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[GreenYes] [Zero Waste-San Diego] Zero-Waste Workshop media coverage

Apologies for Cross-Postings

>To: zerowaste_sd@no.address
>From: RicAnthony@no.address
>Date: Fri, 25 May 2007 17:22:13 EDT
>Subject: [Zero Waste-San Diego] Zero-Waste Workshop not just trash talking
><>Peninsula Beacon News
>Zero-Waste Workshop not just trash talking
>by Sebastian Ruiz
>May 24, 2007
>A Native-American saying goes: "We don't inherit the Earth from our
>ancestors, we borrow it from our children."
>In that spirit, Peninsula residents and neighboring communities
>gathered at Point Loma Nazarene University on Saturday, May 19,
>during an innovative Zero-Waste Workshop.
>The event was created to explore and discuss methods of preservation
>and conservation. The workshop featured guests speakers City
>Attorney Mike Aguirre and local author and ecological designer Jim
>Bell, among others.
>Aguirre spoke to environmentally conscious community members as they
>exchanged ideas about recycling and related political and economic
>issues for a cleaner, healthier San Diego.
>In a classroom-style lecture, Aguirre suggested an amendment to the
>city charter that would include language translating community
>members' desire for more environmentally friendly programs such as
>increasing opportunities for recycling.
>"It's not just recycling what we need to do is think of it in terms
>of some kind of mandate," he said. "The people of San Diego have
>issued a mandate that we have to pay attention to our environment."
>Aguirre charged those in attendance with finding the appropriate
>language to bring about change in curbing pollution and waste.
>"We can do all the talking we want, and you can go to all the
>council committees you want, but I promise you that unless you
>fundamentally change the charter it's not going to change," he said.
>Aguirre said he filed three charter proposals with the city clerk on
>Wednesday, May 16. The proposals include a Neighborhood Bill of
>Rights, which he said would allow more community participation in
>city government. This would be done by expanding the responsibility
>of community planning boards to provide input not only on planning
>issues but also on city budget issues and the delivery of public
>services, he said.
>Along with the Neighborhood Bill of Rights proposal, Aguirre's other
>charter ideas include adding an elected city auditor for greater
>fiscal accountability and a proposal that would give subpoena power
>for the city attorney, he said.
>Bell, a former San Diego mayoral candidate, said he agrees with the
>idea of adding a neighborhood bill of rights to the charter. A
>change like the one proposed by Aguirre would, in effect, be putting
>politicians "on notice" by providing a way for the general public to
>have more say, he said.
>"It's democratic," Bell said. "It's what the U.S. Constitution is
>based on: the Bill of Rights." Bell said he has dedicated the better
>part of the last decade to making San Diego a cleaner and more
>ecological city. According to his Web site, Bell ran for mayor of
>San Diego in 1996 and 2000. He also made a bid for City Council
>District 2 in 2002.
>Although he's never been elected, Bell's ideas about the environment
>have begun to get noticed by local residents like Mignon Scherer,
>who openly nominated Bell for mayor during the Zero-Waste Workshop.
>Bell lectured on the concept of true-cost pricing, which hinges on
>the idea that the true cost of products that damage the environment
>and human health aren't reflected in prices, he said. Subsequently,
>the public ends up subsidizing that cost through health-care costs,
>public waste disposal and other services paid for by taxpayers, he said.
>True-cost pricing is a principle that asks the question: What would
>be the price of a particular product or service if all costs were included?
>According to Bell's free book, found at, the true
>cost of a product in terms of medical, environmental and other
>external costs associated with production are calculated and tacked
>on to the end-use price.
>The theory allows for market forces and entrepreneurship to balance
>the production of costly goods with goods made through cleaner,
>healthier and cheaper methods. "If it's done with a little
>intelligence it will be much better for the economy," he said. "We
>end up doing things without thinking them through and then say, "Oh
>now we got to clean up the groundwater supply" or "Now we can't eat fish.
>Bell said that some computer companies have begun to pick up on
>ecologically based principles and go so far as to take their product
>back after use, to be recycled or reused, he said.
>Along with speakers, the Zero-Waste Workshop provided resources on
>implementing zero-waste programs in Ocean Beach to improve the
>environment, stimulate the economy and create jobs.
>Zero Waste San Diego started in 2005 and is the local chapter of
>California Resource Recovery Association, said Zero Waste Chair
>Laura Antony. Zero Waste San Diego advocates for consumer awareness
>and producer responsibility, she said. A third component involves
>petitioning the government to create more opportunities for
>recycling, Anthony said. For more information visit

Gary Liss
Fax: 916-652-0485
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