industries. The industry trade associations who
endorsed recycling today represent companies that manufacture more than
$206-billion of primary industrial materials annually and are a vital part of
the United States economy. Their support of recycling as an industrial process
makes its clear that recycling has benefits that extend far beyond solid waste

The show of unity today by all of the major material industries to deliver a
pro-recycling message demonstrates just how off-base the views expressed in the
Times Magazine article are," said EDF senior scientist Dr. Richard Denison.
Every major study that has examined recycling in comparison to one-way systems
for production, use and disposal of virgin products and packaging has
documented recycling's major environmental benefits. We join with all of the
major industry groups in saying: 'It's time to tell the truth about the wisdom
of recycling.'"

The Environmental Defense Fund, a leading, national, NY-based nonprofit
organization, represents 300,000 members. EDF links science, economics, and
law to create innovative, economically viable solutions to todays environmental