Posted on behalf of Joy Towles Ezell, submitted to recycling.goal@dep.state.fl.us
__________________________________________________ _______________

Make Florida's Recycling Goal Zero Waste

December 2, 2008
Tallahassee, Florida

As the Florida Department of Environmental Protection holds a public meeting today on the state's new goal of recycling 75% of all waste by 2020 (which is a small step in the right direction as it would be about triple the amount that's being recycled now statewide) four groups in Florida come forward to say that goal is inadequate for Florida’s needs today and in the future.

Today, we urge Florida to adopt Zero Waste as an essential strategy in a comprehensive energy plan, to cut green house gas emissions, for a better future for all Floridians. In 1988, Florida set a goal for counties of 30 percent recycling but no statewide goal was set. DEP has been directed to develop a program for achieving a new goal and for the Legislature to consider it by Jan. 1, 2010.

As thousands of government officials, civil society advocates and other participants gather in Poznan, Poland to negotiate a new climate change treaty, a global alliance of public interest groups press for decisive steps to cut green house gas (GHG) emissions from dirty waste disposal practices.

Groups united within the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA), and four local groups, Floridians Against Incinerators In Disguise, the Florida League of Conservation Voters, the Environmental Alliance of North Florida, and HOPE (Help Our Polluted Environment) are urging governments to adopt Zero Waste as an essential strategy to spur dramatic reduction in GHG from landfills and incinerators.

The four local groups are participating with the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives in observance of the Global Day of Action against Waste and Incineration, and oppose the biomass and plasma arc proposals being considered in Tallahassee, Gainesville, St. Lucie County, and other Florida communities. These local groups remind DEP that energy efficiencies, conservation, and solar have not yet even begun to be adequately utilized in Florida.

“We join the global push for ‘Zero Waste for Zero Warming’ to shift from costly and GHG-producing waste disposal to a climate friendly program that will also stimulate green investment, infrastructure and livelihoods to benefit the economy and society,” stated Joy Towles Ezell, of Floridians Against Incinerators In Disguise, and President of the Florida League of Conservation Voters.

“Governments are neglecting the cheapest and quickest way to reduce GHG emissions: Zero Waste,” Neil Tangri, GAIA waste and climate campaigner, said. “In the US, a national reduce-reuse-recycle program would cut emissions as much as taking half the country’s cars off the road,” he pointed out.

Zero Waste, the groups explained, aims to reduce to zero the volume and toxicity of materials being disposed to landfills and incinerators by creating a closed-loop economy where all discards are reused, repaired, recycled or composted.

Zero waste would implement clean production, extended producer responsibility and other policies to redesign goods that cannot be safely reused, recycled or composted. Zero Waste, they add, will put a lid to the wasting and warming cycle that requires new resources to be pulled out of the earth, processed in factories, shipped around the world, and burned or buried in our communities – a process that leaves a trail of GHGs and other toxic health and environmental pollutants.

As part of the yearly Global Day of Action against Waste and Incineration, at least 165 groups from 39 countries seeking environmental, climate and economic justice write to their government negotiators asking them to incorporate Zero Waste into their deliberations and plans at the Poznan climate talks.

In a statement of concern on waste and climate change, GAIA, in addition to urging governments to adopt Zero Waste, also recommend that mitigation funds to be used in the waste sector should support Zero Waste projects.

According to GAIA, incinerators, landfills, and other "waste-to-energy" projects which undermine Zero Waste should be ineligible for mitigation funds, offset credits and other forms of climate-related financing and subsidies.

“We urge Florida policy makers to pursue and adopt Zero Waste as an essential strategy to spur dramatic reduction in GHG from landfills and incinerators and to spur the creation of a closed-loop economy where all discards are reused, repaired, recycled or composted,” said Ezell.

The full text of said GAIA statement can be downloaded at:
http://no-burn.org/cc

-end-

Media Contacts:

In Tallahassee, FL: Joy Towles Ezell, hopeforcleanwater@yahoo.com,
850 843 1574
and
Susie Caplowe susiecaplowe@comcast.net, 850 567 2448

In Berkeley, California, Dave Ciplet, dave (at) no-burn.org,
+(510)883-9490 ext. 102
In Poznan, Poland: Neil Tangri, ntangri (at) no-burn.org, +33.6898.53985
In Europe : JM Simon, jm.simon (at)no-burn.org, +32 486832576
In Manila , Philippines : Gigie Cruz, gcruz(at)no-burn.org, +632-4364733
In Buenos Aires, Argentina: Cecilia Allen, callen(at)no-burn.org,
+5411-45426429