GreenYes Digest V98 #103

GreenYes Mailing List and Newsgroup (
Fri, 22 Jan 1999 17:30:58 -0500

GreenYes Digest Thu, 23 Apr 98 Volume 98 : Issue 103

Today's Topics:
Adam Werbach vs. John Tierney on Politically Incorrect
Earth Day OpEd by FOE on Green Taxes
For many, it's not easy being green
Garelick Farms Introduces Environmentally Friendly Packaging =20
Yo Mama
Zero Waste web sites and definition

Send Replies or notes for publication to: <greenyes@UCSD.Edu>
Send subscription requests to: <greenyes-Digest-Request@UCSD.Edu>
Problems you can't solve otherwise to

Loop-Detect: GreenYes:98/103

Date: Wed, 22 Apr 1998 23:24:14 -0500 From: "GAVIN" <> Subject: Adam Werbach vs. John Tierney on Politically Incorrect

What was the date of the Pollitically Incorrect broadcast with John Tierney and Adam Werbach? From the message I thought it would be broadcast Tues. 4/21 but when I turned on the show I was greatly disappointed when I saw people who were not Tierney or Werbach. Please let me know if the show has already been aired and if so a transcript is available on the web.



Date: Wed, 22 Apr 1998 15:21:46 -0400 From: "Bill Sheehan" <> Subject: Earth Day Op-Ed: ALTERNATIVES TO WASTING ARE AVAILABLE

[The following op-ed piece was published today in the Athens (Georgia) Banner-Herald for Earth Day. The Context: After several years of planning a big landfill for ten counties for the next 50 years, there is so much opposition to efforts to site it that the Authority is about to fall apart. Most of the opposition is NIMBY-based, but there is a lot of talk of more efficient wasting systems, and a rising chorus of citizens calling for more recycling. Hence, an opening for zero waste. =96 Bill Sheehan]


By Bill Sheehan

Let=92s commend the 10-County Regional Solid Waste Authority for proposing to look for alternatives to a regional landfill. But most proposals presented so far have focused on more efficient ways to treat waste.

It is time to look for alternatives to wasting itself. The good news is that they exist. And unlike wasting alternatives, they can create local economic development and needed jobs! With proper care and feeding they can work here, too.

A new way of thinking about waste and resources is emerging in this country. The idea is both simple and bold: the most efficient, cost effective plan is to not make waste at all. Waste, which is a liability, is mixed reusables, recyclables and compostables, which have economic value. Let=92s make the goal of public policy eliminating, not managing, waste. Zero waste!

Why strive to eliminate waste when there is a glut of seemingly cheap landfill space?

There is a landfill crisis, but it is not a shortage of space. The landfill crisis is that the materials we bury are continually replaced with new resources. The rate of extraction, processing and transportation of those resources is causing massive pollution, habitat loss, reduction of biodiversity, and decline of major ecosystems around the globe.

For example, in the next 24 hours US consumers will use 50 million single-use plastic soda bottles. As quickly as we toss them, the plastic bottle industry extracts more nonrenewable resources from the Earth to make 50 million new soda bottles for us to throw away tomorrow. Some soda bottles (mostly from states with bottle bills) make it to an entrepreneur who makes carpeting, benches, or jacket-fill =96 anything but new bottles.

Another facet of the landfill crisis is that new =91state-of-the-art=92 tombs only delay, not prevent, most pollution. A layer of plastic the thickness of two credit cards, which the makers will not guarantee, and two feet of clay will only degrade over time. An endless infusion of money will be required to maintain these tombs in perpetuity if they are to prevent groundwater contamination from the poisons and organic acids mixed in with our discards. In short, we are creating future Superfund sites of staggering proportions.

Despite the high profile of recycling, we have not given resource recovery a real chance in Northeast Georgia.

For example, Athens-Clarke County has won awards for its recycling program. Yet last year, the Materials Recovery Facility recovered less than four percent (6,321 tons) of all material discarded by citizens and businesses in Clarke County. Together with material recovered by the University of Georgia, at the Clarke County landfill, and a generous estimate for material recycled out of county by private haulers, total recycling was less than 10 percent. Total wasting continues to increase.

Meanwhile, communities around the United States are recovering 50 percent and more or their discards, as documented by the Washington DC-based Institute for Local Self Reliance. And communities are starting to think of such recovery rates as merely steps along a long road to zero.

Resource recovery can be an economic boon for our communities if we go about it right. If we develop aggressive policies that target the entire discard supply we will achieve economies of scale and create 15 to 50 times as many jobs as wasting. If we aim to maximize the collection of clean, separated materials through economic incentives and disincentives, we will achieve the highest value. And finally, if we aim to encourage and facilitate private entrepreneurs to conduct the actual reuse, recycling and composting operations, we will develop a competitive, market- driven system.

Government is needed to level the playing field for resource recovery, because we taxpayers currently subsidize wasting. Recycling is disadvantaged by at least $17 billion in federal taxpayer subsidies for virgin material industries that compete with recycling, according to a new report by Taxpayers for Common Sense and the GrassRoots Recycling Network. Recycling is further impeded by taxpayer subsidies to corporations by paying whatever it takes to dispose of the products and packaging that become waste =96 thus making waste profitable. And, of course, the price of wasting in landfills does not include the staggering cost of perpetual maintenance.

The linear wasting system (resource extraction to burial) is a gross aberration of the free market, based on profoundly anti-conservative values. On a level playing field, reuse, recycling and composting businesses can provide a far better service than wasting, at a lower cost.

If we are serious about sustainability, let=92s counter past, present and future subsidies for virgin material and wasting industries and start investing in recycling and resource conservation. The 10- County Solid Waste Authority, reconstituted as a Resource Authority, could lead this process to the benefit of all.


Bill Sheehan is principal of Zero Waste Associates, Athens, and national coordinator of the GrassRoots Recycling Network. Tel: 706-208-1416

************************ Bill Sheehan Network Coordinator GrassRoots Recycling Network P.O. Box 49283 Athens GA 30604-9283 Tel & Fax 706-208-1416 ************************


Date: Wed, 22 Apr 1998 20:31:37 EDT From: GaryLiss <> Subject: Earth Day OpEd by FOE on Green Taxes

The following article was printed on the op-ed page of the Sacramento Bee today, by Brian Dunkiel, Director of Tax Policy and Staff Attorney for= Friends of the Earth (802-862-1706;

If you see this article picked up in your area, please let us know on= GreenYes and cc: Brian Dunkiel so we can see how much mileage this received. Thanks!

Gary Liss 916-652-7850

Tax Day, April 15, and Earth Day, today, are seemingly unconnected but actually related: Real tax reform could help reduce cancer-causing toxic substances - the pollution spewed into the air we breathe and the chemicals that ooze into our rivers and streams. Around the country, people are= taking notice of the link between taxes and the environment, but unfortunately some highly paid tax lobbying groups are not.

On tax day, tax-reform advocacy groups publicly showed their distaste and resentment to the federal tax system. One well-funded group held a funeral= to bury the Internal Revenue Code outside the IRS building in Baltimore. = Another coalition of conservative taxpayer organizations held a rally to celebrate Taxpayer Outrage Day.

In some respects, these groups are right. U.S. taxpayers should be outraged by our tax system, a true hodge-podge of unrelated and outdated deals and compromises carved out by special interests. But more outrageous than the complexity of the tax code or the amount we pay is that the government taxes almost all the wrong things.

The major items taxed in the United States are individual income, payroll, corporate income and sales and property taxes. Basic economics tells us= that the more something is taxed, the less we get of it. So then why do the majority of U.S. taxes fall on things Americans want more of? A closer look shows that more than half of all tax revenues are raised with taxes on= income either through the payroll tax or the individual income tax. In fact, the payroll tax is the fastest-growing of all major taxes. According to government figures, between 1970 and 1992, the tax payment for a worker= jumped from $374 to $5,329, an increase of 1,325 percent.

Noticebly missing from this list are taxes on pollution or other charges= that expose the hidden environmental cost of our activities and purchases. But it's even worse than that. Embedded in many of our tax laws are special breaks worth billions going to some our nation's worst polluters, making it even more profitable to recklessly mistreat our natural resources. Most Americans would probably agree that they want less pollution, fewer species= on the brink of extinction and more cleaned-up hazardous waste sites.

The answer is to merge tax day and Earth Day, which is just what some environmentalists, other concerned citizes and even some businesses around= the country are doing.

A recent study by Andrew Hoerner of the Center for a Sustainable Economy, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, found that some states increasingly rely= on environmental taxes. His report documents more than 450 environmental tax provisions designed to promote environmental govals, including greater use= of clean-fueled vehicles and public transportation, sustainable agriculture and forestry, and recycling.

In the Pacific Northwest, Alan Durning of Northwest Watch recently published= a book, "Tax Shift" (Northwest Environment Watch, 1998). He proposes real tax reform that "would get taxes off our backs and on our side." For example,= he proposes taxing pollution and scrapping the corporate income tax, taxing greenhouse gases and slashing payroll taxes. In short, taxes on bad things such as pollution go up, so other taxes can be reduced or eliminated altogether.

In Minnesota, a coalition of organizations led by Minnesotans for an Energy Efficient Economy are promoting a bill that would place about 15 percent of the state's tax burden on fossil fuels and off other taxes, including property. The bill has bipartisan support. Last summer, the Vermont Department of Public Service completed a study of effects of a similar tax proposal for Vermont. The study found significant environmental benefits, a net positive benefit to the Vermont economy and more dispensable income in= the pockets of low- and moderate-income residents.

The President's Council on Sustainable Development recommended that the country shift "to tax policies that ...encourage employment and economic opportunity while discouraging environmentally damaging production and consumption." The council's members include the chief executive officers of Georgia-Pacific and Chevron; a former AFL-CIO president; and a former CEO of Pacific Gas and Electric. A Business Week commentator recently wrote that imposing green taxes while cutting other taxes "is just what this country needs" and "would help the environment and the economy."=20

Perhaps the magazine the Economist put it best: "Green taxes are good= taxes."


Date: Wed, 22 Apr 1998 13:51:27 -0700 From: John Reindl <> Subject: For many, it's not easy being green

The above is an article in USA Today on consumers wanting to be "green", but often facing tough choices in deciding how to do this.

This looks like an opportunity for waste reduction and recycling specialists to do more.

John Reindl Recycling Manager Dane County, WI


Date: Wed, 22 Apr 1998 10:17:44 -0700 (PDT) From: "David A. Kirkpatrick" <> Subject: Garelick Farms Introduces Environmentally Friendly Packaging =20

Garelick Farms Introduces Environmentally Friendly Packaging =20

April 22, 1998 7:45 AM EDT

Containers for New England's Favorite Brand of Milk Meet Strict Recycling Guidelines=20 =20

FRANKLIN, Mass., April 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Garelick Farms, New England's #1 brand of milk, introduced today its new Recycle Friendly Packaging. Created in cooperation with leading recyclers, the new packaging is made of unpigmented, "natural" HDPE plastic and will maximize local community recycling revenues as well as reduce the amount of waste going into the region's landfills. The new container and label, which meet the strict guidelines established by the Association of Post Consumer Recylers, are part of Garelick Farms ongoing commitment to protecting the environment.=20

"We applaud Garelick Farms' new milk containers," said Dennis Sabourin, Chairman of the Association of Post Consumer Plastic Recyclers. "They have worked hard with the recycling community to design an unpigmented, recycle- friendly bottle that will maximize revenues to New England's local recycling centers. That's important!"=20

Garelick Farms' new unique labels are made from recycle friendly plastic, replacing traditional labels that introduced undesirable paper fibers and adhesives into the recycling stream "We are excited about our new recycle- friendly bottle," said John Kellogg, Vice President of Garelick Farms. "As the number one brand of milk in New England, we take our leadership role seriously, by providing consumers with the fresh, all natural products they want, and also by doing our part to protect the environment."=20



Date: Wed, 22 Apr 1998 9:55:53 EST From: Subject: Yo Mama

Hello Fellow GreenYes Digesters:

I, too, think that the possibly humorous to some, but more likely offensive Yo Mama posting,=20 was inappropriate for this listserve. It takes a lot of time to review all the daily postings,=20 many of which are so long that they can't display the whole text without downloading to the hard=20 drive. I'd like to suggest that we confine our postings to stuff that we all really need to see. I=20 have enjoyed and benefitted from the many topics and action alerts that have been posted since I=20 subscribed last year. We should all try hard not to waste each other's time with personal=20 attacks, tirades and irrelevant material, though the latter is probably up to the eye of the=20 reader as to its relevance.=20

This past year, I have found the discussions about Zero Waste, logging, Coca Cola, the Tyvek=20 debacle, PVC in children's toys, among others, to be very helpful and beneficial. I'd love to=20 learn more from all of you out there who are working on reuse and waste prevention. It's an=20 area that gets the back seat to all the recycling discussion. Reduction and reuse are at the top of=20 our waste management hierarchy and ought to be in the driver's seat.

Thanks for listening. Lynn Leopold ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Lynn Leopold Recycling Specialist Tompkins Co. Solid Waste Mgmt Div 122 Commercial Ave. Ithaca, NY 14850 607-273-6632; 607-275-0000 FAX email <> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Date: Wed, 22 Apr 1998 08:58:13 -0400 From: "Bill Sheehan" <> Subject: Zero Waste web sites and definition

[From Roger Guttentag]

This is to let you know that my May, 1998, Recycling In=20 Cyberspace column [in Resource Recycling magazine] will be devoted to the issue of Zero Waste.=20

I cover 4 sites in it: GRRN's, Australian Capital=20 Territory, Interface's Ecosense and Xerox's Beyond=20 Compliance. These were selected based on my judgement=20 that they represented substantive discussions of issues=20 relating to Zero Waste from the NGO, governmental and=20 business perspectives.=20

I also tried to come up with a succinct definition of Zero=20 Waste. Here's what I came up with:

"In short, Zero Waste could be defined as the production of=20 good or services in which waste generation and=20 management are not acceptable outcomes."

I have expressed other editorial opinions which I hope you=20 will find constructive and fair after you have had the=20 opportunity to read them after the column is published by=20 Resource Recycling. Your feedback would be appreciated. =20

Roger M. Guttentag E-MAIL: TEL: 215-513-0452 FAX: 215-513-0453


End of GreenYes Digest V98 #103 ******************************