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[greenyes] News: Palo Alto votes to draft a Zero Waste Goal and Plan


Apologies for Cross-Postings

From: "Toni Stein" <tweil@no.address>
Subject: Press release: Palo Alto votes to draft a Zero Waste Goal and Plan
Date: Tue, 16 Nov 2004 13:06:57 -0800

Please consider printing in whole or as a source for a story-- Please note that last night Palo Alto City Council voted unanomously to draft a Zero Waste Goal and to write a Zero Waste Plan for Palo Alto to be adopted in Spring of next year!

Thank you for your consideration,

Antoinette "Toni" Stein, PhD
800 Magnolia Street
Menlo Park, CA 94025

Telephone: 650-853-0314
cell: 650-823-7662
<mailto:tweil@no.address>tweil@no.address

For Immediate Release
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The Palo Alto City Council unanimously voted in favor of drafting a Zero Waste Goal and crafting a Zero Waste Plan on November 15th. This move goes beyond Assembly Bill 939?s 50% diversion requirement that most cities have addressed. This action is the first of its kind in the South Bay Area. But it is in sync with other cities in California such as San Francisco, Del Norte, Santa Cruz, and Alameda Counties. Also it is consistent with the California Integrated Waste Management Board?s (CIWMB?s) 2001 Strategic Plan goal to promote a ?zero-waste California?[1],[2].

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In August community leaders attended International Conferences on Zero Waste[3],[4]. Presentations discussed how some communities have already diverted over 80% of their waste from landfill and incineration through zero waste planning. In September the Zero Waste Task Force of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties (ZWTFsBay) adopted a Zero Waste Communities Strategy that it shared with Palo Alto city officials and staff and requested in early November that a resolution be put on the table to begin the process. The Task Force is an ad hoc group with a mission to promote Zero Waste in the South Peninsula/San Jose/San Francisco Bay Area region. The Zero Waste approach focuses on promoting the most efficient use of natural resources in order to maximize reduction of waste. The Task Force consists of non-profit organizations, residents, businesses, local government staff, and elected officials.



The Task Force?s Zero Waste Communities Strategy encourages communities to go beyond California's AB939 goal of 50% waste diversion by adopting a Zero Waste goal and developing a tailored Zero Waste Plan for their community. The intent of the Task Force is to:
* Network with other communities in the Bay Area, across the state, US and throughout the world.
* Raise public awareness on waste issues.
* Gain elected official support for policy and planning shifts needed to achieve Zero Waste.
The Zero Waste Communities Strategy can be downloaded at www.crra.com/grc/articles/zwc.html, and tailored for use by other communities. The Zero Waste Communities Strategy recommends achieving the Zero Waste goal by enacting Key Policies and Programs , including:
* · Know Your Waste and Design It Out
* · Adopt a Zero Waste Goal and Plan for It
* · Hold Producers Responsible
* · End Subsidies for Wasting
* · Build Infrastructure Beyond Recycling
* · Create Jobs and Sustainable Communities
The Strategy also includes a resolution for communities to adopt, based on a model resolution from the GrassRoots Recycling Network (GRRN). The model resolution can be downloaded at www.grrn.org/zerowaste/zwmodel.html.

The City of Palo Alto is one Bay Area community considering Zero Waste. On the subject of Zero Waste, Palo Alto City Council member Yoriko Kishimoto recently said,

" Vice Mayor Jim Burch and I are thrilled to learn about the concept of Zero Waste. It fits in beautifully with our citywide Sustainability Policy that was adopted in 2001. As we look ahead to our landfill closing sometime in the next ten years, we were searching for a comprehensive and visionary policy framework which looks "beyond 50% diversion".

And Vice Mayor Jim Burch, said,

"Having become a "green business" and committed to sustainability, I believe zero waste provides a clear goal for Palo Alto in its continuing desire to reduce, reuse, recycle and put less and less into landfill."

Acterra Executive Director, Michael Closson (Action for a Sustainable Earth, Palo Alto, CA, a local non-profit) enthusiastically said,

?Communities in our area that attended the recent Zero Waste conferences organized by the Global Recycling Council of CRRA and the GrassRoots Recycling Network in San Francisco and Oakland were sold on the concept of Zero Waste. They heard real-life examples of businesses that diverted over 90% of their wastes from landfill and incineration, and communities that have diverted over 80% of their wastes from landfill and incineration. That?s darn close to Zero Waste, and shows that it is possible. Now we just need to go back and figure out how to make it happen in our own communities.?

As part of its outreach, the Task Force is pursuing the opportunity to speak to the League of California Cities Environmental Quality Committee in 2005.

The co-author of the Zero Waste Communities Strategy Gary Liss, principal of Gary Liss and Associates, points out that,

?The California Integrated Waste Management Board adopted Zero Waste as one its eight goals in its 2001 Strategic Plan. Since that time, the City of San Francisco has adopted Zero Waste as its goal for 2020, and several other communities are considering how to approach Zero Waste. This Strategy will be particularly helpful for those communities that would like to pursue Zero Waste, to act immediately to pursue that goal.?

And co-author of the Zero Waste Communities Strategy, Ruth Abbe, Brown, Vence and Associates explains,

?If communities in California adopted all of the best policies and programs that have been proven to work over the last decade, communities would be well on the road to Zero Waste. This Strategy helps them move forward with a clear direction and measurable outputs that will help communities translate the lofty vision of Zero Waste into a reality for their communities.?

And co-author of the Zero Waste Communities Strategy, Toni Stein, local activist and research scientist insists, ?This is a no-brainer. If you?re not for Zero Waste, how much waste are you for??.

For further information or to join the Northern California Zero Waste Task Force contact Michael Closson, Acterra at 650-962-9876 ext. 303, <michaelc@no.address>, Toni Stein at 650-853-0314, <tweil@no.address> or Gary Liss at 916-652-7850, <gary@no.address>
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[1] http://www.zerowaste.ca.gov/
[2] http://www.zerowaste.ca.gov/StratPlan.htm
[3] http://www.grrn.org/conference2004/index.html
[4] <http://www.crra.com/grc/international/agenda.html>http://www.crra.com/grc/international/agenda.html

From: "Toni Stein" <tweil@no.address>
To: <city.clerk@no.address>,
<city.council@no.address>
Subject: Zero Waste
Date: Fri, 5 Nov 2004 16:08:24 -0800

Dear Mayor Beecham and City Councilmembers:

Palo Alto has for many years exhibited leadership in sustainability and the environment. The Zero Waste Task Force of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties (ZWTF) encourages you to consider the following actions:
* Draft a resolution for Palo Alto to set a Zero Waste goal and implementation plan.
* Conduct a community-wide study session to discuss Palo Alto?s waste issues, current waste reduction programs, and waste reduction programs that have been successfully implemented in other communities.
* Evaluate and adopt the Zero Waste goal and Implementation Plan.
The ZWTF is an ad hoc group recently formed to promote Zero Waste in the South Bay consistent with the California Integrated Waste Management Board?s 2001 Strategic Plan goal to promote a ?zero-waste California?. This approach focuses on promoting the most efficient use of natural resources in order to maximize reduction of waste. We consist of non-profit organizations, residents, businesses, local government staff, elected officials and other interested parties.

In August community leaders attended an International Conference on Zero Waste. Presentations discussed how some communities have already diverted over 80% of their waste from landfill and incineration through zero waste planning. In California, San Francisco, Del Norte, Santa Cruz, and Alameda Counties have all begun to reach beyond 50% and actively plan and work towards zero waste.

On September 3, 2004 the ZWTF adopted a Zero Waste Communities Strategy document (see attachment). The Zero Waste Communities Strategy encourages communities to go beyond California's AB939 goal of 50% waste diversion by adopting a goal-specific Zero Waste strategy together with a tailored Zero Waste Implementation Plan. The Zero Waste Communities Strategy includes a sample resolution for Palo Alto and other communities to consider adopting based on a model resolution from the Grass Roots Recycling Network. (see attachment). The ZWTF would like to express our appreciation to senior staff for allowing us an introductory meeting to introduce ourselves. We would further welcome the opportunity to collaborate with the City in planning and facilitating community educational sessions.

Sincerely,

Toni Stein, PhD
Acting Chair, Zero Waste Task Force of San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties
800 Magnolia Street
Menlo Park, CA 94025
Telephone: 650-823-7662
<mailto:tweil@no.address>tweil@no.address

Gary Liss
916-652-7850
Fax: 916-652-0485
www.garyliss.com

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