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[GreenYes] Storm Clouds for Recycling on Horizon



     According to the Wall Street Journal ("U.S. Cities Project Shortfalls,
 Prepare to Cut Back Services," dated August 16, 2002)(excerpt below), the
 negative effects of the current economic downturn on municipal budgets has
 been dampened because they often have had "rainy day" funds to draw on to
offset the first year of shortfalls from this recession.  However, the
article goes
 on to quote the National League of Cities as anticipating serious pressure
 to cut services if the recession extends for a second year when those rainy
day funds have become exhausted.

     Recalling the pressures on cutting recycling services that we have
 already seen in New York City and some other large cities where curbside
 recycling's costs has been pitted against police protection and welfare
 cuts, this could be a very significant concern to the continuation of
 municipal recycling programs without cuts that threaten their long term
 sustainability.

     If your city experiences any such pressures or you're aware of any
other
 cities' suffering under those pressures, please let me know and I'll
compile
 a list for posting.  We need to anticipate a plan of action instead of just
 being caught with our pants down again.

                                                             Peter
 ____________________________
 Peter Anderson
 RECYCLEWORLDS CONSULTING
 4513 Vernon Blvd. Suite 15
 Madison, WI5705-4964
 (608) 231-1100
 Fax (608) 233-0011
 anderson@recycleworlds.org

 WALL STREET JOURNAL: August 16, 2002
                    U.S. Cities Project Shortfalls,
                    Prepare to Cut Back Services

                    By ANDREW CAFFREY
                    Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

                    "The nation's cities expect fiscal conditions to worsen
 during the next year
                    and are preparing to cut more public services.

                    "The gloomy outlook is captured in a survey of
 municipal-finance officials
                    the National League of Cities expects to release Friday.
 The
                    organization found for more than half of 307 cities
 surveyed, fiscal
                    conditions are at their worst in a decade.

                    "Two-thirds of city officials said they expect the
fiscal
 outlook to worsen
                    during the next 12 months despite a slowly recovering
 economy. The
                    main reason: The rate of tax collections typically
 doesn't pick up as
                    quickly as the general economy, and may lag behind a
 recovery by as
                    much as a year.

                    "The decline in tax revenues reflects both the
still-soft
 economy and
                    post-Sept. 11 terrorism worries. But it isn't the only
 culprit; higher
                    spending needs for public safety and health-related
items
 are playing a
                    role, too, said Michael Pagano, the survey's director
and
 a professor of
                    public administration at the University of Illinois at
 Chicago. Indeed, cities
                    reported on average, spending in fiscal 2002 was
 projected to increase
                    about 5.6%, while revenues were expected to grow by only
 about 1.2%.
                    Fiscal years often begin July 1 or Oct. 1 at the local
 level.

                     "Mr. Pagano said most cities have so far avoided making
 widespread budget cuts by
                     relying on healthy rainy-day r reserves they built
 during the boom years of the
                     1990s. He estimated such reserves to be, on average,
 about 19% of cities' typical
                      operating expenses, compared with 10% to 11% in
 reserves cities held 
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