Resource Recycling
March 15, 2001


By Kivi Leroux

The GrassRoots Recycling Network (GRRN) has identified eleven policies
and actions that it believes are required to achieve zero waste. You
can expect to find these policies on the agendas of zero waste
advocates nationwide over the next several years:

#1 Manufacturer Responsibility. Manufacturers and producers must share
responsibility for recovering their products and ensuring that they
are recycled and not wasted.

#2 Minimum-Content Standards. Manufacturers need to help "close the
loop" by using the materials collected in local recycling programs to
manufacture new products.

#3 Consumer Deposit Programs. Deposit programs on materials such as
beverage containers, tires and batteries are effective strategies to
promote reuse and recycling.

#4 Unit-Pricing for Trash. Residents and businesses need to be given
the incentive to reduce waste and recycle through variable garbage

#5 Full-Cost Accounting and Life-Cycle Analysis. The benefits of waste
prevention and recycling should include a full accounting of the costs
of resource depletion, remediation, and environmental degradation
caused by the continued reliance on virgin materials and wasting.

#6 End Subsidies for the Extraction of Virgin Resources. Subsidies for
the resource extraction industries should be eliminated.

#7 End Cheap Waste Disposal. Landfills and incinerators must be
subject to strong environmental standards and must account for the
true long- term cost of waste disposal.

#8 Invest in Jobs Through Reuse and Recycling. Waste prevention and
recycling provides tremendous opportunity to create jobs and initiate
new business ventures.

#9 Tax Shifting. Instead of giving incentives for wasting, tax credits
and economic incentives should promote waste reduction and the use of
recovered materials.

#10 Campaign Finance Reform. Much of the resistance to changing
resource policies comes from industries that profit from wasting.

#11 Take Consumer Action against Wasteful Corporations. The public
must put pressure directly on corporations that profit from waste.

Source: GRRN web site

Copyright 2001, Kivi Leroux