GreenYes Digest V97 #278

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GreenYes Digest Mon, 17 Nov 97 Volume 97 : Issue 278

Today's Topics:
sad recycling

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Problems you can't solve otherwise to

Date: Sun, 16 Nov 1997 11:55:50 -0800 (PST)
From: "William P. McGowan" <>
Subject: sad recycling

Below is an excerpt from a statement sent out on the GreenYes listserv
the day before America Recycles Day that illustrates the problem of
hoping that political will can overcome market economics:

> Impressive goals were set for newspaper recycling. Citizens pitched
> in and mountains of paper were collected. Corporations and financiers were
> convinced to build large mills, investing hundreds of millions of dollars.
> But in the end, newsprint purchasers (newspaper publishers) have been
> extremely resistant to paying any additional money for a more recycled
> stock, and the large investments in mills have often gone to waste. And so
> the market for collected material has been poor, and has to seek alternate
> uses. And so we continue to needlessly cut down trees and pollute the
> environment for our daily news.
> -k
> =====================
> Keith c/o

As Kieth points out, impressive goals were made and the private
sector belived that those goals could realize real gains because of lower
feed-stock costs and the push by the public for more recycled content in
their news products. the only problem was that newspaper publishers, who
have seen their circulations drop or (at best) remain steady overt the
last decade, could not afford to eat the additional cost of newsprint
(or, conversely, pass along the extra cost to their customers).

This is, then, an example of the environmental/recycling movement
ignoring the realities of market economics at their own hazard. While it
is nice to say that we must up-end market economics that do not achieve
the ends we desire, it is also wholly unrealistic to expect such an event
to occur any time soon. The essential element in the failure of copy
paper made with newsprint is that is does not meet the quality or cost
point most Americans expect--until it does, we can expect to see similar
failure in the future. What may be worse, because of the notible
failure, investors may be more reluctant the next time an opportunity
comes along to expand recycled content capacity.

While some may call me an anti-recycler for these comments,
recognize that I make them in order to strengthen the case for recycled
materials in the future based on a healthy recognition of our economic

Bill McGowan
Rincon Recycling
History, University of California at Santa Barbara


Date: Mon, 17 Nov 1997 01:30:09 -0500
From: "Bill Sheehan" <>


Georgia bottle bill proponents must be doing
something right. The campaign has been
taken seriously enough by Coke and other
beverage companies that they have gotten one
of Atlanta's top public relations
executives, Michael Dowling, to ante up $25,
join the Georgia Sierra Club, and infiltrate
the recent legislative committee meeting at
the St. Simons retreat. Dressed in shorts
and loafers, he fit right in. He even
donned jeans and work shirt to attend
Senator James' Zeroing in on Zero Waste Town
Hall forum at the capitol last Saturday (but
his attire clashed with the other suited
Coke lobbyists there).

This is the same Mike Dowling who's firm,
Langley, Dowling and Florence, conducted the
kick-off press conference last Thursday,
November 12, of Georgians for Comprehensive
Recycling. The announcement followed by two
weeks a day of bottle bill rallies and press
events in three Georgia cities that resulted
in extensive coverage in newspapers, TV and
radio across the state.

Georgians for Taxpayer-Funded Recycling
consists of Coke, the Georgia and National
Soft Drink Associations, Anheuser-Busch and
22 other business. Most are in the beverage
industry, but others like Proctor & Gambel
understand that producer responsibility is a
dangerous idea to let out of the bag.

We are wondering if Mike's appearance at the
Sierra Club meeting means that Sierrans will
now be allowed to sit in on Coke's board
meetings. Stay tuned.

Bill Sheehan
Zero Waste Associates
268 Janice Drive
Athens GA 30606
Tel & Fax 706-208-1416


End of GreenYes Digest V97 #278