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[GreenYes] FW: Recycling highlighted on Fleecing of America last night

The following is text from the segment on recycling that was
part of Tom Brokaw's FLEECING OF AMERICA.  A url to the
video is at the end of the text.


Copyright 2002 National Broadcasting Co. Inc.   
NBC News Transcripts 

SHOW: NBC Nightly News (6:30 PM ET) - NBC 

October 9, 2002 Wednesday 

LENGTH: 543 words 

HEADLINE: Many US cities dropping recycling 



TOM BROKAW, anchor: 

Now to the FLEECING OF AMERICA and the bottom line on recycling. 
Polls show that Americans overwhelmingly support recycling. One 
recent estimate says municipal recycling programs involve 
140 million people, triple the number in 1990. So why are so many
 cities now trashing their recycling programs? NBC's national 
correspondent is Jim Avila. JIM AVILA reporting: 

Once a week, Chicago's Randy Steinmire and his son Conrad put 
all the household paper, plastic, metal and glass in a blue 
plastic recycling bag and take it to the curb. It makes them 
feel good to recycle. 

Mr. RANDY STEINMIRE: I think it creates materials for people 
who want to use recycled materials, and I also think, you know, 
it saves our--our landfills. 

AVILA: But in Chicago and many major American cities, critics 
say recycling does little more than make us feel good. 

Dr. ALLAN SCHNAIBERG: It's pretty close to a disaster. 

Dr. Allan Schnaiberg of Northwestern University wrote a book 
about Chicago's blue-bag system calling it the poster child 
for how not to recycle. 

Dr. SCHNAIBERG: It's better than nothing. Not much, but better 
than nothing. 

AVILA: Chicagoans pay up $157 million a year for garbage 
collection, $22 a household per month. For that, the blue bags 
are picked up and compacted by the same garbage trucks that 
pick up and compact the trash. The bags break and more 
importantly, so do the bottles. The paper is contaminated 
reducing the already limited value of recycling. 

Dr. SCHNAIBERG: And as soon as you have commingling, either 
you can't sell the materials or you've got to sell it at sort 
of the lowest common denominator. 

AVILA: In Chicago only 20 percent of the population recycles, 
and experts say only 8 percent of the city's waste is recycled, 
far below the national average. The city disputes those numbers 
and says millions of pounds of waste is being diverted from 
landfills. Even critics acknowledge Chicago is not the only 
recycling failure. 

Recycled goods are not in big demand and programs expensive 
to run. New York is saving $40 million by no longer recycling 
glass or plastic. Albuquerque cut collections to every other 
week. So has Atlanta. Across the country, cities have found 
recycling does not pay for itself. 

Mr. JERRY POWELL (Resource Recycling Magazine Editor): 
Recycling comes at a cost just as all other public works 
comes at a cost--sewage, water. 

AVILA: But one program is working, San Francisco, where customers 
pay $16 a month and recycle nearly 50 percent of city waste. 

Mr. JARED BLUMENFELD (San Francisco Department of the Environment): 
People here live and breathe recycling. They want to make it work. 

AVILA: Bottles, cans and paper into one container. Food wastes 
into a separate container to be turned into mulch for organic 

Mr. NIGEL WALKER (Organic Farmer): This is a rich compost, and 
we've had very good results with it. 

AVILA: A rare program that experts say proves effective recycling 
can be more than a wasteful fleecing of America. Jim Avila, 
NBC News, Chicago. 

BROKAW: Coming up in a moment, why one in three Americans is 
officially fat and getting fatter. 

Announcer: NBC NIGHTLY NEWS with Tom Brokaw, brought to you in 
part by... 

LOAD-DATE: October 10, 2002 

View the video at:

Patricia Franklin
Executive Director
Container Recycling Institute
1911 N. Fort Myer Drive, Ste. 702
Arlington, VA 22209

TEL:   703.276.9800
FAX:   703.276.9587
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