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[greenyes] RE: QUESTION ON ZERO WASTE MILESTONES
I would also suggest that progress for Zero Waste be measured on minimizing
the environmental impact of the use and disposition of specific materials,
not on the weight of the material or the number of items.

John Reindl, Recycling Manager
Dane County, WI 



> -----Original Message-----
> From: Sharon_Gates@no.address [mailto:Sharon_Gates@no.address]
> Sent: Thursday, November 13, 2003 4:49 PM
> To: greenyes@no.address
> Subject: Re: [greenyes] QUESTION ON ZERO WASTE MILESTONES
> 
> 
> I'd like to sound a note of caution regarding setting 
> incremental goals 
> toward zero waste.  While incremental goals are often useful, 
> they can 
> also lead programs astray and into dead-ends that won't ever 
> get to zero 
> waste.  For example, if a goal is set to recycle 25% of soda 
> bottles by 
> 2004, 50% by 2006, 75% by 2008, etc., then the focus will be 
> on recycling 
> bottles, and money will be spent on recycling programs, 
> infrastructure, 
> etc.  On the other hand, if the goal is to use exclusively refillable 
> bottles by 2010, then it's possible that many fewer bottles will be 
> recycled in the intervening years.  However, at the end of 
> the period, 
> there will be zero (or darn close) bottles thrown away.  The 
> money will 
> instead be spent on retooling bottling plants, implementing 
> public and 
> corporate policies for reuse, etc. 
> 
> Zero waste requires a shift in thinking about material & 
> energy cycles, 
> from the proverbial cradle-to-grave to cradle-to-cradle.  
> Sometimes it 
> doesn't come in steps, but leaps.
> 
> Sharon Gates
> Recycling Specialist
> City of Long Beach, California
> 562/570-4694
> 




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