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[GreenYes] NRC Board Voting
The Global Recycling Council (GRC) of the CA Resource Recovery Association 
(CRRA) urges you to vote for

			Dobbin Callahan

for the NRC Board.  Based on surveys of the candidates, Mr. Callahan was 
most supportive of GRC's and CRRA's adopted policy of Zero Waste.

For more information on candidate positions on Zero Waste, see their 
responses to GRC's and CRRA's questions below.  For more information on 
other issues CRRA posed to candidates, see their responses on CRRA's 
website at  For more information on CRRA's adopted policy, 
see the Agenda for the New Millennium on CRRA's website.

Please vote for Mr. Callahan, and encourage Recycling Organizations to cast 
their organizational votes for Mr. Callahan.  Please visit the Recycling 
Organization booths in the exhibit area to encourage their voting this way.

If you are not able to attend the NRC, please send your proxy vote for Mr. 
Callahan with any NRC member attending.

GRC thanks you for your support of Zero Waste!

Gary Liss
Secretary, GRC

This is the only response received from NRC candidates clarifying
their positions on ZW.

From: "Dobbin Callahan" <>
To: "Gary Liss" <>
Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2001 08:50:08 -0500

Zero Waste Statement

I appreciate the opportunity to clarify my original response regarding
Zero Waste.  In my original answer, I commented that the time
constraints on providing responses had precluded my being able to research 
Zero Waste as I would have done. My original hesitation in providing a full 
endorsement was regarding the terminology, not necessarily the 
philosophy.  I have now studied  Zero Waste on the GRRN website and in 
other documents.

Having now become familiar with Zero Waste as described in the
articles, testimony, and website information, I can say unequivocally that I
wholeheartedly enthusiastically and without reservation support the
philosophy, vision and goals of Zero Waste. I think that the concepts
embodied in this Zero Waste philosophy are a necessary part of any 
effective environmental program, including those of the NRC.

I will be glad to explain my answer in greater detail, if desired.

Thank you
Dobbin Callahan
TO: (Dobbin Callahan), (Lori 
Gummow), (Terry Gilman),,,,,

The CRRA Global Recycling Council (GRC) appreciates your participation in 
the survey of NRC candidates conducted earlier this year by the CRRA.  We 
were excited to see CRRA post your responses on their website, as a key way 
to provide more information from candidates to NRC members before they vote.

In light of the passage of Zero Waste as a goal by the CA Integrated Waste 
Management Board on 11/13, I would like to clarify your position on Zero 
Waste for this process. Please see excerpts below on Zero Waste from the 
CIWMB Strategic Plan that has now been adopted.  For a full copy of the 
CIWMB Draft Strategic Plan, please see:

Further below are the statements we received from all NRC candidates who 
responded to CRRA's candidates survey.  If you would like to clarify or 
modify your statement on Zero Waste in light of this new development with 
the CIWMB, please send me a new statement by November 26, 2001.  For more 
information on Zero Waste, please see CRRA's Agenda for the New Millennium 
under Policy and Legislation on its website ( and  Zero Waste 
publications on the GrassRoots Recycling Network website (

CRRA's Global Recycling Council has decided that this is now of much 
greater importance in considering who it recommends for the NRC Board.
If you have any questions, please email or call me at 916-652-7850.


Gary Liss
The Draft Strategic Plan (November edition) posted on the CIWMB website was 
adopted with only some minor word changes.  Once those word changes are 
incorporated, the final adopted Strategic Plan will be posted to the CIWMB 

Some excerpts from the Strategic Plan are pasted in below.  For more 
information, contact CIWMB Public Affairs Office at 916-341-6300.
Excerpts from CIWMB Draft Strategic Plan of November 2001:

Page i
"Key themes in this 2001 Strategic Plan are sustainability, product 
stewardship, energy recovery, environmental justice, and safe disposal of 
waste. As we look ahead, we must focus on changing not only our actions, 
but also our very understanding about resources. Waste is a resource that 
Californians are using inefficiently. As natural resource stewards, our aim 
is toward a zero-waste philosophy which focuses on the most efficient use 
of our natural resources in order to reduce waste and protect the 
environment. The Board is committed to working in partnership with local 
government, private businesses, and product manufacturers to develop a 
future modeled on resource stewardship and waste minimization."

Page 3
"Our Vision
A sustainable California, where our unique natural environment is preserved 
for future generations.

Our Mission
To reduce waste, promote the management of all materials to their highest 
and best use, and protect public health and safety and the environment, in 
partnership with all Californians."

Pages 4-5
"Our Priorities
The Board's strategic priorities are based upon the mandates contained in 
AB 939, which include diversion of waste from landfills based on a 
hierarchy that prioritized waste reduction and recycling over all other 
options; enhancing public outreach programs and environmental education in 
schools; improving landfill safety; and protecting public health and safety 
along with the environment. A more detailed discussion of why these goals 
were chosen and what we hope to achieve in each of these areas is contained 
in the section of this plan entitled "Our Goals, Objectives, and 
Strategies." Following are the Board's seven strategic goals:
1.	Increase participation in resource conservation, integrated waste 
management, waste prevention, and product stewardship, and manufacturer 
responsibility to reduce waste and create a sustainable infrastructure.
2.	Assist in the creation and expansion of sustainable markets to support 
diversion efforts and ensure that diverted materials return to the economic 
3.	Educate the public to better understand and participate in resource 
conservation and integrated waste management strategies.
4.	Manage and mitigate the impacts of solid waste on public health and 
safety and the environment, and promote integrated and consistent 
permitting, inspection, and enforcement efforts.
5.	Improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Integrated Waste 
Management Board in pursuit of its mission.
6.	Continuously integrate environmental justice concerns into all of the 
Board's programs and activities, including administrative and budgetary 
7.	Promote a "zero-waste California" where the public, industry, and 
government strive to reduce, reuse, or recycle all municipal solid waste 
materials back into nature or the marketplace in a manner that protects 
human health and the environment and honors the principles of California's 
Integrated Waste Management Act."

Page 7
"Our Vision, Mission, and Values
In developing our vision statement, the Board is looking toward a 
desirable, achievable future, where materials used in all aspects of 
manufacturing and the production of goods and services are managed to 
create sustainable systems-systems that reduce environmental impacts and 
that value, invest in, and reward long-term environmental benefits. This is 
a future where Californians buy green, build green, grow green, drive 
green, and live green. Through these efforts, our collective environmental 
footprint is reduced despite increased population and the accompanying 
infrastructure demands. Ultimately the ability of future generations to 
meet their needs in a sustainable system is not compromised. Thus, our 
mission reflects the drive to change how we produce waste, in effect, what 
waste is, by managing materials differently. Our values express our 
operating philosophies and guide how we work together to fulfill our vision 
and mission.

Together, the vision, mission, and values chart the course for the 
continuing culture change we wish to achieve in the coming years. "
Excerpted from CRRA's website (, NRC Candidate Responses to 
CRRA's Survey

5. What is your opinion on Zero Waste policies and should NRC endorse them?

I remain opposed to zero waste policies. It is a functional impossibility 
that we as a country can conceivable recycle all materials back into nature 
or in the marketplace as advocated by some organizations. Waste is a fact 
of life. What we should focus on is how we can maximize the quality of our 
recoverable raw materials so the material can be further utilized. However, 
at the end of the day there is some materials that have to go to a landfill 
or incinerator either because we have use all its fiber in the instance of 
paper, it can not be recycled because of contamination issues or the 
quality of the fiber is so inferior that it can't be recycled. To adopt 
such a blanket zero waste position does not full take into consideration 
the realities of the modern world.

I don't know as much about what is going on with this, as I should or as I 
would like to. I have tried to do some research within the limits of the 
time to respond. I found the following definition of Zero Waste on the 
website of

"Zero waste is the recycling of all materials back into nature or the 
marketplace in a manner that protects human health and the environment."

I don't know anything about this organization, so citing their definition 
is not an endorsement from me, but the definition seems to reasonably 
reflect what Zero Waste would be.

I think this is more a philosophical question of how to define a goal than 
a question of whether or not zero waste would be a good thing. Obviously, 
to have a society in which nothing was wasted would be a good thing. Is it 
obtainable, however, and if it is not obtainable should we have a goal that 
can't be reached? My answer to the second part is "no". I think it is 
demotivating to have as a goal an outcome that is unachievable. Failure is 
guaranteed. I do believe that very difficult goals are important and 

Years ago, there was a manufacturing philosophy called "Zero Waste." It was 
largely unsuccessful because it was unrealistic. That is being replaced by 
a new philosophy called six-sigma, based on the statistical concept of six 
standard deviations. The goal of six-sigma is to reduce defects to less 
than 3.4 defects per million units produced. This is a very, very tough 
goal, but it is achievable and, when correctly implemented, is successful. 
Unless we determine that Zero Waste is achievable, I would prefer that we 
endorse concepts such as a six-sigma approach.

The second part of the question then becomes "can we achieve zero waste." I 
know that an argument could be made that, ultimately, we must, but I would 
want to know much more about the thoughts of the leaders in this area 
before I would want to commit NRC to a position that it is not achievable 
in the realistic future. As I said at the beginning of this answer, I am 
not as knowledgeable about this as I will be, so I hope my answer isn't too 


I support the zero waste concepts where they are feasible while also 
supporting other recycling initiatives. The NRC should endorse the 
reduction and elimination of over consumption, while promoting energy 
conservation and resource conservation at every opportunity.

One of the most significant marketing crimes of the 20th Century, that we 
will live with long into the 22nd Century, is the so-called 'need' for 
excess packaging. Somehow Americans have been convinced by Madison Avenue 
that this packaging is so essential that we no longer question it.

Recently my son received a toy dinosaur for his birthday. The box was 
cardboard indicating recycled content. The box was the type with an open 
'window' in the front so that while it was on the shelf in the store, 
children could actually touch the dinosaur. The box also indicated that the 
dinosaur could move and make sounds and allowed the children access to a 
button to demonstrate that fact, while the dinosaur was still in the box. 
Because of the 'open box' effect, the dinosaur was secured to the back of 
the box with an incredible amount of twist-ties. The twist-ties didn't 
bother me (I can always find uses for them), but, imagine our shock when we 
discovered that the button to activate the dinosaur while it was still in 
the box was connected to a 3" x 6" battery that was intended for disposal! 
The external battery was only for display while the dinosaur was in the 
store and the dinosaur had internal batteries for it's actual operation.

I cannot be convinced that this is necessary and something has to be done 
to convince the American people to revolt against this type of 
over-packaging and "over-contenting" with toxic materials of products.

Zero waste is an excellent target but difficult, in many areas to achieve 
for a number of reasons. NRC's role should be education, public outreach. 
It is difficult for me to say "endorse" without seeing the specific policy 
but again my personal policy is to actually review legislation before 
adopting a position, providing a serious analytical evaluation. In 
addition, I would be open to the thinking of the ROs because as a Board 
member I would be representing them..

I am not a fan of the term "zero waste" because of the divisiveness the 
term brings. I believe minimizing waste and encouraging source reduction 
and diversion are very important. However, I believe there is a law of 
diminishing returns, and the 80/20 rule and long run economics comes into 
play. Literal zero waste goes beyond likely realistic and even long-term 
cost-effective strategies. I believe aggressive recycling and reduction can 
make sense and be defensible, and we need to find the right long term 
balance point. I think the NRC should encourage / support aggressive and 
sustainable recycling, reduction, and diversion.

As our country strives to achieve higher levels of sustainability and 
environmental stewardship of our limited natural resources, it is laudable 
to seek a goal of zero waste. However, with national recycling levels well 
below 50%, I believe we shouldn't divert our attention away from building 
on current programs and seeking new innovative efforts at waste reduction. 
We should work with local and state governments' and their elected 
officials to maintain a focus on achievable goals that build on current 

Gary Liss
Fax: 916-652-0485

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