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[GreenYes] RELEASE: Input Improves Salt Lake Olympic Recycling Plans
[Below is a GRRN media release on the Salt Lake
Winter Olympics 'Zero Waste' Plan.  A detailed 
report by GRRN consultant Gary Liss and a 
GRRN Update (with the June CRRA resolution) 
are posted at www.grrn.org/olympics.]

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
David Wood  608-347-7043
Bill Sheehan  706-613-7121

INPUT IMPROVES SALT LAKE OLYMPIC 
RECYCLING PLANS

Concerns Remain Over SLOC's Zero Waste Claim

Despite recent efforts to improve the Salt 
Lake Olympics Organizing Committee's (SLOC) 
Solid Waste Management Plan, recycling 
professionals led by the GrassRoots 
Recycling Network (GRRN) remain concerned 
over the SLOC's declaration of a 'zero 
waste' goal. 

"We applaud the Olympics Committee for 
recognizing the importance of a zero waste 
strategy, and for rejecting the original 
plan to mix garbage and recyclables at 
public venues," said Bill Sheehan, Executive 
Director of the Athens, GA based GrassRoots 
Recycling Network.  "But the plan still 
lacks sufficient detail, resources and 
engagement of the public to achieve zero 
waste," Sheehan said.

A GRRN representative and other recycling 
professionals, recycling businesses leaders 
and government officials met with SLOC on 
August 16, 2001 to propose improvements to 
the Olympics' waste and recycling systems. 
This "Recycling Forum" was organized largely 
in response to a resolution spearheaded by 
GRRN and adopted by the California Resource 
Recovery Association (CRRA) at CRRA's July 
annual meeting. The resolution specifically 
noted concern with the SLOC's zero waste 
claim and recommended ways to improve the 
Waste Management Plan.

"I'm pleased the SLOC provided an 
opportunity to discuss various concerns and 
permit outsiders to make specific 
recommendations," said Richard Anthony, a 
board member of both CRRA and GRRN.  
"However, it is still unclear what the 
SLOC's level of commitment is to those 
recommended changes, and unlikely that they 
can come close to a goal of zero waste 
without adopting the recommendations."

"The Forum's recommendation to use two bins 
for source separation rather than their 
original single bin system that mixed trash 
and recyclables is a significant 
improvement, but lags behind the 
'recyclables' and 'compostables' system 
employed at the Sydney, Australia, Olympic 
Games," Anthony added.  "To their credit, 
however, SLOC may well lay the foundation 
for large-scale food waste composting 
operations in the Salt Lake City area." 

"GRRN will be monitoring implementation of 
the SLOC's plans," Sheehan said. "SLOC's 
recycling contract sets specific diversion 
rates and requires daily reporting. Public 
accountability is crucial. At a minimum, 
SLOC needs to implement the recommendations 
of the Forum to move closer to realizing 
their goal of Zero Waste. GRRN's involvement 
in this matter results from the need to hold 
institutions accountable when they make zero 
waste claims, and to properly inform the 
public whether those claims have merit."


GRRN is a North American network of waste 
reduction activists and professionals, and 
the U.S. leader in the growing international 
zero waste movement. For more information on 
Olympics recycling visit 
www.grrn.org/olympics 

###


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