GreenYes Digest V97 #11

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Fri, 22 Jan 1999 17:02:01 -0500

GreenYes Digest Fri, 24 Jan 97 Volume 97 : Issue 11

Today's Topics:
ADFs/Manufacturers' Pay for Recycling
A home for PET
GRN draft statements/policies
Proposed ADFs

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Date: Thu, 23 Jan 1997 18:50:03 -0500 (EST)
Subject: ADFs/Manufacturers' Pay for Recycling

How about an ADF on florescent light bulbs. It might pretty hefty, though,
maybe a buck a bulb, but it would get a poison out of the landfill and it's
just about 100% recyclable I believe.

Little Infinity Recycling offers it to our household and office subscribers
for an extra fee and people seem to be using the service at this early stage.

Ford Schumann


Date: 23 Jan 97 23:45:23 EST
From: Myra Nissen <76275.1032@CompuServe.COM>
Subject: A home for PET

Today I spoke with Christina Wong from GB Industrial Corp. about PET. She is
buying some thermoplastic from our company. She is interested in trying to find
a home for large quantities of PET. She asked me to post this message for her.

Please call Chirstina at (510) 489-0881, if you are interested.
GB Industiral Corp.
33440 Western Ave.
Union City, CA 94587



Date: Thu, 23 Jan 1997 15:48:56 -0800 (PST)
From: (Brenda Platt)
Subject: GRN draft statements/policies


The Grassroots Recycling Network aims to promote three messages to the
American public:

1. Zero Waste
2. Create Jobs, Not Waste
3. End Corporate Subsidies For Waste

We have drafted policy statements on the three messages and would like
feedback from the readers of this discussion group. The draft statements are
not set in stone, they are works in progress. Please help us clarify, focus
and improve these statements. Respond via the greenyes listserve.

Thanks to all those who responded to our first message on Zero Waste. We
are now in the process of addressing and integrating your comments.

Below is an attempt to explain the second message.

Feedback received to date on this second message includes suggestions that
we: (1) address impact of waste prevention on job creation, (2) add some
discussion on highest and best use, (3) advocate for sustainable growth
through recycling, (4) state more directly that recycling is a way we can
assure jobs, (5) state that recycling can be advantage to our national
security because we currently import so many raw materials, and (6) strip
policies out of this statement and put in separate policy document (this
last one, we've already agreed to do).

Folks have suggested adding to the policies section the following: allow
recyclers to charge fee for service; add paragraph on manufacturer
responsibility (mandatory utilization, min. content products, redesigning
products); min. content law specific to the federal govt. regarding paper
and metals and other materials; 50% of govt. purchased products should be

What do you think?



During the last past 20 years, the combined efforts of citizens, government
officials, and business people have helped form the basis for an
environmentally sound era of economic growth. A prime example of that
effort is recycling. The general public has embraced recycling for two
reasons. First, it saves energy and other resources, and second, it saves
materials by taking discarded resources from the waste stream and turning
them into valuable products.

But that's not all recycling provides. It can help revitalize existing
industries and attract new industries to urban and rural communities. And,
it can preserve existing jobs and create new jobs. Put simply, recycling
is an economic development tool as well as an environmental tool. Reuse,
recycling, and waste reduction offer one of the most direct development
opportunities for communities. Discarded materials are a local resource
that can contribute to local revenue, job creation, business expansion, and
the local economic base.

Just sorting and processing recyclables sustains 5 to 10 times more jobs
than landfilling or incineration. However, it is making new products from
the old that offers the largest economic pay-off. New recycling-based
manufacturers employ even more people and at higher wages. Recycling-based
paper mills and plastic product manufacturers, for instance, employ 60
times more workers than do landfills. Manufacturing with locally collected
discards also adds value by producing finished goods -- a drastic change
from the current paradigm in which our communities export raw materials and
import finished products. While value is added to discarded materials as a
result of cleaning, sorting, and baling, significantly more value is added
as a result of end-use manufacturing. For example, old newspapers may sell
for $20 per ton, but new newsprint sells for $600 per ton. Each step a
community takes locally means more jobs, more business expenditures on
supplies and services, and more money circulating in the local economy
through spending and tax payments.

Recycling-based manufacturing reduces dependence on distant markets for
recyclables and can provide greater market stability. Local jobs are
created, local manufacturers have access to less expensive raw materials,
and reduced landfill space saves residents and local governments dollars
that can now be spent elsewhere in the local economy. Local ownership
ensures that business assets remain in the region, and spin-off purchasing
enhances the stability of the local retail business environment and
contributes to the local tax base. In addition, using locally collected
discarded materials for reuse or to manufacture new products can contribute
to the local economy and improve regional efficiency and self-reliance by
producing goods that local business would otherwise purchase from
out-of-state sources. Moreover, recycling-based manufacturing can be done
on a much smaller scale than its virgin materials counterparts. For
example, steel mills based on scrap can be as small as 10% the size of
virgin-iron-ore-based mills and still compete effectively. This means that
manufacturing cannot only find its raw materials locally, it can also sell
locally and regionally. We can begin to miniaturize the economy.

Product reuse (another form of recycling) offers communities similar
economic benefits. Each year Americans spend billions of dollars on
diapers, new tires, and new plastic, glass, and metal soft drink
containers. Some of this money remains in communities where the products
are purchased, yet a majority flees the community for the home of the
corporations. Two companies dominate the soft drink market. Similarly two
other companies together produce 87% of the diapers sold. And four tire
manufacturing companies own 77% of the new tire manufacturing industry. On
the other hand, reusable alternatives to these products -- refillable
bottle washing, cloth diaper services, tire retreading -- create wealth and
jobs for local communities. Companies offering reusable products tend to
be small and locally owned and operated, providing local jobs and increased
capital retention to communities around the country. Small businesses are
one of the most important facets of any stable economy. Locally owned
firms tend to be more stable. They purchase more of their goods and
services from the local area, and they tend to be more civic-minded.

As examples, there are 1,700 tire retreading operations in North America.
About 95% of these are owned and operated by small businesses. Reusable
diaper services employ 10,000 to 12,500 people. Each business employs 5 to
50 workers. A complete switch to diaper services would generate 72,000
jobs nationwide in this service industry alone. Refillable bottling
operations are also often small-scale. Stewart's in Saratoga Springs, New
York, sells its own brand of soft drink, orange juice, and milk, all in
refillable containers. The company employs 170 people full-time in its
bottle plant and dairy.

According to figures released by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance
(ILSR), on a per-ton basis, pallet repair operations sustain 14 times more
jobs than disposal facilities, electronics reuse enterprises sustain 68
times more jobs, multi-material reuse facilities sustain 38 times more
jobs, and textile reuse businesses create 37 times the number of jobs as
disposal facilities. Thus, the potential to create new jobs through reuse
is enormous. ILSR estimates, for instance, that 110,000 new jobs could be
created by reusing half of the 25.5 million tons of household durables now
landfilled and incinerated. Another 25,000 jobs could be created if just
half the textiles thrown away in 1994 are recovered.

"Closing the loop locally" -- by recovering more materials and developing
local remanufacturing, reuse, and composting businesses as markets for
these materials -- is the key to maximizing recycling-based economic
development. In order to close the loop locally, we must ensure efficient,
cost-effective recovery of materials from our waste stream.
Recycling-based manufacturers, for instance, need guaranteed supplies of
high-quality recyclable materials. The metropolitan areas that have
attracted new recycling enterprises have done so because of their cities'
aggressive recycling programs. Consider Philadelphia. Since implementing
curbside recycling, between 1986 and 1993, Philadelphia attracted 46 new
recycling-related businesses interested in locating in and around the city
(with a potential to create 2,000 new jobs). Between 1993 and first of
half of 1994 (latest figures available), eight new businesses were
established that created 81 jobs, and another 7 businesses, slated to
create 284 jobs, were considering locating or expanding in and around the

In addition to building a collection and processing infrastructure for
discarded materials, creating jobs not waste means actively fostering the
growth of local remanufacturing, reuse, and composting businesses.
Implementation of the following strategies will encourage such development.

1. Actively work to prevent waste and encourage reuse.
* Charge by volume or weight for waste collection.
* Substitute reusable products for disposable ones.
* Mount a public education campaign on waste prevention.
* Encourage commodity reuse through repair (e.g., appliance repair), and
products such as cloth diapers and refillable containers.

2. Maximize the amount of recyclable and compostable material collected
for recovery.
* Where trash is collected at curbside, implement weekly, year-round
curbside collection of a wide range of recyclable and compostable materials
(including food waste).
* Make participation mandatory.
* Provide households with recycling containers and backyard composters,
and educate citizens to recycle and compost.
* Establish a network of recycling drop-off sites.
* Require garbage haulers, businesses, and institutions to recycle and
* Provide adequate processing capacity for residential, commercial,
institutional, and industrial materials.
* Adopt tipping fee surcharges on waste disposal to fund recycling and
discourage wasting.
* Avoid waste incineration, which promotes a throw-away society and
competes with recycling for materials and funds.

3. Create a local and regional recycling-based manufacturing infrastructure.
* Buy recycled-content products.
* Mandate minimum recycled-content standards for certain products such as
newsprint, glass bottles, insulation, trash bags, and phone books.
* Require recycled materials in road construction projects.
* Educate local manufacturers on the advantages of using recycled materials.
* Enlist economic development agencies in recycling planning.
* Actively encourage recycling industries to locate in your community,
especially those that represent high-value end uses and "closed loop"
recycling (such as making old newspapers into new newsprint).
* Offer financing incentives to recycling-based enterprises, particularly
those that are community based.
* Work with industrial park businesses, developers, and operators to
include community-based organizations as partners in joint ventures.

Brenda A. Platt
Member, Grassroots Recycling Network Steering Committee
Institute for Local Self-Reliance
2425 18th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009
(202) 232-4108 fax (202) 332-4108


Date: Thu, 23 Jan 1997 20:36:11 -0500
From: "Marjorie J. Clarke" <>
Subject: Proposed ADFs

John asked

>As part of Wisconsin's revision to its recycling law, we are looking at
>options for the use of both Advance Disposal Fees or Manufacturers'
>Responsibility in handling solid waste items.
>I am writing to solicit suggestions for futher items to add to our
>short list of items to handle in these two ways.
>As an example of ADFs, we are looking at fees on tires and appliances.

At the Manhattan Solid Waste Advisory Board's Waste Prevention committee,
we've discussed taxes and/or ADF's for such categories of items as

1. Products or packaging containing toxic constituents (the more the
toxics content, the greater the ADF). Examples: batteries, cleansers,
metal-pigmented packaging, etc..

2. Products that are overly packaged (say less than a 4 product to
packaging ratio)

3. Disposable products (the more egregious the disposable, the higher
the ADF).

4. Non-recyclable items (where recyclables clearly exist).

5. Non-repairable items

If you would like more ideas or detail, please let me know. Also, if you
could provide information on how your ADFs are structured, we would like to

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Marjorie J. Clarke Environmental Scientist and Consultant
New York City Phone & Fax: 212-567-8272


End of GreenYes Digest V97 #11