GreenYes Digest V97 #35

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GreenYes Digest Sun, 23 Feb 97 Volume 97 : Issue 35

Today's Topics:
It pays to waste--changing the model
Natural Capitalism

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Problems you can't solve otherwise to

Date: Sat, 22 Feb 1997 14:12:43 -0500 (EST)
Subject: It pays to waste--changing the model

In a message dated 97-02-21 00:59:39 EST, (David A.
Kirkpatrick) writes: about ideas that will cause zero waste sytems to be

Your message about ideas that will cause zero waste sytems to be developed is
timely. My experience on the west coast is similiar.

In the City of San Diego, the Department of Environmental Services, wants to
stop the pilot curbside recycling program (1/3 of the city or 80,000 single
family residents). They want to build equity to borrow money to buy a
County landfill. This landfill now taking nearly 50% less waste because of
waste reduction and recycling programs in that waste shed. One large City,
El Cajon is now tranfering wasted resources past the local landfill
(actually) up the crowded and polluted freeway 50 miles north. The city
hauler, a WMX affilliate has a low tipping fee deal with Orange County who
has over fifty years of capacity for their own use. Orange County is now
selling capacity to raise funds and thus using trash disposal as a profit
center for their nearly bankrupt County government.

The reaction to the city by recyclers and local haulers alike was:

Initiate a source separation requirement in the solid waste ordinance that
requires the generator to separate discards into designated reyclables,
compostibles and residuals.

Most of the cities in San Diego COUNTY have these ordinances and are nearly
at fifty percent on their diversion goals. When the MRF in San Marcos was
running there was an additional 16% of designated recyclables recovered.
Now that new composting companies have located and been permitted;
foodwaste and misc. paper could be added as a compostible. If ALL systems
were allowed to run there would be an overall reduction of wasted
resources going to landfill of 75%, today.



Date: Sat, 22 Feb 1997 20:02:57 -0800 (PST)
From: "David A. Kirkpatrick" <>
Subject: Natural Capitalism

Check out the excellent article, "Natural Capitalism" by Paul Hawken in the
March/April 1997 issue of Mother Jones magazine. A few excerpts:

"We cannot heal the country's social wounds or 'save' the environment as
long as we cling to the outdated industrial assumptions that the summum
bonum of commercial enterprise is to use more stuff and fewer people. Our
thinking is backward: We shouldn't use more of what we have less of (natural
capital) to use less of what we have more of (people). ...

"To create a policy that supports resource productivity will require a shift
away from taxing the social 'good' of labor, toward taxing the social 'bads'
of resource exploitation, pollution, fossil fuel, and waste. This tax shift
should be 'revenue neutral' - meaning that for every dollar of taxation
added to resources or waste, one dollar would be removed from labor taxes.
As the cost of waste and resources, increases, business would save money by
hiring less-expensive labor to save more-expensive resources. The eventual
goal would be to achieve zero taxation on labor and income.

"... For the tax shift to succeed, we must also reverse the wrenching
breakdown of our democracy, which means addressing campaign finance reform
and media concentration...

"...Shifting taxes to resources won't -- as some in industry will doubtless
claim -- mean diminishing standards of living. It will mean an explosion of
innovation that will create products, techniques, and processes that are far
more effective than what they replace.

"...Ironically, organizations like Earth First!, Rainforest Action Network
and Greenpeace have now become the *real* capitalists. By addressing such
issues as greenhouse gases, chemical contamination, and the loss of
fisheries, wildlife corridors, and primary forests, they are doing more to
preserve a viable business future than are all the chambers of commerce put
together. While business leaders hotly contest the idea of resource
shortages, there few credible scientists or corporations who argue that we
are not losing the living systems that provide us with trillions of dollars
of natural capital: our soil, forest cover, aquifers, oceans, grasslands and


End of GreenYes Digest V97 #35