1 - OPENING
It is a pleasure
to be here today, and to have this opportunity to discuss some of
the waste management issues facing California, and in particular
to share with you how the emerging concepts of zero-waste and product
stewardship – concepts contained in the Board’s Strategic
Plan – may influence where we are heading.
SLIDE 2 – STRATEGIC
The Strategic Plan, adopted by the Board in 2001, is our road map to the future.
There are seven goals targeted in this plan. Today, the focus of my comments
will address two of those seven goals – highlighted in gold on the slide
in front of you. For example, goal 1 prioritizes Product Stewardship, as well
as a number of other resource management approaches; while goal #7, establishes
a vision for a Zero Waste California.
As you can see,
in addition to product stewardship and Zero Waste —there are
a number of other important goals in this plan that have been prioritized;
they include market development, public education, permitting & enforcement,
internal efficiency and effectiveness, and environmental justice.
As we continue to move on all of these fronts, our ultimate vision
is one of sustainability and the safe handling of California’s
As we continue
to lead efforts toward a sustainable California, it is important
to assess where we’ve been over the past decade, and celebrate
our accomplishments as a state, so we can better understand the challenges
SLIDE 3- ACHIEVEMENT,
PROGRESS AND PROMISE
Shortly after I became the Board’s chair in 1999, we sent a 10?year anniversary
report to the Legislature titled Achievement, Progress and Promise, in which
we outlined the commitment of local government, private industry, and the Board
in implementing the Integrated Waste Management Act and its pinnacle requirement:
reducing California’s disposal burden 50 percent in 2000.
were born out of the late 1980s perception of a landfill crisis.
California – like so many of its sister states across the nation
was running out of places to put its trash. Through the planning
and waste diversion efforts of local jurisdictions we have reached
48% diversion statewide, and as a result - California now has adequate
disposal capacity for at least the next 15 years.
SLIDE 4 – ECONOMIC
Looking ahead, it is evident that we have gained more than landfill capacity
through local government and business waste diversion accomplishments. It’s
clear that the real success of California’s Integrated Waste Management
Act is economic opportunity.
created a new materials management economy based on the conservation
and creative reutilization of its resources. This strategy is eclipsing
the disposal-based waste management system of the past. California’s
diversion and recycling industry is a $10 billion industry, consisting
of 5,300 establishments and employing 85,000 Californians. Waste
diversion has almost twice the economic impact of disposal per ton
of material. So, pursuing higher levels of waste diversion – or
striving for Zero Waste – will ultimately benefit California’s
SLIDE 5 – 2001
STRATEGIC PLAN (#1)
Now that the year 2000 has come and gone, the Board is looking at its next
set of priorities mentioned earlier in our Strategic Plan. What the 2001 Strategic
Plan does is set a number of policies in motion that have been guiding us toward
a sustainable California. It has provided us with our existing direction, and
is serving as the plan for the future—as we work together to ensure that
California’s resources are available for all future generations. We can
do this in partnership with California local governments, business and industry.
Let’s look at goal 1: To increase participation in resource conservation,
integrated waste management, waste prevention, and product stewardship, to
reduce waste, and create a sustainable infrastructure.
And secondly, the focus of much of my discussion today … goal 7,
SLIDE 6 – 2001
STRATEGIC PLAN (#7)
… which promotes a “Zero Waste California” where the public,
industry, and government strive to reduce, reuse, or recycle all municipal solid
waste materials back into nature or the marketplace—creating materials
for new markets—in a manner that protects human health and the environment
and honors the principles of the Integrated Waste Management Act.
SLIDE 7 – ZERO
WASTE IN CALIFORNIA
Last year, when I addressed the Solid Waste Association of North America at
their annual convention, one of my key points was the significance of our Zero
Waste philosophy, one that sets a tone, and a philosophy for the future and
most importantly utilizes our natural resources in the most efficient way possible.
Now, I know some
of you may think that the Zero Waste goal is improbable or impossible.
But let us look at what Zero Waste truly means, and how we can incorporate
it into our thinking in California as well as our neighboring states
represented here today.
Zero Waste maximizes recycling by ensuring that products are designed for reuse
and/or repair, and then recycled.
Zero Waste involves
utilizing the most effective processing and manufacturing practices
to efficiently conserve raw materials, including design for efficiency,
and consumer education; as well as…
to encourage source reduction on the front end, choosing durability
over disposability to maximize resource potential, and ensuring recycling
and the application of emerging technologies at the back end.
SLIDE 8 – ZERO
WASTE – A NEW VISION!
I believe our efforts are best spent, by making the connection between discards
and opportunity; as the Board’s CalMAX program illustrates “One
organization’s trash is another’s treasure.” Gone are the
days that we look at cradle-to-grave management of resources, its time to view
our consumption cycles as truly cradle-to-cradle.
This is a relatively
new view of our goals and objectives at the Board. The future success
of diversion programs throughout this State, and hopefully other
states as well, should be tied to resources and resource management,
not waste. In doing so, we appropriately set the stage for our move
toward Zero Waste.
SLIDE 9 – ZERO
So what are some strategies? We can, for example, increase our procurement
of recycled content products. Review existing and proposed laws and regulations
for barriers to Zero Waste… and remove those barriers when we find them.
And, continue to work with jurisdictions to ensure they meet and/or exceed
existing waste diversion mandates.
Finally, we need
to begin to educate the public about the principles of Zero Waste,
and the opportunities that are created in a Zero Waste strategy—one
that embodies resource and energy conservation and recovery.
SLIDE 10 – PROMOTE
This is where we can really use the cooperation of our creative business community:
We must work together with the leaders of industry, those that are modeling
Zero Waste principles for others… and helping to reduce our dependence
on landfills. We are very interested in partnering with those manufacturers
and distributors that both recognize and embrace the concepts of product stewardship
and Zero Waste.
SLIDE 11 – PRODUCT
Product stewardship generally refers to the involvement of all responsible
parties in the manufacturer and consumer chain, while playing a role in minimizing
negative environmental impacts. It means that those responsible for making,
distributing, using and managing products should participate in the management
of these resources. It requires that manufacturers consider the downstream
implications of their products.
And I would like
to add, this IS beginning to happen – it’s REALLY a matter
of momentum at this point.
Where product stewardship
presents new challenges to industry would be how it applies market
pressures to make products and packaging less “wasteful” at
the end of their useful lives, or reduces the use of materials and/or
toxic chemicals in their production.
SLIDE 12 – PRODUCT
The Board has a number of programs related to product stewardship. These include
the legislatively mandated minimum content and related programs for rigid plastic
packaging containers (RPPC), newsprint, and plastic trash bags, along with
the fee-based Tire Management and Used Oil Recycling programs.
SLIDE 13 – PRODUCT
STEWARDSHIP – E-WASTE
The Board also has devoted significant efforts in dealing with issues associated
with electronic waste (e-waste), particularly cathode ray tubes, through its
participation in the National Electronics Product Stewardship Initiative, also
known as NEPSI, and other activities. In November 2002, the Board and the Department
of Toxic Substances Control and Cal/EPA held a public workshop to discuss legislative
efforts on e-waste.
in this area has been intense, particularly by the European Union.
To this end, we are working closely with our sister agencies and
the Governor’s office to monitor the progress of several product
stewardship inspired pieces of legislation. For instance, Senate
Bill 20, which addresses e-waste; Senate Bill 511, which addresses
mercury-containing lamps; and Assembly Bill 455, which addresses
the removal of hazardous constituents from packaging materials.
SLIDE 14 – PRODUCT
STEWARDSHIP - AGREEMENTS
In the interim, the Board continues to participate in the Memorandum of Understanding
for Carpet Stewardship regarding carpet procurement and recycling, and the
National Stewardship Initiative Paint and Mercury working groups. The Board
also continues to discuss the comprehensive, shared responsibility solutions
presented by the Plastics White Paper.
SLIDE 15 - ASSISTANCE
TO LOCAL PARTNERS
At the Board, we recognize that the pursuit of these lofty goals will not be
easy, and that the road to a sustainable future will have bumps. We are especially
sensitive to the plight of our local partners, the local enforcement agencies
(LEAs) and municipal facility operators that are on the frontlines of new approaches
to resource management.
Our recent experience
with e-waste, and cathode ray tubes (CRTs) in particular, highlight
the challenges ahead. Issues such as who is responsible, and how
to pay for the management of materials that are no longer allowed
in landfills, still lingers. We know that illegal dumping of CRTs
is a real problem in many areas of the State, especially those without
ready access to few if any, recovery options.
A number of communities
have already begun to take action on e-waste – and this is
by no means all of the activities I’ve seen to date. For example:
Vacaville has started a free curbside pickup of CRTs in an effort
to decrease illegal dumping; Sacramento charges $15 per CRT at their
transfer station and landfill to cover their costs; Nevada County
recently held an Amnesty Day Collection Event funded by a grant from
the Board - they filled three 45-foot long bins in just 3 hours.
SLIDE 16 - E-WASTE
In addition, solid waste facilities throughout the State have begun increased
load checking to screen e-waste and other materials out of the waste stream.
There are also increased worker health and safety issues when it comes to identifying
and removing these materials from transfer station tipping floors and landfill
working faces. Solid waste facilities are also faced with the need for increased
storage space to manage the accumulation of these products as well as the increased
costs for recycling and processing.
The Board understands
that cities, counties and solid waste facilities need both regulatory
and financial support, to help handle hard-to-manage waste. Together,
local and state government are faced with finding ways to improve
the existing recycling infrastructure so that we can reduce our dependency
upon disposal options, especially in poor and rural areas of the
SLIDE 17 – COMMITMENT
Our commitment toward a sustainable environment is predicated upon the goals
that I touched upon today – those of product stewardship and Zero Waste.
Yet, the challenges that lie ahead are daunting, and simple solutions to tough
questions are elusive.
- Can we adequately
calculate and internalize the costs of building closed-loop systems
for all materials consumed in California?
- Can we simply
mandate—or even motivate—product manufacturers and
distributors of products to be responsible for end-of-life recovery
- Can we be open
to new approaches and support emerging technologies that hold promise
when it comes to resource conservation?
SLIDE 18 - CREATE
A SUSTAINABLE PLANET!
As the Board continues to move forward in implementing the goals of the Strategic
Plan—and serve as environmental stewards for California, it is time to
find solutions to these questions.
It is also time
to introduce new educational programs fostered upon the belief that
new and creative Zero Waste diversion programs are possible.
So join me today,
and give Zero Waste a chance. For those of you that have traveled
from other states, I would like to encourage you to become part of
this effort. In fact, that is why I am here today - this is the time
and the place to bring product stewardship and Zero Waste together—as
they serve to facilitate a shared vision of sustainability, not just
here in California – but in all states across the country.
With your support
now and in the future, I am confident that we will continue to travel
down the road to sustainability.
SLIDE 19 – COMMITMENT
So, let us not toss our future away. We should promote a design for the environment,
to increase educational outreach, and work to improve facility management.
We need to offer solutions that limit the use of raw materials, increase the
use of recycled content products, encourage product stewardship for all products,
expand sustainable landscape practices and introduce food residual collection
SLIDE 20 – CLOSE
This is how I believe we can move California toward a zero-waste future. Together,
we can preserve California’s resources, create a sustainable California,
and be proud of what we leave behind for all future generations.