GreenYes Digest V97 #303

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Fri, 22 Jan 1999 17:03:01 -0500

GreenYes Digest Sat, 13 Dec 97 Volume 97 : Issue 303

Today's Topics:
Info on Reuse Businesses
Mandates for recycling used oil filters
NRC Board Votes to Consider Broadening Mission
Recycling lead bullets from a shooting range
Steve and Pat's debate on zero waste
Write Newsweek about Zero Waste!

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Date: Fri, 12 Dec 1997 12:32:56 -0500 From: NERC <> Subject: Info on Reuse Businesses

Ann Schneider wrote:

"I am trying to create a white paper on legislative changes or market=20 development programs that will support, create and expand business=20 opportunities for reuse based businesses. Reuse based businesses=20 include resale stores, rental and repair opperations, deconstruction=20 businesses, businesses that design products for multiple uses where=20 single use products have the greater market share (transport packaging,=20 reuse packaging), and businesses that provide reuse services..."

I have two responses:

First, regarding changing existing market development programs, it seems to me that most existing programs (e.g., loans, grants, technical assistance, tax credits, etc.) are not defined in statute or regulations so narrowly that they couldn't be applied to reuse or waste prevention projects. The problem is in INTERPRETATION by the folks administering the programs. Unfortunately, many programs have to grapple with figuring out whether projects are eligible on a case by case basis, and the decisions aren't always consistent. (I think this applies to the CIWMB program too, which may have ruled in favor of diaper reuse on another day, when the Board members were in the right mood and the politics were right.) One particular program that has gone out of its way to include waste prevention under the banner of "recycling market development" is the NY Office of Recycling Market Development (518-486-6291).

Second: Suprisingly, many of the reuse businesses you mention(unlike recycling businesses) fit into existing Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) categories, and consequently you can easily obtain some basic economic information on them. This info could be useful in lobbying for changes to existing programs, or for new programs. =20

For example, you could go to, find "county business patterns" by using the search engine on that page, and get employment, number of firms (by size) and total wages, tabulated by county, by state or for the whole U.S., for the following categories:

Tire retreaders (SIC 7534) Motor vehicle parts (SIC 5015) Miscellaneous used merchandise sales, e.g., thrift stores (SIC 5932) Used car lots -- are we stretching our definition of reuse? (SIC 5511) Radio and tv repair shops (SIC 7378) Refrigeration and air conditioning repair (SIC 7623) Electrical and electronic repair (SIC 7629) Watch, clock and jewlery repair (SIC 7631) Reupholstery and furtniture repair (SIC 7641) Welding repair (SIC 7692) Armature rewinding shops (SIC 7694) Miscellaneous auto repair shops (SIC 7532 - 7539) Other repair shops not classified above (SIC 7699)

Another good source is a recent study by the University of Boston, documenting the economic impacts of industrial equipment remanufacturing. (Email me if you want the contact.)

Ed Boisson Northeast Recycling Council (802) 254-3636


Date: Fri, 12 Dec 1997 14:12:39 -0600 From: Bill Carter <> Subject: Mandates for recycling used oil filters

John Reindl asked about state mandates for recycling of used oil filters.

In 1991 the Texas legislature adopted a ban on allowing material containing used oil into landfills. The rules adopted to implement this statute ultimately banned used oil filters from landfills. Even scrap metal processors were prohibited from handling the filters unless they had a process to separate out the residual oil and filter medium from the steel filter. These rules created a small oil-filter-reprocessing industry in Texas, which for the most part sends the separated filter steel to scrap processors and the oil and filter media for various fuel uses.

The 1991 law, amended in 1995, created a 2 cent per quart fee on motor oil sold retail rather than used by car servicing businesses to fund used oil collection services through grants to local and regional governments. This fee was discontinued by the 1997 legislature. However, the rules implementing this law prohibited the use of the fund for oil filter recovery programs. Part of the state's $1.25/ton fee on all waste received by landfills was ultimately used to buy oil filter crushers for many local collection programs to help make transporting the filters to processors more affordable.

The full statutory language for the Used Oil program in Texas can be found at The rules implementing this legislation can be found at Additional information about the program can be found at

All the best,

Bill Carter, Program Specialist Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission Recycling Section, Office of Pollution Prevention & Recycling MC114 P.O. Box 13087, Austin, TX 78711-3087 USA (512) 239-6771


Date: Fri, 12 Dec 1997 07:26:53 -0500 From: "Bill Sheehan" <> Subject: NRC Board Votes to Consider Broadening Mission

TO Zero Wasters and National Recycling Coalition supporters FROM Bill Sheehan

RE NRC Board Votes to Consider Broadening the=20 Coalition's Mission

This past weekend the board of directors of the=20 National Recycling Coalition heard our resolutions=20 to endorse zero waste and to sign on to a statement=20 endorsing ending welfare for wasting. Neither=20 motion passed, but we got everyone's attention and=20 seemed to have sparked some real soul searching=20 about where the organization is headed. Feedback=20 to me by fellow board members suggests that there=20 is a strong will to move the organization more towards the cutting edge. If YOU are a NRC member=20 there are opportunities to move the process in a=20 positive direction - read on.

1. The ZERO WASTE resolution stated simply:

The National Recycling Coalition encourages=20 industry, government and consumers to adopt=20 Zero Waste as a goal for the 21st century.

The staff analysis was overall fairly positive. It said that=20 NRC's policies have "not taken such a broad view of the=20 materials use economy...but primarily focused on one aspect=20 of the entire system, namely the management of materials=20 once they have been discarded." It also notes that the NRC=20 HAS taken a position on "upstream" subsidization of virgin=20 materials and supports the elimination of virgin materials=20 subsidies. It says that the mission statement is ambiguous=20 on how broad a view a consideration of a full systems view=20 of materials management might be.

It also states that there is little inconsistency between the=20 types of actions that the resolution proposes NRC undertake=20 and the types of actions identified in the strategic plan. It=20 says that procedures are already in place to address many of Zero=20 Waste's action items and it does not require a policy=20 resolution to make them happen.

Finally it states that the Zero Waste resolution offers a=20 strategic opportunity to grow and is consistent with many=20 practices already operative within the recycling industry.

The board passed a motion to undertake staff's=20 recommendation to conduct a reassessment of NRC's=20 mission statement. Specifically, staff recommended=20 that the strategic planning committee bring a=20 proposal to the board for adjusting NRC's mission=20 statement. We succeeded in getting two=20 amendments added: (1) the strategic committee=20 should work with the policy work group, and=20 (2) 'broad membership input' should be involved. =20 The wording is as follows (pardon the roughness):

The Board and its Strategic Planning Committee=20 and Policy Work Group, with broad membership=20 input, bring back recommendations for adjusting=20 NRC's policy and mission focus to embrace a full=20 systems view of materials management - one that=20 encompasses such "upstream" considerations as=20 raw materials utilization issues, product design=20 and producer responsibility considerations as=20 well as "downstream" strategies like recycling=20 and reuse.

How to get broad membership input? That will be=20 the subject of a conference call next week. Some=20 of the options to be discussed include a member=20 survey posted in the NRC newsletter and setting up=20 an unmoderated listserve to facilitate member=20 discussion via email.

There is another opportunity for NRC members to=20 participate in the process. President Cat Wilt=20 ( informs me that NRC members have=20 the opportunity to participate on the committees/ workgroups in question (but it is up to=20 committee/workgroup chairs to decide how to best=20 keep a balance within the groups). If you have an interest=20 in participating with the strategic planning group,=20 contact co-chair Dan Kemna (no email; Pepsi Cola Co.,=20 300 Park Blvd. #315, Itasca IL 60143; tel 630-773-2121=20 fax 773-4318) or Jenni Worster at (Ohio Division of Recycling and Litter Prevention). =20 For the policy work group, contact chair Peter=20 Anderson at (RecycleWorlds=20 Consulting).

2. ENDING WELFARE FOR WASTING The other motion=20 asked the board to endorse a statement on ending=20 subsidies for wasting. The statement was prepared=20 by Taxpayers for Common Sense and the Material=20 Efficiency Project (on behalf of the Grassroots=20 Recycling Network). The idea was to get NRC to=20 take a modest action related to the policy that=20 had the greatest consensus in a survey of member=20 state recycling organizations. John Young=20 addressed the board on the issue.

Staff had recommended against endorsing the=20 position until the board has assessed "the impact=20 (if any) that the specific subsidies referenced in=20 the TCS/MEP endorsement have on recycling or on any=20 other criteria (e.g., resource conservation, fiscal=20 policy, etc.) it establishes."

After discussion, a substitute motion was prepared=20 and offered, essentially strengthening the current policy=20 position on subsidies, rather than endorsing the=20 TCS/MEP statement. The vote needed a 2/3rds supermajority=20 but fell short by 1 vote (12 for, 7 against,=20 3 abstentions). The board felt that they needed=20 more time to study the issues and collect=20 information on specific subsidies.



Date: Fri, 12 Dec 1997 16:36:59 -0600 From: "John Reindl" <> Subject: Recycling lead bullets from a shooting range

Dear List Members -

I have been asked to help in finding a market for the lead bullets=20 from the sheriff's shooting range. The bullets were screened from=20 the earthen bunker and amounts to 50 55-gallon drums.

Has anyone had any experience with this and can offer some tips on=20 marketing this material? I am ordering the book on markets from the=20 Lead Industries Association.


John Reindl Dane County, WI (608)267-1533 - fax (608)267-8815 - phone


Date: Fri, 12 Dec 1997 15:48:15 EST From: CRRA <> Subject: Steve and Pat's debate on zero waste


You need to pick the mountains you can move.

Today, I believe a key mountain that is close to being moved is Ending Corporate Welfare for Wasting.

Sign on to the Letter from John Young, and get others to sign on.

This should be a major campaign issue in the Presidential election of 2000,= if we handle it right. =20

Kyoto is round one.

Gary Liss


Date: Fri, 12 Dec 1997 07:27:59 -0500 From: "Bill Sheehan" <> Subject: Write Newsweek about Zero Waste!

TO Zero wasters and recycling supporters FROM Bill Sheehan

RE Write Newsweek about Zero Waste!

Below is the article from the Dec. 8th issue of=20 Newsweek that discusses zero waste. It is the=20 first article we know of in the mainstream=20 national media. =20

Please dash off an email note to=20 to let them know this is=20 a topic readers want to hear more about.

--Bill S.

************************ Bill Sheehan GrassRoots Recycling Network 268 Janice Drive Athens GA 30606 Tel & Fax 706-208-1416 ************************


Newsweek, December 8, 1997, page 18. Section: The Millennium Notebook

By Jennifer Tanaka

Sometime in the 23rd century, a miraculous piece=20 of technology will save us from ourselves. That's=20 the predicted advent of the replicator, a device=20 that breaks down garbage into molecules and=20 energy and converts them into useable stuff =96 a=20 ham-and-cheese sandwich, a pair of Air Jordans, a=20 spare flip phone. This is the future of garbage=20 according to the late George Roddenberry, the=20 Star Trek "visionary" who thought that humans=20 should be freed from irritating decisions like=20 figuring out whether a polystyrene-foam food tray=20 counts as recyclable plastic or regular trash.

The replicator is a great idea; unfortunately it=20 is a long way off. In the meantime, some garbage=20 experts are forecasting that we will be stuck=20 with more or less the same methods of dealing=20 with household refuse: landfilling most of it,=20 recycling, composting and incinerating the rest.=20 These methods will get more sophisticated over=20 time. It's now possible, for example, to make=20 recycled plastics purer by breaking down the=20 original polymers chemically instead of just=20 shredding and baling the stuff. But the current=20 debate about garbage has more to do with mindset=20 than technique.

In the short term, landfills will probably=20 continue to get most of our trash, largely=20 because they're cheap. Though cost comparisons=20 are sharply contested, one estimates that in the=20 United States it costs on average about $35 a ton=20 to bury trash, compared with $60 to $80 a ton to=20 burn it for energy and $100 to $150 a ton to=20 recycle it. Keeping things affordable is=20 important for cities with limited taxpayer=20 dollars, and proponents of landfills say they're=20 environmentally safer and more cost effective=20 than ever.

Reid Lifset of Yale's Program on Solid Waste=20 Policy predicts that in the future manufacturers=20 will play a bigger role in cleaning up their=20 products once they're thrown out. Imagine Gateway=20 2000's taking back obsolete computers in a=20 company-run exchange program. As it is, recycling=20 is rising, now up to 27 percent, surpassing the=20 EPA's first national goal set by J. Winston=20 Porter in 1988. Porter, now a waste-management=20 consultant, thinks recycling will peak at about a=20 third of all trash. Beyond that, he says, the=20 practice treads into questionable economic=20 territory. "Why spend 10 times its value=20 recycling something like hot-dog wrappers that's=20 just taking up a little bit of space in=20 landfills?"

Porter's way of thinking riles Bill Sheehan,=20 chair of the GrassRoots Recycling Network.=20 Besides challenging industry claims that=20 landfills are safe, Sheehan says it's high time=20 Americans started considering an alternative:=20 zero waste. The idea is that today's entire=20 discard stream, all 208 million tons of it=20 annually, can be reused, recycled or composted,=20 leaving nothing for landfills. Dan Knapp, a zero- waste consultant and president of a reuse=20 business in Berkeley, Calif., puts it this way:=20 "We view garbage as a manufactured product. When=20 a garbage truck smashes your trash together,=20 that's the first step in creating the chaos that=20 ends up in a landfill." Kanpp says that it's=20 possible instead to clean and sort trash into 12=20 big categories, including chemicals, plastics,=20 wood, metal, and putrescibles ("anything that=20 smells bad and rots"). Facilities would then=20 process these materials and turn them into raw=20 goods for industry.

Some bystanders think "zero waste" is more=20 rallying cry than blueprint for the future. Not,=20 however, the waste managers in Canberra,=20 Australia. The capital territory plans to replace=20 its two landfills with resource-recovery=20 industrial parks by the year 2010. Starting in=20 1995, the government surveyed its 320,000=20 residents to find out what they wanted done with=20 waste. "The message came across very clearly that=20 they didn't want us to have any," says Graham=20 Mannall, waste-reduction manager for Canberra.=20 Mannall admits that many "tricky bits" remain=20 unresolved, like what to do with batteries and=20 chemicals. Still Canberra is charging ahead. If=20 the plan works, these parks will do for Canberra=20 what Rodenberry's replicators did for the=20 starship Enterprise.



End of GreenYes Digest V97 #303 ******************************