GreenYes Digest V97 #29

GreenYes Mailing List and Newsgroup (
Fri, 22 Jan 1999 17:01:05 -0500

GreenYes Digest Mon, 17 Feb 97 Volume 97 : Issue 29

Today's Topics:
GRN ZERO WASTE, VER 2.0 - Comments on Draft 2

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, 17 Feb 1997 00:01:00, -0500
Subject: GRN ZERO WASTE, VER 2.0

Re: Version 2.0 -- BRAVO, BRAVO..... WELL DONE !!

Thank you and congratulations to Susan, Dan, and Ted. Also, a big
thank you to Bill Sheehan for keeping this vision alive and to Steve
Suess for rattling each and every one of our cages.

To be completely honest, I was a little uncomfortable with Version 1
(although I appreciate all the work that went into it, and one needs
to start somewhere) because there were certain areas that seemed to
extend the present "rates and dates" system to a zero waste goal, but
lacked a focused emphasis on the fundamental changes within the
system to accomplish this. I think this is what led some pundits to
believe that the zero waste goal was "pie in the sky" rhetoric born
in an ivory tower. I personally feel that this confusion was evident
in Pete Grogan's "Recycling View" in the Jan. 1997 BioCycle. If one
thinks within the same old paradigm, this is indeed a lofty (and I
would submit, impossible) goal.

However, Version 2 addresses, in a superb, eloquent, and organized
manner, how the fundamental system must change to achieve "zero"
waste. The steps that must be taken to create this change are laid
out in a concise and realistic way. Personally, I feel that
everything that needs to be addressed is addressed under this one
cover.... excellent! Someone needs to get this to Mr. Grogan
posthaste! Since Recycling Times recently published the first
version, they may not want to make another go at it (unless you have
Chaz and Jenny interested). How about some other publication?

Version 2 reflects a vision. It is a guidance document. It is a
"mission statement" for our social and industrial institutions. It
highlights what needs to change within our economic models,
measurements, and government policies if we want to fulfill the

In Mr. Grogan's editorial, he mentions the realities of cost recovery
in the waste industry, and zero waste conflicts with this. I think
we all understand the realities of the present system. This is not a
matter of a bunch of radicals screaming out "zero waste now," but
rather a group of visionaries and conscientious planners laying the
foundation to "replace solid waste management with resource
management." This is the reason why when Bill invited ideas on GRN
campaigns, I posted a rather long message on how we must be vigilant
of where the industry is going and make assurances for resource
recovery, else we might loose control to a permanent disposal based

Best regards to all,

Dave Reynolds


Date: Mon, 17 Feb 97 00:47:05 PST
Subject: GRN ZERO WASTE, VER 2.0 - Comments on Draft 2

[Forwarded from Peter Anderson]

Overall what is envisioned is the biggest Mind Bending enterprise envisioned in
the last 30 years. Yet, the tract has about 23 "shoulds" and 18 "musts".
Shoulds and musts is not any way to bend minds, especially when wielded by
people with Zero Power!

I think we need to, somewhere, somehow, address the here/there issue (i.e.
profligate America's "here" and zero waste's "there" -- how do we get from here
to there?), or face up to the music that we're just a lot of hot air adding to
the greenhouse effect.

To me the big barrier to our goal -- and I'm sure to Pete Grogan's goal too --
is modern society's confusion betweenverssumption and happiness. Changing that
not only does not begin with those shoulds and musts, it consigns one to
premature political oblivion. That route, after all, is same path that led the
1960's mind benders to be resented and rejected by the "Joe Lunchbuckets" by the
time the '70's rolled in, laying the groundwork for Ronald Reagan's ilk.

What usually works better is to appeal to self interest: overconsumption not
only does not increase happiness, it decreases joy. (Like with the
overpopulation issue. Stop telling people that they shouldn't have more than
two: explain how much it will cost to send three to college, an absolute
predicate in today's world, and how much that investment will subtract from a
comfortable retirement, etc.)

I'd hope that we don't lazily fall back on the old schtick that "first lets get
our dreams laid out and then we'll worry about the means of getting there." We
have enough ideas about our dream now with 12 pages of polemic to bring up the
means from the rear -- otherwise, if history is any guide, we'll just debate the
t crossing and i dotting for the next year without doing first things first --
namely finding out if there is any way to get there. Otherwise, most of us have
too much else to do to waste our time. I think we need to spend far more time
on means to insure we don't repeat other utopians mistakes and become a giant
incest society.

Peter Anderson


End of GreenYes Digest V97 #29