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Rant: Who took the P2 out of Resource Conservation?




The RFIP (described and linked below), "Resource Conservation Challenge (RCC) Grants Program (FY06" has three priorities to be funded at the national level; none of which include source reduction; all have a heavy emphasis  on recycling.  The closest language to P2 is in the first priority in section 1B: "(1) Reduce the generation and disposal of the following materials and waste streams through reuse, recycling, composting, market development or product stewardship:"

Where in the description of how, i.e., " through reuse, recycling, composting, market development or product stewardship" does the prevention component (the reduced source generation) exist?  Only through reuse, I guess.  And not at all in priorities #2 & #3. As such, I don't see how the solicitation encourages proposals that address the "Reduce Waste Generation" portion of the EPA Strategic Plan Goal 3 Objective 3.1 Sub-objective 3.1.1 or the "Prevent Pollution" element of  Goal 5 Objective 5.2 Sub-objective 5.2.2

I wonder who will be reviewing the proposals?  I now assume that it will be a panel comprised of  individuals who favor recycling.

With only $250,000 available at the national level, I would expect two, maybe three, projects. With the priorities described, it seems evident to me that P2 is pretty well taking a back seat to recycling. To the old geezers on this list - remember when there was a time we used to debate what is or is not P2?  I'm not saying that was a good thing, but I feel the pendulum has swung too far the other way.

 Is this important enough for NPPR or some other group representing P2 specialists to draft & send a letter?  

I guess I wouldn't mind so much, but for this:
1)  I was first introduced to P2 while working in the RCRA program back in '91 - P2 has decent regulatory roots in RCRA that seem to me to be abandoned with the stated priorities.,
2)  If RCC wants to do recycling, that's fine, it's their money.  But they should call it that, and not try to describe it as a reduction in the generation of waste.  It's not.  It's handling the waste generated.  
3) The national public still holds a prevalent belief that when they recycle they are doing the best they can do for the environment.  If EPA won't continue to reach for the elegant solution of source reduction, why should the public?  I don't think sustainability can be reached by recycling alone.

Just a thought.

rick



Resource Conservation Challenge (RCC) Grants Program (FY06)

   Eligible Applicants

   State governments
   City or township governments
   Private institutions of higher education
   County governments
   Individuals
   Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized)
   Special district governments
   Public and State controlled institutions of higher education

   Description

   This notice announces the availability of funds and solicits
proposals from eligible entities that address solid waste reduction,
recycling and management, and priority chemical reduction. The aim of
this solicitation is to stimulate innovative ideas for waste reduction
and recycling with the goal of fostering positive change.

http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/osw/conserve/resources/06-04.pdf


Richard Yoder, PE
Director, P2ric.org
University of Nebraska at Omaha
6001 Dodge Street, RH308
Omaha, NE 68182
vox: 402-554-6257
fax: 402-554-6260

http://www.p2ric.org/
 

P2RIC, the Pollution Prevention
Regional Information Center, is
a proud member of the Pollution Prevention
Resource Exchange, P2Rx.org.