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RE: [greenyes] Worthless Workshops in Sacramento


Helen "tell-it-like-it-is-and-always-so-articulately" Spiegelman says, "The
fact is, something has made "recycling education" a high-priced commodity
that only bureaucracies and corporate PR departments can afford to
participate in. Scrappies need not apply -- not to mention the small
start-up business innovators that are not deeply capitalized, environmental
activists who are not associated with big corporate organizations -- and
now, we hear, even government bureaucrats whose departments are passed
over."

I would add to that list of "Scrappies" who can't afford to participate in
high-priced conferences, "small nonprofit organizations" like ours, with a
wealth of information, but a pea-sized budget.

To Helen's question, "What voices are missing at these "educational
seminars" as a result?" I say, "voices telling the truth that no one wants
to hear."

****************************************
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
EMAIL: pfranklin@no.address

http://www.container-recycling.org
http://www.bottlebill.info
****************************************

-----Original Message-----
From: Helen Spiegelman [mailto:hspie@no.address]
Sent: Thursday, February 26, 2004 1:59 PM
To: greenyes@no.address
Subject: Re: [greenyes] Worthless Workshops in Sacramento


There's some important stuff here we need to deal with and it's probably a
good idea to do so.

Our "industry" (recycling) has changed profoundly in a generation. It
started out as small businesses ("scrappies") who were a fiercely
independent lot who would have found the notion of "educational seminars"
totally bizarre!

Then in the early 70s, enter the environmental organizations ("4 hippies
and a truck" operations). They got into the business to save the world and
some went on to become quasi-businesses and corporations (viz Jerry Powell
in publishing, Canadian Derek Stephenson in consulting, Eco-Cycle in
collection & processing)

Then in the 1990s, enter the government organizations -- municipal and
county bureaucracies created to implement curbside recycling programs, not
to mention the growing ranks of consultants who supply technical and
professional expertise under contract.

With new budget allocations for recycling, enter the waste haulers (who are
now competing against the "4 hippie and a truck" operators for contracts
with the local waste authorities ...

With the threat of EPR on the horizon, enter the Brand-Owner Corporations
(and their Environmental Affairs Departments and associations/lobby groups)
who are now positioning themselves as patrons of recycling...

I am on the Board of an organization (Recycling Council of BC/RCBC) that
defines its niche as being a "multi-stakeholder" group bringing all these
different sectors of the recycling "industry" together. I have been
involved with RCBC since the 80s and experienced much of the evolution, as
well as sifting through the archaeological evidence of past phases.

I am not charged with designing the program for RCBC's annual conference --
and event that features "educational seminars" for all the different
recycling sectors. I share ARMANTROUT's feeling sometimes, when I look at
the fees we charge for the conference -- to speakers as well as to
delegates.

The fact is, something has made "recycling education" a high-priced
commodity that only bureaucracies and corporate PR departments can afford
to participate in. Scrappies need not apply -- not to mention the small
start-up business innovators that are not deeply capitalized, environmental
activists who are not associated with big corporate organizations -- and
now, we hear, even government bureaucrats whose departments are passed over.

What voices are missing at these "educational seminars" as a result?

What are y'all's thoughts about this?

H.






At 10:14 AM 2/26/2004, Sharon_Gates@no.address wrote:

>I have attempted to point out, in an unemotional and non-judgemental way,
>that the CIWMB is making it difficult for a large portion of the
>municipalities that they are chartered to serve to access their
>educational offerings. California State agencies are supposed to serve
>ALL of California, not just the areas close to the State capitol.


>Sharon_Gates@no.address wrote:
>
><snip>
>In order to attend a workshop in Sacramento now, not only would I
>have to pay for it entirely myself, but I would have to take vacation time
>
>in order to go. To me, this seems unreasonable for something that is
>directly related to doing my job. I believe my situation is fairly common
>among government employees these days.
><snip>
>
>[BOB ARMANTROUT:]
>
>County bureaucrats will only go out to public events if they are paid
>- not on their own time. Our highly paid county recycling coordinator is
>currently spending her time on putting together a coloring book for
>crissakes while much of our dropbox plastic is being landfilled!
>
>I agree with C. William 100%:
>
>C. William wrote:
><snip>
>Spending a day on the rear-end of
>a garbage truck or a recycling vehicle will teach everyone more than 99%
>of the overpriced workshops/seminars. Most of the big buck consultants
>at the workshops/seminars have never spent a day collecting what they
>profess to know all about.
><snip>
>

[ARMANTROUT]

> All the stupid conferences and recycled content
>pencils in the world are wasted taxpayer dollars and next week's landfill.
>Try going out in your community and working on the issues first hand -
>it's much more worthwhile.





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