GreenYes Digest V97 #16

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Fri, 22 Jan 1999 17:01:45 -0500

GreenYes Digest Sat, 1 Feb 97 Volume 97 : Issue 16

Today's Topics:
(Fwd) (Fwd) test
Agenda for the next Millennium
grassroots recycling network

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Date: Fri, 31 Jan 1997 10:48:29 +0600
From: "John Reindl 608-267-8815" <>
Subject: (Fwd) (Fwd) test

Dear List Members -

Over the past few months, I have asked for (and thank you, received)
advice on various issues as Wisconsin revises its recycling laws and
moves towards integrated solid waste management.

For those interested, I'd like to offer our work back to you on a
Web site. This site has very detailed information on our work,
including a list of the members of the committee, copies of the
proceedings, background papers, and all of the bill drafts. The address

Although I will be out of the office for two weeks (looking at solid
waste sites in Germany!), I welcome any comments or suggestions you
might have after looking at any of the materials. Our present schedule
is to wrap up our work in March, and then have the recommended
legislation introduced into our Legislature.

Thanks again for all the help that people have provided.

John Reindl, Recycling Manager
Dane County, WI

PS -- As much as I usually don't get excited about software, our email
system (Pegasus, which is available for free) has a feature where Web
addresses in email messages are highlighted, and by clicking on them,
the software switches over to the Web browser and links up to the site.
It is very cool!


Date: Fri, 31 Jan 1997 09:07:27 -0800 (PST)
From: Tedd Ward <>
Subject: Agenda for the next Millennium

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The folowing is the current draft policy statement of the California
Resource Recovery Association. Comments are welcome.


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The California Resource Recovery Association's
Agenda for the Next Millennium
Draft 2 - Please comment by 14 March 1997

From: Tedd Ward, 707-465-1100 w, 707-465-4440 h, 707-465-1300 FAX

In the late 1980's, CRRA produced the Agenda for the 90's, a touchstone for
the groups who
helped forge the Integrated Waste Management Act of 1989 (AB939).
Similarly, this Agenda for
the next Millennium is CRRA's working policy document describing where waste
recycling, composting, and recycling market development need to move in the
coming decades to
move California towards the path to resource conservation and a sustainable
human society. This
document will be modified through the coming year and during the 1997 CRRA
conference, so
that we may craft a document which our members can promote with pride during
the coming
years. As a policy document, it should be short enough to be readily printed
in a brochure, punchy
enough to be readily summarized, and comprehensive enough to guide
commentary on future
legislation. Although I know it desperately needs an executive summary, I
felt that such a
summary should come only after the membership had a chance to review and
comment on the
policies included in this draft. If you have suggestions for additional
short-term policies or long-
term objectives, those are most welcome. A third and final draft, including
an executive summary,
will be published in the May Recyclescene. This third draft will be the
subject of a series of
focused discussions and hopefully will be ratified by the membership at the

The objective of this document is to establish a consensus among our
membership on key issues
affecting us all, so members of the State's oldest and largest recycling
trade association can
respond quickly and surely to comment on, or cooperatively craft proposed
legislation and policy.


As the oldest trade association for recycling professionals in the United
As people devoted to salvage and recovery, as collectors, recyclers,
composters, materials
processors, brokers, remanufacturers, reusers, repairers,
As designers and craftsmen building more resource efficient communities,
As businesses reducing wastes and buying reusable and recyclable products,
As California professionals working for governments, non-profits, and
private enterprises
dedicated to resource conservation and recovery, and

As we approach the next thousand years of human civilization,

We are inspired to reassess the progress of our material culture and chart a
course for the future
of resource conservation in California. Earth may well avoid any
catastrophic meteor collision for
another hundred million years, and so the choices our culture makes today
directly affect the
potential well-being and duration of future generations. We must awaken to
the fact that our
dominant vision of an idealized material culture - the automobile-centered
suburban paradise - is
not only unattainable to most of the world, but is in fact a prescription
for global suicide.

We recognize that for the first time in history, people over 40 in their
lifetimes have witnessed a
doubling of the global population, a doubling in the average residential
space per American, and
we spend increasing proportions of our time spent driving, shopping and
watching television.
Although Americans comprise only 5% of the global population, we use 30% of
the worlds
resources. Thus, while global population can be expected to double again
over the next four
decades, our per capita material consumption in California simply cannot
continue on our current

Most legislation related to solid waste, recycling, composting and waste
prevention have been
justified for a handful of reasons: concern about public health, litter, the
difficulties of siting solid
waste facilities, resource conservation, and economic opportunity. Although
there have been
people devoted to salvage and scrap as long as there have been people, our
communities have
made extraordinary strides forward in developing recovery and composting
facilities during the
past five years.

In California, as the rest of the United States, for many members of our
communities the term
recycling has become nearly synonymous with all resource conservation:
whether it be waste
reduction, composting, repair, or water conservation. As we recognize these
achievements, we
must also take stock of the lessons we have learned during the past 25 years
and recognize trends
in our culture which do not bode as well for resource conservation.

Lessons from the last 25 years of Recycling:

What have we learned? Most environmental impacts of our material culture
come not from
disposal, but from the extraction, processing, and delivery of material
goods. It's as if each
product has a long shadow from the impacts of mining, clearcuts, refineries,
and trucking.
Environmentally, the problem with our material culture is not disposal, but
the need to mine and
process new goods to replace those we failed to reuse, repair or recycle.
Yet despite being
widely acknowledged as a "top priority," waste prevention remains a very
small part of most
municipal waste reduction programs. Federal and State stewardship of public
lands is undermined
by outdated policies which encourage wasting over conservation, and has
assumed the role of
facilitating the extraction of the resources in the name of saving rural
jobs. Collecting mixed waste
in a single truck reduces the labor costs of collection, but often
drastically reduces the value of
materials which may be recovered from the waste stream. Incineration of
mixed waste has nine
times the negative environmental impacts of recycling facilities, while
competing for resources
which may otherwise be recycled. Under Federal and State regulations, new
landfills are designed
to be dry tombs with relatively little direct impact to water or air for a
30-year design lifetime, but
will almost certainly leak or require repair for hundreds of years
afterwards. Because of these
regulations and the political challenge of siting a new landfill, we are
witnessing the loss of local
self-reliance as small local landfills are replaced by larger landfills
receiving waste from a much
larger geographic region.

As citizens or businesses, almost by definition, most people don't really
want to deal with
garbage. After a product has finished its useful life, most people still
just want a safe place to get
rid of it, whether into a trash can, recycling bin or compost bucket. Today
citizens pay three
times for the stuff in our lives - once as consumers, and again as wasters,
and again in taxes to
clean up after these activities.

There is no convenient, reliable way for citizens to see the environmental,
social and political
impacts of extraction, processing and delivery of the products in our "free
market." Without such
information, the market is not truly free, and fails to serve the public good.

Recycling Isn't What it Used to Be

Mandated to divert wastes from landfills, communities rushed to implement
new collection
programs. Entrepreneurs took risks, and invested in composting like never
before. And the
business climate changed. California has witnessed the assimilation of
hundreds of smaller haulers
by larger refuse collection companies. Garbage collection franchises now
regularly have
provisions for recycling, and many communities have built materials recovery

After six years of litigation and cleanup legislation, the legal mandate for
California communities
to cut our waste in half is not what they used to be. There have been
efforts to define all
discarded materials as waste, and therefore under the territorial monopoly
of garbage collection
franchises. Both incineration and using alternative daily cover in
landfills have been redefined by
the legislature to count as "recycling." While local governments must
comply with State recycling
laws, there still remains no legal mechanism for local governments to force
State agencies in their
jurisdictions to comply with these same laws.

Local government has been given the responsibility for safe collection and
disposal, composting
or recycling of all discards. So although the legal disposal cost of many
of the products collected
at household hazardous waste collection days far exceed the original
purchase price of those
products, local governments have again assumed the role of managing these
materials as waste
and taxing for the services rendered. Ironically, the producers and
sellers pay nothing for the
services required to safely dispose of their products.

During the past ten years, we have also witnessed a dramatic growth in the
number of
organizations, public relations firms, slanted think tanks, legal
foundations, corporate front groups
and lobbyists with an anti-environmental agenda. This development is a
particular concern as
these groups have access to funding at a level that we recyclers will never
have access to.

We are a big part of the solution

Despite these challenges, California has taken more definitive action during
the past ten years to
reduce its waste than at any time since World War II. Passage of the bottle
bill, the Integrated
Waste Management Act, market development and buy-recycled programs have
resulted in __
drop off and buy-back recycling centers, ___ curbside collection programs,
___ materials
recovery facilities, ___ municipal composting facilities, and ___ new
manufacturing facilities. CRRA and its affiliated organizations have more
clearly defined the
commodities collected and processed for recycling, and prices for these
commodities have been
somewhat stabilized by futures trading under the Chicago Board of Trade.
Similar efforts are
underway to set standards for the quality of finished compost.

As other programs have been cut, the money from recycling is also the
primary income for many
of California's most destitute citizens. This too can be an opportunity.
All across the state,
recycling programs are operated by non-profits who also serve youth,
seniors, the mentally
handicapped, and the homeless. In contrast to the centralized corporate
model of production,
reuse and recycling businesses tend to be smaller and more locally-based.
Tire retreading
operations, bottle washing facilities and diaper services all create more
local jobs than their single-
use counterparts.

On individual level, a movement to "Live simply" is quietly bursting into
blossom. Many people
are beginning to realize that an ever higher standard of living is not
predicated on a higher
standard of wastefulness. Similarly, businesses and citizens are
incorporating lifecycle design into
processes and products under conservation paradigms such as ISO14000,
Permaculture, Biologic,
Designing for the Environment, natural building, and co-housing.

A world without waste?

For the first time, we must of necessity reexamine how much stuff we need to
live satisfying lives.
Unlimited growth is the ideology of a cancer cell, and humans need not be a
cancer on the face of
our only planet. To truly improve the material efficiency of our culture
and economy, over the
next hundred years we must change everything: how we manage our public
lands, how our
elected officials finance campaigns, how we design and manage our
communities, how we design
products and services, and how we define waste.

Zero waste. The goal is startling, audacious, and real. Items which cannot
be safely assimilated
into the environment simply cannot be sold, but only leased. Municipal
governments could still
collect and compost putrescibles, but the other materials would remain the
property and
responsibility of the seller. Our vision of the future includes:

1.A national materials policy which encourages conservation and resource
recovery and
aggressively taxes and monitors extraction and pollution. In a Zero Waste
world, product
designers simply cannot avoid considering the impacts of their products and
services on their
suppliers' and clients' communities.

2. A discard stream redefined to include three categories: consumables,
durables, and non-
saleables. Consumables would be compostable, or a safe food for a living
organism. Durables,
including cars, TVs, tires, recyclable materials and computers would remain
the property and
responsibility of the manufacturer. As manufacturers would be entirely
responsible for the costs
for separation, collection, and recycling, this would ultimately encourage
repairable products
made from fewer, more easily separated and recycled materials.
Non-saleables would include
toxins, refined heavy metals, and items which cannot be rendered stable and
non-toxic or safely
used as food for a living organism, would be tagged to identify the
manufacturer, and remain
their property and responsibility.

3.The local government would remain responsible for assuring that
putrescible refuse was
collected and composted, safely used as food for a living organism, or
otherwise rendered stable
and non-toxic. Local communities would be able to set higher local
standards for environmental
quality and tax for depletion or degradation of resources. Local government
would educate
citizens about waste prevention, composting, and proper handling of durables
and non-saleables,
and would undertake local enforcement and reporting on compliance with
environmental laws.
Similarly, measures of national and state success such as Gross Domestic
Product would be
modified to subtract costs for environmental cleanup, crime, and social
dissolution, and count the
value of volunteer and other non-monetary contributions to the economy.

4.Citizens and businesses could access a convenient reliable source of
product information
including linked descriptions of the most common materials, mining and
processing methods used
to produce goods.

We are committed to seeing these changes fully implemented by 2020. We will
make this vision a
reality in stages, following the short and long-term strategies described in
the following sections.
We cannot make such sweeping changes without help. During the coming years,
we must
increase our network of strategic alliances with other non-profits, trade
associations, and citizen
groups to move these policies forward. We must stand in ready support for
all strategies which
will lead further down the path to Zero Waste.

Zero Waste: Garbage is an unfunded mandate

Garbage is an unfunded mandate. Citizens should not have to pay once to
acquire an object,
again to be rid of it, and yet again to cleanup the damage from the
extraction and disposal. We
have a market where the price signals, the incentives, and the information
are misguided. The
cost to legally transport and dispose of many products collected during
household hazardous
waste collection days far exceed the purchase prices. Furthermore, neither
landfilling nor
incineration adequately protect the environment, as both fail to preserve,
return or adequately
recover the resources discarded. Unless we fix these aspects of the
market, it will hurl us along
the path of environmental destruction, and the destruction will grow worse
as our population
grows and the depletion of our interconnected web of resources accelerates.

We do not expect that this initiative will be popular with those who profit
from the inefficiencies
of our material economy. This change will likely only be possible through a
ballot initiative, and a
cooperative effort with all organizations promoting conservation, waste
prevention, recycling, and
composting. The groups who have already endorsed this approach are listed
at the end of this

Steps toward Zero Waste

Through 2000

1. Continue to recognize and promote
innovative and effective programs,
including good examples of community
planning or innovative improvements in
material efficiency
Workshops, meetings, technical councils, and
awards programs, WRAP, DOC awards,
alternative fiber products.

2. Identify research and internship
Full-cost accounting of landfill disposal;
internships focusing on the collection, processing,
remanufacturing and marketing of a specific
material; performance testing of reusable, recycled
products; others suggested by technical councils

3. Advocate policy of industry-by-
industry model businesses and training
on waste prevention and resource
WRAP awards, industry waste reduction profiles
through trade associations, advocacy of variable
can rates

4. Support the 50% diversion mandate
through 2000, with progress towards
zero waste afterwards measured by
jurisdictional five-year waste reduction
For each durable or unsaleable product, zero
waste would be achieved in a community by
banning that material from the landfill or

5. Support the right of local
communities to say how much or how
little environmental degradation they
are willing to tolerate.
States and cities have the right to restrict and
control the use of products and packaging that
pose an undue burden on the environment such as
non-recyclable, non-biodegradable, and toxic
materials and excessive packaging.

6. Advocate that State agencies must
comply with all local ordinances passed
to comply with State law. The State
should not be allowed to mandate local
responsibility without allowing for local
planning and control.
Existing law allows State agencies to sidestep
local ordinances and franchises, yet local agencies
are required to plan for recycling and disposal
capacity for these same agencies.

Before 2020

1. Durables and nonsaleables must have
established take-back programs by
Existing recycling programs would at that time be
funded by the industry consortium established to
coordinate multi-industry material reprocessing
systems. Nonusable nonsaleables would be safely
stored at manufacturer's expense until they could
be detoxified.

2. Advocate requiring manufacturers to
be responsible for 50% of the
packaging sold in the state, with
increasing percentages in subsequent
This policy would be similar to that examined in
the 1993 California Futures report to the

End Welfare for Wasting

We can make little true impact on the material efficiency of our economy
until and unless we
place a higher value on the resources we pull from the skin of the earth
than those we can pull
from the waste stream. At very least, we must remove all subsidies which
encourage the
exploitation of the resources our government stewards for our
grandchildren's grandchildren's

Our laws must shift focus from managing wastes at the tail end of the pipe
to reducing the flow of
new materials into the economy. We need to improve the resource efficiency
of our economy,
and reduce the waste associated with resource extraction, processing and
packaging, distribution and sale.

No More Money for Mining

Studies in the past few years indicate that extracting and processing
materials causes much more
damage to our environment than disposal. The environmental motivation for
waste reduction is
not to so much to save disposal space as to reduce the rate of extraction.

Both national and state studies have listed the numerous, complicated
subsidies for extraction and
energy production. As facilities built for virgin production rarely compete
directly with recycling-
based manufacturers, the primary impact of these subsidies is to make virgin
extraction and
manufacturing less expensive. If we have laws valuing resources in our
waste stream, we must
start by eliminating the laws which devalue our resources before they are

End Welfare for Wasting: No More Money for

Through 2020

1. Increase network communications
with groups working on tax reform and
national resource policy issues.
Share articles from these groups in Recyclescene.
Periodically place links to these groups on CRRA's
web page.

2. Support the elimination of timber
For timber production, state welfare for wasting is
nearly $90 million annually, or 10% of the value of
the timber harvest. Subsidies include paying for
fire suppression on private timber lands, and
having a low timber yield tax.

2. Support the elimination of energy
As recycling saves energy compared to virgin
production, energy subsidies hurt recycling. State
subsidies on oil and gas production total $255
million annually, or 5% of the annual value of
production. These subsidies include the absence of
an oil severance tax, percentage depletion
deductions, and expensing of intangible drilling
costs. Depletion deductions also subsidize nonfuel

3. Advocate replacing sales or
employment taxes with equivalent taxes
on disposal and/or resource extraction.
Disposal surcharges are an intermediate step
towards including the full cost accounting of
landfill or incineration.

4. Advocate that tax policies be
subject to CEQA and NEPA.
As both State and National tax policies have direct
bearing on the costs of extraction, and the
magnitude of associated impacts, it is reasonable to
expect these policies should be subject to existing
standards of environmental review.

5. Support efforts at the national level
to eliminate timber and energy
subsidies, and tax pollution, disposal,
and resource depletion. In a political
climate dominated by debate of budget
deficits and program cuts, government
handouts of this magnitude are both
fiscally and environmentally inexcusable
and must be abolished.
Federal welfare for wasting includes below-cost
mining leases through the Mining Law of 1872,
below-cost timber sales, energy subsidies
exceeding $26 billion annually, depletion
allowances in excess of $1 billion annually, and tax
code benefits to the timber industry in excess of
$450 million annually. Under the Mining Act of
1872, our government signed over title to $15
billion of our mineral resources for $16,000 in
1994 alone.

Leading with a label

For a free market to serve the public interest, consumers must have full
knowledge of the product
or service they purchase, including the costs they pay to remediate the
environmental damage
caused by the extraction and processing of the product. As we surf the
first waves of the
information age, we must assure that citizens can make ever more informed
decisions about the
life-cycle impacts of products. Until and unless manufacturers are able
to have the full costs of
their product included in the purchase price (i.e. no externalities), such
labeling should be

End Welfare for Wasting: Lead with a Label

Through 2000

1. Advocate for the reporting of coal
and mining wastes under EPA's Toxic
Release Inventory.
The quantity and toxicity of coal and metal mining
wastes dwarf the quantity of materials put into
landfills, and is some of the key information in
documenting the impacts of extraction.

2. Advocate that the CIWMB assess
the mass balance of inputs, outputs,
cross-media transfers (e.g. evaporation
of liquids), and discards for all major
industrial processes, starting with the
most commonly used packaging
The Packaging Study by the Tellus Institute
provides a model for assessing the first-order
lifecycle impact of a specific material.

Through 2020

1. Work closely with CAW, Green
Seal, and Green Cross to develop and
advocate the form of environmental
The laudable efforts of companies such as Green
Seal and Green Cross are steps in the right
direction. The nutritional labeling of food
products also provides a good model of how to
briefly summarize a complex set of information.
Similar environmental labeling will be critical if we
are to harness market forces to allow citizens to
choose the level of environmental protection they

Campaign Finance Reform

As professionals in resource recovery, we are all too familiar with the
hundreds of political
campaigns each year in our state which are won using the contributions from
corporations which
are in return compensated with increased privileges or additional subsidies
for resource extraction.
Like tax reform, campaign finance reform is a very complicated topic, but
is critical to improving
the resource efficiency of our economy, and CRRA must be capable of
reviewing and ready to
support actions by other groups in this direction.

Campaign Finance Reform

Through 2000

1. Increase network communications
with groups working on campaign
finance reform.
Share articles from these groups in Recyclescene.
Periodically place links to these groups on CRRA's
web page.

2. As opportunity arises, challenge or
reverse through legislation court
decisions that 1) corporations should
have the same rights as other citizens,
and that 2)money is equivalent to
speech under the protections of the
These two legal opinions are two of the most
fundamental hurdles to real campaign finance

Local Jobs from Discards and Design

Reuse, composting and recycling conserves resources, creates jobs and
builds communities. The
principle impediment to increasing material recovery is the municipal
establishment of convenient,
sanitary, unlimited waste disposal. Large, centralized systems are simpler
for politicians to sell,
governments to manage and insure, banks to finance, and businesses to make
money on.
Decentralized systems are more local, more complex, and a greater challenge
to manage as a
public works project, but fundamentally more resilient to changes in the

Research has shown that reuse and repair are not only a top priority in
waste reduction, but also
the best opportunities for creating jobs per ton of material recovered.
Simply sorting and
processing recyclables sustains 5 to 10 times more jobs than incineration or
landfilling. Each step
a community takes to add value to materials recovered from the stream of
discards means more
local jobs and more local self-reliance. Although hundreds of new
recovery, composting and
recycling businesses have been established and expanded across the state in
response to the
mandate to cut our waste in half, many more must be established quickly
until we dramatically
improve the resource efficiency of our economy.

Other job opportunities in Zero Waste are for designers, analysts and code
officials. There are
many schools of design which emphasize life-cycle design, consumable or
reusable packaging, less
toxic solvents and processes, designing for disassembly and recycling,
natural building and
landscaping techniques, integrated self-sufficient urban design with shared
public spaces and
facilities, or libraries and food banks for sharing resources within a

Local Jobs from Design and Discards

Through 2000

1. Commit CRRA resources to
mobilize the membership to speak out
to advocate adopted policy
CRRA would reimburse members for travel
expenses to testify at hearings on bills which
clearly could be supported or opposed based on
existing policy.

1. Advocate mechanisms to reduce the
cost for performance testing of
products with high potential for waste
In many cases, the principle barriers to wider
acceptance of these design strategies is the
community-by-community, case-by-case battles
with zoning, performance specifications and
testing, and building codes.

2. Advocate and defend the right for
entrepreneurs to be paid for collection
and recovery of discards, so long as the
collection charge is less than the
disposal charge, and less than 50% of
the material is disposed after recovery.
ISRI's fee for service policy

3. Support increasing recycled content,
and other market development
While such policies encourage market
development, all such policies cannot bring us to
Zero Waste and ultimately fail to address that
garbage is an unfunded mandate.

4. Increase affiliations to trade
associations for community planners,
sustainable design, packaging
reduction, repair, scrap industries,
resale businesses, and salvage
Share articles in Recyclescene and include links on
CRRA's web page.

5. Advocate that 15% of beverage
containers under the bottle bill are
refilled in 2005, using tradeable credits.
Refer to the 1993 Report to the CIWMB by
California Futures.

- The California Resource Recovery Association
(Tedd Ward, principle author)



Date: 31 Jan 1997 07:56:07 PST
From: "Dan DeGrassi" <SCRUZA.DPW180@HW1.CAHWNET.GOV>
Subject: grassroots recycling network

To: OAS --HW1SSW1 Internet Addressee

FROM: Dan DeGrassi
SUBJECT: grassroots recycling network
please add me to your subscription list. thanks!


End of GreenYes Digest V97 #16