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[GreenYes] SF Zero Waste Resolution gives leg up over NYC Olympic bid
September 30, 2002


New York, NY - Monday's historic vote by 
the San Francisco Board of Supervisors 
adopting a zero waste goal presents a 
stark contrast with New York City, 
according to the GrassRoots Recycling 
Network (GRRN).  San Francisco is 
competing with New York City to be named 
the official United States entry for the 
2012 Summer Games.

"New York City is embroiled in a 1980's 
debate over how to handle its waste.  
Meanwhile, San Francisco is diverting 
almost half of its waste and now has 
committed to continue on to zero waste," 
said Bill Sheehan, GRRN's executive 
director.  "New York is cutting back its 
meager recycling program while San 
Francisco has implemented residential and 
business food scraps collection and is 
passing producer responsibility 
resolutions that address the root problem 
of waste."

Environmental considerations have become 
increasingly important in recent years in 
determining the site of Olympic games.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors 
voted Monday to set an aggressive goal of 
diverting 75 percent of the City's 
discards by 2010, and to establish the 
timeline for achieving zero waste as soon 
as the City reaches a 50 percent diversion 
rate. San Francisco currently recycles 
about 49 percent of its waste according to 
staff, and will reach the 50 percent mark 
later this year or next year.

"Zero Waste was once an idealistic dream 
but it is now a realistic goal and a model 
for our communities," said Sheehan. "Not 
every community wants to cast itself in San 
Francisco's mold, but for communities 
intent on protecting their environment, 
saving taxpayer dollars, and promoting a 
robust local economy, San Francisco's 
Zero Waste resolution advances a strategy 
suitable for everyone," continued Sheehan.

GRRN is a North American network of 
recycling professionals and waste 
reduction activists promoting a 
sustainable and equitable economy through 
the principle of Zero Waste. Zero Waste 
changes the way resources and materials 
flow through our society, closing-off 
waste disposal in landfills and 
incinerators and focusing instead to 
design out waste and ensure discards can 
be cycled safely back into the environment 
or the economy.

"San Francisco is the first major U.S. 
city to make a strong commitment to a goal 
of Zero Waste.  They continue building on 
their leadership in the areas of 
environmental protection and resource 
management," said Gary Liss, a Zero Waste 
advisor to GRRN. "San Francisco should not 
be alone, however.  There are dozens of 
cities and communities across the country 
that could follow this bold path and 
embrace the Zero Waste strategy. GRRN is 
ready to help, with the tools and 
expertise necessary to go beyond 
recycling," continued Liss.

Zero Waste is gaining momentum around the 
world and at every level of government, 
from Del Norte County, California, to the 
state of Wisconsin, to the country of New 
Zealand - in each place, Zero Waste has 
been established as a vision to guide 
long-range planning. Examples of Zero 
Waste plans and extensive background 
materials are available on-line at   

Contact: Bill Sheehan (GA) 706-613-7121
         Gary Liss (CA) 916-652-7850


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