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[GreenYes] Re: Zero waste goals alone are not enough

I like Eric am proud to be part of a list serve that has contributors who are part of this great recycling movement.  Jerry and I go back a long way, we don't always agree.

It bothers me that Jerry defends the commendable actions in Oregon by attacking "too many zero waste advocates".  I have just come home from a zero waste speaking tour in Hawaii, Canada and Mexico, and only the incinerator advocate who heckled me in Cancun, suggested that 80% was a better goal that 100%. 

I  think the 80% goal is fine and  even better that Oregon is considering adding water bottles and alcohol but  I don't think after all these years this is rapid change.  I hope it won't take another 10 years to  figure out who is getting the  unreturned deposits. 

In California, these non refunded deposits are being used to fund millions of dollars worth of infrastructure, recently 15 million for for multi family recycling.  These are real actions and not words. 

Lets report on projects by their merits, the zero waste movement is worldwide and thus some projects  are working better than others.  I think it is all about changing and enforcing the rules.

So Jerry, if you are not for zero waste, are you for 20% waste?

Rick Anthony
San Diego CA

- ----Original Message-----
From: Jerry Powell <jpowell@no.address>
To: greenyes@no.address
Sent: Mon, 20 Oct 2008 8:12 am
Subject: [GreenYes] Zero waste goals alone are not enough

Pat Franklin's recent posting both compliments and condemns the Oregon Bottle Bill Task Force for its recommendations.  As a Governor's appointee to that body, I suggest that Pat reconsider her criticism that the recommended 80 percent redemption rate in the Task Force's final report to the 2009 legislature doesn't represent zero waste for beverage containers.  Pat needs to do a little research before making such comments.
Too many zero waste advocates see a governmetally-adopted 100-percent no-waste goal as a major achievement.  In many cases, it is not.  I've seen way too many communities adopt such a zero waste goal, and then do absolutely nothing to try to acheive it.  Yet, in many of those communties, zero-waste advocates claim victory, when in fact, they are getting snookered.  Goals without programs are merely words.
In Oregon, we aim to raise the mandated redemption rate in steps towards zero beverage waste.  The plan is to attain the 80 percent goal, then raise it to 90 percent and require that this level be attained.  We'll then move it higher again.  That is a politically viable way of not getting snookered and to realistically attain zero waste.  In other words, we have a well-defined strategy to attain the goal, and not just have the goal by itself. 
I'd also encourage folks to read the Task Force's final report in which the beverage industry and grocers have agreed to fully fumd and manage the recovery system, at no cost to the consumer or taxpayer.  In other words, true product stewardship.  
Jerry Powell
Resource Recycling

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