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Re: [GreenYes] Storm Clouds for Recycling on Horizon
    In reply to your question (below), the response that the NYC recyclers
made was to analyze the curbside program and propose changes which would
produce savings equal to the proposed cuts.  It was not very successful in
that case, though it conceivably may be in others.

    The other response to consider relates to the fact that recycling only
SEEMS to be more expensive because the playing field is not level.  Enormous
costs associated with extracting and refining raw materials in the form of
unregulated environmental damage are not counted, and a variety of tax
subsidies lower the apparent cost far below virgin materials' true costs.

    Moreover, disposal, against which recyclers directly compete, is
commonly priced at below $20 per ton at the large megafills.  The waste
industry contends that today's modern landfills, with their engineered
liners, are perfectly safe.  However, EPA has consistently conceded that all
of those barriers will eventually degrade in a time period measured in
decades, while the waste load remains a threat for centuries. That is to
say, those elaborate barriers only serve to delay not prevent pollution, and
to the worst possible time, when the responsible parties have departed the
scene and left the multi-million dollar cleanup to the local and state
governments.  The true costs of landfilling is probably more than $70 per
ton, and at that level of costs that diversion avoids, recycling produces
handsome profits.

    Because leaking landfills impact our drinking water, the effects are
personal and more likely to influence the political process than are many of
the impacts in the third world where so much of our raw materials are mined,
as is the prospect of a Savings & Loan Debacle size clean up likely to also
reach the attention of politicos.

    These are all things to consider. But, the time to develop AND IMPLEMENT
a defensive strategy is now before the crunch hits...by then it will be too
late.  Just ask our collegues in NYC.

                                                                Peter
______________________________
Peter Anderson
RECYCLEWORLDS CONSULTING Corp
4513 Vernon Blvd. Suite 15
Madison, WI 53705
Ph:    (608) 231-1100
Fax:   (608) 233-0011
Cell:   (608) 345-0381
email: anderson@recycleworlds.org
web:  www.recycleworlds.org



----- Original Message -----
From: "Christine McCoy" <cmccoy@rcap.org>
To: "Peter Anderson" <anderson@recycleworlds.org>
Sent: Monday, August 19, 2002 2:01 PM
Subject: RE: [GreenYes] Storm Clouds for Recycling on Horizon


What would you suggest?  Recycling takes money out of the pockets of
education? Seems like we have some tough decision to make - NY is just
leading the way.  I know someone came up with suggestions for how to balance
the NY budget without cutting recycling, but what were they??  I'm curious
to find out what legs we can stand on to argue our case.  Yes, being
prepared for another attack on recycling would be best!!  Anything we can do
at the NRC or SWANA conferences this year to shore up our arguements??   Big
cities think they have it bad?  Think about rural America!!

Christine McCoy
Director, Environmental Programs
Rural Community Assistance Program
1522 K Street, NW #400
Washington, DC  20005
Phone: 202/408-1273 ext. 104
Fax: 202/408-8165
Email: cmccoy@rcap.org


-----Original Message-----
From: owner-greenyes@grrn.org [mailto:owner-greenyes@grrn.org]On Behalf
Of Peter Anderson
Sent: Sunday, August 18, 2002 1:55 AM
To: GreenYes
Subject: [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 during
                      the early '90s economic slowdown.

                      "They are weathering this first year without having
 substantially reduced
                      service levels. The question is whether they'll make
it
 through the second year,"
                      Mr. Pagano said.

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


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