Saturday, February 9, 2008

Californians against Waste

Welcome to the Home of Californians Against Waste!

Hot Issues

We want to thank all of our friends and stakeholders for your continued support for California's environment and for Californians Against Waste.

Among our priorities in 2008:

Reduce the proliferation of plastic litter and waste in the environment through new state and local policies on takeout food packaging, including restrictions on PVC and Polystyrene.
Expanding California's e-waste policy to reduce toxics and increase opportunities and incentives for recycling.

California's ambitious effort to combat climate change and reduce GHG emissions will require that we substantially reduce waste beyond our existing goals. But if we are to be successful, we need to shift from the 'back end' focus and burden on local governments, to proven 'front end' producer responsibility strategies aimed at source reduction and market development, as well as recycling. And as always, we welcome your advice and assistance in identifying problems that need our attention and solutions that need to be brought to the attention of policy makers. Please do not hesitate to call or e-mail me any time.It's an ambitious agenda, but with your help I'm confident we can be successful. Please help us fulfill this agenda by going here now!
AMERICANS WILL THROW OUT more than 12 million tons of electronic equipment next year according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Washington, D.C., estimates. Without programs to recycle this electronic waste (e-waste), the old computers, televisions, cell phones, and other devices made of plastic, metal, glass and toxic chemicals will begin to choke the nation's landfills.

To prevent this problem, the EPA has conducted several electronics recycling (e-cycling) pilot programs in conjunction with local governments and retailers. The lessons learned from these pilots can aid in establishing permanent e-cycling programs nationwide.
The first EPA pilot tested the effectiveness of curbside collection and drop-off e-waste locations in Mid-Atlantic states between Oct. 1, 2001, and Dec. 30, 2002. Pilot participants included the EPA's Philadelphia office; environmental agencies from several states and the District of Columbia; local solid waste departments; electronics manufacturers; electronic recycling companies; and private waste management companies.

The participants shared the e-cycling program's $1.9 million price tag, with the largest share — $1.4 million — falling on state environmental agencies and local governments. “This was the first time we came up with a system of shared financial responsibilities to pay for, collect and deliver recyclable electronics,” says Claudette Reed, a scientist in the waste and chemicals management division of the EPA's Philadelphia office.

By sharing the burden of managing e-cycling programs, the EPA hopes the cost of hosting such programs will be viewed as reasonable by all groups involved.

According to the pilot's final report, the undertaking also yielded five lessons. First, aggressive advertising is critical to the success of an e-cycling program. In the pilot, local governments targeted advertisements at residents using television, newspapers, Web sites, flyers, posters and utility bill stuffers. During the 15-month pilot, the Delaware Solid Waste Authority alone spent $40,000 on advertising.

The pilot also taught the EPA that residents are generally willing to pay small end-of-life fees in the range of $2 to $5 to help pay for e-cycling.

The EPA also learned that permanent collection programs are more cost-effective than single-day collection events.

Additionally, a pilot program can serve as a catalyst for local governments to create permanent e-cycling programs. For example, the success of the pilot led officials in Lebanon County, Pa., to establish a permanent curbside electronics collection program. In Frederick County, Va., a successful drop-off event has led to plans for a series of e-cycling events.
Finally, the pilot confirmed that a high volume of residential and small-business electronic devices is available for collection and recycling.

Another EPA pilot begun in the Pacific Northwest now is operating nationally, thanks to Del Ray Beach, Fla.-based Office Depot and Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) based in Palo Alto, Calif. In this pilot, Office Depot agreed to take back old electronics through its national store network. HP then joined the program to see how it might contribute to current company recycling efforts, which break down old products for reuse.

While results have not yet been reported for this pilot, Katharine Osdoba, product stewardship team leader for the EPA, notes two points of interest. To date, recyclers have not found ways to make e-cycling profitable. If manufacturers can receive the materials directly and reuse them to manufacture new products, the economics may work better, she says. The EPA also is hoping that manufacturers interested in recycled electronic materials will begin working on green product designs to reduce toxic materials and make recycling easier.

In a third pilot, the EPA is exploring whether retailers are practical collection points for e-cycling. The EPA, office product retailer Staples, based in Framingham, Mass., and the nonprofit Product Stewardship Institute operated the program. In this pilot, consumers returned used electronics to Staples, which transported the materials to central warehouses for pickup by recyclers. “Finding ways to move materials to a point where recyclers can pick [them] up in bulk has been a problem,” Osdoba says. “We're waiting for data on the pilot to see whether this approach might work.”

In the meantime, California and Maine have decided not to wait for pilot results and passed legislation governing e-waste. The California legislation mirrors existing state legislation for recycling tires, batteries and other difficult-to-recycle products. In California, consumers purchasing electronics products will pay recycling fees to retailers at the point of purchase. The fees will go to state environmental regulatory agencies, which in turn fund recycling programs and enforcement.

Maine's legislation takes a different tack. It will begin as a traditional state-funded recycling program. However, within a few years, the program will be funded by manufacturers instead of the state. “This is consistent with programs in Europe and Japan,” says Kevin McCarthy, vice president of government affairs with Houston-based Waste Management Inc.

Today, the search for e-waste solutions is just a few years old. It began when the EPA formed the National Electronics Product Stewardship Initiative (NEPSI) in 2001. Members include electronics manufacturers, retailers, recyclers, and state and local governments.
NEPSI aims to develop ways to collect, reuse and recycle used electronics, and to suggest incentives to stimulate source-reduction, reuse, recycle, reduce toxicity and increase recycled content in product design. Additionally, the organization has attempted to discuss financing mechanisms for e-cycling, but this has been a contentious issue.

Nevertheless, NEPSI discussions and pilot programs similar to those conducted by the EPA are characteristic of the development of national regulatory programs, Osdoba says. As groups and pilot programs define options, states will draw on that information to develop legislation. After several states have weighed-in on the issue, the federal government likely will develop national legislation defining minimum e-cycling standards, using the most sensible state programs as a benchmark. With federal legislation in place, states then will be able to enforce or raise the minimum standards to suit their needs, she says.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Green

LEED Exploded in Popularity, Major Cities Dropped the Green Hammer on Private Developers, and CBRE is Going Carbon Neutral. Which One was Most Influential?

Find Out Who Took the Top Spot.

It was a good year to be Equity Office Properties, a better year to be Blackstone. It was not a good year to be Countrywide Home Loans. Grubb & Ellis, Archstone-Smith and Hilton Hotels are all under new ownership. But long after the conversations of cheap debt, credit crunches and private equity are played out, 2007 is likely to be remembered by just one word: green. "It's now on the lips of little-bitty babies coming from their mothers' womb," comedian Whoopi Goldberg told TIME in nominating the word "green" for its Person of the Year.

"It's being used by people who never thought about it before in their lives." The rise of green, a fringe issue until this year, is now being felt across the industry. Developers like Hines and ProLogis are going green from the ground up, while trade groups like BOMA, CoreNet and ICSC are preaching it to the top firms on down. Architects are designing it, property managers are applying it, brokerages are advocating it. And tenants and investors are buying into it, thanks to new eco-friendly corporate agendas, bloated energy costs, local lawmakers and looming federal regulation. Corporations are demonstrating they're willing to pay a premium to work in sustainable office space, while the federal government -- by far the nation's largest tenant and property owner -- has mandated sustainability across much of its real estate portfolio.

The volume of green real estate is expected to quintuple by 2010 to comprise 10 percent of the U.S. building stock, according to a conservative study by McGraw Hill Construction. "Green building is fundamentally altering real estate market dynamics ... The upshot will be a redefinition of what constitutes Class A properties and even institutional-quality real estate," said a November study on sustainable real estate investing by RREEF, one of the nation's largest property investors. "Property owners will need to adapt quickly -- or risk the consequences of sharply shrinking demand for property that, over time, becomes increasingly obsolete."

CoStar News explored the year that was in green real estate and found a few favorites. Here are our Top 10 picks for 2007's most influential green events.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Toll Road in South Orange County

TRESTLES: JUDGEMENT DAY?
Surfrider assesses Governor Schwarzenegger's announced support of toll road

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By: Kyle Moreno
January 17, 2008

California surfers have to be feeling a little anxious. In a six-day swell of beach-threatening decisions, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger unveiled plans to close forty-eight state parks, and then turned his gun on Trestles. The Governator issued a letter Tuesday urging the California Coastal Commision to approve the 241-toll road extension, which, if completed, would run through San Onofre State Park.

So, with just two weeks to go before the Coastal Commission's next critical hearing, we had to know where the recent news left the effort to save our world-class break. Surfline sat down with Surfrider's Executive Director Jim Moriarty to assess the new terrain.

SURFLINE: FIRST OF ALL, HOW SURPRISING WAS GOVERNOR SCHWARZENEGGER'S ANNOUNCEMENT IN SUPPORT OF THE 241 TOLL ROAD EXTENSION?JIM MORIARTY: It wasn't so much surprising as it was disappointing. We all expect our elected officials to be protecting our public resources, not destroying them. I find it somewhat ironic that the leading Republican in the state is literally dismantling the legacy of two of his party's most revered icons: Richard M. Nixon and Ronald Reagan, who both played significant roles in establishing San Onofre State Beach Park.

AFTER THE DECISION, THE GOVERNOR REALEASED A STATEMENT SAYING HE "CONCLUDED THAT THIS PROJECT IS ESSENTIAL TO PROTECT OUR ENVIRONMENT AND THE QUALITY OF LIFE FOR EVERYONE IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA."One of the downsides to the recent surge in interest in the environment is that advertisers, companies and politicians have chosen to turn it into hyperbole. In this case it's total, 100% folly. I mean really, how exactly does the Governor plan on "protecting a state park" by endorsing a project that would result in the loss of 60% of it? We're talking about putting a road directly through the fifth most visited park in the state. We're talking about putting a road directly through a watershed habitat that is home to no less than 11 federally endangered and threatened species. I challenge him and anyone to name a single paved road, anywhere on the globe, that did not lead to pollution?

THE TRANSPORTATION CORRIDOR AGENCY (TCA) HAS OFFERED TO GIVE CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS A MONETARY INCENTIVE IF THE ROAD IS BUILT. WHAT DOES THAT OFFER ENTAIL?In October of last year, the TCA made the California State Parks Department a mitigation offer of $100 million dollars ostensibly to make state park improvements elsewhere. The California State Parks Department turned the offer down cold. Why? Simple. Because our state parks are not for sale! Can you imagine the precedent this would set? 100 million dollars for the 5th most visited park in the state? What's next - are we going to start selling off sections of Richardson Grove Redwoods or Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve?

This isn't a campaign; preserving the areas we love is our lifestyle.
Surfrider's Executive Director Jim Moriarty

WHAT ROLE MIGHT CALIFORNIA'S BUDGET CRISIS BE PLAYING IN ALL OF THIS?At this point it's hard to say for sure. But in light of the Governor's recent proposal to close 48 state parks and beaches, approve the early release of inmates from state correctional facilities, and raise DMV fees, it sure appears that the Governor is now seeking to sacrifice California's public lands for political objective.

HOW MUCH WEIGHT, REALISTICALLY, DOES THE GOVERNOR'S SUPPORT CARRY IN THE FINAL DECISION?Certainly I don't think there's any way you can marginalize anything the Governor says or does. However, I would encourage people to ask themselves why: ...if the California Coastal Commission's own staff are recommending against the project ...if the cities of Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Santa Cruz, Malibu, San Luis Obispo, Ventura, Santa Monica, Aliso Viejo, Laguna Beach, Del Mar, Solana Beach, Imperial Beach, and Oceanside have all adopted resolutions in support of our state parks and against this project ...if the California State Attorney General's office has filed a lawsuit against the TCA to stop this project ...if, in poll after poll, the majority of residents from around the state and in Orange County indicate that they do not want this project running through a state park--why is the Governor in favor of it?

DOES THE NEWS AFFECT THE DYNAMIC/APPROACH HEADING INTO NEXT MONTH'S PERMIT-DECIDING HEARING? Our strategy hasn't changed because the facts haven't changed. And the fact is that this road will result in irreparable damage to the environment and compromise San Onofre State Beach Park. We are confident that if the California Coastal Commission remains impartial and makes their decision solely based on the facts and research that has been presented to them, they will agree with their staff's own findings and rule that this project is inconsistent with the laws set forth in the California Coastal Act.

AND THE NEXT STEP FOR SURFRIDER IS...Constant pressure, endlessly applied. This isn't a campaign; preserving the areas we love is our lifestyle. To use a surfing analogy, if the Save Trestles campaign were being compared to the WCT, then the upcoming CCC hearing would be the Teahupoo and Tavarua event rolled into one - meaning it's a big milestone. Whoever comes out on top here will have a bit of momentum, but at the end of the day it's still a long road to Hawaii. There are still a lot of permit hearings to go through, etc. Surfrider Foundation is in this to the end, and will be asking people to plug in variously along the way.

WHAT ARE SOME WAYS OUR READERS CAN HELP?Obviously our immediate need is to get as many people as we can down to Oceanside on February 6th for the Coastal Commission hearing. It is critical that we make a demonstrative show of opposition, to remind both the Commission members and our elected officials that we are steadfast in our resolve to keep this project out of our state park.Another simple and effective way to support this campaign (as well as our other efforts) is to join Surfrider Foundation as a member. The whole reason that our organization is heard is because we have over 50,000 voices behind us. And each time someone joins Surfrider as a member, our organization just gets that much louder.For more details on the February 6th California Coast

St Louis

In an effort to encourage electronics recycling in St. Louis, local governments, community organizations and businesses in the city have launched “E-cycle St. Louis,” an initiative designed to develop ways to manage e-waste. According to an article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the program, which is the first of its kind in the city, urges residents to recycle their electronic equipment at 10 sites throughout the city. Residents can bring obsolete items such as cell phones and computer monitors to the sites. In addition to the collection sites, educational materials and a Web site have been created to promote the program.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Green Gadgets

GREEN GADGET GURUS GATHER

Don Willmott , Forecast Earth Correspondent

There's nothing like a room full of smart people to get tough problems solved faster. On Friday, February 1, hundreds of green thinkers will assemble in New York at the Greener Gadgets Conference to hash out issues of design, resource consumption, and recycling. Representatives from big electronics manufacturers such as Nokia, Sony, and Hewlett-Packard will be on hand to explain—and perhaps defend—their e-initiatives, and a mix of scientists, marketers, and designers will all weigh in with their thoughts. It should be fascinating.

Note that the keynote speaker will be Chris Jordan, a noted photographer who has gained fame for his astonishing large-scale images of mountains of e-waste, everything from cell phones to shipping containers. Click through his slide show, and you'll be humbled. As he puts it, "The pervasiveness of our consumerism holds a seductive kind of mob mentality. Collectively we are committing a vast and unsustainable act of taking, but we each are anonymous and no one is in charge or accountable for the consequences. I fear that in this process we are doing irreparable harm to our planet and to our individual spirits. As an American consumer myself, I am in no position to finger wag; but I do know that when we reflect on a difficult question in the absence of an answer, our attention can turn inward, and in that space may exist the possibility of some evolution of thought or action. So my hope is that these photographs can serve as portals to a kind of cultural self-inquiry. It may not be the most comfortable terrain, but I have heard it said that in risking self-awareness, at least we know that we are awake." Wow.

Also on hand at the conference will be ReCellluar, who will be standing by to collect old cell phones for recycling. Visit their site for a quick ZIP Code-based way to search for a cell phone donation/recycling site near you. After looking at Jordan's photos, you'll definitely be motivated to clear out that junk drawer.

San Onofre Surf Spot

The fight to protect Trestles is coming to a head, and on Wednesday, February 6th, 9am, you can stand up and let your voice be heard.

That’s when the California Coastal Commission will convene at the Del Mar Fair Grounds (Wyland Hall, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd. Del Mar, CA 92014) for a crucial vote to save the world-class break, and surfers from around California will be showing up en-masse to show support.

Read up on the latest in a recent interview with Surfirder’s Executive Director Jim Moriarty, link over to actionnetwork.org to sign a toll road petition, and stay tuned to the Save Trestles Blog for details and updates as they are made available.In an effort to raise some cash for the cause, Nicholas Pujdak has offered up copies of an Acrylic painting for an auction. Check it out at nativeshores.com.

And the OC Register has an online poll and an article about the Toll Road and alternatives. Read more atOCregister.com.

Retailers

Attntion Retailers!

Effective July 1, 2007,

Sales of New or Refurbished

Portable DVD Players with
Liquid Crystal Displays
(measuring more than four inches diagonally)

Are Subject to theElectronic Waste Recycling (Ewaste) Fee

To register and report theEwaste feeor for more information,please contact us at
www.boe.ca.gov/sptaxprog/ewaste.htm or call the Environmental FeesWaste Reduction Section at 916-341-6906 State Board of Equalization , www.boe.ca.gov

Monday, February 4, 2008

Teachers teaching Green

Hundreds of profs in many disciplines hold green 'teach-in' to encourage environmental actionCollege campuses: Hundreds of professors hold “green” teach-in

By JULIA SILVERMAN Associated Press WriterFriday, February 1, 2008


PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Global warming issues took over lecture halls in colleges across the country Thursday, with more than 1,500 universities participating in what was billed as the nation's largest-ever "teach-in."

Organizers said the goal of the event, dubbed "Focus the Nation," was to move past preaching to the green choir, to reach a captive audience of students in many fields who might not otherwise tune in to climate change issues.

Faculty members from a wide spectrum of disciplines — from chemistry to costume design — agreed to incorporate climate change issues into their lectures on Thursday. Community colleges and some high schools also took part.

"It's about infusing sustainability into the curriculum of higher education, so students can graduate prepared to deal with the world they have been handed," said Lindsey Clark, 23, who organized events at the University of Utah.

The day's activities were the brainchild of Eban Goodstein, an economics professor at Lewis & Clark College in Portland who authored a widely used collegiate textbook on economics and the environment. Major funding came from Nike, Clif Bar and Stonyfield Farms, among other companies and foundations.

Goodstein, who has spent years training people to speak on climate change, said he issued a call to arms to fellow professors across the country a few years ago, as his certainty grew that time was running out to address global warming.

Some participating professors said the climate change issue already had been woven into their syllabus, in areas as disparate as philosophy and urban planning.

"For my students, three years ago, it felt like I was shoving this down people's throats. Now it feels mainstream," said Jane Nichols, who teaches interior design at Western Carolina University. "Students don't want their future clients to know more than they do."
Nichols said global warming is relevant to interior design because a designer's choice of materials has environmental implications. Bamboo floors and furnishings, for example, are more environmentally sustainable than old-growth wood, she said.

Other schools held panel discussions with political luminaries, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, who participated via video satellite at the University of Nevada's campuses in Las Vegas and Reno.

A few schools took the concept beyond the classroom. At Lewis & Clark, student actors portrayed presidential candidates for a mock debate on climate change issues, with the Hillary Rodham Clinton character stressing the need for "green collar" workers and the John McCain figure echoing the candidate's calls for a cap-and-trade system to regulate carbon emissions.
Glendale Community College in Arizona and the University of Kentucky have been serving "low carbon" meals all week. Organizers at New York's Fordham University put up a mock wind farm to show people that "solutions are close at hand," said philosophy professor Jude Jones.
Western Carolina University hosted a recycled fashion show. And at the University of California at San Diego, a student dressed as a polar bear sat in a mock electric chair to illustrate how climate change could erase the species' habitat.

Goodstein said the event comes at a crossroads for those involved in the climate change movement: There's less debate over whether global warming is happening, but many people have the sense that it's too late to change course.

"If you go back to 1960, most Americans felt that segregation was wrong, but they were fatalistic about it," Goodstein said. "But now, 40 years later, Barack Obama is a serious contender for the presidency. And 40 years from now, when our young people have finished the job of rewiring the planet, they will look back and say that 2008 was the year Americans woke up."

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