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[greenyes] [CRRA] data on municipalities which follow Zero Waste programs.

Date: Mon, 12 Apr 2004 13:38:23 -0700
From: "Marsha Bradford" <mbradford@no.address>
To: <gary@no.address>
Cc: "David Huerta" <Dhuerta@no.address>
Subject: Re: Zero Waste and Mandatory Garbage Service

We have "Zero Generator" programs exempt from the portion of the garbage bill that covers recycling and/or yardwaste. Documentation is required. We have 32 gallon garbage service, and some 20-gallon subscribers. For those who generate less, we allow them to use a prepaid "overage bag" at a reduced rate.

At 07:14 AM 4/11/2004, Elizabeth A Citrino wrote:
When we adopted the recycling initiative in Humboldt County in 1988, prior to AB939, and began work on its implementation, there were some provisions in the County's solid waste ordinance that were clearly counterintuitive regarding waste reduction, like mandatory pick-up, which largely originates with health and safety codes. Because most rural communities still allow self-haul, and are scared to death of mandatory collections (waste haulers have tried and then had to deal with stuff like sugar in vehicle tanks, and elected officials have lost their jobs), the ordinances often require removal, but not necessarily franchise service, even with exclusive collection franchises.

Sounds like what you need is grass roots support for an ordinance revision... We changed our ordinance so that regular removal of all putrescibles was required, and control of non-putrescibles, with the generator retaining the right to control all materials not destined for the landfill.

Let me know if you want more background.

Liz Citrino
Citrino Waste Reduction Services
2973 Dyer Way Placerville CA 95667
(530) 626-5077

----- Original Message -----
From: <mailto:rks111@no.address>Rick Sakuda
To: <mailto:greenyes@no.address>greenyes@no.address ; <mailto:crra_members@no.address>crra_members@no.address ; <mailto:ZWIAPLAN@no.address>ZWIAPLAN@no.address ; <mailto:zerowaste_sd@no.address>zerowaste_sd@no.address ; <mailto:RicAnthony@no.address>RicAnthony@no.address
Sent: Saturday, April 10, 2004 3:50 PM
Subject: Re: [CRRA] data on municipalities which follow Zero Waste programs.
I was trying to implement a zero waste program at my company. I went on the web to find a template that I could use for my office rather than trying recreate the wheel. I found no guidelines on zero waste for the office environment. I contacted several Zero Waste groups, all of whom had no interest in my idea and seemed puzzled by the concept of Zero Waste for an office.

I started making a list of every item we discarded and how it could be diverted. I was just about done after I got through food waste by composting, grinding and banning paper and plastic from the lunchroom.

Right after the employee complaints (going into Starbucks with an empty coffee mug is humiliating) died down and everyone was starting to buy in, we got a call from the City. Seems, by law, every business must have a garbage dumpster or legal action will be taken by the franchised hauler. There is a monthly charge whether the dumpster is used or not.

I guess you could call this Zero Waste vs. Mandated Waste.

Since the City's "Recycling Dept." spends all of their time diving in recycling bins looking for residue so they can be landfilled instead of recovering the 95% that can be recycled, extolling the benefits of Zero Waste was going to fall on deaf ears with the City.

Because the so called City Recycling Dept. appears to be the sales and marketing team for the Franchise Hauler, and a legal battle would be very costly, we were "forced to waste".

my Zero Waste experience,
walk the talk
have a nice Easter

----- Original Message -----
From: <mailto:RicAnthony@no.address>RicAnthony@no.address
To: <mailto:greenyes@no.address>greenyes@no.address ; <mailto:crra_members@no.address>crra_members@no.address ; <mailto:ZWIAPLAN@no.address>ZWIAPLAN@no.address ; <mailto:zerowaste_sd@no.address>zerowaste_sd@no.address
Sent: Saturday, April 10, 2004 12:36 PM
Subject: [CRRA] data on municipalities which follow Zero Waste programs.
Thanks for posting your message asking for data on municipalities which
follow Zero Waste programs.
There is no one city that has fully implemented every aspect of a Zero Waste
program, but there are many places which have taken significant steps
towards Zero, especially on the recycling side. GAIA's full Zero Waste
vision includes recycling, but also goes beyond recycling. We will never
solve our "waste problem" only at the back end, so to fully implement Zero
Waste, we need to combine recycling and waste diversion with upstream
approaches to reduce the total volume and toxicity of materials used.
However, here are some resources to learn about places which have
implemented positive steps towards Zero. If others have additional
resources, please post those and we can keep all these on the GAIA website
so it is easier for people to link to them from one place.
Institute for Local Self Reliance, has documented successful
recycling programs in many US cities. They have a bunch of publications
available on their website, such as "Cutting the Waste Stream in Half:
Community Record Setters Show How."
In California, there is a statewide goal to divert 50% of 1990 waste levels
from landfills and incineration. Some counties have raised the goal to 75%
and San Francisco has adopted a Zero Waste goal. In these places, there are
a number of successful programs. San Francisco now has curbside collection
of food waste so city residents separate their organic waste which is all
sent to a huge composting facility. Alamdea county subsidez low cost back
yard composting bins and has sold about 50,000 of them to residents. Even
though it costs them money to subsidize the bins, they recover the costs by
decreasing the amount of waste they have to collect (that is the Avoided
Disposal Cost which is often left out of recycling/composting calculations).
See and There is a huge amount of
data on the diversion levels reached and costs in California, so this may be
the best single source of the info you seek.
Also see the Grassroots Recycling Network,, for great
educational material on Zero Waste, examples of businesses which have
reduced waste significantly and copies of Zero Waste resolutions and
activities mostly in the U.S. but some international.
The Toxics Use Reduction Institute in Massachusetts is also a great
resource. Through the work of this institute and the State's fantastic
Toxics Use Reduction Act there has been a 50% decrease in toxic chemicals
used by industries in Massachusetts. Of course, less toxic chemicals used
means less toxic waste and toxic-contaminated products that enter the
discard stream. See Also see Clean Production Action and the
Lowell Center for Sustainable Production for more ideas on clean production. and
Health Care Without Harm has done tremendous work in promoting waste
reduction in health care settings, and ensuring safe treatment of infectious
waste without incineration,
Other resources:
Zero Waste New Zealand Trust:
"Creating Wealth from Waste" by Robin Murray, Demos publishing, UK
Also, later this month GAIA members around the world will release a report
which looks at the costs of intensive recycling and composting versus
incineration focusing on cases in less-industrialized countries.
For California, the general website address is for information on all aspects of the California programs. We worked with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and others on 24 case studies of model local government waste diversion programs in the year 2000. Those case studies can be found at:
It's particularly important for local governments to get involved in the upstream side of advocating for extended producer responsibility (EPR), and designing wastes out of the system. GRRN has some great producer responsibility campaigns on their website at: As a first step, local governments could endorse the Extended Producer Responsibility Principles developed by the EPR Working Group at Next, local governments could adopt resolutions on:
a.. Beyond Recycling: Zero Waste... Or Darn Close
b.. The Electronics Junkpile: Environmental Hazard, Unfunded Mandate
c.. Not an Ounce of Responsibility: Coke, Pepsi and Plastic Bottle Waste
d.. Burying Organics Stinks: The Compost Solution
e.. Build Community Assets by Eliminating Waste
Sample resolutions are all found at:
In addition, one of the best websites on EPR is Clean Production Action at:
To design wastes out of the system, one of the best tools to engage people is organizing Zero Waste at special events (like conferences or community festivals). As an example, Zero Waste was the goal at the Salt Lake Olympics. See info on their successes at:
I hope this is helpful.
Ann Leonard /Gary Liss

San Diego, California

Gary Liss
Fax: 916-652-0485

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