Apologies for Cross-Postings
FYI, this was just sent to the Governor's office.
From: Gary Liss <email@example.com>
Subject: Governor's Strategic Growth Plan and Zero Waste by 2025
January 10, 2006
Office of the Governor
Sacramento, CA 95814
Dear Mr. Tamminen:
First, I would like to thank you for your challenge at the Annual
Conference of the California Resource Recovery Association (CRRA)
that we pursue our goal of Zero Waste by 2025. In keeping with that
challenge, I was also excited about the innovative proposals from
Governor Schwarzenegger last week in his Strategic Growth Plan. I
would like to suggest how those two issues could be successfully linked.
In many European nations, they have adopted significant fees on
landfills of $20-40/ton to fund recycling programs and decrease
greenhouse gases. In San Jose, the combined fees and taxes on
landfilling are over $19/ton, and they have one of the highest waste
diversion rates in the state.
I propose that the state adopt a $20-40/ton Zero Waste Fee on
landfills that would be structured as follows:
* The Fee would be levied on all wastes disposed of in the state
or transported for disposal out of the state, to ensure that wastes
are not transferred out of state to avoid this fee.
* The Fee would credit all local fees charged already. This
would level the playing field, and not encourage wastes to be
transferred from one county to another. For example, in San Jose if
the state enacted a $30/ton fee, San Jose landfills would be levied
at $30/ton (ZW Fee) - $19/ton (local fees), or $11/ton.
* Half of the revenue from the Zero Waste landfill fee would be
used to cover the local government match for state bond issues,
structured as follows:
a. The amount of funds to be used would be proportional to the
percentage of materials used in construction projects under the bond
issue made of reused, recycled or composted materials.
b. These funds will decrease over time as the amount of wastes
decreases to landfills. As a result, these funds should be viewed
as only part of the repayment plan for the local match on bond
issues. For example, it could provide the first five years of
matches, while state or local governments adopt other funding
sources to replace these funds. Then these funds would be phased
out over the following five years, as wastes dramatically decrease.
* Half of the revenues from the fee would go to adopt and
implement local Zero Waste plans, policies, and programs, including:
a. Zero Waste plans for communities and businesses
b. Development, consideration and adoption of local Zero Waste
policies, including policies to Reduce wastes, Redesign processes
and programs to eliminate wastes, product and packaging takeback
programs, and procurement of products that are environmentally
preferable and sustainable.
c. Technical assistance and training programs, including:
i. Development of procurement documents to solicit Zero Waste
services, including collection, processing and marketing services
for discarded materials (only if incentives are included that make
it more cost effective to eliminate and reduce waste than to continue wasting)
ii. Certification and training programs for skills and
knowledge required to plan and implement Zero Waste programs
iii. Peer matching and consulting assistance, managed by a
nonprofit recycling or Zero Waste organization (like CRRA)
iv. A Recycling Information Network using state colleges and
universities to compile and analyze data locally while training
students to enter this field and develop curricula and classes for
training on Zero Waste.
d. Planning, engineering, permitting, siting, land acquisition,
equipment and construction for the capitalization of Zero Waste
programs (not operating costs, as these funds will be decreasing
over time), including:
i. Reuse facilities
ii. Recycling facilities
iii. Composting facilities
iv. Resource Recovery Parks
v. Anaerobic digestion (but NOT landfills, "conversion
technologies" or "transformation" facilities)
vi. Market development activities for reuse, recycling and composting
These funds should build on existing private, nonprofit and public
programs first, and not duplicate existing investments. The state
should work with the food industry, landscapers, and builders in
planning programs and projects to absorb organics and materials from
construction and demolition projects.
This proposal is one that I believe could gain broad support from
local government and the recycling industry in the state. As the
recycling industry has recently been documented to be as large as
the automobile industry in the country, that type of support could
be significant in advancing this proposal.
I would like to explore your interest in the Administration
sponsoring this proposal as part of the Strategic Growth Plan and
implementation of your Global Warming initiatives. I can be reached
Cc: Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez
Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata
CRRA Boardmembers and Global Recycling Council Executive Committee
Mark Murray, Californians Against Waste
Heidi Melander, Northern CA Recycling Assn.
Linda Christopher, GrassRoots Recycling Network
Karen Smith, StopWaste.org
Gary Liss & Associates
4395 Gold Trail Way
Loomis, CA 95650-8929