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[GreenYes] Re: Most important recycling legislation in 135 years!! Congress Votes on General Mining Act of 1872

Title: Re: [GreenYes] Re: Most important recycling legislation in 135 years!!  Congress Votes on General Mining Act of 1872

Your points on CA’s alternative daily cover are well taken. The paradigm has always been waste disposal first, recycling second. That is changing, though. I can see the day coming when recycling is king and disposal facilities are basically just places to put stuff we haven’t figured out how to recycle or reduce yet. Zero waste comes next, possibly. We’re in the middle of a paradigm shift. With the hind sight of history paradigms seem quick, but in reality they often take half a century.

More to the point though, Robin’s interest and concern about a mining act that should have been dealt with back in the 1970s when all the other major environmental acts came into being is far more important, at least as I see it, than landfill issues. Mining waste is often highly toxic. And mining, timber and agricultural waste represent something like 94% of the solid waste we generate as a society. They’re never paid attention to because they happen out there in the wilderness at the beginning of the pipeline not the end. Were mining, timber and agricultural economics more rationalized, recycling and waste reduction would be far more cost effective.

I’d like to say have patience, but I personally don’t either. Robin’s point is extremely, extremely important though and we should watch carefully how congress handles things.



David Biddle, Executive Director
Greater Philadelphia Commercial Recycling Council
P.O. Box 4037
Philadelphia, PA 19118

215-247-3090 (desk)
215-432-8225 (cell)


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on 10/3/07 3:55 PM, Dan Knapp at dr.ore@no.address wrote:

Hello Mr/Ms Ingrethron:

What business does retroworks do that would lead you to say landfills  
don't compete with recycling, and that they may even be recyclers'  
clients under some scenario that you envision?

I am in the reuse and recycling business and used to be in the  
composting business, and throughout my long career in the materials  
recovery industry I have gone to work everyday knowing that my  
business is competing with area landfills in all the ways that matter  
to customers:  convenience, cost, products, and service quality.

The service, of course, is the service of disposal.  We recyclers  
compete with landfills for the supply of discards.  We also compete  
for disposal service fees.  This competition is woven into all of our  
everyday activities, especially pricing.  You would deny this?

I've tried to imagine a scenario in which a landfill could be a  
client of "recyclers," and the only one I can envision is the one now  
playing throughout California where it's OK for "recyclers" to  
deliberately manufacture extremely contaminated Alternative Daily  
Cover out of otherwise refined and separated resource streams, then  
bury it in the landfill and claim its tonnage as recycling credit for  
purposes of complying with the state's goal of 50% "diversion" goal.   
This is an obviously corrupt and fraudulent practice, but as of right  
now it is perfectly legal.  I guess the market is now such that dirty  
mrf companies that make ADC are selling it, but I suppose even giving  
it away might qualify as setting up a "client" relationship with a  

Is continuing the ADC loophole  what you are advocating in your  
"client" scenario?

I say:  let's "close the loop" allright, and while we're at it let's  
close the loopholes that let fraudulent forms of recycling  
proliferate and pollute.

Dan Knapp
Urban Ore, Inc.
A Berkeley reuse and recycling business since 1980.

On Oct 3, 2007, at 8:25 AM, retroworks wrote:

> I have often said landfills are not recycling's competitors.  They are
> potential clients.  Whether we collect, waste paper, scrap computers,
> steel cans, iron, or glass, we sell in competition against virgin
> materials, period.   In the USA, the price of mining and forestry has
> been defined by two pieces of legislation - Superfund (which is
> enforced against secondary smelters but not against mines) and the GMA
> of 1872.
> The General Mining Act was signed by Ulysess Grant during the Apache
> Indian Wars to spur development of federal lands in the west.  It
> offers mining and timber companies a lease of $5 per acre.  All the
> minerals and royalties belong to the mining company, the mine tailings
> and waste remain the property of the taxpayer.  The $5 remains the
> price today.
> Finally our friends at and others have gotten
> movement on the issue, and Congress will be debating this raw material
> subsidy this week.
> See USA Today Article from Monday Oct 1
> Robin Ingenthron
> >

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