GreenYes Digest V97 #99

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Fri, 22 Jan 1999 16:52:42 -0500

GreenYes Digest Mon, 5 May 97 Volume 97 : Issue 99

Today's Topics:
Coke's Response to Phone Inquiry
Fwd: Sustainable Solid Waste Management in Developing Countries
Please help with internalized costs argument (2 msgs)

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Problems you can't solve otherwise to

Date: Sun, 4 May 1997 17:49:23 -0400
From: RJ Herman <>
Subject: Coke's Response to Phone Inquiry

I have to relay a story to all of you....I found the whole experience
kind of amusing although I won't feel bad if the rest of you don't. Well,
here goes.

I was making a bunch of displays with the students in my office a few
weeks back for UNH's Earth Day Fair, put on annually by SEAC. One display
was "what recyclables are made into." We included both an aluminum can,
and, a glass bottle. On each I decided to put a more descriptive phrase.
At first the phrases read, "100% recycled can" and "100% recycled
bottle." Then I decided to drag out some manufacturing specifications
(great descriptives written in UIC's monthly newsletter). In the
newsletter, it suggested that only 30% glass cullet (that would be the
recycled glass) was used by most glass remanufacturers, although several
were attempting to incorporate more glass cullet (the article wasn't new).
Well, the glass that we had already superglued to the display was, of
course, a Minute Maid. I called up the 800 number to find out for sure how
much recycled content in the glass, only to get the initial response,
"Coke, may we help you?"
Here's what I found out. Glass bottles have 30% recycled glass
cullet, aluminum cans are made out of 50% recycled aluminum, and...Coke is
sold in recycled PET in other countries because it is "economically
feasible." Phone-man didn't know why it was economically feasible in other
countries while it wasn't here, but telepathically we surmised together,
that other countries must fine industries that find it uneconomically
feasible to use glass, aluminum, or, recycled PET. That's the long and
short of it anyways.

Recycling Coordinator
University of New Hampshire
Grounds and Roads Dept.
21 Waterworks Rd.
University of New Hampshire
Durham, NH 03824-3519
PHONE: (603) 862-3100
FAX: (603) 862-0139

The opinions expressed here
do not necessarily reflect those
of the University System of
New Hampshire


Date: Sun, 4 May 1997 19:32:29 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Fwd: Sustainable Solid Waste Management in Developing Countries

In a message dated 97-05-03 14:42:17 EDT, (Lynne
Elizabeth) writes:


Forwarded message:
From: (Lynne Elizabeth)
Date: 97-05-03 14:42:17 EDT

Hi Gary,

I'm sure you are up to your neck in alligators with the conference coming
up in a month, but I thought you might want to pass along this opportunity
to your colleagues.


>Date: Thu, 1 May 1997 07:03:24 +0900
>Reply-To: "ECOCITY: Sustainable Urban Development" <ECOCITY@SEGATE.SUNET.SE>
>Sender: "ECOCITY: Sustainable Urban Development" <ECOCITY@SEGATE.SUNET.SE>
>From: Eng-Leong Foo <foo@IAS.UNU.EDU>
>Subject: Sustainable Solid Waste Management in Developing Countries
>Comments: To: List ENVINF-L for Environmental Information
> <>,
> list infoterra <>,
> list wastenet <>
>You are invited to join the online discussion on "Sustainable Solid Waste
>Management in Developing Countries."
>The discussion will be held via the mailing list ECOCT-P
>to join, email and write the message:
>SUB ECOCT-P yourfirstname yourlastname, organization
>for personal assistance, contact -
>From: Luis F. Diaz[SMTP:ludiaz@CALRECOVERY.COM]
>Sent: Wednesday, April 30, 1997 11:32 PM
>Subject: [ECOCT-P] Discussion/Seminar
>Dear Colleagues:
>ISWA's Ad Hoc Committee on Developing Countries would like to continue its
>efforts to contribute towards the improvement of the solid waste management
>situation in developing countries. As such, I would like to conduct a
>discussion/seminar for a limited period of time and following a certain
>schedule. Based on the results of this discussion the Committee will design
>other activities.
>Attached is a file with additional information. After the conclusion this
>activity, I will summarize the results, share them with all of you, and
>hopefully publish them somewhere.
>I would also appreciate receiving your comments and suggestions not only on
>this matter but also on other topics and additional activities that we could
>Best regards,
>L.F. Diaz
>Chair, ISWA Ad Hoc Committee
>Discussion on: "Sustainable Solid Waste Management in Developing Countries."
>Objective: The primary objectives of this discussion are: 1) to identify
>the key problems associated with reaching sustainable solid waste
>management in developing countries and 2) identify potential solutions to
>deal with those problems.
>Instruments: The basic instrument for this discussion is an article
>written by a colleague of ours and member of ISWA's Ad Hoc Committee on
>Developing Countries, Dr. Hisashi Ogawa. The article was presented at the
>7th ISWA International Congress and Exhibition, Parallel Session 7,
>"International Perspective" in Yokohama in 1996. The paper is available
>at the following address: An abstract
>of the article follows.
>In the last 20 years, a number of solid waste management projects have
>been carried out in developing countries, in collaboration with external
>support agencies. Some projects were successful in producing lasting
>impacts on the improvement of solid waste management in developing
>countries. However, many projects could not support themselves or expand
>further when the external agencies discontinued their support. A number of
>technical, financial, institutional, economic, and social factors
>contribute to the failure to sustain the projects, and they vary from
>project to project.
>Often the recipient countries and cities tend to accept whatever resources
>are provided to them without due consideration to subsequent resource
>requirements. The external support agencies have limitations in the amount
>of resources they can provide and the mandates and modes under which they
>can operate projects. Sometimes, projects are initiated with specific aims
>and expected outputs, but their scopes are not comprehensive enough to
>consider external factors influencing them. The external support agencies
>often do not fully understand socio-economic, cultural, and political
>factors influencing the selection of appropriate solid waste management
>systems. In other cases, very limited follow-up support, including human
>resource development activities necessary to sustain the project
>implementation, is provided by the external support agencies.
>These problems and constraints associated with external support agencies'
>collaboration with developing countries in solid waste management can be
>minimized, and the sustainability of such collaborative projects improved
>by packaging efforts of external support agencies; defining clear roles of
>relevant agencies and improving their coordination in developing
>countries; creating key human resources; supporting strategic planning and
>follow-up implementations; developing self-financing schemes; and raising
>awareness of the public and decision makers.
>About the Author : Dr. Ogawa was born in Kyoto, Japan. He received his BS
>in Mechanical Engineering from Keio University (Japan), his MS in
>Environmental Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology (USA), and
>his Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from the University of
>Massachusetts (Armherst, MA, USA). He currently is an Environmental
>Systems Engineer at the World Health Organization's Western Pacific
>Regional Environmental Health Centre in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He often
>provides expert advise in solid waste management to a number of countries
>in Asia and in the Western Pacific.
>Procedure for the Discussion: The intent of this discussion/seminar is to
>build upon the ideas suggested by Dr. Ogawa and to propose additional
>alternatives for solving the problems faced by most developing countries
>in the field of solid waste management. As such, I would like to follow
>the schedule presented later.
>Schedule: A review of Dr. Ogawa's paper will indicate that the paper is
>divided into four parts: 1. Introduction, 2. Problems and Constraints in
>Developing Countries, 3. Constraints of External Support, and 4. Keys to
>Successful Collaboration. I would like to follow the following schedule:
>May 5, 6, and 7: Discuss the Introduction and Problems and Constraints in
>Developing Countries (Sections 1 and 2) propose additional material;
>May 8 and 9: Constraints of External Support (Section 3) propose
>additional points;
>May 12: Keys to Successful Collaboration (Section 4) propose additional
>May 13 and 14: Summary and Recommendations from the Discussion Group.
>Follow-up: Based upon the results of this discussion, the Ad Hoc Committee
>will develop seminars or other discussions of general interest.


Date: Sun, 4 May 97 13:59:50 PDT
From: (Bruce Nordman)
Subject: Please help with internalized costs argument

On the question of how to communicate the problem that uncosted
environmental (and other) externalities pose for recycling, it
might be helpful to emphasize to people that this is one of the
many ways in which markets as we use them often don't work as
advertised. Clearly markets do many wonderful things for us,
and could be used more effectively, but a balanced 'diet' of
ideas and methods requires many other approaches as well.

One advantage that source reduction has over recycling is that
I believe that much more of it is cost effective at _current_
prices even though source reduction would also benefit from
incorporating costs that are currently externalized. As we
have learned from experience with understanding energy use and
efficiency, there are many barriers to the optimal functioning
of market mechanisms that create inefficiencies that can be
remedied through deliberate action (e.g. information, standards,
etc.). Such efforts cost money, but can be generally shown
to be very good investments for society.

Ironically, for much source reduction (not all of it though),
attention environmental impacts and externalities can distract
from close examination of costs already being incurred that
could be used as good rationales for source reduction. For
recycling though, quantification of the externalities does
seem to be an important part of policy-making.


Bruce Nordman
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
510-486-7089; fax: 510-486-4673


Date: Mon, 5 May 1997 07:54:16 +0200
Subject: Please help with internalized costs argument

The argument of internalising costs is something we all have to grapple with
- the closest I've been able to transmit an understanding of this is to
relate it to natural cycles: for example, if CO2 emissions are the issue,
how many indigenous trees would it take to process that CO2? The acreage,
cost of land, and land management for the period would give us some
indication of cost - of course, this is difficult to apply to all waste -
liquid waste, for example, in many cases coul be rendered comparatively
harmless at a certain dilution - say 1 per 500 000 litres of water - take
the cost of water in that region, as determined by the local authority, as
an indicator. I am sure many on the list could come up with other ways to
apply this....

Hope it helps! (and I agree with one of the other responses - economics is a
lot shallower than we think, and certainly does not contain the silver
bullet - we stand to get caught up in the economic arguments, and lose sight
of the issue - simply obfuscates the issue, that the companies in question
simply must pollute less; the technology and alternative processes do
actually exist already - it is as always, the cost factor that prevents them
from applying this solution. The bottom line: if a process or product is not
sustainable, it must be banned!)

Mr. Muna Lakhani

Cellfax: 082-131-416-9160
28 Currie Road - Durban - 4001 - South Africa
Phone: +27-31-20-28-291


End of GreenYes Digest V97 #99