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[GreenYes] success at wssd! please share!
            Success at the World Summit on Sustainable: 
           Zero Waste Project at the Summitís Global Forum
           Preliminary Figures show 70-80% Waste Reduction
    Zero Waste philosophy performs 300% to 400% better than WSSD 

Contact: Muna Lakhani, Earthlife Africa, Johannesburg, (mobile) +27-834-

Ann Leonard, GAIA, USA, (office) +1-510-524-4000,

One of the clear success stories of the recently ended World Summit 
on Sustainable Development is the Zero Waste project at the Global 
Forum in Johannesburg.  The Earthlife Africa (ELA) Zero Waste 
project, with support from the Global Alliance for Incinerator 
Alternatives (GAIA), far outperformed all the other summit venues with 
regard to minimisation and diversion of waste.  Although preliminary 
figures show a diversion of between 70% and 80% at the Global 
Forum, whatever the final figure, it will be far in excess of the total for 
the entire Summit - which is around the 25% mark.

"This not only dramatically shows the merits of Zero Waste as an 
organizing principle, it shows that NGO's are also capable and 
competent agents of delivering innovative environmental services" 
says Muna Lakhani project co-ordinator from ELA Johannesburg.  
"This innovative system has proven that, with comparatively minimal 
resources, but with a good plan and a dedicated team, large 
diversions of waste from landfills and incinerators can take place."

The Zero Waste project at the Global Forum began by attempting to 
design as much waste out of the system to start with, (particularly 
plastics, with a focus on PVC and polystyrene) and then put into place 
educational information systems; emission-free waste collection (on 
specially designed tricycles); and deployed an enthusiastic team of 
workers within the system.  Under normal conditions at Nasrec, the 
waste system that the Zero Waste team re-designed, would only have 
created about 6 jobs for the duration, and no permanent employment.  
Zero Waste systems create employment: the Zero Waste system at 
the Global Forum created 90 part time jobs, and will leave behind an 
ongoing local benefit of about 40 and support for 10 existing full time 
jobs.  All these jobs are for Black South Africans. Some attempts to 
design waste out of the system were not wholly successful, as water 
was still sold in PET (plastics) bottles, and lids and straws were still 
used, despite Coke's initial agreement not to use these products.  
Some Government departments and organisations "imported" 
unsustainable waste, mainly in the form of polystyrene containers. It is 
estimated that between 8% and 12% of the total waste stream was 
"imported", leading to a lower figure than would have been possible.

Reducing hazardous wastes is a vital part of Zero Waste Systems. 
The minimising of the use of toxic chemicals, by analysing the 
products normally used, and designing alternatives that are orders of 
magnitude less toxic, also contributed to the programís success.  

Already, many businesses, government departments (especially local 
government) and community groups have shown a keen interest in 
actively promoting the Zero Waste concept to reduce waste.  
Whatever success the World Summit may be overall, the Zero Waste 
projectís achievement of 70% to 80% waste reduction at the Earth 
Summitís Global Forum shines out like a beacon in the dark, and 
shows that truly sustainable development is possible.
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