GreenYes Digest V97 #60

GreenYes Mailing List and Newsgroup (
Fri, 22 Jan 1999 16:58:36 -0500

GreenYes Digest Thu, 20 Mar 97 Volume 97 : Issue 60

Today's Topics:
An apology
BOTTLED UP (in Georgia)
GRN News Release On PR Newswire
Invitation from Tachi Kiuchi, Ceo Mitsubishi Electric
Landfill overflow causes- nonrecyclable plastic & junk mail
Product Stewardship in Canada
Reactionaries, Not Conservatives
Request for Comments on draft Manhattan Waste Prevention
Tires traveling
trail building with recycled products (2 msgs)
WI Recycling legislation
Working Assests is looking for nonprofits to support

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Problems you can't solve otherwise to

Date: Wed, 19 Mar 1997 14:41:42 +0600
From: "John Reindl 608-267-8815" <>
Subject: An apology

Dear List Members -

I was told that some of my recent messages had appeared on the GreenYes
list three times.

I apologize for this.

Several weeks ago, I noticed that I was no longer receiving GreenYes
emailings. Thinking that I was no longer subscribed, I resubscribed,
but did still not get the mailings. Then, I resubscribed again. Thus, I
was on the list three times, and apparently, this sent out my messages
to each of you three times.

I have (hopefully) corrected this problem. However, unfortunately,
while I am now subscribed to receive the mailings as a digest reader, I
still do not receive any mailings and thus can neither monitor if this
attempted solution did work nor share in the wonderful discussions that
take place on this email list.

John Reindl, Recycling Manager
Dane County Department of Public Works
(608)267-1533 - fax
(608)267-8815 - phone


Date: Wed, 19 Mar 97 09:17:56 PST
Subject: BOTTLED UP (in Georgia)

Senator's lonely crusade against trash runs into the Real Thing

Creative Loafing, March 19, 1997

The tall man in the gray suit stood for a while in the doorway of
a Senate committee room and beamed down at Donzella James.

"Now, don't do it, Donzella," he warned with a cheerful grin and a
gentle pat on the state senator's left shoulder.

Bryce W. Holcomb was suggesting -- in as friendly a manner as a
lobbyist for the Georgia Soft Drink Association could muster --
that James reconsider her plans for a bill requiring deposits on
most beverage containers.

He even threw in a little incentive. James had complained that her
office wasn't getting the usual supply of sodas that the Coca-Cola
Co. drops off at each legislator's office during the lawmaking

"Well, just as soon as you don't put [the bill] in," Holcomb said,
chuckling, "we've got a truck ready to come on up here."

James may go thirsty a while longer. Just days after her candid
encounter with the soda-pop lobbyist, she sponsored the
legislation anyway.

The "bottle bill," which is about as popular as a Diet Pepsi among
folks at the Coca-Cola Co.'s North Avenue headquarters, is
losing its fizz in a Senate committee. But James' sip of forbidden
legislation offers a classic study of the way power works and
idealism can backfire in Georgia's Capitol.

"I've had some of my colleagues come to me and say this bill is
bad politics, they're going to find somebody to defeat you," James
says. "If I get defeated, I'll just be able to sleep later and relax

In many ways, James is the kind of person whom voters often say
they want to enter politics. The 47-year-old mother of two began
worrying about garbage long before she even thought about
running for office.

It was 1978. On a rainy day, she was heading home to the south
Fulton County "dream house" that she and her family had recently
purchased. The runoff apparently stirred up the odor of a nearby
county landfill. Until then, James hadn't even realized the landfill

"It smelled terrible," she recalls. "I started investigating and learned
more about it. I found out that everybody's garbage was coming
right into our neighborhood."

James became convinced that cesspools of dirty water threatened
her neighbors' health and lowered their property values. After
years of study, including a stint as chairwoman of a countywide
solid-waste task force, she decided that the best way to reduce
landfill problems was to reduce the amount of garbage.

By the time James won a state Senate seat in 1993, she knew that
solid waste would be one of her top issues. It was also one of the
first to bring her into conflict with a powerful industry.

"I wanted to put a [disposal] fee on white goods [home
appliances]," she says. "But then the Amanas and the Sears and
everybody who sold them got all upset. I backed away from that."

Last year, she took on opponents with even more clout in the
Capitol and didn't back away nearly as quickly. She proposed a
$3 landfill fee to fund garbage reduction and recycling efforts.
Landfill companies vigorously opposed the measure. The Senate
rejected it.

James wears defeat at the hands of powerful insiders with the
pride of a populist. "I'm unbossed and unbought," she boasts. "My
back is very strong."

Now, that back is being tested more than ever.

With the state failing miserably at its stated goal to reduce garbage
going into landfills, James' colleagues last year granted her a
chance to pursue other strategies for stemming the flow. They
agreed to let her chair a study committee on the issue. Among
other solutions, she came up with container-deposit legislation.

Bottle bills once seemed as if they would sweep the nation.
Between the mid-'70s and 1982, 10 states adopted some form of
the measure, which typically require merchants to take nickel or
dime deposits for bottles or cans that contained beer or soda, and
to allow customers to redeem the deposits when they return the
empty containers.

Many environmentalists and some business people view it as an
appealing throwback to the days when nearly all bottles were
recycled. They say bottle bills create a financial incentive to force
an industry that profits from one form of pollution to take
responsibility for its solution.

Bottle bills have proven extremely popular in states that have them.
Anti-litter groups say they dramatically reduce broken glass on
highways and sidewalks. Industry reports show bottle-bill states
enjoy higher recycling rates than states without bottle bills. Small
businesses have sprouted up to process the containers. And when
asked straight-up whether they like the
idea, voters consistently favor it -- more enthusiastically in states
that have them. In the last 15 years, however, all attempts to get
bottle bills in other states have failed, and a push for national
legislation is given little chance in the current Congress. Part of the
reason is that the legislation now faces broad, well-organized

Grocers, brewers, liquor-store owners and a host of other
industries argue that bottle bills increase their costs, which, they
warn, could translate into lost jobs. In Georgia, opponents
question why a special deposit system should be devised for
around 3 percent of the overall waste stream -- just as most
communities' comprehensive, curbside-recycling programs are
gaining acceptance.

Scrap-metal dealers are among the most active opponents. After
decades of increasing their role as aluminum-can processors, they
argue that bottle bills create a government-mandated program for
a problem the free market already is solving.

"There may be a higher recycling rate in those [bottle-bill] states,"
says Steve Levetan of the Georgia Association of Recycling
Industries. "But you've got to look at the incremental benefits. It's
a very cumbersome, very expensive process."

Since last summer, when James began floating the idea in Georgia,
she's faced pressure from all those interest groups. One of the
largest members of Levetan's scrap-metal group warned that the
bill would cost jobs in her district. Letters from worried
bottle-plant workers began flooding her mailbox.

But James knew from the start that her biggest hurdle was always
Coca-Cola. With more than $18 billion in sales last year, the
Coca-Cola Co. is the largest corporation based in Georgia. The
Coca-Cola "System" -- the company together with its bottling
companies, many of which it partially owns -- may be the state's
most powerful private interest.

And money alone doesn't quite capture Coke's influence. Its
international aura, its omnipresent advertising, the philanthropy of
its top executives, the huge role the company played in last
summer's Olympics -- all combine to give the company an almost
mythical presence in Georgia.

Unlike banks, utilities and other large industries whose business is
tightly tied to regulation, Coke's lobbyists seldom come begging
for special favors from lawmakers. Yet it's difficult to imagine a
General Assembly without the presence of the big red machine:
While legislators, lobbyists and reporters ply their trade under the
Gold Dome, they guzzle the company's products all morning from
coolers distributed throughout the Capitol. The Capitol's free
Cokes don't have to be reported as lobbying expenses: As
Georgia food products, they're exempt from reporting

"I remember once hearing that Coke doesn't really have to lobby,"
says University of Georgia political scientist Charles Bullock.
"They just express what their concerns are, and things happen.
Coke has built a lot of tremendous goodwill in this state -- the kind
of goodwill you can't just get by buying dinner."

Sometimes, however, dinner is a nice way to get started. That's
what Joe Iannicelli discovered last year when he began to
advocate the bottle bill. Iannicelli, a Jekyll Island businessman, got
fed up with the bottles and cans that drivers toss from the highway
onto a pine plantation he owns in southeast Georgia.

"I'm not an environmentalist, but on the other hand, I believe in
keeping things nice and tidy, and I believe in the power of the
free-enterprise system," he says. "If there's a 10-cent deposit on
something, people will catch it before it hits the ground."

When James' study committee held a hearing on the bill last fall in
Brunswick, Iannicelli stood up to offer what he called some
"extemporaneous remarks" on the subject. Suddenly, he was very

Within a week, state Sen. Ed Boshears (R-Brunswick) called to
tell Iannicelli that a group of Coke bottling executives were offering
to tell him their side over dinner.

It was a lovely meal at an upscale restaurant called Courtney's on
St. Simon's Island. Ianicelli brought his wife. Boshears came with
his new bride. Holcomb, the softdrink association lobbyist, was
there, along with two Coke bottling executives. Iannicelli says
either Holcomb or one of the bottling executives paid for the meal.

"It was very nice dinner, a very pleasant conversation. We mainly
talked about other things," Iannicelli says. "I came out of that
meeting with the idea that they were very sincere and honorable

Although neither Holcomb nor the bottling executives filed reports
that they treated Boshears to dinner last fall, the softdrink
association did report spending more than $40,000 -- three times
the next most generous lobbying group -- wining and dining
lawmakers and other state officials during January, the first month
of the legislative session.

The direct role of the Coca-Cola Co. in the lobbying effort is less
clear. Although the company reporting spending an additional
$6,000 on state officials in January, Holcomb stressed that Coke
was only one member of his organization. Coca-Cola officials
didn't respond to requests for interviews from CL.

The high-powered lobbying doesn't bother Iannicelli, a
mining-equipment supplier who says businesses should have an
opportunity to make themselves heard by their political leaders.
But what happened after his dinner did bother him: He heard
through the grapevine that someone in the bottling industry
approached an associate of Iannicelli's in the mining industry to
complain about his bottle-bill activities.

"My first reaction to this whole thing is that I'd like to be on a
friendly basis with them," Iannicelli says. "But when they go around
my back and try to affect my business, I consider that something
you'd expect in the 19th century."

A spokeswoman for Holcomb counters that contacting business
associates of people who get involved in political issues is perfectly
appropriate -- even if the political issue and the business is
unrelated. She notes that volunteer environmentalists are waging
their own aggressive publicity and letter-writing campaign to place
pressure on other senators.

"He (Iannicelli) is clearly taking a leadership role that is clearly very
public," says Jane Langley, a public-affairs specialist who was
hired by the soft-drink association to deal with the bottle bill. "If
people are contacting him or people in his business to say, 'Well,
we don't agree with his legislation,' well, I think that's the right of
any member of GSDA to do it. ... I see nothing wrong with trying
to reach him or influence him on this legislation."

James calls it "shameful" that private citizens would face such
pressure for getting involved in a political issue. If they've felt heat,
however, James has felt fire.

Early in the legislative session, the soft-drink association's
Holcomb invited her to a meeting to discuss her plans for the
legislation. But an adviser to James says Holcomb made it clear
there was no room to negotiate until James backed away from the

"He must have said it 50 times, [that] we had nothing to talk
about," says Bill Sheehan, a Sierra Club volunteer who has
become James' closest adviser on solid waste issues.

That was only the beginning of James' legislative troubles. Since
sponsoring the bottle bill, she complains, she's faced roadblocks in
moving the rest of her ambitious package of more than 40 bills and
resolutions through the Senate.

Lobbyists and other Capitol insiders say that's partly because she's
pushing an unrealistically heavy load for a junior legislator. But
there is also quiet but widespread discussion under the Gold
Dome that James harmed herself by running headstrong into so
many powerful interests.

"Is it worth falling on your sword to make a point?" asks one
industry lobbyist.

Some people argue that sometimes legislators can accomplish a lot
by acting as prods -- rather than lawmakers. "You can play the
inside game or the outside game," says Georgia State University
political scientist Michael Binford.

Sheehan insists that James has won some victories with the outside
game. After she failed to fund recycling efforts last year with a
landfill fee, for example, the state Environmental Protection
Division shifted more than $2 million from an under used
solid-waste fund toward a new recycling grant program for cities
and counties. "She deserves full credit" for that, Sheehan says.

And this week, James' bill may even get a hearing before the
Senate Natural Resources Committee. It's sure to lose, Sheehan
says. But, he adds, "That's not the point. The point is that the
bottle bill has never gotten nearly this far before. The point is that
it's an education process on corporate responsibility."

But James admits she's sometimes frustrated. It hurt her recently
when one journalist on a Sunday morning talk show designted her
"loser of the week" for failing to get her solid-waste bills through
the Senate.

She's not backing away off, she still insists. But James has made
one adjustment to all the pressure: "I switched to Pepsi."

* * * * *


Date: Wed, 19 Mar 1997 23:35:52 -0500 (EST)
Subject: GRN News Release On PR Newswire

Subj: Fwd: National Coalition Challenges The Coca-Cola Company to Take
Voluntary St...
Date: 97-03-19 18:14:45 EST
TO: GRNer's
FROM: Lance King
DATE: March 19, 1997
RE: Coke Action - Media, Georgia event, Round Two Sign On

The news release that follows was distributed to approximately 70 media
organization in Georgia and about 180 in California this after. It will also
show up in hundreds of government agencies, thousands of companies, on line
services such as AOL, and various list servers. Even if it were not used for
a news story, which it will be, thousands of people will have seen it with 24

Georgia public television will do a story on Friday evening based on the
event on the capitol steps in Atlanta, Georgia today. About 40 people came
to the event, despite rain. Bill reports that a group of children joined
them from a private school. Shopping carts filled with about 2000 bottles
and cans (roughly what a family of 4 uses in a year) provided a visual
illustration of the problem, since the majority of these containers are
wasted each year rather than recovered.

Some of you may not know that the Georgia Senate Natural Committee pulled an
end run on Senator James yesterday, scheduling a meeting on SB 191 a day
ahead -- when our folks couldn't be there. Senator James had a schedule
conflict and did not want to change the time that the public expected to be
there, but the committee went ahead anyway and referred the bill to
subcommittee. -- It really shows how afraid our opposition is about what
all of us are doing. They can't even stand a little public debate when the
deck is already stacked in their favor.

Coke's heavy-handed tactics and the old boy network did not expect what
happended today. After the event, the crowd of citizens walked to the Senate
Natural Resources Committee room where the bill would have been heard at the
regular meeting time and stood as a group inside. Some people had signs
supporting SB 191.

Senator Hugh Gillis, chair of the committee, got defensive about the change.
In their own relatively quiet and dignified way these Georgia citizens had
made their point.

Senator James was approached by about 17 members of the Senate who variously
teased her and expressed interest in the fact that the "her troops were
there." GRN's show of solidarity with grassroots and Senator James sends a
powerful message to the opposition. Every time that Coke or the good ole
boys hammer our friends, the opposition becomes stronger.

Many in the political establishment have underestimated Senator James, who
told the alternative paper "Creative Loafing" in a recent interview that she
is "unbossed and unbought" -- a reference to former U.S. Representative
Shirley Chisum's book. Bill posted the article by Creative Loafing's Ken
Edelstein titled "Bottled Up -- Senator's lonely crusade against trash runs
into the Real Thing." Unfortunately, the e-mail version does not pack the
same punch as the print version with a Coke can on the first page.

Some may be inclined to read the article as an example of tilting at
windmills. If you find yourself feeling that way, as I did in the beginning,
read already through to get some of the flavor of Coke's efforts to
intimidate ordinary citizens and this courageous Senator.

What Coke is doing constitutes a gross abuse of private power to corrupt the
political process. Sure, the cynics may think of it as business as usual,
but Georgia is a place where support for a local battle from informed
recycling advocates, environmentalists, and activists is already making a
difference. The message is already starting to attract attention as far away
as California, where an important media organization is planning an article
on the Grassroots Recycling Network before the Zero Waste Act Conference,
which will focus on the role of Californians in forming the organization,
with part of the story devoted to this battle with Coke.




Date: Wed, 19 Mar 1997 10:23:56 -0800
Subject: Invitation from Tachi Kiuchi, Ceo Mitsubishi Electric

Message From:

Tachi Kiuchi
Chairman and Ceo, Mitsubishi Electric America
Chairman, the Future 500

Please mark these dates on your calendar:
March 21 and April 25 -- RSVP AT END OF MESSAGE

I would like to invite you to two fascinating roundtable discussions with a
few colleagues.

In a few days, on March 21st, I will be convening a roundtable in Los
Angeles, called FutureTech. I expect a small but important group of people
to join in the discussion. I would like you to be among them. There is NO
CHARGE for you - I ask only for your ideas and input.

Then on April 25 (and for those who can stay, through the weekend), please
join in a special dinner and roundtable, hosted by former Presidents Council
on Sustainable Development head Molly Harriss Olson, where we will delve
into similar topics, but more deeply.

In the past couple of years, I have been meeting regularly with leading
change agents from the business, environmental, and technology communities,
to discover how, individually and together, we can help promote business
practices that are sustainable and socially responsible. The FutureTech
roundtable on March 21 will bring together a group of forward-thinking
business, technology, environmental
, and future specialists, to discuss possible ways we can help one another
more fully achieve the potential environmental and economic benefits of
emerging technologies.

You are among a small number of people I am inviting to join us at no charge.

I will also be hosting a luncheon that day. Please consider this an
invitation to the luncheon as well. The luncheon is to support the work of
the Future 500, a new business network inspired by the ideas of people like
Paul Hawken, John Perry Barlow, Susan Burns, Noel Brown, Bill Shireman, and
associates of mine in the business and environmental communities. For more
information, visit the web

Our plan for the day is below. Both events will be held in a small room at
the LA Convention Center. They will happen concurrently with the first day
of EcoExpo. You may want to arrive early and explore the exhibits and
activities of EcoExpo as well. (You enter at the Eco Expo desk, and they
will provide you with your badge. Your free pass will also enable you to
attend all the Eco Expo event

If you would like a pass to attend at no charge, please contact Cathy
Johnson, either at, or at 1-800-796-8052. If you have a
friend or associate you wish to attend in addition to you, or in your place,
that's fine. Just let Cathy know.

I look forward to hearing from you, and seeing you on March 21st.




Don't be taken by surprise!
Explore the future of technology, environment, business, and culture,
with a catalytic group of top-level colleagues

Attendance will be small and limited -- PLEASE RSVP to reserve a space.

March 21, 1997
LA Convention Center

10 am Bill Shireman will briefly welcome participants and introduce the
day. He will emphasize that this is a roundtable -- all are invited to
participate. The objective is to learn, network, and potentially discover
joint projects and synergies.

10:10 Tachi Kiuchi will describe changes at Mitsubishi Electric as a
microcosm of the global economy: the shift from industry to information,
from materials to knowledge, from product to service, from
profit-maximization to value-creation. He will discuss his dream for his
company, and why resource efficiency and productivity, and environmental
excellence, are integral to that dream.

10:20 Bill Shireman will provide a more global glimpse of the changes
experienced by a whole range of companies.

10:30 Peter Morrison from RAND will discuss the role of technology changes
in triggering transformations in business and the economy, and how those
changes merge with demographic shifts to create new realities,
opportunities, and risks. Morlie Levin will describe the sophisticated
assumption-based planning tools that businesses can use to excel in a future
they cannot predict.

11:15 Corporate futurist Roger Selbert will project the impacts of these
changes on specific businesses, industries, business strategies, and product
lines. Futurist Frank Jarlett will illustrate the changes for people in
their jobs and workplaces.

12:30 Luncheon. Tachi Kiuchi and Bill Shireman will welcome and update
additional attendees, who may have missed the morning discussion. They will
discuss the Future 500, a business training network focused on Advanced
Resource Productivity. Representatives from several companies -- which may
include one or more of (subject to confirmation) Saturn, Intel, ACX,
Netscape, Lucent Technologies, an
d/or others -- will discuss their latest products and technologies, their
relationship to creativity and productivity, and how they may influence and
be influenced by the larger changes in society and economy.

2:00 Corporate Participants will continue the luncheon discussion.

2:30 Engineer and systems analysts Susan Burns and Gil Friend will show how
companies gain strategic advantage by modeling themselves after living
systems, rather than machines, and using programs like The Natural Step and
Industrial Ecology to systematically promote creativity and reduce
consumption, pollution, waste, and liability.

3:00 Bill Shireman will initiate an open discussion among the attendees,
then summarize and close at around 4 p.m.

(Order Form)


Please copy and fill out the Order Form below and either return by email
(reply to this message or, or fax to 916-486-5990, or
mail to 801 Crocker Road, Sacramento, CA 95864:

____ YES, I would be pleased to join you in the FutureTech roundtable.

____ Please have a FREE admission badge waiting for me at the Eco Expo desk,
LA Convention Center, on the morning of March 21. They will direct me to the
meeting room. I will join you by 10 am.

____ Please include me in the luncheon, and accept my donation of $150 to
support the non-profit work of the Future 500. (Enclose credit card info,
check, or we will invoice.)

____ PLEASE send me registration information about the April 25 dinner and
workshop, and the April 25-27 roundtable retreat.

Please fill out:

Name/Title: |

Organization |

Email |

Phone |

Fax |

Address |

City State Zip |

____ SORRY, I cannot attend the FutureTech Roundtable (March 21) or the
Business Ecology roundtable retreat events (April 25-27).

____ PLEASE keep me informed of future events.

____ PLEASE remove me from your list. I wish you well, but am not able to
participate in Future 500 activities.

Thank You.

Tachi Kiuchi


Date: Wed, 19 Mar 1997 21:25:24 -0700
From: (Wally)
Subject: Landfill overflow causes- nonrecyclable plastic & junk mail

Two major causes of overflowing Landfills are non- recyclable plastic & junk=

1) When we go to Home Depot or similar store to buy anything from a small=
light bulb to a thermostat, the package is often bigger than the item=
(mostly plastic) with all the advertising and bar code. Plastics can be=
very useful, especially the durable kind. But when thrown in the trash and=
not recycled it is detrimental. I suggest banning all *disposable /=
non-recyclable plastic* except for:
Emergency medical use
Sandwich bags for consumer use
Protection of package contents in very humid areas.

Violations could be heavily taxed or fined with all money collected to=
defray landfill costs. Of course the package industry, advertising and=
plastics industries would not be agreeable but...

2) Junk mail was not a problem before the desktop computer. These computers=
have allowed anyone to develop a mailing list, print labels, and produce=
their own advertising and magnifying the problem. Besides landfill costs,=
fuel is used to transport this excess mail and more trees are cut for paper=

Junk mail might be defined as any mail without the persons name on it=
(RESIDENT) and any more than 50 pieces of mail of the same type and from=
the same organization mailed at the same time. Mail from an organization=
where the recipient is a member and magazine subscriptions would be=
considered solicited and not junk mail. Mail from nonprofit organizations=
should also be exempt.

I propose two possible solutions to reducing the junk mail to help pay=
landfill costs and reduce the amount of junk mail.

a Impose a heavy tax on junk mail with the money going to defray landfill =
b Anyone receiving unsolicited mail could send a complaint and the=
offending company would have a heavy fine. Which would go to defray=
landfill costs.

Personally I let the companies know that their junk mail is an invasion on=
my privacy, causes slower delivery of valid mail, uses extra fuel to=
transport it, and causes extra trees to be cut down. Therefore I on't want=
their product.



Date: Wed, 19 Mar 97 08:53:12 PST
Subject: Product Stewardship in Canada

[Forwarded from Helen Spiegelman, Recycling Council of British Colmbia]

>On Tue, 18 Mar 1997 08:00:19 -0800 (PST), Brenda Platt wrote asking me to
contact you with ideas about product stewardship, responding to her earlier

A package of information is in the mail (snail). If you look at RCBC's web
site (, and then click Publications, you will find two issues
of our newsletter REITERATE. The February 96 one is an update on the paint
program at the end of Year One. The May 96 one is a look at how bottle
bills have evolved in Canada.

This is all happening with such dazzling speed. For the past five years, I
have been waiting for the "product stewardship" concept to make inroads in
the USA. And now, watching the development of the GRN principles, I can see
that the moment is at hand. I sense that this is going to be a very
important meeting, I thank you for working so hard to convene it, and that I
am going to be able to be there with you. I went in and picked up my tix
this morning, so whether you can actually reimburse me or not I am committed
to come.

Two or three weeks ago, I was invited to Minnesota to spread the Stewardship
Gospel. The folks there had got wind of our paint program over the Internet.
There was real interest in both the Pollution Control Agency and the Office
that does ENvironmental Education. (INterestingly, Minnesotans were totally
uninterested in bottle bills, not recognizing them as the mother-of-all
stewardship programs, but instead seeing them as competition for aluminum!)
HHW is a great place to start, because god knows no local program is going
to feel threatened if someone else deals with toxics.

I prepared detailed information for the Minnesota talk about the 3
Stewardship regs that are actually in place (paint, used oil, and
pharmaceuticals) -- as well as the ongoing struggle with expansion of our
"bottle bill". There has been some loss of momentum on stewardship in recent
months (due to bizarre preoccupations of our socialist government: trying
to sell Las Vegas style CASINOS as a government fund-raising scheme....).
However, the government is still touting its stewardship policy in published
documents from the Ministry of Environment, and future expansion is in the

I am much more familiar with the Canadian parliamentary process than with
the US system (despite having grown up with the US system!). It will be
interesting to see what strategy emerges from the discussions at the
conference. It may be that the case must be made first in the court of
public opinion...

Thankfully yours,

Helen S.



Date: Tue, 18 Mar 97 22:47:08 PST From: Subject: Reactionaries, Not Conservatives

[Forwarded response by Helen Spiegelman to <Reactionaries, Not Conservatives> posting by Dan Knapp and Mary Lou Vandeventer]

I would enjoy responding to a few of your interesting ideas in your posting of March 13. My name is Helen Spiegelman, and I am writing from Vancouver, BC (CANADA), where I am a writer/researcher with the Recycling Council.

(snip) >First, using the word "conservatives" this way continues a misnomer that >damages our interests. It treats our issue as though we have an inherent >political preference for one established side in a polarized situation. This >kind of political presumption laid more than one brick in the road to the >Berkeley Recycling Wars of the 1980s.

I like what Eric Utne said about Paul Hawken: he is neither left nor right, just way out front (paraphrase).

>Similarly, the term "disposal companies" includes thousands of reuse, >recycling, and composting companies. Neil's and David's analysis implies >incompatibility between disposal and recycling. But there is none, as more >recyclers recognize every day when they look to disposal service fees for >sustainable funding. Disposing of things that are valuable can include >selling, bestowing, arranging in order, and all the other orderly things >recyclers do with discarded materials. The fact that recyclers do disposal >better and cheaper than landfill and incinerator operators is the biggest >competitive advantage we have over wasters. It's an advantage that >complements the environmental one so near and dear to our hearts. Why waste >this advantage by ceding the entire disposal service industry to the waste >hauling companies? > >Neil and David are right that the big waste-hauling companies are partly >behind the attack on recycling, but what motivates them to attack is the >success of recycling businesses in competing for the supply of discarded >material. The waste companies have lost so much market share that the >biggest ones are now selling off assets to smaller ones to keep their >publicly traded stock prices from falling through the floor. We should press >our advantage and keep expanding into niches wherever the waste industry is >vulnerable.

You're right. Recycling is a form of waste management, or "disposal". This fact defines both the benefits -- and the limits -- of recycling as a solution to our unsustainable industrial economy. Recyclers and garbage companies are both powerless to effect change in waste at its source: the drawing boards where products are designed (as the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries pointed out in 1989!). In Canada we have begun to look to the producers (or, strictly speaking the "brand-owners" who conceive and market products) to "dispose" of their waste -- in order to get them to focus their attention on ways they can make it easier to dispose of (or unnecessary to dispose of so soon).

(snip) > >Neil and David are also correct that the bond-trading firms on Wall Street >have also been a factor in the attack. Right after several court decisions >wiped out the flow-control props from under the incinerator and dirty-MRF >industries, someone estimated that at least $10 billion in bonds were in >mortal danger. This factor alone could explain the vicious attacks we have >endured. Here again effective price competition from recyclers was crucial. > But this is just supply and demand operating, not some age-old ideological >left-right schism.

This one drives me up the wall. I live in a part of the world where we see every day the furious pace of conversion of natural capital (trees, fish, minerals) into liquid wealth, which quickly evaporates into the financial markets rather than soaking into the local communities or back into replenishing the resources that are plundered. I think often, as I see libraries being shut down, kids putting up with crowded classrooms under the guise of greater "productivity" of teachers, of how much wealth is circulating up there in the financial markets, out of reach of the communities on the planet whose cultures could be enriched by it. > (snip) >Neil and David are also correct that money from the American Plastics Council >has played a central role in financing the attacks, but behind the APC are >dozens of American corporations that don't want to have to take long-term >responsibility for their products.

In fact, the APC stands to lose business if post-consumer resin makes significant inroads in the marketplace... > >The underlying variables are too complex to be summed up as a resurgence of >tired old left-right dichotomies. We need to reframe the problems to our >strategic advantage, and we must position ourselves as the best, most truly >conservative method of disposing of unwanted resources.

Right on. And while you do that, I will put my energy into reframing the rules so that there are fewer unwanted resources to dispose of ... I imagine that the recyclers will survive the competition for a dwindling resource!



Date: Wed, 19 Mar 1997 17:09:39 -0500 From: "Marjorie J. Clarke" <> Subject: Request for Comments on draft Manhattan Waste Prevention

With the mandated closure of the huge Fresh Kills landfill in December 2001, New York City will be losing 86% of its local disposal capacity (the other 14% is recycling). (The total residential/institutional waste stream, which the City collects, is around 14,000 tons per day; there is a similar amount in the commercial sector which is already exported by private haulers.) Each of the five boroughs has a task force that is writing recommendations on what should be done to manage and prevent waste in the future. The following, written by myself and members of Manhattan Citizens' Solid Waste Advisory Board's Waste Prevention Committee, is a part of Manhattan's draft plan, including many of the recommendations for waste prevention. In order to convince the Mayor, who is anti-3R's, we need to demonstrate, for as many of the individual recommendations as possible (1) that these measures have been done successfully elsewhere and/or (2) that the cost-avoidance to the municipality of the measures is greater than their costs. In order to produce this evidence, I ask those of you who are familiar with municipal (or state) waste prevention initiatives, such as those listed below, to forward even brief descriptions of your experiences with any of these measures at your earliest convenience. Please feel free to pass this along to other waste prevention professionals. Thanks, in advance, for your help. Sorry for the length and for cross-postings.

The Plan: Recommended Initiatives For New and Existing Programs


The success of an education program lies not only in the crafting of intelligent, motivating educational instruments, but also in their proper distribution. The programs need to be targeted at a variety of individuals (those receptive as well as those who are hostile to the idea of waste prevention; those who are new to the country, as well as Americans), and in a variety of ways (those who commute to work, those who shop, etc...). Waste prevention should be directed at householders as well as schoolchildren.

1997 Commence construction of a World Wide Web home page containing information and web links on waste prevention, recycling, and composting.

1998 Storefront waste prevention education, swap shop, household hazwaste dropoff, etc...

1998 Encourage and co-sponsor swap meets, tag sales, etc... {#, frequency)

1998 Commence waste prevention education blitzes (every six months, one message, many messengers, avenues, and approaches targeted to a variety of audiences)

1998 Commence Mayor's Daily Waste prevention moment and MDWPM design contest.

1998 Distribute to each household and institution (via Sanitation collection personnel) small cards or stickers (for recycling area within kitchen) indicating items which are recycled and items which CONTAMINATE recyclables. Provide a refrigerator magnet with phone number for reuse center hotline and waste exchange. Provide motivational literature on why (from an environmental and economic point of view) that waste prevention and recycling are important.

1998 and annually Complete home page on waste prevention, recycling, and composting. Continue to add new materials and pointers, and update annually. Report annually to the public regarding usage of the home page.

1998 Begin media (radio & TV) campaigns to motivate those who were not initially sold on recycling and waste prevention, to start doing it. Describe why putting in contamination is to be avoided. Describe why purchasing and maintaining products with waste prevention in mind is in everyone's best interest.

1998 Seek private funding and a collaborator with DOS for distribution of Bring your own Bag signs.

1998 Provide, free of charge, composters and educational materials for any community garden which requests them. Send notice of this program to all community gardens once per year.

1998 Teach Vocational /Educational Technical Repair Programs (e.g. Recycle a Bicycle at IS. 218)

1998 Commence design and implementation of waste prevention curricula in City schools and universities. (These should include separate courses, parts of courses, as well as references to waste prevention in mathematics (problem solving), social studies (waste prevention and resources policy), and all sciences).

1998 Print and Distribute to every retail store Bring Your Own Bag Signs

1998 Expand print and media campaigns to addresss additional reasons for recycling and reducing as much as possible. Continue campaigns each year, addressing new areas, and repeating basic information for newcomers to NYC.

1999 Seek funding and collaborator to fund backyard composting program (free or rebated composters, tools, information)

2000 Implement backyard composting program Advertise rebate programs and institute educational program to each household and institution on the ease and benefits of composting and leaving grass clippings on lawns.

Waste Prevention Education / Economic Development Initiatives

Waste prevention not only is cheaper and more environmentally benign than waste management, but it also has the potential to create jobs in industries currently in decline, and to create new industrial sectors. Once it was a common practice for shoppers to frequent thrift shops, and to bring in durable products for repair. Nowadays, it is more usual for durables to be thrown away rather than repaired or resold. Rentals are more and more difficult to find. Libraries, which permit residents to borrow rather than buy books, records and videos, receive less and less funding. Even the skills required to repair, refurbish, and maintain durable goods are being lost. We need to reverse these trends and implement measures to teach students the skills of waste prevention, to encourage businesses to adopt waste prevention measures on a wide scale, and to promote the development of industries which specifically aid residents in reducing waste (businesses which repair, refurbish, reuse, and rent durable products).

1998 Replicate the MBPO's successful Training Initiative for Bicycle Repair And Recycling in every community board.

1998 Commence referrals to local reuse businesses by the district