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[GreenYes] Re: with $400 million, I think we could get darn close to ZW!

Hi Alan ~

I hear what you are saying, but I don't think that this process leads either to lots of delays nor "assumptions piled upon assumptions" any more that what we already are doing. Jeff Morris of Sound Resource Management has done such studies (see, for example, his April 2001 newsletter at, and the Wisconsin Governor's Task Force on Materials Recovery and Disposal economics and institutions workgroup is doing such an analysis for glass. While not perfect (what is?), these do provide what I see as some very interesting and useful information.

And, under our current system, we essentially allow no-cost-to-the polluter pollution up to established limits. I think that it would be much better to attach a cost (such as a green tax) to all discharges and make the polluter pay.

I think that we need to avail ourselves of new ways of addressing issues and I think that this method has some very useful attributes.


-----Original Message-----
From: Alan Muller [mailto:amuller@no.address]
Sent: Friday, June 30, 2006 1:04 PM
To: Reindl, John; Greenyes List
Subject: Re: [GreenYes] Re: with $400 million, I think we could get darn close to ZW!

At 11:38 AM 6/30/2006 -0500, Reindl, John wrote:

Hi Alan ~

Yes, I would say that, for example, transporting glass 1,000 miles for glass-to-glass recycling may result in the use of more energy and the emission of more pollutants to the atmosphere than alternative methods of handling that material.

I recommend that we do analyses of what the environmental impacts are of our decisions. I also recommend using an environmental valuation process to help us combine the range of impacts (a pound of arsenic or mercury to the air has a larger impact than a ton of carbon dioxide; environmental valuation can help show the different sizes of these impacts).

Europe has used these methodologies to set green taxes. I suggest that we also explore this approach.


I agree that there is something to be said for this. But I see problems also: (1) Demands for this sort of analysis could be used to obstruct the development of "zero waste" programs by calling for all sorts of complex evaluations, and (2) this sort of assessment usually involves assumptions piled on top of assumptions. The results often seems more sensitive to the assumptions than to the basic data itself.

I am influenced by the mischief that has been done by industry-driven "risk assessment" in environmental decision-making.


Alan Muller, Executive Director
Green Delaware
Box 69
Port Penn, DE 19731 USA
fax (302)836-3005
greendel@no.address <>

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