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[GreenYes] Re: Join us for LA Zero Waste Plan Conference 5/3/08

To All:

As many of you know, the proximate source of inspiration that
launched the worldwide movement for zero waste in 1996 was the
Australian Capital Territory (ACT) government in Canberra,
Australia. Earlier efforts in the same direction had primarily
focused on total recycling, of which I was and still am a champion.

Now those of you who are celebrating further successes in what I
recently called "zero waste goalism" would do well to understand and
acknowledge that zero waste goals mean less than nothing when there
is no will to make real zero waste happen. The proof is, once again,
Canberra Australia, which in mid-2007 opened its new $11 million
landfill cell after using up the entire hillside landfill site
(supposed to be its last) that it called the Mugga Lane landfill.
Further proof: ACT NoWaste's attacks on Revolve, the nonprofit
landfill scavenger business that really invented the Australian
concept of zero waste; ACT's refusal to build the Zero Waste Resource
Recovery Park on land set aside in 1996 or 1997 for the purpose with
money made from their profits on wasting; ACT's attempts to restrict
competition for the discard supply so that more waste, not less, goes
into landfill; and ACT's tardy removal of "no waste by 2010" from ACT
NoWaste's publicity materials, trucks, and logos. Until they removed
the date in 2006 and 2007, the zero waste goal functioned in Canberra
as a cloak to hide their waste-friendly actions. Now they've finally
owned up to their betrayal of the public's trust.

So beware! I presented a ten-minute powerpoint on Canberra relying
on my site visit to Canberra in April of 2007 as well as on photos
and correspondence from Gerry Gillespie and Carolyn Brooks at the
annual Recycling Update conference in Oakland, CA sponsored by the
Northern California Recycling Association. It was immediately
labeled a "cautionary tale" by Tom Padia of and others
in the audience of 170 recycling professionals.

Zero Waste has also been commandeered as a brand by the Product
Policy Institute, among others, and they and others have tried to
make zero waste into a synonym for Extended Producer Responsibility.
This is no less false and misleading than Canberra's brand of
sophistry, in my opinion, because it dismisses honest hardworking
recyclers dealing everyday with the gazillions of tons of discarded
materials flowing from the built environment to landfill and transfer
stations that have already been manufactured and therefore can never
be affected by EPR.

I see EPR as an important part of source reduction (the "reduce" part
of "reduce, reuse, recycle" imperative), but only a part. When you
look closely at what EPR-istas concentrate on, it is mostly low-
tonnage but important stuff like household toxics, pharmaceuticals,
and the like. All well and good, and more power to them, but let's
not forget other potent source reduction tools like ULS (Use Less
Stuff), the focus of Annie Leonard's popular new video.

And let's support total recycling in source-separation-based 12
category resource recovery parks and celebrate them when, against
long odds, they somehow or other get built and occupied by real
recyclers producing quality feedstocks.

The other two legs of the 3R tripod should not be subject to insults
like "so twentieth century" and "so end-of-pipe", but they are thanks
to EPR zealots.

Dan Knapp, CEO
Urban Ore, Inc., a reuse and recycling business in Berkeley,
California since 1980

On Apr 11, 2008, at 11:25 AM, Gary Liss wrote:

> Apologies for Cross-postings & please forward to colleagues who may
> be interested
> The 3rd Citywide Conference for the Los Angeles Zero Waste Plan is
> Here!
> Please join us for the 3rd Citywide Conference for the Zero waste
> Plan. This will be the final conference for Phase 1 of the project
> and will be a celebration of all of the hard work and input
> provided by you, the stakeholders, for the Zero Waste Plan thus
> far! The conference will be on May 3, 2008 at the Cathedral of Our
> Lady of Angels conference center from 8:30 am to 1:00 pm. The
> Cathedral is located at 555 W. Temple Street in downtown Los
> Angeles.. All conference attendees will receive complimentary
> parking.
> Don't forget! We will also be having a Zero Waste Film Festival
> from 7:30-8:30 am along with a complimentary continental
> breakfast. A complimentary lunch will be served later in the day.
> This is the chance for you to sign off on the Guiding Principles
> for the plan, join your fellow stakeholders in celebration for the
> first year being completed and for you to share your SWIRP story
> with others.
> Want more information? Please contact Rebecca Wood at
> rebeccajanewood@no.address . Tell your family, friends, coworkers
> and neighbors about this special event and RSVP with Vikki Zale via
> email at vikkizale@no.address or via phone at (310) 822-2010.
> Gary Liss
> 916-652-7850
> Fax: 916-652-0485
> >

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