WRAP UP - WHAT'S NEXT?
Recycling As A Whole System: Who's In the Driver's
Collectors are in the driver's seat. We collect locally
and divert globally . . . Users are in the driver's seat . . . planners
. . . the legislature . . . China and India . . . consumers . .
. all of us . . . NIMBYs . . . people controlling the money in local
governments - politicians, economics, budgets . . . manufacturers
. . . resources, power, water, utilities . . . voters . . . environmental
organizations . . . Europe . . . energy . . . trade associations
. . . the forest fiber in Russia . . . haulers and MRFs . . .
Proposals for Moving Forward
Need more public education.
Use RMDZs to develop local global markets.
Tweak diversion legislation to add value considerations.
Rank MRFs for quality (how much of their production is truly recycled,
what's the quality of their materials?).
Rank cities for the quality of their programs (how much of their
program's materials are truly recycled, how good is the quality?).
Give California manufacturers the first right of refusal on materials
Use the LEED green building model for evaluating the higher and/or
best uses for different types of materials, create a LEED-type system
to evaluate diversion.
Track where recovered materials go.
Get data back from manufacturers on how much inappropriate waste
is coming to them. (The mill representatives in the group made a
commitment to do that.)
Define "diversion" vs. "recycling." They are not the same. Clarify.
Look at the cost/benefit of the compaction ratio in single stream
programs. Develop a workable balance between mill needs and MRF
Develop Best Practices for technology, contracting, more.
There is a bill in the California legislature to exempt the purchase
of manufacturing equipment from sales tax. Does that apply to recycling
Preserve flexibility in technology choices. WeĠre dealing with
rapidly changing markets.
Focus on the quality of the recycling stream.
Focus on the quality of recycling practices.
Research and develop new technology.
Train municipal coordinators to understand the recycling process,
not just fill out papers.
Eliminate virgin materials subsidies, look for appropriate incentives
and subsidies for recycled materials.
Create a forum for ongoing collaboration in envisioning and guiding
whole-system development of the recycling system. California recyclers
had not had before today the kind of dialogue we had here, hadn't
met people from some of the other recycling sectors before. It would
be a shame to stop now.
In the next forum, discuss the real-life implications of government
policies. Stimulate more discussion about ideas, whether others
have done them, what was the outcome.
Those running the state RMDZ program have tried to create that
kind of discussion about Recycling Market Development Zones. They
hold quarterly meetings, kind of like a "Ôroad show," in different
California cities with interesting developments relevant to the
RMDZ program. Maybe we could connect with that? Also, trade groups
have regional meetings. We should explore whether more of this whole-system
discussion can be encouraged at those.
NEPSI (National Electronics Product Stewardship Initiative) might
be a model to look at for bringing together more discussions with
multiple sectors that have different agendas yet need to build a
How can we communicate today's dialogue about the limitations of
AB 939 to the legislature? There has been a lot of very constructive
dialogue about it today.
Will Conservatree continue to take responsibility for putting together
opportunities for further discussions?
Keep an open mind on emerging technologies that may be thought
of as "diversion" but aren't, such as some conversion technologies.
At the same time, some emerging technologies might be positive and
we should be alert to exploiting them.
Manufacturers need to come up with positive proposals to deal with
the problems, not just say, "We should go back to how it used to
be." (Recommended by a representative of a manufacturer)
We need to share solutions that are low-tech, not only high-tech.
For example, less compaction might be an important difference to
explore. Let's not just expect we have to spend a lot of money on
Let's create a steering committee to keep moving this forward.
Conservatree was asked to be the facilitator and agreed. Several
Roundtable participants volunteered to join in.
Overwhemingly the group agreed -
Great Start! Let's Keep These Discussions Going!