GreenYes Digest V98 #22

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GreenYes Digest Tue, 27 Jan 98 Volume 98 : Issue 22

Today's Topics:
Kohler Co sets Zero Waste Goal
New Green Scissors report
Which virgin subsidies to eliminate

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Loop-Detect: GreenYes:98/22

Date: Mon, 26 Jan 1998 15:34:04 -0600
From: "John Reindl" <>
Subject: Kohler Co sets Zero Waste Goal

At a statewide solid waste conference last week in Wisconsin, John
Spoerl of the Kohler Company said that his firm had set a zero waste
goal. The first step, he said is waste prevention, second is to find
beneficial uses.

Their reasons for going for zero waste were:

- improve the company bottom line (no pun intended I'm sure,
although given their products, one never knows...)
- reduce material costs
- reduce the direct cost of disposal
- reduce long term liability
- extend the life of existing landfills
- conserve natural resources; reducing mining, resource extraction

Last year, I had heard that Kimberly-Clark, which also has a large
operation in Wisconsin, had set a similar goal.

It may be useful for someone in the Zero Waste effort to compile a
list of firms and communities that have adopted a zero waste goal
and perhaps to get copies of their plans and then share this
information with other firms and communities.

Mr. Spoerl can be reached at (414)457-4441, extension 4106

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


Date: Mon, 26 Jan 1998 05:53:21 -0800 (PST)
From: "David A. Kirkpatrick" <>
Subject: New Green Scissors report

GREENLines, Monday, Jan. 26, 1998 from GREEN,
the GrassRoots Environmental Effectiveness Network,
A project of Defenders of Wildlife
(505) 277-8302 or email

GREEN SLASHERS: A coalition of taxpayer and conservation groups
released Wednesday its 4th annual Green Scissors report calling for
cuts in wasteful and environmentally harmful programs that could save
taxpayers $50 billion. New targets for cuts include rejecting the
Tongass Land Management Plan and ending taxpayer-subsidized logging and
road construction in Alaska's Tongass National Forest for savings of
$170 million, and capping the International Monetary Fund's capital
base, which encourages rapid exploitation of natural resources.
Contact Lynn Erskine (202) 783-7400 or for
the report.


Date: Mon, 26 Jan 1998 16:39:34 -0600
From: "John Reindl" <>
Subject: Which virgin subsidies to eliminate

For the discussion of which virgin subsidies to eliminate, I would
like to suggest "all of them".

While it might be academically useful to analyze which subsidies
affect natural resource use and waste generation -- and to what
extent they have such an effect -- the analysis would seem to be to
be both very difficult and subject to endless criticism and

Why not instead go to a "zero-based budgeting" type of process, start
by eliminating all subsidies and then require those that support
specific subsidies to justify them?

It seems that the elimination of virgin material subsidies will
attract a lot of support from the business sector. In my
contacts with the Cato Institute, the Reason Foundation and other
business groups, I have found strong support for getting rid of
virgin material subsidies.

One useful report may be the January 1997 booklet from the Center for
the Study of American Business at Washington University in St. Louis,
entitled "Toward a Healthier Environmental and a Stronger Economy:
How to Achieve Common Ground", by Murray Wiedenbaum, et al.

CSAB is a pro-business group that generally criticizes environmental
programs, but this report notes:

"Grand attempts to reconcile economics and environmental interests
typically fail, with the result that these two groups often become
opponents in the public arena. Most efforts to bridge intellectual
differences have involved economists trying to get environmental
activists to develop 'the economic way of thinking' -- or conversely,
ecologists attempting to convert bean-counter economists to kinder
economic values.

The time is appropriate for a very different approach to developing
common ground between these two groups, both of whom are genuinely
and often passionately concerned with improving the environment and
the economy. A good place to start is to identify the public policies
and activities which would be condemned equally by those concerned
with the health of the environmental as by those worrying about the
state of the economy."

It then goes on to identify 6 specific reforms, including:

"2. Subsidies (about $1 billion a year) for federal sales of power,
timber, and other natural resources should be eliminated."

"5. Special tax provisions that artificially encourage the extraction
and use of natural resources should be repealed."

"6. Government regulations that discourage recycling should be

Details of these issues are then given in the study.

Copies of this booklet are available on the Internet at or by calling the CSAB at
(608)267-1533 - fax
(608)267-8815 - phone


End of GreenYes Digest V98 #22