GreenYes Digest V98 #45

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Fri, 22 Jan 1999 17:33:25 -0500

GreenYes Digest Sat, 21 Feb 98 Volume 98 : Issue 45

Today's Topics:
(Fwd) Recycling states (2 msgs)
Draft NCRA Letter to Governor Hunt
Green Scissors Recycling Re: Private Activity bonds
The Precautionary Principle

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Date: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 09:36:00 -0600 From: "John Reindl" <> Subject: (Fwd) Recycling states

Dear List members -

Can others help to answer this question?

I would like to see the answers on the list as well as directly to=20 Mike Leonard at his email address of

Thanks much!

John Reindl

------- Forwarded Message Follows ------- Date: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 10:16:32 -0500 From: MRLeonard <> Subject: Recycling states To: John Reindl <>

You may remember me from a year or so ago. I have been working with my father, Richard Leonard, on a glass recycling endeavor. I am trying to get an up-to-date list of the states that require glass recycling. And if you have it, are there municipalities that require glass recycling, even if their state does not?

Thanks much, Mike Leonard (608)267-1533 - fax (608)267-8815 - phone


Date: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 09:50:02 -0600 From: "Cloutier, Chris" <> Subject: (Fwd) Recycling states

Minnesota does not require, per se, the collection of glass. However, an "opportunity to recycle four broad categories of material" does exist. Given the limits on recycling so much of what ends up in our trash this translates into paper, metal, glass and plastic with household goods/textiles being used in places also. A number of Minnesota communities, including the City of St. Paul, have mandatory recycling ordinances.

Call Deborah McCoy at 612.215.0287 for more information on MN's glass recycling efforts.

Chris Cloutier

> ---------- > From: John Reindl[] > Sent: Friday, February 20, 1998 9:36AM > To:; > Subject: (Fwd) Recycling states >=20 > Dear List members - >=20 > Can others help to answer this question? >=20 > I would like to see the answers on the list as well as directly to=20 > Mike Leonard at his email address of >=20 > Thanks much! >=20 > John Reindl >=20 >=20 > ------- Forwarded Message Follows ------- > Date: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 10:16:32 -0500 > From: MRLeonard <> > Subject: Recycling states > To: John Reindl <> >=20 > You may remember me from a year or so ago. I have been working with > my > father, Richard Leonard, on a glass recycling endeavor. I am trying > to get > an up-to-date list of the states that require glass recycling. And if > you > have it, are there municipalities that require glass recycling, even > if > their state does not? >=20 > Thanks much, Mike Leonard >=20 > > (608)267-1533 - fax > (608)267-8815 - phone >=20


Date: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 13:35:03 -0800 (PST) From: "David A. Kirkpatrick" <> Subject: Draft NCRA Letter to Governor Hunt

Sorry for the long post, but please review the letter below and respond with comments if you have time. This is a draft I prepared following up on North Carolina Recycling Association policy forums around the state. Hopefully, a final version will be approved by the NCRA board and the letter will be sent, along with signatures from many co-signing businesses, local governments, and organizations. If you would like to sign on, please let me know. I will make edits suggested on this and other email lists and bring a final draft to the NCRA Conference the week after next for distribution as a second draft. (If folks on the greenyes list from other states and nations have additional policy initiatives we should suggest for examination by a NC legislative study commission in the latter part of the letter, please let me know!)


David Kirkpatrick NCRA Policy Chair _______________________________

NORTH CAROLINA RECYCLING ASSOCIATION 7330 Chapel Hill Road #207 Raleigh, NC 27607


Governor James B. Hunt, Jr. March 31, 1998 General Assembly members State of North Carolina State Capitol Raleigh, NC 27611

Dear Governor and General Assembly members:

The North Carolina Recycling Association (NCRA) along with the co-signing organizations to this letter ask that you convene a Legislative Study Commission to develop a plan for the state to achieve its 40% waste reduction goal. We believe that the 40% per capita waste reduction goal as established by Senate Bill 111 in 1991, while one of the most aggressive state recycling and reduction goals in the country, will be a very important achievement for North Carolina. We were pleased to note that the NC Progress Board has chosen 40% waste reduction as one of its key environmental goals for the state.

However, we recognize that the state will not reach the goal by 2001. Indeed, per capita waste production not been reduced, but has risen from 1.08 tons/capita in 1991 to 1.11 lbs./capita (or 1.20 tons/capita with Hurricane Fran debris included) in 1997. This increase in solid waste generation per capita has come even with the tripling of the state's recycling rate since 1991 to about 22% in 1996. =20

Why are we not making progress on our goal? Primarily because the waste reduction goal was an "unfunded mandate" -- local governments were instructed to achieve the goal with very little financial support from the state. In comparison, Florida achieved 22% per capita waste reduction from 1988 to 1995 and a 38% recycling rate in 1996 but invested about $25 million per year in state grants to local government recycling programs to do so. By making this investment, they have generated long-term financial returns by lessened disposal costs. Compare this with NC's current miniscule allocation of $1.2 million per year to waste reduction and recycling at the state level.

Other external factors have contributed toward our lack of progress towards the goal. Strong economic growth and a building boom in many of our cities have filled garbage and dump trucks. Low cost, regional private landfills have driven down landfill disposal costs, making recycling and waste reduction more difficult to achieve. Local government budgets have tightened, with recycling programs often being cut while mixed solid waste operations continue. =20

Given these challenging conditions, should we just give up on the 40% goal? We believe the answer is a resounding NO! NC citizens know that recycling and cutting waste is the right thing to do. They demonstrated that in the thousands by signing America Recycles Day pledges last November and by their everyday participation of home, business and industry recycling programs. The burgeoning recycling industry contributes more than $1 billion to the state's economy and 9,000 jobs. More and more manufacturers are relying on the scrap feedstocks generated by collection programs. Some corporations, such as Xerox and Interface have set a goal for zero waste and zero emissions -- to become as efficient and ecologically sound as possible. Finally, landfills continue to pose a threat to the environment and public health, through groundwater contamination and organic gas emissions. Almost every long term operating landfill in the state has documented leachate problems.

So=85 if we can agree that continually reducing the amount of waste produced by each of our citizens is an important competitive, economic, and environmental goal for our state, how can we start making true progress? We propose the creation of a Legislative Study Commission with the mandate of developing a plan to achieve 40% waste reduction by 2005. Such a commission should tap the expertise within the state and from other states and countries to develop bold initiatives to get NC on track to becoming a state where nothing goes to waste.

What types of initiatives might the Commission consider? During late 1997, NCRA conducted three policy forums across the state on how we could begin to make real progress towards achieving 40% waste reduction. Some of the policy initiatives that participants suggested (many of which have been implemented in other states or nations) are listed below. While not all of these initiatives are supported by all members of NCRA or by all of the co-signers, we have chosen to list a broad range of possible policies to stimulate open discussion:

=D8 Producer Responsibility Initiatives -- Many North Carolinians are frustrated because producers seem intent on selling products that are impossible to recycle. PVC bottles, propane tanks, fluorescent bulbs, batteries=85 this list goes on and on. When manufacturers do not= internalize the end-of-life disposal or recycling cost of their products, they have no incentive to design them properly. Much of the industrialized world outside of the United States is challenging manufacturers to take full lifecycle responsibility for their products. Germany achieved a remarkable 84% in packaging recycling rate in 1996 through their Green Dot program. If manufacturers paid their fair share of the disposal or recycling costs of their products, they would have an incentive to design properly.=20

=D8 Advance Disposal Fees -- We applaud the renewal of the tire fee and hope that the legislature will also renew the fee on white goods or appliances in the upcoming session. Such advance disposal fees (ADFs) help to fund the recycling infrastructure for these difficult to recycle commodities and help to assure that they are not dumped in our landscape. ADFs are one way of making consumers responsible for the life cycle costs of their purchases and could be expanded to household hazardous materials, batteries, paints and other items whose handling now cost NC local governments millions of dollars. Of course, a more comprehensive producer responsibility law could accomplish the same goal.

=D8 A Bottle Bill -- The states recovering the highest percentage of= beverage containers are states with bottle bills. California has a hybrid container recycling funding system that finances the existing recycling and redemption centers to recover containers. The Kentucky and Georgia legislatures are considering container recovery bills during this legislative session. Such a bill could help achieve litter control, provide discretionary income to some of our citizens, and help maximize the closed loop recycling of containers.=20

=D8 Ban Recyclables from Mixed Waste Disposal - The state achieved a significant amount of waste reduction when it banned yard debris from landfills, generating new sources of compost and mulch for landscapers, gardeners, and farmers across the state. Bans could be extended to materials with large, stable markets, such as cardboard and pallets, as well as to products which can be recycling and which generate pollution in landfills, such as oil filters and fluorescent bulbs.

=D8 Full Cost Accounting -- If local governments accurate assess the full costs of reduction, recycling and disposal options, they can make better decisions on how to pursue the 40% reduction goal. The state should proceed with issuing formal rules for local governments on full cost accounting.

=D8 Tax Disposal, Reward Recycling -- Many states assess surcharges on mixed solid waste disposal to generate the state funds needed to make the transition to a less wasteful society. For example, a $5 per ton fee assessed at all mixed solid waste landfills, transfer stations and incinerators would generate $35 to $45 million in annual revenues which could be dedicated to building the recycling, reuse, remanufacturing and reduction infrastructure in the state. Funds could also be set aside for cleaning up the hundreds of unlined landfills across the state. The mixed waste surcharge would also send a price signal to businesses, residents, and haulers that separated materials for recycling is not only the right thing to do, but also the cheaper alternative. Many states across the country now assess some type of disposal fee to fund recycling, reduction, and landfill clean up.

=D8 Pay as You Throw - When South Korea instituted a garbage bag fee system, they achieved a 27% reduction in waste generation and a 40% increase in recycling in a single year. Pay as you throw programs send the message to the household, business or industry generating garbage that recycling and reduction are our common goal. Minnesota and Oregon have mandated pay-as-you throw programs statewide. =20

=D8 Finance and Grow the Recycling Industry - The NC Recycling Business Assistance Center has done an admirable job with federal, state and private funding to foster the growth of hundreds of recycling businesses in the state. Establishing a loan fund targeted to recycling and waste reduction could accelerate entrepreneurial development to solve waste problems.

These suggestions are meant only to be an initial roadmap for the Study Commission. The primary goal should be how to most cost-effectively achieve 40% waste reduction for the state while maximizing environmental, economic and employment benefits. We look forward to working with you towards this= aim.


David Kirkpatrick Additional Co-Signers... Policy Committee Chair, North Carolina Recycling Association=20

Note: This is a draft letter compiled from policy forums conducted around the state by NCRA. Suggestions for improvements to the letter are welcome. A final version will be considered at the upcoming NCRA Board of Directors meeting in late March. If your business, organization, or local government would like to sign on to the letter, or if you have comments, please contact NCRA at (919)851-8444, Fax (919)851-6009, or or David Kirkpatrick at (919)220-8065, Fax (919)220-9720, or


Date: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 15:03:36 PST From: "Erich Pica" <> Subject: Green Scissors Recycling Re: Private Activity bonds

This is a draft article for the Green Scissors Recycling Report. I am=20 looking for information that strengthens the taxpayer and recycling=20 arguments in the report. =20

I am also seeking information that demostrates where PAB funding goes in=20 the solid waste heirarchy. How much goes to incinerators, land fills or=20 material recovery facilities.=20

I am also seeking information about the environmental and health hazards=20 of land fills and incinerators.

Thank you for your input.

Private Activity Bonds

Currently, 70% of all the bonds used to finance solid waste facilities=20 are classified as "private activity" bonds (PABs), due to the fact that=20 a substantial portion of their benefits are reaped by individuals or=20 businesses rather than the general public. Federal law treats income=20 earned on Pabs as tax exempt despite the benefits accruing to private=20 individuals and entities because it is reasoned that infrastructure=20 development serves a public interest. Under current law, the=20 classification of financed debt for the construction of a solid waste=20 infrastructure, as a PAB, is eligible even though it may be privately=20 owned or operated. This is justified by the belief that any waste=20 facility provides a public benefit by allowing local entities to use the=20 facility, or because it offsets the need for public investment.

Proposal: Eliminate the use of private activity bonds to finance new=20 private and governmentally owned solid waste facilities. =20 Current Status: Before the Tax Reform Act of 1986 state and local=20 governments could issue an unlimited amount of PABs. After the Tax=20 Reform Act of 1986, PABs used for privately owned solid waste=20 facilities were subject to a volume cap limit that allocates $150=20 million or $50 per a capita in PABs to each state. Private activity=20 bonds used to finance government owned waste disposal facilities have no=20 such volume cap.=20

Taxpayer Argument:=20 Tax exempt bonds distort investment decisions. The interest from the=20 bonds are tax free, wealthy investors buy them and shelter income rather=20 than buying taxable corporate bonds or stocks. This distorts the total=20 public benefits for private facilities.

The tax breaks associated with "private activity" bonds violate the=20 "polluter pay" principle. PABs are giving polluters a tax break to=20 clean-up their waste.

State and local governments should be responsible for financing the=20 expense of building new solid waste facilities that have local benefits. =20 The federal tax exemptions unfairly redistribute federal dollars from=20 communities which have a good solid waste infrastructure to communities=20 that do not. =20

Environmental Arguments: Solid waste disposal activities promote a wasteful mis-use of our=20 natural resources. By financing land fills and incinerators with tax=20 exempt bonds, we encourage the waste stream status quo.=20

Private activity bonds should not be used to finance incinerators that=20 emit harmful levels of toxic substances, such as cadmium, lead and=20 dioxins, into our air and water.

Private activity bonds should not be used to finance landfills that leak=20 hazardous substances in to our groundwater (need more information)....

Recycling Argument: Over X% of the PABs issued to build solid waste facilities finance new=20 incinerators and landfills. By eliminating the solid waste facilities=20 eligibility for PAB financing, all solid waste, including recycling,=20 will be on a level financial playing field. (This number maybe=20 impossible to obtain)

More recycling benefits?=20 =20

Erich Pica

Policy Associate Friends of the Earth 1025 Vermont Ave., NW 3rd Floor Washington, DC 20005 Ph# (202) 783-7400 x229 Fax# (202) 783-0444 ______________________________________________________ Get Your Private, Free Email at


Date: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 11:41:27 -0800 (PST) From: "David A. Kirkpatrick" <> Subject: The Precautionary Principle


A new principle for guiding human activities, to prevent harm to the environment and to human health, has been emerging during the past 10 years. It is called the "principle of precautionary action" or the "precautionary principle" for short. (See REHW #257, #284, #319, #363, #378, #423, #539, #540.)

An international group of scientists, government officials, lawyers, and labor and grass-roots environmental activists met January 23-25 at Wingspread in Racine, Wisconsin to define and discuss the precautionary principle.[1] After meeting for two days, the group issued the following consensus statement:

Wingspread Statement on the Precautionary Principle

"The release and use of toxic substances, the exploitation of resources, and physical alterations of the environment have had substantial unintended consequences affecting human health and the environment. Some of these concerns are high rates of learning deficiencies, asthma, cancer, birth defects and species extinctions, along with global climate change, stratospheric ozone depletion and worldwide contamination with toxic substances and nuclear materials.

"We believe existing environmental regulations and other decisions, particularly those based on risk assessment, have failed to protect adequately human health and the environment --the larger system of which humans are but a part.

"We believe there is compelling evidence that damage to humans and the worldwide environment is of such magnitude and seriousness that new principles for conducting human activities are necessary.

"While we realize that human activities may involve hazards, people must proceed more carefully than has been the case in recent history. Corporations, government entities, organizations, communities, scientists and other individuals must adopt a precautionary approach to all human endeavors.

"Therefore, it is necessary to implement the Precautionary Principle: When an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically. In this context the proponent of an activity, rather than the public, should bear the burden of proof.

"The process of applying the Precautionary Principle must be open, informed and democratic and must include potentially affected parties. It must also involve an examination of the full range of alternatives, including no action." [End of statement.]

excerpted from: =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3DElectro= nic Edition=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D= =3D=3D=3D RACHEL'S ENVIRONMENT & HEALTH WEEKLY #586 . . ---February 19, 1998--- . . =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D = . . Environmental Research Foundation . . P.O. Box 5036, Annapolis, MD 21403 . . Fax (410) 263-8944; Internet: . . =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D = . . Subscribe: send E-mail to . . with the single word SUBSCRIBE in the message. It's free. . =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D= =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D= =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D


End of GreenYes Digest V98 #45 ******************************