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Coalition to Oppose Attacks on Recycling In America


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 13, 2001
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Contact: Peter Anderson
608-231-1100
anderson@recycleworlds.org

Environmentalists oppose
Waste Management Inc.
attempt to repeal key recycling law in Illinois


PEORIA, Illinois - Eleven leading national, state and local recycling and environmental organizations today opposed a proposal by Waste Management Inc. that is before the Peoria County Board tonight.

"The Coalition to Oppose Attacks on Recycling in America is countering the waste company's attempt to amend the current Illinois law banning the disposal of yard trimmings so that the trash company can increase the volume of organic matter going to the Peoria landfill," said Friends of the Earth's Erich Pica.

Such a reversal would "undermine one of the most important elements of America's recycling efforts," according to Allen Hershkowitz of the Natural Resources Defense Council.

"The proposal has the appearance of being an opening thrust for a frontal assault on one of the more successful pillars of America's recycling policy," according to Bill Sheehan of the Grassroots Recycling Network, which organized the coalition. "Illinois' yard waste ban has been a huge success in reducing the need for additional landfills and promoting successful composting of yard trimmings," according to Jack Darin, director of the Sierra Club's Illinois Chapter

"Bans on disposal of yard trimmings in landfills have made it possible to essentially double the overall diversion rate and are absolutely vital to achieving America's recycling goals, which is why 21 other states have also enacted laws banning disposal of yard trimmings," noted Neil Seldman from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. "Repealing those bans would undermine the American composting industry," said Jim McNelly from the U.S. Composting Council.

For all of those reasons, the Coalition believes that the proposal would dramatically undermine the Nation's recycling and composting efforts, and be a threat to the environment, concluded Eric Lombardi from Eco-Cycle, Michael Garfield from Ecology Center and Susan Hubbard from the St. Paul Neighborhood Center, who run the nation's leading non-profit recycling operations.

In a letter to the Peoria County Board, which is considering WMI's request on December 13th, the organizations urged the Board to reject the proposal, reported Luan Railsback and David Pittman, representatives of the local groups, Peoria Environmental Action and the Peoria Area Green Party.

A technical discussion of the issue is posted at www.grrn.org/landfill/yardtrimmings/
For more information from the participating organizations, contact:

National Organizations
Coalition Coordinator, Peter Anderson 608-231-1100 anderson@recycleworlds.org
Grassroots Recycling Network, Athens GA (Bill Sheehan, 706-613-7121)
Natural Resources Defense Council (Allen Hershkowitz, 212-727-4455)
Sierra Club Illinois Chapter (Jack Darin, 312-251-1680)
Friends of the Earth (Erich Picay, 202-783-7400 ext. 229)
U.S. Composting Council (Jim McNelly, 320-492-5076)
Institute for Local Self-Reliance (Neil Seldman, 202-232-4108)

Local Organizations

Peoria Area Green Party, Peoria IL (David Pittman, 309-673-6438)
Waukesha County Environmental Action League, WI (Charlene Lemoine, 262-574-7568)
Peoria Environmental Action (Luan Railsback, 309-685-2866)
Eco-Cycle, Boulder CO (Eric Lombardi, 303-444-6634)
Ecology Center, Ann Arbor MI (Michael Garfield, 734-761-3599)
St. Paul Neighborhood Coalition, St. Paul MN (Susan Hubbard, 651-221-4462)


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