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[greenyes] Innovative Waste Strategy: Berkeley Adopts Zero Waste Goal



ECOLOGY CENTER
Berkeley, California

For Immediate Release
March 24, 2005

Contact:
Martin Bourque, Director Ecology Center (510) 812-5514
Tom Bates, Mayor of Berkeley (510) 981-7100
Ann Leonard, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (510) 883-9490


INNOVATIVE WASTE STRATEGY: Berkeley's Race to Zero

At the March 22 Berkeley City Council meeting, environmental history was
made when the Council officially established one of the nation's first Zero
Waste Goals.

The Council unanimously approved the resolution which officially adopts a
75% waste reduction goal for 2010, and establishes a Zero Waste Goal for
2020. The resolution also suggests that Solid Waste Management Commission
change its name to the Zero Waste commission.

"This is a great day for recycling and all types of resource recovery", said
Martin Bourque, Executive Director of Berkeley's Ecology Center. "As
Berkeley's Curbside Recycler, we have been promoting Zero Waste for many
years, and this sets us all on a path that conserves natural resources and
protects the planet from pollution, while creating good green-collar jobs."

Zero Waste is a concept that couples aggressive resource recovery with
industrial redesign to eliminate the very concept of waste. "If it can't be
reused, rebuilt, refurbished, reconfigured, recycled, or composted, then it
needs to be redesigned?or removed from production all together," said Dan
Knapp, founder and owner of Urban Ore, Berkeley's premier reuse retailer.

The details of how to reach these goals have been left to the Commission and
City staff. "It is not going to be easy," said Tom Farrell, Director of the
Solid Waste Management Division of the City of Berkeley. "We have come a
long way to the 50% mark, but reaching Zero Waste will definitely require
fundamental changes in the manufacturing and packaging industries."

Berkeley has a long history of leadership in eliminating waste. Over 30
years ago, the Ecology Center pioneered curbside recycling, a radical idea
at the time that has since become as mainstream as apple pie. Today the
Ecology Center runs this program for the City of Berkeley, saving over
100,000 trees and 65,000 barrels of oil each year, while supporting 30 union
recycling jobs. Recycling also saves the City and its residents lots of
money.

Berkeley had the Nation's first solid waste management plan that included
separating refuse from recyclable materials in the home, and in the early
1980s the residents passed one of the Country?s first bans on garbage
incineration, helping defeat the onslaught of toxic incinerator projects
planned for the Bay Area and the Nation.

"In the 1980's when Berkeley set a goal of reducing waste by 50%, everyone
said it couldn't be done", said Mayor Tom Bates who sponsored the
resolution, "Not only did we prove them wrong, but less than a decade later
the State of California set that goal for all counties. I am confident that
we will not only meet our Zero Waste goal, but give a boost to innovative
waste reduction policy across the nation."
###

Ecology Center
2530 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley CA 94703 ? (510) 548-2220 ?
www.ecologycenter.org






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