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[GreenYes] Media Release: Success at the Earth Summit Global Forum, 70-80% waste reduction
	  Success at the World Summit on Sustainable Development:
           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 average

Contact: Muna Lakhani, Earthlife Africa, Johannesburg, (mobile) +27-834-
Ann Leonard, GAIA, USA, (office) +1-510-524-4000,
Gary Liss, Consultant, USA, (office) +1-916-652-7850,

For Immediate Release

Johannesburg, South Africa, Sept. 11, 2002 -- 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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