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Fwd: Comments on Fairfax, CA (Marin County) Zero Waste Resolution
- Subject: Fwd: Comments on Fairfax, CA (Marin County) Zero Waste Resolution
- From: Gary Liss <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Tue, 13 Mar 2007 08:12:45 -0700
- Cc: Dan Knapp <email@example.com>, Gary Liss <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Delivered-to: email@example.com
- Delivered-to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- List-name: p2tech
- Reply-to: Gary Liss <email@example.com>
Dan Knapp asked me to forward these comments to this
listserve. I don't agree with all that is said below, but welcome
the dialog for us to sharpen our thinking on how we communicate about
Zero Waste for the future.
To: Gary Liss <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: Mary Lou Van Deventer <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 9 Mar 2007 16:58:58 -0800
Subject: Re: [CRRA] Fairfax, CA (Marin County) Passed Zero Waste
Resolution on 3-7-07
Respected colleagues -
Congratulations on another Zero Waste goal passed!
But many readers of the accompanying rhetoric will be confused, as we
were, by the either-or/one-best-option logic that is embedded in but not
argued out in the post's succeeding discussion. This is not the
first place that Zero Waste has been presented as an alternative
to and replacement for recycling. The either-or framing
is clear in ?recycling is not the solution to our long-term
problems.? [Our bolding.] This confusion first appeared years
ago, and it sets up an unnecessary conflict within the collection of
industries that we have and will become. It?s a PR
trainwreck. Maybe it was first devised by Karl Rove and has been
inserted into our discussions as disinformation. It is either an
unintentional framing glitch or sophistry to implant this change of mind
without clear argumentation.
Let the issue be joined, again.
There is no ?the? single, easy, magic-bullet solution to our complex
problems, and watch out for anybody who suggests any such
thing. There is only a complex of solutions, and all are
required for success.
Zero Waste is NOT EVEN A NEW IDEA. Rather, it is a
long-awaited _expression_ OF THE ORIGINAL 3-Rs HIERARCHY ? a
development of the first R in the structure that we have for thirty years
called ?Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.? It?s about time somebody
started working on it as a career; and although it?s late to the party,
it is still welcome, as it has been always.
But the latecomer may not rudely insult the first-comers - just take a
piece of pie and be friendly. We refer to facile thoughtless
slogans such as ?recycling is so last century? and ?recycling is so
end-of-pipe? and ?recycling can?t do it all by itself? and even
?recycling has failed.?
Let us all appreciate Recyling, the first urgent _expression_ of our
original Zero Waste dream from 1970, the past and future replacement for
wasting after Reducing and Reusing have done their work.
We have known for decades that our whole movement began by bending the
end of the resource-flow pipe and is now working upward. The
first development: we bent the pipe away from wasting for cans, bottles,
and paper to let the clean refined resources flow back into production
feedstock ports instead of into the landflll. So now that part
of the resource pipe has no end! We are still working on
bending the pipe for many other categories of discards.
And DON?T CALL THEM WASTE! Unless they get wasted.
This is not a mere catch-phrase, not ?just semantics.? Terms of the
trade are a critical conceptual framework that structures thinking, and
if recyclers don?t know it, the garbage industry and their trade
associations certainly do. They say so to each other on their
websites and in their explicit instructions to each other for how to use
terminology. Waste is precisely what resources are not!
Garbage really is manufactured from otherwise recyclable resources.
Surely you know this by now. Why suck up to the wasters by
accepting their framework, which undermines ours? Our industry is
bigger than theirs, and better, and is the future.
The wasting industry is the only one whose pipe has an end.
We worked up the pipe to Reuse. There?s still a lot of work to do
there, too, as Urban Ore knows well. WHEN we expand Reuse, its
market niche is to remove objects from the discard supply going to
Recycling. Nobody should whine. This market position is built
into the Reuse, Recycle part of the hierarchy. Recycling will still
be necessary for discarded resources that cannot be reused.
AT LAST we are working farther toward the beginning of the resource-flow
pipe to Reduce discards and asssure that they are nontoxic and
recyclable. We will protect the Earth?s wild places, virgin
resource supplies, air, land, and water by making manufacturers redesign
products to use recycled feedstocks; to use nontoxic feedstocks; and to
be repairable and recyclable. One METHOD of achieving these
objectives is to make manufacturers take responsibility for their
products at the end of their useful life. WHEN the products are
finally discarded, as they will be, THEY WILL STILL NEED RECYCLING, which
may require dismantling, sorting, sending to diverse markets, ALL THE
THINGS WE RECYCLERS DO.
NEXT we can look at mining and forestry practices. Those industries
waste so much of the Earth that their problems dwarf the post-consumer
flows. Some recyclers may think this work would get into another
field, but that?s just a question of where the joints are in THE ONE
GREAT BRANCHING RESOURCE PIPE.
Of course, all of the Reduce, Reuse, and Recycling industries have begun
this work of reducing the impacts of mining and forestry by starting at
the only end the resource pipe has ? the landfill ? and bending it back
into production intake ports. But the end of the pipe was only the
beginning of our work.
We mustn?t let ourselves be misdirected by letting anyone introduce any
either-or-ness into our long-cherished vision of resource circles.
THE UNIFIED RESOURCE THEORY WE HAVE ALL KNOWN SINCE EARTH DAY
Reducing + Reusing + Recycling = Zero Waste
Let?s move forward ? follow the Reducing path while developing the
Reusing and Recycling paths, especially the Recycling subset of
composting. Let?s be sure municipalities provide us with land for
growth, and with the ability to compete with wasting by collecting
variable service fees to underwrite our beneficial and beneficiating
replacements for mining technologies. Let?s be sure the
resource-based manufacturing regulations and discard-fee structures
encourage Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling. Wasting should always
be the most expensive disposal option.
There?s so much to do to keep bending the pipe!
Dan Knapp and
Mary Lou Van Deventer
PS - The modern Zero Waste Movement originated in Canberra, Australia, in
a government bureau that fashioned the first Zero Waste Goal for
Parliament to pass, which it did. They focused initially on
materials recovery, on providing space for businesses to dry up the flow
of resources to two local landfills, which were located, as they are
here, at the headwaters of two of the only creeks this extremely dry area
has. They built big resource recovery parks, including buildings
dedicated to reuse and other forms of recovery. They called them
?purpose-built resource recovery estates.? We are going to
Australia next month and may visit Canberra to see how they are
doing. If we do, we?ll keep you posted.
On Mar 8, 2007, at 11:06 AM, Gary Liss wrote:
From: "Bruce Baum"
Subject: Fairfax Passes ZW resolution
Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2007 10:00:09
Some positive news
from Fairfax??..Last night at the town council Fairfax became the first
Marin town to adopt a Zero Waste by 2020 Resolution (attached): Mayor
Larry Bragman introduced the resolution for approval. Vote was 4-1
For more information I can be reached at 707-459-5859
ZW Citizens Advisory Committee
Some quick points on ZW that were made last evening:
Zero Waste is a philosophy and a design
principle for the 21st Century. It includes 'recycling' but goes beyond
recycling by taking a 'whole system' approach to the vast flow of
resources and waste through human society.
Zero Waste maximizes recycling, minimizes waste, reduces consumption and
ensures that products are made to be reused, repaired or recycled back
into nature or the marketplace.
CIWMB adopted a goal of Zero Waste as one of it?s guiding
counties around the state have adopted ZW resolutions including model
programs in SF & Palo Alto Most municipalities in the Bay Area have
also adopted ZW resolutions and strategies. (Oakland recently passed
theirs). None in Marin!
- November, 2006 Marin County?s Solid waste
JPA passed a ZW resolution with a 2020 goal that Fairfax, a JPA member,
- ?Zero Waste, The Complement to Sustainability for Fairfax?,
was approved by the Planning Commission March 2006.
- Fairfax took leadership over 10
years ago --- when Fairfax adopted the first retail food polystyrene take
out regulations in Marin.
- Recycling was last century?s solution to
garbage while Marin?s numbers may be impressive, they are very
misleading, Recycling is not the solution to our long term
- ZW is about looking at the other end of
the pipe from recycling. Simply put source reduction, including producer
responsibility, reuse, recycling, and composting.
- Fairfax, took the leadership role in Marin County as first
municipality in Marin to adopt a ZW resolution.
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