Re: 35% EPA Recycling Goal
Fri, 22 Jan 1999 16:20:27 -0500

To: OAS --HW1SSW1 Internet Addressee

FROM: Jeffrey Smedberg, Recycling Programs Coordinator
dpw179 454-2373
SUBJECT: Re: 35% EPA Recycling Goal
Responding to Steve Suess' post...
> ZERO WASTE is the ultimate "waste diversion" goal; not 25%, 35%, or even
>50%. We really ought not lose sight of this, particularly when we go to
>super efforts (often times super expensive ones) to achieve those last few
>percentage point towards whatever todays arbitrary goal is...

I heartily agree. I also think this principle applies to plastics, as in
the current fight in CA over whether rigid plastic containers have reached
25% recycling. If it is determined that the 25% has not been reached, the
plastics industry (i.e. big players) may get off their duffs and get involved
in nfrastructure and markets and end uses and perhaps even consider the
sustainability of finite virgin resource used for single-use products.
If the over-25% recycling rate is accepted, the plastics industry can
relax, knowing that their astro-turf media campaign is as close as they
will ever need to get to green.

I also agree with Paul Hawkins' idea of using economic signals (i.e. taxes)
to promote "goods" such as wise resource use. We are a ways off from changing
the tax code to my liking. In the interim, I think the case in CA of
minimum content law for newsprint is a successful example of leveling the
playing field.

Jeffrey Smedberg, County of Santa Cruz Public Works, CA USA
Voice (408)454-2373 Fax (408)454-2385