GreenYes Digest V97 #27

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Fri, 22 Jan 1999 17:01:14 -0500

GreenYes Digest Sat, 15 Feb 97 Volume 97 : Issue 27

Today's Topics:
Attacking the messenger
Data on the Amount of Disposed Reusables
FW: Letter to Congress
Fwd: INFOTERRA: Scholarships for US citizens
GRN Campaign Ideas (2 msgs)
GRN Campaign Ideas -Reply (2 msgs)
GRN CAMPAIGNS: The Great Paper Caper
junk mail reduction
Peter Grogan (2 msgs)
ZeroWaste Article (4 msgs)

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Date: Sat, 15 Feb 1997 02:40:41 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Attacking the messenger

I agree with David Reynolds and others regarding the attacks on Pete Grogan.
For one, having worked with him for more than 20 years, I can attest to the
fact that he is dedicated to waste reduction. Just as important, I've never
understood why one needs to personally attack someone you disagree with. Why
not attack the person's facts, conclusions and opinions? What is the matter
with a hearty debate? I need someone to explain to me how personal attacks
advance a cause.

Jerry Powell


Date: Thu, 13 Feb 1997 10:03:23 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Data on the Amount of Disposed Reusables

I thought the other subscribers would also be interested in the results of a
recent study that went beyond the traditional approach to a waste composition
study. A study recently completed by my firm (Green Solutions) for Clark
County Department of Public Works concluded that the County's waste stream
contains 2.5% (by weight) reusable materials and products. Based on the
County's waste stream of 205,600 tons per year, this is the equivalent of
5,140 tons (10,280,000 pounds) of reusable materials and products that are
disposed annually in this County.

The amount of reusables in Clark County's waste stream was measured during
the fourth quarter of waste sorting for the 1995-1996 Waste Stream Analysis.
The primary purpose of this study was to provide the County with data on the
amount of recyclable materials remaining in the waste stream. In addition,
the reusables survey was conducted during one quarter to also provide the
County with data on the potential impact of waste reduction programs which
might target reusable materials.

Clark County is located in southwestern Washington, just north of Portland,
Oregon. It's largest city is Vancouver, Washington. Total County population
is 307,000 people and total employment is 104,100 workers (June 1996
figures). The total waste disposed during the study period (mid-1995 to
mid-1996) was 205,600 tons per year.

During the fourth quarter of field work for the Clark County Waste Steam
Analysis, reusable materials and products found in the waste samples were
identified and a record kept of their weight. The breakdown of the reusables
found in this survey are shown below:

Food - 1.7%
Furniture - 5.2%
Hazardous / Special Wastes - 0.4%
Metals - 2.8%
Plastic Products - 3.9%
Roofing (asphalt shingles) - 8.5%
Soil, Rocks, Clay - 5.3%
Textiles - 23.6%
Wood Building Materials - 41.5%
Wood Products - 5.1%
Miscellaneous - 2.0%

Materials and products that were counted in the reusables survey included:

- food was counted if it was in its original packaging and appeared to be
- furniture was counted if it was in usable condition, or if it could be
usable through very minor repairs.
- reusable hazardous wastes included items such as wine-making chemicals,
adhesives, cosmetics, and solvents. Items in this category were counted
long as the product was in its original packaging, was in good
condition, and
there was a usable quantity of it.
- metals that were counted consisted primarily of finished products in
good condition, such as nuts, bolts and screws, and small appliances
that appeared to be in working condition or easily repairable.
- plastic products that were counted as reusable consisted primarily of
and other household items in good condition.
- for roofing, the asphalt shingles that were counted were only whole
pieces of
3-tab shingles.
- all of the soil, rocks and clay found were counted as reusable on the
that these did not need to be in the waste stream, although these
would not have been counted if any physical or chemical contamination
been visible or suspected.
- textiles consisted of clothing and carpeting. Clothing was counted if
appeared to be in very good condition, with at most a small rip that
have been easily repaired. Carpeting was counted if the piece was
clean, in
good condition, and large enough to cover the floor of a small room
(such as
a porch).
- wood building materials included pieces of dimension lumber, particle
and plywood that were large enough to be usable.
- wood products were counted if the items were in good or
easily-repairable condition.
- miscellaneous items included plastic packaging (a bucket), rubber
(an automobile part), non-recyclable glass (a household article),
leather (a
sizable piece of unused leather), diapers (new diapers still in the
original box),
and wax (a one-pound piece of candle wax).

There were significant differences in the amount of reusables found in the
samples from different sources. The Clark County study divided the entire
waste stream into five categories depending on the source (i.e., by type of
waste generator). Residential waste brought in by garbage haulers was
divided by single-family and apartment sources. Waste from residential
sources that was brought in by the homeowner or landlord themselves was
placed in a separate category (Residential Self-Haul). Waste from
non-residential sources brought in by contractors and employees of the
business who generated the waste was also categorized separately (as
Non-Residential Self-Haul). Waste from businesses and institutions brought
in by garbage haulers was categorized as General Non-Residential. Data for
percent of reusables from each source is shown below.

Single-Family Homes: 1.63%
Multi-Family (apartments): 2.11%
Residential Self-Haul: 8.84%
Non-Residential Self-Haul: 2.57%
General Non-Residential: 1.42%
County Average : 2.49%

Since this data was collected for only one quarter, the results of the
reusables survey are not as precise as the primary results for the Clark
County Waste Stream Analysis. The precision of the results of the reusables
survey could be affected by the relatively low number of samples examined, as
well as seasonal variations. In the latter case, the amount of reusables
could have been inflated by spring clean-up activities.

Another potential problem with this data is the lack of an industry standard
for defining what is a reusable material. The criteria described above are
based on reasonable judgment and should be viewed as somewhat conservative,
with others arguing for either stricter or broader acceptance criteria
depending on their level of interest in resource conservation. Further
development of this approach, as well as collection of additional data for
comparative purposes, is recommended.

A full copy of the 1995-1996 Waste Stream Analysis is available at cost from
Clark County Public Works, at (360) 737-6118, ext. 4352. Please direct any
technical questions to Rick Hlavka, Green Solutions, at (360) 897-9533 or
George Sidles, Clark County Solid Waste Department, at (360) 737-6118, ext.
4830. Green Solutions is an environmental consulting firm that provides
services in the area of recycling and solid waste management.


Date: Thu, 13 Feb 1997 16:33:12, -0500
Subject: FW: Letter to Congress

Hi Peter,

Thanks for the compliment. Feel free to use the letter however you
want for your own U.S. delegates. Plagerism does not hold here,
since the content of my letter summarizes what many others have been
talking about in the greater recycling community. I believe the
important thing at this point is to get a letter campaign going, and
to highlight recycling within this greater context. With recycling
being highlighted up front as a damaged part of these antiquated
policies, it will hopefully get more attention if the Commission is

Regarding your question about appointments, the bill S.207 specifies
the following:

There would be nine members, appointed as follows:
3 by the President
2 by the Speaker of the House
1 by the Minority Leader of the House
2 by the Majority Leader of the Senate
1 by the Minority Leader of the Senate

This bill also requires that the parties doing the appointing consult
with one another prior to the final selection.

If the bill passes, Commission proceedings would begin in 1998 (first
meeting would be required no later than April 1998). Although the
Commission will have a bipartisan membership, we must be vigilant
towards the possibility that special interests could censor evidence
during the preliminary, internal investigative process. I am hoping
that the recycling industry and advocates can strategize so that if
all of this comes to fruition, there will be some representation
during the testimonial period. We must go beyond anecdotal remarks
and supply some hard facts. I left a message with Edgar Miller of
the NRC today and made a brief mention about all this. Maybe others
can do the same, and ask how NRC can contribute (this is a great
opportunity for that organization, given its background in national

If you have a Web Browser, and would like to track bill S.207, do the

Point to <>
Page down to "Bill Summary and Status: Congress," and click on "105"
Go to the search query option "Bill/Amendment No." and enter s. 207

Dave Reynolds
From: RecycleWorlds <>
To: "''" <>
Subject: FW: Letter to Congress
Date: Thu, 13 Feb 1997 08:53:05 -0600

Great letter. I'm assuming you won't violently object to plagerists.

Incidently, do you know more about how appointments are made and
whether there's any slotting in the bill itself?

Peter Anderson
Sent: Tuesday, February 11, 1997 6:00 PM
To: GreenYes@UCSD.EDU
Subject: Letter to Congress

FYI, I have forwarded the following letter to my U.S. Senators. It
was slightly modified for my Representative.

Dave Reynolds
February 12, 1997


Dear Senator XXXX,

I am writing to express my support for Senate bill S.207 (as well as

for the balanced, bipartisan sponsorship coming from twelve of your
colleagues) that would create a nine-person Corporate Subsidy Reform

Commission to "comprehensively review, reform, and terminate
inequitable federal subsidies to profit-making industries." It is
heartening to see the attention that the 105th Congress is giving to

the issue of inequities surrounding corporate subsidies, aka
Corporate Welfare. As one of your constituents, I urge you to
support the creation of the Commission, and to do everything in your

power to establish appropriate reform measures in this area.

As an independent consultant who provides services in the area of
waste prevention and recycling strategies, I view the special tax
treatment, depletion allowances, and direct subsidies afforded to the

mining, timber, and petroleum industries as direct impediments to
increased opportunities within the recycling industry. However,
these are not the only issues. It is also appropriate to seek
measures that would require increased responsibility amongst
extraction industries in the area of environmental management.
Presently, there is an unfettered price mechanism involved with the
extraction of natural resources, and this fails to allocate resources

efficiently. All of this results in an uneven playing field, where
virgin materials enjoy an artificial leverage to undercut recycled

Government must act to reflect changing times, embrace society and
its values, and set forth efforts to guide a sustainable economy.
The subsidies described above served America's interest at one point

in time. They were designed to spur an economy in the post-
industrial era. These subsidies are antiquated, and no longer serve

America's interest in that they are detrimental to the design of a
sustainable economy.

I and many others within the sustainable development movement will be

closely monitoring the 105th Congress in regards to these issues.
There will no doubt be tremendous pressure from special interest
lobbies, but do not let this distract you from the vision of a
healthier America for all.

Thank you for your service and the time that you have invested in
this letter.


David B. Reynolds
1160-C N Golden Springs Dr
Diamond Bar, CA 91765

(909) 860-8284


Date: Fri, 14 Feb 1997 04:54:51 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Fwd: INFOTERRA: Scholarships for US citizens

Dear All,
The following sounds very interesting. Please pardon any cross-postings.
Gretchen Brewer
Earth Circle
Forwarded message:
From: (Kath Dalmeny)
Reply-to: (Kath Dalmeny)
Date: 97-02-11 19:47:55 EST


The Educational Foundation of America is funding scholarships for U.S.
citizens to attend courses on ecological issues at Schumacher College in
southwest England. Courses are between one and five weeks in length. The
scholarships are for people who can best use the knowledge they gain at
Schumacher College to contribute towards a sustainable America, and who, for
financial reasons, might not otherwise be able to attend a course at
Schumacher College.

Among others, the scholarships will apply to residential courses on
ecological economics and development issues, led by teachers such as
Wolfgang Sachs, Richard Douthwaite, Paul Hawken, Karl-Henrik Robert, James
Robertson, Vandana Shiva, Sulak Shivaraksa and Andrew Kimbrell.

Schumacher College is an international centre for ecological studies based
in southwest England. Courses are one to five weeks in length, and are led
by world-renowned writers and thinkers, including: Fritjof Capra, James
Hillman, David Abram, Paul Hawken, Karl-Henrik Robert, Henri Bortoft, Helena
Norberg-Hodge, Vandana Shiva, Richard Douthwaite, Martin Khor, James
Lovelock, Brian Goodwin, Wendy Harcourt, Stanislav Grof, Rick Tarnas,
Charlene Spretnak, Terry Tempest Williams, David Orr, Thomas Moore and
Robert Sardello. A full programme of courses is available on request.
Subject areas of courses centre around one of the following themes:
ecological economics and development issues; the links between philosophy,
psychology and ecology; the new understandings emerging from recent
scientific discoveries.

Schumacher College wishes to award the scholarships to individuals who are
now or are likely to become influential in their communities. They may be
working or studying in the fields of education, environmentalism, public
administration, journalism/media, community work, or green business. More
information on eligibility and application procedures is given at the end of
this message. We would be grateful if you could pass these details on to
any potential applicants you know.

Schumacher College strives to achieve diverse student groups on all courses.
The EFA fund will be used to support this policy, and applications are
welcomed from a wide range of social, ethnic and age groups.

Finally, we would very much like to hear your suggestions as to how we can
best inform people active in the fields mentioned above of these
scholarships. If you know of any national associations, media outlets,
conferences etc. that would be an appropriate medium for publicising the
scholarships, please do let us know. We want this grant to help us reach
out to groups in the U.S. that would not otherwise have come into contact
with our work. Our e-mail address is <>.

<N.B. Unfortunately, because the intention of this grant is to widen the
base of U.S. participation, past participants in our courses will not be
eligible for these scholarships. Sorry!>


Who may apply?
U.S. citizens who:
* are now, or are likely to become, influential in their communities.
* are working or studying in the fields of:
public administration
community work
green business.

How to apply:
* Ensure you have read the College prospectus and current programme
(available on request, contact details at the end of this message. Or send
your postal address to this e-mail address, and we will forward details.)
* Select the course you wish to attend from the College programme
* Submit a completed application form with two supporting letters from
employers, colleagues, professors or others familiar with your work

Recipients of the scholarship will be asked to:
* Be interviewed by a member of College staff at the end of the course
* Submit a short written report within 30 days of the end of the course
* Take part in a phone interview with a member of College staff three
months after the end of the course to assess the benefits of the scheme

Financial conditions:
* The scholarship includes the cost of tuition, accommodation, food and
outings but excludes travel expenses
* Those who can afford it, or can raise some funding, are asked to make a
contribution of at least 20% of the course fee to our scholarship fund.
Those unable to make such a contribution to the course fee should include a
letter with their initial application asking for a waiver of this condition.

10 scholarships are available each year in 1997, 1998 and 1999.

Schumacher College strives to achieve diverse student groups on all courses.
The EFA fund will be used to support this policy, and applications are
welcomed from a wide range of social, ethnic and age groups.
Schumacher College is an international centre for ecological studies and a
department of The Dartington Hall Trust, a registered charity.
For more information, contact:
The Administrator,
Schumacher College
The Old Postern
Totnes, Devon TQ9 6EA, UK
Tel: +44 (0)1803 865934
Fax: +44 (0)1803 866899

Schumacher College is an international centre for ecological studies and a
department of The Dartington Hall Trust, a registered charity.

For further details of Schumacher College and its courses, please contact: The Administrator Schumacher College The Old Postern Dartington Totnes Devon TQ9 6EA UK Tel: +44 (0)1803 865934 Fax: +44 (0)1803 866899 Email: (

Please note: all addresses on our mailing list are treated as confidential. We undertake not to sell or rent our mailing list to any other organisation.

If you attend Schumacher College as a course participant, your contact details may, with your consent, be made available to past and future participants through our international alumni network. You will also receive regular newsletters updating you on the activities and projects of past participants.

If at any time you wish to be removed from our mailing list, please let us know.


- message sent by to signoff from the list, send an email to the message body should read signoff infoterra your@email.address -


Date: Thu, 13 Feb 97 10:17:59 -0800 From: David Orr <> Subject: GRN Campaign Ideas

How about adding to the 100%-recyclable requirement that goods (and packaging) ought to be made REUSABLE? For example, some items that are sold in a plastic bag could be put in durable plastic ziplock bags (made of recycled plastic) that could be reused many times. Beverage bottles would have to be returnable (and the law would require bottlers to buy them back, too!), just as they were in the "old days." In essence, this would attack the disposable culture phenomenon.

In this way, we could avoid some of the problems that have occurred with implementation of Germany's green dot law. We would have usable commodities as packaging, so there would be no disposal problem. The packages could be given away if nothing else!

Tax credits ought to be given to companies that reduce or eliminate certain kinds of packaging - e.g., Patagonia has vastly reduced the packaging of its products, but they are the exception. Corporate America thrives on "incentives" (i.e. subsidies or tax breaks), so why not extend this to the arena of encouraging good stewardship practices? It could be a five- or ten-year program designed to encourage a rapid shift, then phased out or eliminated entirely, to encourage companies to take advantage of a short-term window of opportunity. It would not be a pork project that could go on indefinitely, since we don't want the Republicans to accuse us of just another corporate welfare program!

I would also like to see a requirement that ALL restaurants be required to offer meals served on reusable dishware (and that the restaurant would be required to wash dishes); that all restaurants be required to charge customers EXTRA for "to go" orders - takeout would be more expensive than on-premises seating, except that there would be no additional charge if customers provided their OWN packaging; that takeout packaging be required to be made of recycled materials, be reusable(!) - for example, dishwasher safe plastic containers - and finally, be recyclable; and that fast food joints be taxed for high environmental impact resulting from increased cost of trash collection, street cleaning, etc., to compensate for the litter problem their operations cause.

Yes, I know these ideas are very impractical, but... We gotta start somewhere, and we gotta start NOW!

David Orr


Date: Fri, 14 Feb 1997 10:50:40 -0400 From: WOODY GETZ <WGETZ@FRE.FSU.UMD.EDU> Subject: GRN Campaign Ideas

A couple of comments (included just below the related suggestion) on some of the many great offerings below. I'm really liking what I'm reading on this thread!!! Reduce/ReUse/Recycle/Compost - It's a small planet. Woody Getz Sierra Club, Maryland Chapter/Western Maryland Group FAR, Frostburg Area Recyclers CRoWD, Coalition for Responsible Waste Disposal Environmental Group Representative, Allegany County (MD) Solid Waste Management Board, 1997 - 98 Member, Allegany County (MD) Solid Waste Management Plan Committee, 1991-92 & 1995-96. ===================================================================== wrote: > > Thanks for the opportunity to make suggestions. I put out a query to > my colleagues about possible areas and/or actions that might be > targeted for GRN > Activism. Here's what they said: > > Heidi Feldman, School Education Coordinator, Monterey Regional Waste > Management District <<<<-- SNIP! ---->>>>>> > seems that although I have been in the recycling business for a > number of years, this area is still fuzzy. I feel I have to > understand this issue better to present arguments to people who are > saying "it just doesn't work."add to my previous message: just saw > that Waste News mag. has a new website ( > that includes a pricing chart page, incl. "current prices that > recyclers are paying for recyclables in key markets." It'll also > include historical data for prices t/out year. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Thanks for the new http resource! --------------------------------------- > David Dilworth, Environmental Activist and Software Programmer > 1) We need a system like Germany where customers at a checkout > stand can un-wrap a package and turn the packaging back in to > the store. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Just to even hear/read of practices in other localities stimulates new action. Thanks! -------------------------- <<<<---SNIP! ------>>>>> > 3) We need a tax which makes recycled paper LESS expensive than > new paper. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ I'd rather hold off on a new tax and first see the hidden taxes, the subsidies for virgin materials i.e. corporate welfare for those industries be exposed and eliminated. In fact at a symposium at which I spoke last summer, when I pointed out that the organizing group's brochure was printed on recycled paper, the person in charge of that task said he chose recycled paper because it was cheaper than "regular" paper! In other words, this "recycled paper is cheaper" outcome maybe trickling along already though in some localities sooner than others. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- > > Jeffrey Smedberg, County of Santa Cruz Public Works, CA USA > Chair of ZeroWaste Committee for 1997 CRRA Conference > Internet: > My ideas relate to waste reduction and involve campaigns to enlist the > supportive actions of fed-up citizens as well as activists. > > Enough Overpackaging: Encourage people to unwrap their purchases at > the checkout counter and take the goods home in their canvas bags. > This has been done before in some places. Do it with nationwide > coordination and lots of publicity in participating localities. If > it is big enough it will generate media attention an thus get more > publicity. Focus on a specific time period - a week or month. Focus > on a particular type of store or product, such as grocery store/ > supermarket or drug store. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ YES, In fact pointing out the grocery stores which pay customers to bring back bags (canvas, plastic, paper) should be done as positive enforcement for the stores as well as to educate the public. I would also mention that when I talked to the manager of our area's Martins grocery store as to whether or not he expected this program to continue, he said "yes" because not only was it a corporate policy but it was saving his store money since the $.03/reused bag given by the store was less than the approximately $.10/bag (keeping in mind that this was about 2 years ago & that certainly prices can change) that they would otherwise pay for a new bag to be filled! This is a great example of how the advantages multiply when the greens of economics and environmentalism are in sync!!!! ------------------------------------------------------------------- > Enough Junk Mail: Not so well thought out. Target a few big mass > mailer companies. Get people to call or write to well publicized > numbers and addresses to demand removal from mailing lists. I'm > thinking of stuff like ADVO which sends out a card with a lost kid > on it - the card accompanies a whole wad of unaddressed ad flyers. > Or Mailbox Values which sends fat envelopes of coupons. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ To me the large, direct/mass market mailings are another form of corporate welfare. I wonder how many fewer pieces would be sent out and how much quicker duplications and requests to be removed from a mailing list would clear up sooner if every piece of this type of mail could, at the choice of the receiver, be returned at the expense of the sender via FIRST CLASS mail! Like the surge in telecommunications contacts, it seems to me that the advantages of the the company/user are at the expense of the customer. ---------------------------------------------------------------------

> Robin Salsburg, Public Education Coordinator, Monterey Regional Waste Management > District > > Conference Chair for 1997 CRRA ZeroWaste Conference > > Product Manufacturer Responsibility: > Target those new and exciting packaging materials (blue glass > bottles, brown plastic PET liquor bottles, etc.) and let the > manufacturers and packaging designers know that enough is enough. > ALL packaging must be recyclable and made of the highest content of > recycled materials. ALL packaging should be minimized to the extent > possible as well. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ What about some standards on the range (or NOT) of colors these non-clear containers can be made of? It is confusing to the consumers who are trying to learn recycling and I imagine defeats the purpose of creating economically viable markets for the green, brown, and whatever else color/shade of glass. And if not absolutely limiting the colors (not even allowing shades) or having the industry/companies voluntarily commit to single green/brown/blue standards, then make the companies directly responsible for this unnecessary waste and the accompanying costs. Container deposits, drop offs at the sales points where the company must pay to take back the special color container that they are insisting on, etc. all are possible ways of instituting corporate responsibility. ----------------------------------------------------------- > Junk Mail Reduction Laws: > How can we get it so that my name and address is MY property and > that no one may buy it (from various lists) without my permission? > Some possible legislation idea: > State Business & Profession Code: Without written permission no one > may sell or give away a name and address for purposes of profit. > Federal Law: No more than one unsolicited mailing per year per > organization (this way non-profits fundraising efforts could > continue). > No unnamed "resident" or "occupant" letters. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Another of the many great ideas offered in this particular posting as well as this thread in general! ==========================================


Date: Fri, 14 Feb 1997 10:40:41 -0600 From: George Dreckmann <> Subject: GRN Campaign Ideas -Reply

If we are going to target Junk Mail then we need something that people can do as direct action that cuts into the profitability of the business, both for the USPS and the mailers because, despite the reduced rates, Junk Mail is not corporate welfare, it is a major profit center for the USPS.

What we have to do is get people to return all postage paid mailers, stuffing envelopes with all the stuff that was send to them in the mailing. When i suggested this locally, a USPS employee said that stuffing these envelops full would jam their high tech machines. To which I responded, excatly!

When junk mail lacks a postage paid return mailer then we tell folks to remove their address label and take the junk to the big blue recycling box on the corner and let the USPS handle it. Afterall, they boast of having the nations largest paper recycling program. Let's make a good thing even better.

As we call for these actions, we tell folks that junk mail is bascially worhtless to your local recycling program so the best way to get it recycled is to give it back.

This type of action puts the stuff back where it came from and calling for this type of guerrilla warfare on junk mail would generate lots of publicity and would outrage the USPS and junk mailers. Who could ask for more.

Calling for legislation on stuff like this just sets us up to lose to the Gucci loafer crowd. Lets hit them where it hurts and fight legislative battles on the larger issues like forest subsidies, minimum content etc.

"Oh Atlanta, got to get back to you." Lowell George


George Dreckmann Recycling Coordinator City of Madison, WI


Date: Fri, 14 Feb 1997 14:12:37 -0400 From: WOODY GETZ <WGETZ@FRE.FSU.UMD.EDU> Subject: GRN Campaign Ideas -Reply

Dear George, I appreciate your response to my "junk mail" comment/suggestion. It's has evoked my response which follows below in the (now shortened) body of your posting. Regards Woody Reduce/ReUse/Recycle/Compost - There's a finite amount of potential landfill space between Western Maryland and Wisconsin and wihtout a doubt there are better options for it's use!! Woody Getz Sierra Club, Maryland Chapter/Western Maryland Group FAR, Frostburg Area Recyclers CRoWD, Coalition for Responsible Waste Disposal Environmental Group Representative, Allegany County (MD) Solid Waste Management Board, 1997-98 Member, Allegany County (MD) Solid Waste Management Plan Committees, 1991-92 & 1995-96 ====================================================================== George Dreckmann wrote: > > If we are going to target Junk Mail then we need something that > people can do as direct action that cuts into the profitability of > the business, both for the USPS and the mailers because, despite the > reduced rates, Junk Mail is not corporate welfare, it is a major > profit center for the USPS. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ And to me that just makes "junk mail" corporate welfare on 2 fronts instead of just the one (the direct mailing company)!! Certainly you are correct that both the mailers and USPS benefit financially from this wasteful practice. I would agree -- as was my suggestion -- that a direct, concrete action is important both for 1) placing the financial impact back on the company using direct mailing and 2) increasing public awareness/education regarding the two-prong corporate subsidy. I would also agree that if/since "junk mail" is of financial benefit to USPS, we cannot simply expect them to support a "junk mail reduction" campaign to the degree that they cut off their own nose. For that additional outcome the strategy must be more comprehensively effective. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- <<<------- BIG SNIP w/apologies to George Lowell fans! ----->>>>>> > > Pax, > > George Dreckmann > Recycling Coordinator > City of Madison, WI


Date: Fri, 14 Feb 1997 23:23:31 -0800 (PST) From: "William P. McGowan" <> Subject: GRN CAMPAIGNS: The Great Paper Caper

I am responding to the note posted on this list under the title listed under subject--I would address it to the author had s/he signed it.

First, I think whoever wrote the piece is viewing the economy in such a narrow way as to over-simplify the argument. You imply that recycling is in trouble because the Republicans and "industry," a category that is undefined, no longer feel the pressure to recycle. I whole heartedly disagree.

What has delayed and impeded the expansion of curbside programs is the same thing that brought earlier movements to change the way we produce waste to a halt: waning public interest and decreasing public dollars available to fund recycling programs. The Republicans, and specifically Newt Gingrich, may be blamed for public recycling's declining political currency, but I would argue that it is the tax-payer who is really bringing things to a halt.

Over the last 150 years, there have been four major reform movements dedicated to changing our wasteful habits (late 1890s, 1930s, 1960s, and late 1980s). In each case, reform movements sprnag from the grass roots, created a groundswell in favor of change, and created change using legilsative vehicles. After legislation and the institutionalization of these changes, often in the form of new agencies, the movement fades as the public finds that it either a) interested in other, more compelling issues, or, b) they are no longer willing to pay as much for a good as they had been in the past. In each case, the reform movement is ended then, by changing public attitudes that are not at the control of politicians.

Consider recycling's present dilemma here in California. As we get further and further away from the passage of our landmark bill, AB939, we see how the grounds supporting it have shifted. Seven years ago, lanmdfill rates in the LA Basin were steadily rising, and recycling increasingly made good business sense--if you could recycle for less than disposal, it was automatic that recycling would happen once started. But over the last year and a half, the cost of landfilling down here is