GreenYes Digest V97 #102

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Fri, 22 Jan 1999 17:13:15 -0500

GreenYes Digest Thu, 8 May 97 Volume 97 : Issue 102

Today's Topics:
Cost Impact of PVC on PET Recycling
GreenYes Digest V97 #101 -Reply
Local Governments as Keys to Producer Responsibility
Nat'l. Forest Reform Rally - Info & Registration form
Please help with internalized costs argument
salvage at the landfill
salvage at the landfill face (2 msgs)
SRLU Year-End Release
ZeroWaste One-Pager

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Date: Wed, 7 May 1997 12:18:12 -0500
From: RecycleWorlds <>
Subject: Cost Impact of PVC on PET Recycling

To supplement the discussion over how much PVC reduces the economic =
value of PET, I thought it might be helpful to generate some preliminary =
numbers to provide more facts to consider.

The bottom line is that the only publicly available cost data of which =
I am aware suggests that the cost to autosort PVC from PET may be in the =
order of 6-1/2 cents per pound of PET processed. However, a better way =
to express this cost may be as a cost per pound of PVC separated because =
that focuses attention on how expensive it really is. Expressed this =
way, it is $2.18 per pound of PVC separated.

Without proprietary data, I extracted data from a study that evaluated =
the Magnetic Separation Systems' high density x-ray based TPVC? =
detection system for PVC as part of its overall BottleSort? system for =
HDPE and PET in order to estimate the incremental cost of just =
autosorting PVC. The study was done by R. W. Beck for the Environmental =
Protection Agency, Cost Evaluation of Automated and Manual Post-Consumer =
Plastic Bottle Sorting Systems (Sept. 1994) ("MSS Study"). =20

MSS's overall BottleSort? system in the MSS Study was set up to =
separate natural and pigmented HDPE, as well as clear and green PET. To =
eliminate PVC from the PET, the operator used two detectors, one at the =
first ejection point set to high detection and a second unit on the =
clear PET line prior to granulation, where two inspectors are stationed. =
Other operations use two passes to insure detection. =20

From this and other data, an attempt was made to determine the =
incremental cost of a autosort system used only to detect PVC from PET =
when added to a manual sorting system that would otherwise be adequate =
for end markets to process PET bales into a pure PET stream.

From that data, the following shows an estimate of the cost for each =
pound crossing the detector for each pass.

Equipment ($/yr.) $84,000 (1)
Building Lease ($/yr.) $15,000 (2)=09
O&M ($/yr.) $10,000=09
Utilities ($/yr.) $10,000=09
Labor ($/yr./shift) $17,500 (3)
Total Cost ($/yr.) $136,500=09
Uncorrected Unit Cost for Total Stream ($/hr.) $65.63 (4)
Corrected Unit Cost for Total Stream ($/hr) $100.19 (5)
Corrected Unit Cost for Total Stream ($/lb.) $0.056 (6)
Corrected Unit Cost for PET Stream ($/lb.) $0.065 (7)
Corrected Unit Cost for PVC Stream ($/lb.) $2.78=09

(1) Equipment for each of the two PVC detection units is estimated to =
cost $100,000 (MSS Study at p. 17), and is amortized over 5 years at a =
pre-tax ROE of 20%. It is assumed that no incremental costs exist for =
debaling and some declumping, but $50,000 is estimated for careful =
singulation that is only necessary when using autosort equipment.

(2) Assumes $5 per square foot for 3,000 sq. ft. for the two detectors.

(3)Assumes $7/hr. plus 20% for overheads for one inspector. The clear =
PET line uses two inspectors, and, because the green PET line only uses =
one, it is assumed that the difference is due to PVC.

(4) The total cost is allocated over one shift (i.e. 2,080 hours) =
because the PET reclamation industry in the U.S. has between 967 and 995 =
million pounds of capacity, with 200 million pounds more capacity =
shuttered, while there were only 565 million pounds collected in 1994. =
S. Apotheker, "The bottle is the bottleneck," Resource Recycling (Sept. =
1995), at pp. 30 and 33.

(5) The operation in the study avoided running two or more passes, as is =
more commonly done to insure complete PVC removal, by setting the first =
PVC detector to high detection. This has the side effect of greater =
incorrect separation, with twice as much non-PVC material ejected as =
PVC. The study found 6.8% of the containers by weight were rejected from =
the first point, of which only 2% was PVC (MSS Study, at p. 8). This =
results in lost sale value of the non-PVC material, which in our =
hypothetical facility would be primarily PET. Thus, 86.4 pounds per hour =
of PET sales (i.e. 4.8% =D7 1,800) would be lost. At a price for clean =
flake of 55=A2/lb., of which no more than 15=A2/lb. would be subtracted =
for washing, drying, air classifying and granulating, $34.56 is lost =
each hour.=20

(6) The operation in the study avoided running two or more passes, as is =
more commonly done to insure complete PVC removal, by setting the first =
PVC detector to high detection. This has the side effect of greater =
incorrect separation, with twice as much non-PVC material ejected as =
PVC. The study found 6.8% of the containers by weight were rejected from =
the first point, of which only 2% was PVC (MSS Study, at p. 8). This =
results in lost sale value of the non-PVC material, which in our =
hypothetical facility would be primarily PET. Thus, 86.4 pounds per hour =
of PET sales (i.e. 4.8% =D7 1,800) would be lost. At a price for clean =
flake of 55=A2/lb., of which no more than 15=A2/lb. would be subtracted =
for washing, drying, air classifying and granulating, $34.56 is lost =
each hour.=20

(7) Two percent of the separated stream was PVC, and, after subtracting =
for that, 13% was trash (including other containers)(MSS Study, at p. =
8). We therefore, we assumed 85% of a PET facility autosort line would =
be PET (or 1,530 pounds) and 2% PVC (or 36 pounds).



Date: Wed, 07 May 1997 10:34:36 -0500
From: Bill Carter <>
Subject: GreenYes Digest V97 #101 -Reply

Blair Pollock asked about salvage at the active fill area of landfills. Here's
some of what's happening in Texas.

El Paso (approx. 500,000 pop.) and its sister city Juarez have contracted
for several years with Amaya Corporation to salvage materials at the
active face of their landfills. El Paso receives a flat $1,500 per month
from Amaya for the opportunity to do this salvage. Amaya reports
recovering about 27 tons PER DAY of metals coming into the El Paso
landfills. I'm not sure what other items or materials they find it
worthwhile to salvage.

El Paso is, to my knowledge, the only city in Texas doing salvage at the
active landfill face. The conventional wisdom is that this kind of
operation carries too much potential liability for injuries and interference
with the ongoing compacting process. There are, however, several
landfills around the state with fixed salvage stations somewhere outside
of the fill areas.

Austin (approx. 500,000 pop.) has had such a fixed reclamation center
at the municipal landfill since 1986. It has accepted scrap metals, cans,
bottles, newspapers, cardboard, and various other materials over most
of its active life. Total recycling tonnages ranged from 20 to 60 tons per
month through its early years. Not included in that tonnage were lots of
repairable or salvageable appliances, lawnmowers, bicycles, windows,
and many other goods sold on a thrift-store basis by Ecology Action, the
center's nonprofit operator at the time. Ecology Action had the significant
disadvantage (compared to El Paso) of only having access to what was
voluntarily dropped off at the center by landfill patrons, with some help
from the gate-house staff directing vehicles with obvious recyclables to
drop them at the center.

Blair, you can probably get more current info on the Austin program from
Maria Archuleta ( Let me know if you
want me to put you in touch with any of the parties involved in landfill

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

The inspiration for this center was Urban Ore in Berkeley, CA. I haven't
heard about whether that operation still has its huge open-air salvage
center for all manner of goods and building materials.


Date: Thu, 08 May 97 01:52:23 PST
Subject: Local Governments as Keys to Producer Responsibility

SUBJECT: Carrots, Sticks, and Producer Responsibility
FROM: Helen Spiegelman [forwarded by Bill Sheehan]

Hi Bill, Thanks for the note -- I have been impossibly busy. This is
my first opportunity to try to begin responding. Thank you for
your patience with me.

. You understood my criticism to be of sticks, and said that not
everybody is going to be comfortable wielding sticks. But I don't
think it is *sticks* that I am uncomfortable with. In fact, the
regulations in British Columbia are sticks. Corporations, unlike
humans, respond well to sticks. The sticks must be blunt, though.
British Columbia's simple "sticks" are more effective tools, I
believe, than the complicated regulations in California that must
be enforced by a priesthood of bureaucrats.

I personally don't like *carrots* (by which I understand you to
mean voluntary industry initiatives). I think the upper hand is too
much with the corporations now, and they will boil down any
*CARROTS* to unnutritious mush...

I like to think that what we are proposing is *common sense* and
that it is most effectively articulated by ordinary people. It's the
common sense of the little boy in The Emperor's New Clothes. It
is completely disarming, partly because of its inexorable logic, but
also because it is presented by people that everyone can *relate* to.
I think the way we are going to make a revolution is to get
ordinary people to recognize simple truths, and to demand that
these simple truths be entrenched in new laws. I think what we're
doing is comparable to the minimum wage law.

In our work here, we focus on LOCAL GOVERNMENTS. We have
been patiently making the case that their local taxpayers are
unfairly bearing the burden that belongs responsibly with the
producers of disposable products and packaging. And it's worked.
Local governments in Canada are the strongest force driving for
Product Stewardship. Wait: an important distinction! The
ELECTED OFFICIALS are definitely more ardent in their support
of product stewardship than the ENGINEERING DEPARTMENT
/ RECYCLING COORDINATORS, who favour something more
like "shared responsibility" (so they can keep their comfortable
government sinecures).


Date: Wed, 7 May 1997 20:22:47 -0700 (PDT)
From: "John E. Young" <>
Subject: Nat'l. Forest Reform Rally - Info & Registration form

>Return-Path: <>
>Date: Wed, 7 May 1997 14:24:50 -0400 (EDT)
>From: Arthur Clark <>
>To: Multiple recipients of list <>
>Subject: Nat'l. Forest Reform Rally - Info & Registration form
>X-Listprocessor-Version: 6.0c -- ListProcessor by Anastasios Kotsikonas
>Distributed to TAP-RESOURCES, a free Internet Distribution List
>(subscription requests to
>(please distribute freely)
>May 7, 1997
> Camp du Nord, Ely, Minnesota
> September 11-14, 1997
>Hosted by Superior Wilderness Action Network (SWAN) * Forest Reform Network
>The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness largest wilderness east of the
>Rockies. Home of the wolf, moose, eagle and bear and this year's National
>Forest Reform Rally. Come and experience the sights, sounds, smells of
>this beautiful place at a time when the fall foliage will be gorgeous,
>the nights crisp and the bugs non-existent there is nothing quite like it!
>The 11th Annual Forest Reform Rally will be held at beautiful Camp du Nord
>on the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Superior
>National Forest. This site is about 14 miles from Ely, Minnesota and has
>cabins and camping areas. Now is the time to sign up as a co-sponsor,
>along with the local host, Superior Wilderness Action Network (SWAN) and
>national host, Forest Reform Network.
>The schedule for this year's Rally will feature nationally known speakers
>and include sessions describing the challenges facing each region of the
>country (including a Canadian update) with special emphasis on the Great
>Lakes Region, panels to discuss forest protection solutions, training
>sessions to develop leadership and organizational capacity for citizens
>representing non-profit advocacy groups, workshops on forest-related
>issues, field trips that highlight native ecosystems and the threats to
>them, and strategy sessions between regional activists to coordinate
>efforts to protect the native biodiversity of our nation's forests. We
>expect speakers/panel leaders with expertise in ecology, forestry,
>endangered species, bioregionalism, grassroots organizing, national policy
>formulation, forest litigation and appeals, media relations, GIS mapping,
>and coalition building.
>A special highlight of this year's rally will be the opportunity to
>venture into the BWCAW, the largest wilderness east of the Rockies. The
>fall foliage will be glorious and the bugs will be gone at this time of
>As always, the more co-sponsors we have, the bigger attendance we can plan
>for. Sign up and mail in now!
>___ Yes, we would like the opportunity to co-sponsor the Rally
>(Our contribution of $___________ is enclosed)
>Make checks payable to SWAN and mail to
>2052 Carroll Ave., St. Paul, MN 55104
>Here is what we will do:
>__ We will announce the Rally through our mailings
>__ We agree not to schedule any competing event with the Rally
>__ We will try to send one or more participants
>__ We will help publicize the Rally in our local media. Please supply us with:
> __ Camera-ready materials
> __ Prepared press releases
> __ Rally registration forms to distribute
>We can reach approximately __________ prospective rally-goers.
>Feedback on agenda ideas are welcomed!! Please contact us with
>any special issues you would like to see covered at the rally
>Questions? Contact:
>2052 Carroll Ave., St. Paul MN 55104
>Phone 612/646-6277 * Fax 612/647-4400
>11th Annual Forest Reform Rally
>Hosted by
>Superior Wilderness Action Network (SWAN) * Forest Reform Network
>Registration (please print)
>Name ____________________________
>Organization ______________________
>Registration fee (pre-registration is required)
>Early Registration (by 8/28) $35/person
>Late Registration (8/29-9/10) $45/person
>Lodging* & Meals
>Rally Packages: 3 nights lodging and 9 meals
>#1 Housekeeping cabin $150 per person
>#2 Sleeping cabin $135 per person
>#3 Cabin Tent $105 per person
>#4 Tentsite $ 90 per person
>Non-package rates:
>Housekeeping cabin $ 32 night/person
>Sleeping cabin $ 25 night/person
>Cabin tent $ 15 night/person
>Tentsite $ 10 night/person
>Meals** $ 8 meal/person
>* Bring your own sleeping bag or bedding
>** Vegetarian/vegan selections available at every meal
>Specify which non-package meals & lodging are needed:
>Special Requests (i.e. lodging with another group, etc.)
>Lodging and meals are limited - while every attempt will be made to
>fulfill your specific requests, on-site lodging is filled as paid
>registrations are received.
>Total Amount Due = $__________
>Make checks payable to SWAN/Rally and mail this form to:
>SWAN, 2052 Carroll Ave., St. Paul, MN 55104.
>Please register by August 28. Registration is limited.
>See sidebar for camp description and travel information.
>Absolutely No pets allowed.
>Reduced rate for children - please inquire. Cooperative childcare may be
>available if
>there is sufficient interest - please call Laurie at 612/646-6277 if
>About Camp du Nord
>Unique in its geographic location in the Superior-Quetico Wilderness
>Country, Camp du Nord is situated on Burntside Lake, the location of
>Sigurd Olson's "Listening Pointe", about 14 miles north of Ely, MN. Row
>boats, sailboats and canoes are available for participants to use.
>Swimming beach and lakeside sauna. Meals are served buffet style in the
>dining hall.
>Housekeeping cabins - offered in a variety of configurations, sleeping
>from 4 to 16 in double or triple occupancy bedrooms. All have kitchens,
>water, electricity; some have indoor bathrooms or fireplaces/woodstoves;
>centrally located modern toilet and shower facilities.
>Sleeping cabins - comfortable northwoods cabins with single beds in double
>occupancy bedrooms, electricity and a small refrigerator. Centrally
>located modern toilet and shower facility. Lake view.
>Cabin tents - have one double bed and bunks for a total of six people.
>Pots, pans, dishes and utensils are provided but not stoves or lanterns.
>Picnic table, fire ring, nearby refrigerator/freezer storage. Centrally
>located water, modern toilet and shower facility.
>Tentsites - Can accommodate one large or two small tents. Auto sites for
>pop-ups are available. No hook-ups. Picnic table, fire ring, nearby
>refrigerator/freezer storage. Centrally located water, modern toilet and
>shower facility.
>While we feel that for convenience, atmosphere and enjoyment,
>participants should try to stay at Camp du Nord, there are several area
>motels in Ely and a couple NF campgrounds in the area - please inquire for
>phone numbers.
>Getting There
>Ely is located about 260 miles north of Minneapolis, MN and is served by
>Northwest Airlink commuter flights from Minneapolis.
>The nearest major airports are Hibbing, about 80 miles southwest and
>Duluth, about 100 miles south.
>A Big Thank you to
>Co-Sponsors (to date) -
>* Biodiversity Legal Foundation
>* Minnesota Ecosystems Recovery Project (MERP)
>* Central Appalachian Biodiversity Project
>* Tom Church (individual)
>* Native Forest Council
>* Western Ancient Forest Campaign
>We are in need of more co-sponsor support to
>cover upfront expenses like printing, postage,
>phone, fax, etc. Please see above.
>2052 Carroll Ave., St. Paul MN 55104
>Phone 612/646-6277 * Fax 612/647-4400
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Date: Thu, 8 May 1997 09:21:48 +0200
Subject: Please help with internalized costs argument

Rick Anthony writes:
>Just a thought:
>The Paris sewers were built around 1800 because the king of france wanted
>the mixture to fertilize the farms outside the City. Although it did take
>decades to complete. If we don't learn from the past we are destined to
>repeat it. Asian saying.

Is ANY way of life sustainable, other than the natural way?

PS Can we please ask the list maintainer to ensure that list messages either
have a header, or some sort of identification? I belong to more than one
list, and is difficult to be familiar with all the names on any list... Thanks!
Mr. Muna Lakhani

Cellfax: 082-131-416-9160
28 Currie Road - Durban - 4001 - South Africa
Phone: +27-31-20-28-291


Date: Wed, 07 May 1997 08:59:19 -0700
From: Paul Tapley <>
Subject: salvage at the landfill

Reply to: RE>salvage at the landfill face

Here in Northern Calif. our central landfill has what we call "Recycle =
Town", many items w/ reuse and recycle value are diverted and sold there. =
I don't have the figures but it has been doing well enough they are =
expanding and improving the facilities this summer.
Their number is 707.795.3660
Paul Tapley - Recycling Coordinator
Sonoma State Univ.


Date: Wed, 07 May 1997 15:38:06 GMT
From: (Pliny Fisk)
Subject: salvage at the landfill face

Check with Dan Knapp at Urban Ore in Berkeley, CA.

           modem:  512.462.0633


Date: Wed, 7 May 1997 08:09:01 -0700 (PDT) From: (Brenda Platt) Subject: salvage at the landfill face

Blair, Talk to Dan Knapp at Urban Ore in Berkeley. He used to salvage at the Berkeley landfill before it closed and now salvages at the local transfer station. He has two full-time salvagers who pull out reusable items including building materials. Brenda

===================================== Brenda A. Platt Institute for Local Self-Reliance 2425 18th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009 (202) 232-4108 fax (202) 332-4108 e-mail: ILSR web page =====================================


Date: Wed, 7 May 1997 12:50:11 -0400 (EDT) From: (Michele Raymond) Subject: SRLU Year-End Release

Greenyes folks: FYI This was sent to Businesswire Feature wire today.

"Flow Control" Affecting Recycling Progress

Many of the nation's 7,500 curbside recycling programs could be threatened with extinction, as the incentive to landfill recyclables increases at cheap "mega-landfills" in 1997. A new survey of state recycling managers published this week in the State Recycling Laws Update Year-End Edition, from Raymond Communications, Riverdale MD, finds many states that have poured millions into recycling programs have been unable to reduce landfill tonnages, either because of trash imports or economic growth. Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, for example, each spend nearly $40 million per year on recycling programs -- but because of lucrative "host county" agreements, and court cases striking down any import controls, the incentive to expand large privately-owned landfills and import trash has increased. The SRLU survey showed that while 20 of 45 states reported they have reduced landfill volumes since 1991, only 16 could quantify the reduction; 16 said no reduction, and nine did not answer. "Consumers are simply unaware of the trash import situation," says Michele Raymond, publisher of SRLU. "Dozens of local governments have had to scale back recycling programs and increase taxes because they had depended on tip fees at their facilities." Congress is not expected to resolve the issue soon. The highest waste "diversion" states included Vermont (35% reduction since 1989), Iowa, (30% since 1989) California (26% since 1990) and Missouri. (26%) Local governments were stymied by wide swings in the prices for their recyclables in 1996, especially paper and plastics -- 15 of 45 state recycling officials surveyed by SRLU indicated that if prices remain depressed, local governments would complain to their Legislatures. Despite recent attacks on the economics of recycling, the vast majority of recycling managers did not feel the U.S. is "maxed out" at a 26% recycling rate. The survey also found that 100% of the recycling managers (30 responding) agreed that federal virgin materials 'subsidies' should be phased out. A small majority of managers felt that manufacturers should have a legal responsibility to ensure markets for their recyclables, as is now required on packaging in 25 foreign countries. The 140-page 1997 Year-End Edition ($147) covers 32 recycling issues, and includes a 50-state wrap covering laws and 1996-97 bills. It has nine tables, including landfill bans, tax credits, recycled content mandates, recycling progress with recycling and diversion statistics, battery laws, heavy metals bans, and a new 1997 survey of Canadian recycling laws. Available from: Raymond Communications Inc., Riverdale MD, 301/345-4237 Fax 301/345- 4768; Web:; E-Mail:


Date: Thu, 08 May 97 01:55:34 PST From: Subject: ZeroWaste One-Pager

SUBJECT: ZeroWaste Flyer FROM: Helen Spiegelman [forwarded by Bill Sheehan]

Here is a possible short-version draft statement on ZeroWaste, based on one developed at the Rock Eagle conference in Georgia. Comments?


ZeroWaste is a planning principle for business and citizens in the 21st Century. Waste is inefficiency and businesses must be encouraged to strive towards environmental efficiency. Just as businesses don't want to waste time or money, they should be discouraged from wasting natural resources. Nor should they be allowed to pass their waste on to consumers, in the form of "disposable" products and packaging. In a ZeroWaste marketplace, businesses will create reverse distribution systems to take products and packaging back into production, rather than dumping the problem on community incinerators and landfills. Nature is a ZeroWaste system. Business must learn to be more like Nature.

Is ZeroWaste necessary?

If all businesses operated as wastefully as do businesses in the "developed world", we would need THREE PLANET EARTHS to support them. In our daily lives, we use much more than our fair share of the earth's resources. As more and more people join the human family, and all aspire to live the way we live in the "developed world", the inefficiency we now take for granted will not be tolerable. ZeroWaste is a discipline we must begin to practice now. We must learn to eliminate unnecessary waste, in order to preserve the true quality of life that we aspire to as human beings -- the quality of life defined by having just enough of what you want, rather than an abundance of waste -- which no- one wants.

The North American economic system stands for...

Our economic system is built on the trust we have in the free market to regulate the production and consumption of goods. Consumers have the freedom to choose, and their choices guide the producers in the production of goods. But a free market only works if the prices of products tells the truth about the costs of production. For many years, product prices have misled consumers. Cheap, mass-produced convenience products bear hidden costs that the consumer never thinks about. Landfills, incinerators, litter clean-up -- these are all costs that are passed on to local communities, not paid for by the producers of the products that become waste. Taxpayer subsidies and tax breaks that support the squandering of natural resources. Welfare checks paid to the unemployed -- productive workers who lost their jobs to automation and mass-production. These environmental and social costs are hidden subsidies, ways in which the taxpayer inadvertently encourages businesses to be wasteful and inefficient.

The Solution

A ZeroWaste economy will shift these environmental and social costs back into the prices of the disposable products and packaging where they belong, signalling to the consumer that these are not such bargains after all. In a ZeroWaste economy, the competitive producer is the one who learns to avoid waste and invest in jobs that produce high-quality products and services.

The Grassroots Environmental Network is calling for a shift to a ZeroWaste economy. We want to create jobs, not waste. We want to end subsidies for waste.


Date: Wed, 07 May 1997 07:21 -0800 (PST) From: "Wade, Alisa" <>


for the "Zero Waste Wall" at the CRRA Conference in Monterey, June 1-3

In line with the ZERO WASTE: CHALLENGE FOR THE NEXT MILLENIUM theme at the conference, we will be developing an informational clearinghouse in the form of a Zero Waste Wall for viewing at the conference.

I am looking for any information, especially source reduction promotional materials, but also reports, surveys, or other forms of information for placement on the wall.


Please send any items to me postmarked prior to May 21at: Alisa Wade City of San Jose Environmental Services Department 777 North First Street, Suite 450 San Jose, CA 95112

or, you may bring them to me at the conference by Sunday, June 1.

For more information on this option, or general comments, questions, input, please e-mail me at

Thanks for your help in providing a visual resource as we move towards our goal of Zero Waste.

Alisa Wade


End of GreenYes Digest V97 #102 ******************************