GreenYes Digest V97 #79

GreenYes Mailing List and Newsgroup (
Fri, 22 Jan 1999 16:56:18 -0500

GreenYes Digest Tue, 15 Apr 97 Volume 97 : Issue 79

Today's Topics:
cleaner production conference
Composition of glass

Send Replies or notes for publication to: <greenyes@UCSD.Edu>
Send subscription requests to: <greenyes-Digest-Request@UCSD.Edu>
Problems you can't solve otherwise to

Date: Mon, 14 Apr 97 13:22 EET
Subject: cleaner production conference

Hi All!

I think this would be a good place for strategic intervention - I am trying
to get some funding to attend - and would be glad to present a paper from
the "greens"..

Take care
Mr. Muna Lakhani

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


Date: Mon, 14 Apr 1997 20:31:30 -0700
From: (Helen Spiegelman)
Subject: Composition of glass

John Reindl passed along this query:
>I've been asked by a state recycling official in Montana about the
>composition of glass collected by recycling programs -- how much is
>clear, green and brown. She is interested in data from all over the
>US, so if you have these types of data, I would appreciate hearing from
>As a kickoff, in our program the composition of the color sorted glass
>at our MRF in 1996 was:
> clear 48.7%
> green 22.7%
> brown 28.6%

Maybe someone could explain something I've always wondered: why doesn't it
make more sense to determine the composition of waste by looking at SALES of
the materials, rather than through waste comp studies.


Date: (null)
From: (null)

When I see decimal points on the percentages above, I can't help but think
that we're seeing precision masquerading as accuracy... (I appreciate that
measurements of materials collected source-separated for recycling may be
more meaningful.)

But I also seem to remember a very old publication by the EPA that talked
about the "materials flow methodology" where sales figures are factored in
with life-expectancy of the item, in order to arrive at what seems like much
more meaningful end results.

It puzzles me that progressive states like OR and CA are basing their
"measurements" of compliance with rigid plastic container mandates on waste
comp studies (factored somehow with even more specious results from
"surveys" of recyclers). The OR contact told me it was because the sales
figures for OR were not available -- sales figures are nation-wide. Doesn't
it seem that a pro-rated per-capita estimate would be do-able?

The reason I make this point is that measurements at the waste end seem to
reinforce the mind-set that waste is a "stream" emanating from some
mysterious source. Eighty seven percent of the waste flow is MANUFACTURED
PRODUCTS that have been abandoned by their makers, who abjure responsibility
for them as soon as they are passed on to the consumer. You can be sure that
the makers of those products knew EXACTLY how much material they produced,
and it should be their social responsibility to account precisely for what
happens to it "cradle-to-cradle".

Helen Spiegelman



End of GreenYes Digest V97 #79 ******************************