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[GreenYes] Media Release/Earth Summit: 700 Trained to reduce waste at Summit
From: Earthlife Africa & Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives

700 Trained to Drastically Reduce Waste at Earth Summit
New Zero Waste manual distributed to volunteers, caterers, cleaning staff


Contact:Muna Lakhani, Earthlife Africa, Johannesburg, (mobile)
	  Monica Wilson, GAIA, USA, (office) +1-510-524-4000 x104
	  Gary Liss, USA, (office) +1-916-652-7850

Johannesburg, South Africa, 24 August 2002 – By Monday, 26 August, a team of
Zero Waste experts will have trained 700 volunteers, cleaning staff,
caterers, venue management team, and others to reduce and prevent waste at
the Civil Society Global Forum, part of the Earth Summit. These trainings
are part of the final stages of a months-long effort to help Summit
organizers make the events as close to Zero Waste as possible.

The Civil Society Global Forum started on August 19 and runs through
September 4, 2002. The Global Forum will be the largest component of the
World Summit on Sustainable Development, also called the Earth Summit;
30,000 delegates are expected to attend the Global Forum daily at the height
of activities. The Global Forum is located at the Johannesburg Expo Centre

Zero Waste refers to a range of policies and practices designed to achieve a
sustainable use of materials and the minimum of waste discarded. Zero Waste
is consistent with the recent Stockholm Convention's goal towards
elimination of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), including incinerator
by-products dioxin and furans. Zero Waste systems will reduce the
environmental impact of the WSSD itself, set the highest standards for
future events, and demonstrate the viability of Zero Waste to thousands of
international visitors.  Zero Waste also holds great potential for
livelihood generation and poverty alleviation as reuse, recycling, and
composting produce far more jobs than wasting.

An extensive Zero Waste manual was produced for the trainings which details
purchasing policies and recommendations for food services, maintenance
services, and other support services. The manual (available at addresses packaging materials, minimizing toxicity of
cleaning supplies, appropriate food and beverage utensils, water and energy
conservation, and other issues.

 “The volunteers will be stationed at recycling stations to assist in the
process of educating Earth Summit Global Forum attendees to make informed
decisions about the waste they create and the potential of recycling,” said
Muna Lakhani, coordinator of the Zero Waste Earth Summit team for Earthlife
Africa in Johannesburg.

The Zero Waste project is supporting small businesses and communities in and
around Johannesburg. At least 90 jobs were created for the unemployed on the
Global Forum site, in addition to carryover employment created in local
recycling businesses. The recycling centers with bins for different discard
streams are already placed strategically around the meeting areas. When
full, the bins will be picked up with specially designed bicycles, taken to
sorting areas and the recyclables distributed by a locally-owned service to
local recycling companies. Left-over food items will be distributed to the
poor and hungry. Kitchen waste will go to a local Sowetan pig farmer.

Earthlife Africa is a volunteer driven South African organization that has
been active on environmental and social issues since 1988. GAIA is an
international alliance working on waste reduction, with over 265 members in
more than 55 countries. For more information please see

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