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Fwd: NEWS RELEASE - Zero Waste & Green Jobs Challenge
- Subject: Fwd: NEWS RELEASE - Zero Waste & Green Jobs Challenge
- From: Gary Liss <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Tue, 20 Jan 2009 00:30:56 -0800
- Cc: Gary Liss <email@example.com>
- Delivered-to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Delivered-to: email@example.com
- List-name: p2tech
- Reply-to: Gary Liss <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Apologies for Cross-postings
Date: Tue, 20 Jan 2009 00:09:42
Subject: [GreenYes] NEWS RELEASE - Zero Waste & Green Jobs
From: Ann Schneider <email@example.com>
The Sierra Club National Zero Waste Committee has developed a proposal to
stimulate the economy by enacting a surcharge for waste disposed of in
landfills or incinerators. The funds collected from taxing 'bads'
can be used to move the country towards EPR and reuse, recycling and
Two documents have been prepared to help grassroots activists understand
this proposal. One is designed for changes to be implemented at the
federal level. The second document is designed for state
Both documents will be available soon on our website. Please
forward this email (or the identical but more clearly formatted
attachment) to your contacts working on zero waste and climate change
Thanks and Happy Inauguration Day!!!!
Sierra Club National Zero Waste Committee
Sierra Club Zero Waste
For Immediate Release: January 20,
Sierra Club Zero Waste Committee Recommends
Zero Waste and Green Jobs Challenge
As a Recommendation for Federal Economic Stimulus
SAN FRANCISCO, CA (January 16, 2009) - The Sierra Club national Zero
Waste Committee today released an innovative recommendation for the
Federal Economic Stimulus Package. The Committee urges the Federal
government to issue a Zero Waste Challenge for communities and
businesses to adopt a Zero Waste plan, and undertake specific projects to
reach waste reduction goals. The proposal includes a ?Green Jobs
Surcharge on Waste Disposal? as a funding mechanism and economic
stimulus for Zero Waste.
?This Sierra Club Zero Waste and Green Jobs Proposal recognizes Zero
Waste as one of the fastest and most cost effective ways that local
governments can contribute to reducing climate change,? said Ann
Schneider, a leader of the Club?s Zero Waste Committee. ?A shift from
traditional waste practices to Zero Waste can also be a significant
economic stimulus to recharge the American economy. Recycling
materials can create ten times the number of jobs as land filling those
Zero Waste focuses on reducing waste and reusing products, then recycling
and composting the rest. A key component of Zero Waste is Extended
Producer Responsibility (EPR).
?Many European nations have adopted significant fees on landfills of
$20-40/ton to fund recycling programs and reduce greenhouse gases?, said
Schneider. ?This proposal recommends that the Federal government adopt a
national $20-40/ton Green Jobs Waste Surcharge on landfills and
incinerators to help fund Zero Waste programs and contribute a new
revenue source that would actually help meet the nation?s Climate Change
goals at the same time. This is often referred to as a ?sin? tax,
much like taxes on cigarettes and alcohol, where the government taxes
?bads? to discourage their use at the same time as generating needed
?The Green Jobs Surcharge will facilitate the shift to producer
responsibility-led, cradle to cradle recycling,? said Bill Sheehan,
Vice-Chair of the Zero Waste Committee. ?That will create a lot
more jobs in reuse, refurbishment, recycling and composting than in
sending those same materials to landfills and incinerators.?
?A surcharge of this amount could generate up to $6.5 billion per year,?
said Gary Liss, a member of the Club?s Zero Waste Committee. ?The
Sierra Club Zero Waste Committee proposes half of the revenue from the
Zero Waste Fee would cover one-time costs of the US Treasury or as the
local or state government match for federal economic stimulus
projects. The other half of the revenues would be used to support
communities and businesses in developing comprehensive Zero Waste
For more information visit
. Contact Ann Schneider at 650-697-6249,
Ann.Schneider@sierraclub.org; or Gary Liss at 916-652-7850,
Resolution Adopted by Sierra Club Zero Waste
Green Jobs Waste Surcharge: an Economic Stimulus for Zero Waste
Many local governments and businesses around the world are recognizing
Zero Waste as one of the fastest and most cost effective ways that
they can contribute to reducing climate change. The shift from
traditional waste practices to Zero Waste can also be part of a broader
package of economic stimulus mechanisms to recharge the American
The USEPA acknowledges the link between municipal
waste practices and climate change[i] and communities that have adopted a
Zero Waste challenge[ii] are leaders in reducing their contribution to
climate change. Similarly, businesses that have adopted a Zero Waste
challenge[iii] and divert more than 90% of their waste from landfills and
incineration have not only achieved environmental benefits but also saved
money, reduced their liabilities, and increased their
Sierra Club members can help more communities and
businesses throughout the United States realize similar benefits and help
restore the American economy by asking the USEPA to expand its Resource
Conservation Challenge[v] to include a Zero Waste Challenge.
The new Challenge, issued to both
communities and businesses, could be funded with a Green Jobs Waste
Surcharge that would act as part of the new administration?s economic
stimulus package to build a sustainable economy.
What would the USEPA Zero Waste Challenge do?
For communities, the national Zero Waste Challenge would set a higher bar
for waste reduction. The support of the USEPA and the many publications
and practical tools on its website would provide a national clearing
house to help communities that are ready to aim beyond their current
state recycling goals and just need some encouragement to move in that
For businesses, the USEPA can include information
about Zero Waste Businesses[vi] as part of its Waste Wise
program.[vii] Waste Wise Partners can be encouraged to report waste
diversion rates from landfills and incinerators and highlight how they
are meeting the goals through Zero Waste Business Principles[viii].
USEPA and the new Administration could launch this new Zero Waste
Challenge by encouraging communities and businesses to take the Challenge
by Earth Day 2009.
Funding the Zero Waste Challenge
To link the USEPA Zero Waste Challenge to other important Federal climate
change and economic initiatives, the Administration could recommend a
national Green Jobs Waste Surcharge as part of its economic
stimulus package to build a Green Jobs economy.
In effect, the Green Jobs Surcharge would tax ?bads? rather than goods.
By raising the cost of wasting, the surcharge would not only create a new
pool of funds that could be directed to worthwhile economic activity, but
also provide a direct economic incentive to prevent waste.
Many European nations have adopted significant fees on landfills of
$20-40/ton to fund recycling programs and reduce greenhouse gases.
Closer to home, in San Jose, California, the combined fees and taxes on
landfilling are over $19/ton and that city has one of the highest waste
diversion rates in the country.
USEPA could adopt a national $20-40/ton Green Jobs Waste Fee on
landfills and incinerators that would be structured as follows:
The Fee would be levied on all municipal solid wastes and construction
and demolition debris disposed of in landfills and incinerators. For the
169 million tons landfilled or incinerated in 2007[ix], this would
generate $3.4 to $6.5 billion per year initially.
The Fee would credit all local fees charged already. This would
level the playing field, and not encourage wastes to be transferred from
one state to another. For example, in San Jose if the federal government
enacted a $30/ton fee, San Jose landfills would be levied at $30/ton (ZW
Fee) - $19/ton (local fees) = $11/ton paid to the federal
3. Half of the revenue
from the Zero Waste Fee would cover one-time costs of the US Treasury or
as the local or state government match for federal economic stimulus
projects, structured as follows:
4. The other
half of the revenues from the Fee would support communities and
businesses in developing comprehensive Zero Waste programs,
- a. The amount of
funds allocated could be proportional to the percentage of materials used
in construction projects under the economic stimulus package made of
reused, recycled or composted materials.
- b. Because these
funds will decrease over time as the amount of wastes decreases to
landfills, they should be used only for these one-time expenses.
- a. Policy:
support for the development of Zero Waste resolutions, policies,
incentives, plans and ordinances that facilitate the shift from landfills
and incinerators at public expense to Extended Producer Responsibility
(EPR) and local Green Jobs;
- b. Technical
assistance, education and training: certification and training
programs, peer matching and consulting assistance, community based social
marketing, and engagement of colleges and universities to develop
curricula and classes, compile and analyze data and train students to
enter the Zero Waste field.
- c. Start up costs:
planning, engineering, permitting, siting, land acquisition,
equipment and construction for the capitalization of local Zero Waste
businesses that create local jobs while reducing climate change,
- i. Reuse and
- ii. Recycling
- iii. Composting
- iv. Resource Recovery
- v. Anaerobic
- vi. Market
development activities for reuse, recycling and composting such as
support for planning for and implementation of recycled content
legislation for discarded products.
[ii] Including: Los Angeles; Seattle; San Francisco;
San Jose; Austin, TX; Telluride, CO; Logan County OH and Central Vermont
Waste Management District
[iii] Including: Toyota; Hewlett Packard; Pillsbury;
Xerox; Ricoh Electronics; Fetzer Vineyard; Mad River Brewing Company;
Scoma?s Restaurant (San Francisco) and 2800 businesses in Japan.
[iv] As documented at
[vi] As documented at
, page 2.
Gary Liss & Associates
Zero Waste and Green Jobs Challenge Economic Stimulus Proposal.doc
Description: MS-Word document