GreenYes Digest V97 #45

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GreenYes Digest Wed, 5 Mar 97 Volume 97 : Issue 45

Today's Topics:
"WHY DO WE RECYCLE," by Frank Ackerman
'WHY DO WE RECYCLE" by Frank Ackerman
Caribbean Recycling Conference, Training and Exposition
Sierra Club entity supports industrial hemp
Variable Rate Info?

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Date: Tue, 4 Mar 1997 12:25:20 -0600
From: RecycleWorlds <>
Subject: "WHY DO WE RECYCLE," by Frank Ackerman

On March 4th, Carolyn Chase said in regard to "WHY DO WE RECYCLE," by Frank
Ackerman that:

"If we stick to economics arguments only we will continue to
lose and be trapped in the boom-bust industrial cycles -
we should go straight for the righteousness of the cause.."

I don't think it needs to be either/or, i.e. that we have to argue either
its moral OR its economic. I would think that we can -- and should
-- argue BOTH. There's nothing out there telling us we only get one
argument to make. I've spent over 25 years lobbying and doing
grass roots work, and, my personal experience shouts out that
you win battles when you can dovetail economic with moral
arguments -- while you march gloriously off into the sunset in defeat
when all you have is righteousness.

That is to say, you can contend that the economic case is strong while,
all the while continuing to maintain that the bedrock reason is moral and
that recycling should be pursued regardless of economics.

The devious trap that we're seeing happen to the moral case for recycling
is a rerun writ large of the disposable diaper dispute. Fort Howard used
the opening wedge of economic wrangling to, in the public's mind,
obfuscate the environmental. Indeed, with the number of consultants
out there who can prove any case, it is already increasingly difficult,
if not impossible, to separate economics from environmental and give up
on the economics without effectively forfeiting the environmental at the
same time.


Date: Tue, 4 Mar 1997 11:14:26 -0600
From: RecycleWorlds <>
Subject: 'WHY DO WE RECYCLE" by Frank Ackerman


Except for two of his ways of characterizing the technical
issues (discussed in the short footnote that follows), Frank=20
has fairly laid out in his 3/3 message a good way for=20
others to decide between the alternative points of view=20
about how his book, "Why Do We Recycle", should be=20
used by the recycling community, and bring this=20
dialog to closure.

Only one thing: deciding between the approaches is not a question=20
of abstract personal inclination. For we already know, factually,=20
what is the result of following his approach of yielding the field on=20
economics. We can see it in what's happening to the scrap=20
markets today -- part of which is a function of historic=20
commodity swings and not fixable -- and the other part=20
of which is a recalcitrant industry emboldened by the perceived=20
success of their attacks, attacks built in substantial part on=20
economic claims. =20

Is it rational to lead our response depending exclusively on=20
our weakest link in terms of political fights (although=20
economically dubious, recycling is a "good thing" to do)? =20
That is the strategy that we think Frank is effectively advocating. =20
Think about what's going to happen if anti-recyclers hammer=20
relentllessly--to exagerate for a moment to make a point--
that recycling costs zillions of dollars and recyclers adopt Frank's=20
book, with its factually incorrect conclusions, as their own. Pro-
recyclers will be perceived to be saying that it only=20
costs millions ("it loses only a little bit of money"=20
adds up when multiplied by a city's population -- the poltical=20
debates are being waged in NYC and DC, after all,
in terms of total, not unit, costs ). The great unwashed=20
public is not going to analyze the numbers: rather they'll=20
average the two opposing sides and conclude recycling=20
costs billions.

Remember, to assert the correct facts about economics does
not in any way mean abandoning or lessening the importance
attached to the environmental concerns.

(1) Landfills. We are not proposing correcting inadequate liner
technologies to gain "a major benefit to recycling". While that may
be incidental fallout from correcting doomed technologies, the reason is
to protect our grandchildren's drinking water. It would be a VERY
bad thing if we sought higher tipping fees to make recycling=20
look good. Also, there is a reason why it is correct for Frank
to state it is difficult to convince people that landfills are unsafe. =
reason is because everyone -- including Frank -- keeps repeating=20
that they are safe and almost no one is correcting them. Do we want=20
the recycler's point of view to adopt Frank's to this effect when=20
it is not true? If truth is repeition, then we have to never let=20
the false claim go unchallenged and keep repeating what is=20
the truth so it also becomes the perceived truth: Subtitle D landfills=20
are DESIGNED to leak, even if only after industry is no longer=20
liable for contaminating drinking water. If EPA itself admits it,=20
that would not be going off on a limb with an off the wall claim=20
as Frank seems to suggest.

(2) Collection. Using fewer trash trucks after 20-30% diversion, which=20
has been achieved in most cases, and more than 50% diversion in some =
cases, does not require one to be "creative" or somehow especially=20
"clever". It only requires that a community "integrate" its parallel =
systems. "INTEGRATED waste management" is not, after all, a new, =
term. And, we still don't know where Frank finds the factual basis to=20
state that only Madison, Wisconsin has been able to significantly=20
reduce the number of garbage trucks after recycling/composting=20
began. It's certainly true that we don't have a definitive survey=20
analysis of the 7000+ curbside programs to examine the issue --
but we're not publishing a book concluding that reductions are not
possible and implying, therefore that the author has. He has that=20
responsibility and he has not met it. Until he does, Frank really=20
ought not repeat the claim that the potential for serious reductions=20
is not there anywhere but Madison. Madison has a fairly decent=20
program, granted, but, it's not off the charts (no one from Madison,
after all, has advocated levitating the Pentagon for 30 years).=20
Anyone, incidently, who wants to get a detailed analysis of the=20
numbers that are pretty straight forward should email us a note.


Date: Tue, 4 Mar 1997 09:27:29 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Caribbean Recycling Conference, Training and Exposition

We are pleased to Offer ReCaribe '97. This annual conference and exposition
will be held
May 4-8, 1997 at the Trinidad Hilton and Conference Centre, in Port of Spain

ReCaribe '97 builds upon the success of the 1994 Island Waste Management
Conference, held in
Nassau, The Bahamas in January, 1994, and the 1995 Caribbean Waste
Management Conference, held
in San Juan, Puerto Rico in November 1995.


This year's conference focuses on waste reduction and recycling
opportunities, with emphasis
on businesses, offices, hotels and resorts.


1) To examine the present and future business opportunities in waste
reduction and recycling
in the Caribbean;

2) To discuss innovative solutions to solid waste issues as they pertain to

3) To facilitate a review of the problems and weaknesses in the development
of national waste
reduction and recycling programs; and,

4) To provide opportunities for the exchange of information and ideas among
government and
commercial waste management professionals and experts from the Caribbean and


The four-day conference includes plenary sessions, workgroup sessions,
technical training
sessions, technical tours, a 2-day exhibition hall, and the Annual General
Meeting of ReCaribe.
In addition to sessions, there are opportunities to network during planned
receptions, lunches, and breaks. There are optional events prior and post
conference including
eco-tours and golf excursions.


The solid waste management situation in the Caribbean has been undertaken in
the past by
individual countries with assistance from the Pan American Health
Organization and other
international agencies. Despite these national efforts there has been
limited progress.
Regional efforts have mainly been administered through organizations such as
the Caribbean
Environmental Health Institute in St. Lucia. During the past decade,
several attempts to
develop an association of solid waste professionals in the Caribbean were
unsuccessful. A
growing interest in both the public and private sectors on waste reduction
and recycling has
resulted in recent action, the formation of ReCaribe.


Re (for recycling) and Caribe (for the wider Caribbean) is the acronym for
the Wider Caribbean
Waste Reduction and Recycling Alliance. ReCaribe was established by
resolution at Clean Islands
International's 1995 Caribbean Waste Management Conference in Puerto Rico
( in which professionals from the Caribbean and North
participated. ReCaribe is an alliance of individuals, organizations,
representatives of
industry and governments dedicated to improving waste management practices
through education and
the use and adaption of appropriate technology and methodology in the Wider
Caribbean region.


At this year's conference, we are expecting over 200 delegates and 30
exhibitors from the wider
Caribbean region, United States, Canada, and Europe.

Conference participants will include public and private sector waste
management and recycling
professionals, environmentalists, and representatives from relevant regional
and international
non-profits and non-governmental organizations, as well as representatives
of manufacturers,
suppliers, and service contractors of recycling equipment and services.

Caribbean participants will include representatives of solid waste
management programs,
environmental health agencies, and other government agencies; commercial
service contractors and
equipment suppliers; and representatives of non-governmental organizations
and non-profits.

North Americans will include representatives of companies involved in
manufacturing, supply
and/or service of solid waste management activities, as well as
representatives of international

Resource persons will include regional and international solid waste,
recycling, and
environmental management experts and consultants.


Of interest are presentations of reports related to all aspects of waste
reducation and
recycling as related to island communities, particularly reports on projects
which are or would
be successful in smaller communities of the wider Caribbean.

Presentations will be selected for their relevance to the conference's focus
(the advancement of
waste management techniques.)

Prospective speakers are invited to fax a brief abstract and brief bio to
410-647-4554. Please
no more than two pages. Authors will be notified of their status and
forwarded required


For more information, contact Randy Brown at Clean Islands International at
(410) 647-2500.


The official language of the conference will be English.


In the United States, contact:

Randy Brown
Executive Director
Clean Islands International
and Administrator for ReCaribe
(410) 647-2500

In Trinidad contact:

Ronald A. Williams
Caribbean Coordinator
(809) 629-2572

Edison Garraway
Chief Executive Officer (Ag)
Trinidad and Tobago Solid Waste Management Company Ltd.
(809) 625-6678

In Canada contact:

David Baird
Clean Islands International
New Brunswick, Canada


Date: Tue, 4 Mar 1997 15:35:56 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Sierra Club entity supports industrial hemp

Last weekend, a top Sierra Club volunteer entity voted to support
cultivation of industrial hemp. I'll forward info as soon as I can get
the text of the resolution.

David Orr


Date: Tue, 04 Mar 1997 17:06:31 +0000
From: Maria Archuleta <>
Subject: Variable Rate Info?

We at the City of Austin are in the process of implementing a variable
rate and extra garbage sticker program (the latter which started
today). All residents have been given a 60 (med)gallon cart with the
option to receive a 30 (small) or a 90 (large) depending on their
waste habits. We are trying to estimate the amount of 30 and 90
gallon carts we will need to have in order to meet demand. Does
anybody have any general percentages on what the trend might look
like? I know this may be a pie in the sky number, but the Budget Dept.

Thanks in advance for the info and/or leads,

Maria Archuleta


End of GreenYes Digest V97 #45