United States
Environmental Protection
Office of Pollution Prevention
Washington, DC 20460
July 1990
&EPA Pollution
Special Issue:
Report on
Conference on
Pollution Prevention:
Clean Technologies
and Clean Products
pages 1-6
: . :
First U.S.
Conference on
Municipal Solid
Waste Management
to our
"The Key to a Systemic Approach"
F. Henry Habicht
Deputy Administrator, U.S. EPA
Last week I was at a panel discussion at a
university and the moderator asked each of us
to name the nation's Number One Environ-
mental Issue. Despite thepitfallsof singling out
any one issue, I came up with an answer that
seems to crystallize the many issues facing us.
Thatisthe problem of "compartmentalization."
Over the years, we have managed to subdivide
the environment into hermetically sealed envi-
ronmental programs, such as air, water, waste,
and so forth.
The same is true in engineering. In the early
days of environmental protection, we devel-
oped a discipline called environmental engi-
neering. Other engineers thought that pollu-
tion control and environmental quality were
entirely the domain of the environmental engi-
neer. Now we have come to the realization that
you can't design a plant and worry about pol-
lution controls later. Pollution prevention has
to be integrated into everything that we do.
At EPA, we view pollution prevention as no
less than a cultural change in the Agency and in
society at large. Pollution prevention is the key
to a systemic approach to environmental pro-
EPA is now looking at categories of threats
to the environment — threats posed by differ-
ent sectors of the economy — and looking at
them as a whole. We are relating these threats
to natural systems as well as to human health,
and we are developing integrated strategiesfor
protecting the environment.
continued on page 4
1200 Attend International Conference
An International Conference on Pollution
Prevention: Clean Technologies and Clean
Products was held in Washington, D.C. on June
10-13, 1990. Jointly sponsored by EPA and
IACT (the International Association for Clean
Technology), the conference offered some 200
presentations and was attended by over 1200
people. Conference organizers had billed the
eventasoneof the firstinternational forums for
exchange of information and networking on
pollution prevention. The conference was also
organized as a "clean conference" at which
every effort was made to minimize waste and
enhance recycling of paper products, name
tags, etc.
Keynote speakers included Hank Habicht,
EPA's Deputy Administrator (see above); Wil-
liam H. Parker IE, Deputy Assistant Secretary
of Defense (Environment); Barry Commoner,
Director of the Center for the Biology of Natural
Systems atCUNY; Kathryn Fuller, Presidentof
The Conservation Foundation and the World
Wildlife Fund; Dr. Mostafa Tolba, Executive
Director of the United Nations Environment
Programme; and Gerald Kotas, Director of the
continued on page 2
Printed on Recycled Paper

Pollution Prevention News - 2 		July 1990
from page 1
Pollution Prevention Division at EPA.
Conference attendees heard a strong mes-
sage of encouragement for pollution pre-
vention effortsboth underway and planned.
A number of speakers also underscored the
continuing need for clear and concise defi-
nitions and statements of strategy for pollu-
tion prevention.
"Not Just Another Tool"
As Kathryn Fuller remarked, pollution
prevention is not simply another tool in the
environmental "tool box." Instead, it must
be seen as one of the prime motivating
forces in environmental protection, and a
key factor in assuring economic efficiency,
improved productivity and competitive-
ness. In line with the international scope of
the conference, speakers discussed the glo-
bal nature of the issues at hand, the need for
clean technologies in Eastern Europe, and
policies of sustainable development in the
developing world.
One theme of the conference was the
need for action despite the existence of un-
certainty. John Atcheson of EPA's Pollution
Integration Branch noted, "our ability to
manipulate our environment has far out-
stripped our ability to understand the ef-
fects of that manipulation." Atcheson re-
ported on a recent meeting he had had with
several engineers,oneof whom complained
about the great costs being incurred by so-
ciety to deal with problems that still have
not been conclusively characterized. An-
other fellow said to the complainen "You're
an engineer. Let me ask you something. If
you were building a bridge — what would
you do if you couldn't characterize the
stresses accurately?" The engineer replied,
"No problem. I'd simply increase the mar-
gin of safety." Atcheson concluded: "If we
do that for a bridge, are we willing to do less
for the planet?"
Education is Key
Another major theme of the conference was
the need for environmental education and
cultural change in attitudes and behavior.
The role of schools and universities was
particularly underscored. William Carroll,
speaking for the World Federation of Engi-
neeringOrganizations(WFEO),an umbrella
group for engineering associations in 85
... Industry must go much further to
lower pollution levels in OECD coun-
tries. The EPA estimates four out of 10
Americans live in areas where the air is
often unhealthy to breath. Worldwide,
1 billion people face unacceptable air
A study by the United States Con-
gress Office of Technology Assessment
estimates 50/300 people in this country
and Canada die prematurely each year
because of aggravated respiratory or
cardiac problems linked to pollution..
Since the Valdez oil spill, there have
been over 10,000 oil spills in this country
alone — the latest, another major one,
barely three days ago. According to the
EPA, over 40 million Americans drink
water that contains high levels of lead.
Over 20 million pounds of toxic sub-
stance attack the environment each year
from U.S.-based industries.
In Eastern and central Europe where
millions of tons of sul fur dioxide, carbon
monoxide, industrial wastes have cre-
ated ecological war zones. Lead con-
tamination in Poland is regularly 10 times
higher than limits established by the
relative organization.
Infant mortality rates in Poland,
Hungary, and other central Eastern Eu-
ropean countries are too high and
climbing. Life expectancy rates are
dropping. One in 17 Hungarians dies
each year because of pollution-induced
diseases. In heavily industrialized
northern Czechoslovakia, average life
spans appear to be 15 years less than the
countries, referred to the Code of Environ-
mental Ethics for Engineers adopted by
WFEO in 1985 and noted that UNESCO is
working to develop an Oath of Practice for
environmental engineers, similar to the
medical profession.
In closing the conference, Jerry Kotas
noted that it appears relatively easier to
change technologies than to change institu-
tional and personal behavior. To date, what
has been lacking are the networks and insti-
tutions needed to carry technical and eco-
nomic information to other sectors. Kotas
said that a hopeful sign was the emergence
national average. There is an urgent
need for pollution-intensive industries
in central Europe and Eastern Europe
to be retrofitted with clean technolo-
gies from the West.
... There is an obvious urgent need
for clean technologies to move to de-
veloping countries already embarking
or heading towards industrialization.
There is an urgent need to accelerate
economic development in the global
south to address strictly poverty and
chronic resource degradation. Devel-
oping countries on the eve of industri-
alization must not be saddled with
pollution-intensive twilight production
technologies. They must have access to
new energy efficient, clean technolo-
gies. And they must be provided with
additional financial resources enabling
them to afford these clean technolo-
—Dr. Mostafa K. Tolba
Executive Director, United Nations
Environment Programme
of a number of groups and networking
efforts, including the American Institute for
Pollution Prevention and EPA's Pollution
Prevention InformationClearinghouse, that
will help broaden the message to a larger
International Newsletter
Cleaner Production is the new quarterly
newsletter of the UNEP/IEO network.
First issue: April 1990. For more in-
formation, contact: Donald Huisingh,
Editor, Penning 5,52353TDLeiderdorp,
The Netherlands.

3 - Pollution Prevention News
Rubbermaid Recycled Plasties
Recycled plastics are among the fastest-growing markets
in the plastics industry today, responding to a massive
increaseinconsumerdemandforplasticsthatcontain recycled
material. Two years ago, Rubbermaid began to explore the
use of recycled plastic resins in manufacturing many of our
standard products.
Rubbermaid has now extensively tested plastics recycled
from many of the most common post-consumer sources
including high-density polyethylene milk jugs and soda
bottle basecaps, and polystyrene food packaging foam. We
have begun to use these materials in large-scale commercial
production. For example, a number of our sidewalk refuse
containers are now made wi th up to 25 percent recycled milk
jugs. We plan to soon introduce some of our desktop acces-
sories made routinely with 10 to 25 percent recycled poly-
styrene packaging foam. Several other products at present
can be made with recycled plastics by special order.
Rubbermaid products made with recycled plastics meet the
same quality standards as those made with all-virgin plas-
tics, and we plan to expand these applications.
The cost of the best quality recycled materials today is
essentially identical to that of virgin materials. Our use of
recycled plastics is limited only by the quality of available
materials. Reasons for limited availability include the Food
and Drug Administration's exclusion of recycled plastics
from direct food contact applications, problems of contami-
nation and processability, and color (usually only the nearly
colorless milk jugs can be used for light colored materials; we
use mixed-color materials to make products in black or
brown). The best materials come from large processors who
control their sources, run their own cleaning and finishing
operations, certify the quality and freedom from contami-
nants, and can supply consistent quantities.
We believe that the demand
for recycled plastics will continue
to grow, and that demand will
exceed supply during the re-
mainder of the 1990s, asaresultof
continued shortages in the avail-
ability of recycled materials.
Nevertheless, we are targetting
an increase in our consumption of
recycled plastics from our current
1 million pounds/year to more
than 5 million pounds per year
going into 1991, when we would
like to see to recycled plastics ac-
count for 5-10 percent of all resin
consumed in our division.
—Charles J. Lancelot
Rubbermaid Commercial
Products, Inc.
Winchester, VA.
Implementing Incentives:
Experience and Expectations
Pollution prevention envisions unprecedented changes in
raw materials, products, production processes, and disposal
practices. These changes will collide with the inherent limits
of traditional regulation, requiring use of incentives for their
successful implementation...
Incentive or market-based approaches will likely be used
as supplements to current regulatory and environmental
management systems, not as alternatives or replacements.
For most pollution, this country is not writing on a clean slate.
Detailed regulatory systems already exist and the power of
the familiar cannot be overstTessed. No constituency is
prepared to scrap those systems for uncertain and potentially
disruptive alternatives.
Past experience with incentive approaches will critically
shape both future approaches and industry response. EPA
and the Congress have already embraced or begun exploring
a broad range of incentive-based approaches. For example,
EPA's final emissions trading policy (Dec. 4,1986) has saved
continued on page 4
Measuring Waste
Reduction Progress
Reliable data showing where and how much waste mini-
mization is taking place would help further the cause of
pollution prevention. Two things need to happen: first,
companies need to do a better job keeping track of projects
which reduce wastes. Second, the government needs to de-
velop a better understanding of how to collect good data from
very diverse manufacturing operations.
For a number of reasons, there are difficulties in collecting
sufficiently detailed data. First,
and most obviously, when you
stop generating waste, it isn't
around to measure. Second, in
many cases waste minimization
projects are no t recorded—ei ther
they are part of larger projects and
the project engineers have other
priorities, or the waste minimiza-
tion is accomplished by produc-
tion workers who are not called
on to measure or record it.
Another difficulty arises from
the type of manufacturing opera-
tion. Itissimplertoquantifywaste
minimization at a facility that
manufactures a single product
than at a multi-product facility
with combined waste streams.
continued on page 4
Send Us Your 1990
Success Stories...
and we'll publish as many as we can fit in
the November/ December issue of Pollution
Prevention News. We're looking for new
inventions and technologies, as well as
institutional changes in 1990 that will
contribute to a significant reduction in
waste and pollution prevention in your
facility or community. Send short pieces
(500 words maximum) with your name
and phone number to: Pollution Preven-
tion News, U.S. EPA, 401 M Street SW
(PM-219), Washington, DC 20460.

Pollution Prevention News - 4
International Conference
from page 1
Working with our Science Advisory
Board at EPA, we are learning how human
activities create stresses to the environment
and what production and prevention
strategies make the most sense. We are
building upon the Agency's Unfinished
Business report of 1987.
One of our most important themes is
letting the market work. We are looking to
market forces to protect the environment to
a greater degree than in the past. This is
consistent with President Bush's philoso-
phy of protecting the environment. His
philosophy is based on optimism — that
people have the ability to solve the most
difficult problems given reasonable goal-
setting and enforcement by government.
This view holds that people and industry
should be given the maximum flexibility to
innovate and solve problems.
What is the role of government in help-
ing to make this market-based approach
work successfully? Get more information
out about risks and benefits. We have to
build and strengthen our technology trans-
fer networks.
We are working closely through organiza-
tions like the National Environmental Tech-
nology Applications Corporation, the
American Institute for Pollution Prevention,
and the National Advisory Council on Envi-
ronmental Policy and Technology—and in-
ternationally, with UNEP, OECD, UNIDO,
NATO, and others. This summer we are
openinga center for environmental protection
in Budapest, Hungary, and pollution preven-
tion will be a top item on the agenda.
The cultural change to pollution preven-
tion will not happen overnight. It will take
Congressional action and a major shift in
Agency thinking. To accelerate this shift,
Bill Reilly and I are encouraging EPA's
managers to include an analysis of pollu-
tion prevention in every decision thatreaches
us, whether the decision concerns policy,
guidance, or regulations.
We need your help. If we all battle
compartmentalization, we can move faster
towards pollution prevention and sustain-
able development, and we will at last come
to grips with the environmental problems
facing the world.
from page 3
American industry nearly a billion dollars
over the cost of uniform stack-by-stack
controls, with equal or better environ-
mental results.
Lead phasedown trading effectively
implemented a nationwide marketable per-
mit system for refiners who reduced aver-
age lead content of leaded gasoline below a
shrinking EPA limit. The approach acceler-
ated a 90% reduction of lead in gasoline
while avoiding risks to small refiners and
gasoline supplies, and saved several hun-
dred million dollars over the cost of uniform
compliance at each refinery. Tradeable
ticket systems to stimulate recycling of
used oil, newsprint, and scrap tires are
pending in Congress. And a risk bubble
concept—under which complian ce with
traditional regulatory requirements may
be waived if applicants show that signifi-
cantly greater risk reduction would result
from alternative actions—has effectively
been included in EPA's draft pollution
prevention bill.
Two major prevention models are
mandatory waste minimization auditsand
reduction plans, and per-pound or differ-
ential fees (on TRI inventories or solid
waste materials). There are argumen ts for,
but large problems with, each. An alter-
nate route is tradeable phasedown per-
mits. While what follows deals with solid
waste, the same implementation issues
apply to hazardous waste.
Suppose EPA, instead of mandating
reductions by generators, were to issue
tradeable permits requiring municipal/
private landfills to receive 2% less waste/
year for the next 10 years, beyond pend-
ing 25% recycling goals. A city like Seattle
which recycles 40% would get both assets
to sell and a double revenue stream (from
sale of credits plus extended landfill ca-
pacity). A city like New York which
bought those credits to cover excess
landfilling would pay a double penalty,
since it both exhausts capacity more rap-
idly and pays Seattle to do so.
This approach would mirror the cred it
system for used oil, with responsibility
imposed on the "end-user" rather than
the product producer. It raises classic
questions, not least of which is how to
credit landfills that shut down. But it
could also reward innovative solid waste
managementstepsand provide funds for
such measures, while strengthening re-
cycling and recognizing that the test is
reduction of overall environmental im-
pacts, not source reduction or reduction
of waste per se.
— Michael H. Levin
Nixon, Hargrave, Devans & Doyle,
Washington, D.C.
Measuring Progress
from page 3
Most of the 30,000 large quantity genera-
tors, and more than 100,000 small quan-
tity generators are multi-product facili-
ties. For such facilities, waste minimiza-
tion progress cannot simply be deter-
mined by taking the annual difference in
combined waste streams adjusted for av-
erage production. If the data for different
products are aggregated, true progress in
waste minimization may be masked by
changes in the mix of products and vol-
ume of production; conversely, mix and
volume changes can make it appear as
though waste minimization has occurred
when the actual efficiency of the process,
in terms of waste generated per unit of
product, has remained unchanged.
EPA has changed its reporting format
for collecting waste minimization data
for the RCRA biennial report; however, it
is still unclear if the new format will be
effective. Our recommendation is that
multi-product facilities have a separate
section to report total estimated resultsof
waste minimization projects, backed up
by adequate documentation. As part of
the American Institute of Pollution Pre-
vention Implementation Council, we will
be meeting with EPA to improve the data
collection process.
— David M. Benforado, P.E., DEE
3M Environmental Engineering
and Pollution Control,
St. Paul, MN


5 - Pollution Prevention News
EPA and States Look for the WRITE Stuff
EPA is working with six state govern-
ments to evaluate at least 30 waste re-
duction technologies in order to identify
ones worthy of being applied industry-
Through the Waste Reduction Innova-
tive Technology Evaluation (WRITE)
program, EPA has entered into three-year
cooperative agreements with California,
Connecticut, Illinois, Minnesota, New
Jersey, and Washington. At least five
technologies will beevaluated in each state.
The WRITE program originated in the
Pollution Prevention Research Branch of
the Office of Research and Development
(ORD) Risk Reduction Engineering Labo-
ratory in Cincinnati. The program is de-
signed to use knowledge that exists in
state and local governments to plan
evaluations locally. Another objective is
to encourage interaction by government
and industry.
Evaluators seek to determine the engi-
neering effectiveness of each technology,
measure the reduction in waste volume
and degree of toxic hazard to all media,
and assess economic return. At the conclu-
sion, they plan to publish performance
and cost information.
Soy, Water Inks Tested
In Illinois, EPA is working with the
Hazardous Waste Research and Informa-
Plating tanks at MICOM, Inc., near Minneapolis:
rinsing methods are being modified.
tion Center and the University of Illinois
to evaluate five projects:
•	Useof water-based inks in flexographic
printing to replace inks compounded
with alcohol solvents;
•	Use of soy oil-based inks as a replace-
ment for petroleum-based inks in offset
•	Recovery and reuse of alkaline zinc in
electroplating where zinc cyanide was
previously used;
•	Use of a batch vacuum evaporative sys-
tem to recover and reuse chemicals and
water in electroplating lines; and
•	Recovery and reuse of waste zircon
molding sand in foundry operations.
Rinsing Revisited
The Minnesota Technical Assistance
Program is performing evaluations of in-
novative rinsing technologies in the plat-
ing, metal finishing, and circuit board
manufacturing industries.
MICOM, Inc., a printed circuit board
manufacturer in the Minneapolis area, is
the subject. Researchers are assessing
waste reducing modifications of rinsing
equipment following an etchant bath and
an electroless copper plating bath.
Baselineinformationhasbeen collected
on the volume of "drag out," which is the
liquid that clings to a part being plated.
After equipment modification, the drag
out and rinsing volumes will be measured
again and assessed in lightof rinsing effec-
tiveness using the modified equipment.
A Cleaner Cleaner?
The Washington State Department of
Ecology is evaluating a technology for
recycling acetone still bottoms, banned
from landfills under a new state regula-
tion. The project also examines the substi-
tution of water-based cleaners for acetone.
Acetone wastes are generated by a large
number of relatively small fiberglass fab-
rication shops in Washington and else-
where. Participants in the technology
evaluation include a builder of fiberglass
Molten steel casting at Fansteel Corp. in Illinois:
zircon sand molds are being recycled.
boats and a company that makes bathtubs,
spas and shower stalls.
Researchers are obtaining data on the
environmental and economic effects of
recycling the still bottoms. In the recycling
process, the still bottoms are dried, ground,
and reformulated into a resin filler putty
thatotherwise would be made from virgin
If the project is successful, it could lead
to the elimination of acetone waste, which
is regulated under RCRA.
Innovations Abound
EPA and state agencies are exploring a
variety of other innovations.
In California, five technologies were
evaluated at the General Dynamics
Pomona Division: substitution of spray
rinsing and addition of copper recovery
on a printed circuitboard line; replacement
of chromic acid with sulfuric acid in the
anodizing process; use of a robotic paint
facility to reduce paint waste; paint strip-
ping using plasticbead blasting instead of
methylene chloride; and use of freon re-
covery stills for freon recycling.
The New Jersey Department of Envi-
ronmental Protection is taking the lead in
examining the Zerpol "Zero Discharge"
electroplating wastewater recovery sys-
tem. Other technology evaluations will
address cleaning solvent substitution,
acid/base recovery/reuse, and electro-
plating metals recovery.
For more information, call Ivars J. Licis
of ORD in Cincinnati, 513-569-7718.


Pollution Prevention News - 6
Beverley Thorpe,
Toxics Campaigner, Greenpeace
PPN: What would you count as Greenpeace's
greatest strengths in the toxics area?
Thorpe: Action and information cam-
paigns are probably what we are best
known for. We use them as springboards
to get our message out to the public, for
example to get the issue of clean produc-
tion onto the international political agenda.
"Reduce it, don't produce it" has been our
standard banner for quite a few years, and
although it sounds simple, it is very
effective in conveying the message that
the only way to resolve the toxic waste
crisis is to eliminate the source of the
problem, which is toxic products and toxic
The thing I love about Greenpeace is
that you can actually get out and do some-
thing! My own particular expertise has
been in ocean incineration and the North
Sea. Recently all North Sea states have
agreed to end ocean incineration totally
by next year.
Another success is the commitment on
the part of the eight governments border-
ing on the North Sea to reduce pollution in
the North Sea — the most industrialized
sea in the world. Prior to 1987 we had just
a vague statement of intent; now we have
timelines and goals; for example, a com-
mitment to a 70% reduction in dioxins by
PPN: What are your priorities for the next few
Thorpe: Whether through legislation and
regulation or through the marketplace, the
next step has to be the phase-out of toxic
production. From a toxics viewpoint if you
look at the most dangerous group, it would
probably be the halogenated hydrocarbons.
Halogens are an easy group to target since
you can already find plenty of substitutes.
Greenpeace stresses, however, that the
need for a product itself must be the first
consideration. Take, for example, PVC
(polyvinyl chloride). Many European coun-
tries are already moving to ban non-essen-
tial uses of PVC (see accompanying box).
But the point is not simply to replace one
phased out chemical with another but to
takeasystems view of production—i.e., do
we need the
product in the
first place?
PPN: A lot of
people wonder
what are appro-
priate roles for in-
dividuals, indus-
try, and govern-
ment in pollu-
tion prevention.
What'syour view?
Thorpe: Ideally what governments are for
is to take the lead, for example in procure-
ment of clean technologies. Qearly the
public has a role in recycling and in "step-
ping lightly on the earth," as one of our
publications is called. But there is also a
need to expose the corporate shenanigans
that are going on. The real power still lies in
corporate economic and political control.
PPN: As you look ahead, what are you most
optimistic about? And what's making you
worry most?
Thorpe: It depends what day you ask me
if I'm optimistic or pessimistic! Quite
often I think it is a losing battle. One thing
that gives me hope is the demand for
information — I believe this will be one of
the saving graces of the environmental
movement The main thing we do at
Greenpeace is disseminate information.
If s the most powerful tool you can have.
Sometimes, though, I think we're run-
ning out of time and that we're deluding
ourselves to think that public empower-
ment will actually keep pace with the
level of environmental destruction. The
thing that particularly worries me is
our discoveries of the hidden chronic ef-
fects and interactions of toxic chemicals.
These kinds of long, long term effects that
we're throwing out to the environment
now will extend well into the next two,
three or four centuries... When people say
that we could go for clean production
and it's not going to call for drastic
changes, I really think they're kidding
European Phase-Outs of PVC
Polyvinyl chloride or PVC is a widely used and versatile plasticsmaterial,
found in both durable and disposable good s. PVC is used in packaging such
as bottles and bags, as well as in office equipment, floor covering, imitation
leather, furniture, pipes and hoses, and toys.
A number of European countries are actively considering phase-outs of
non-essential uses of PVC. In Austria in November 1989, a Parliamentary
Commission recommended a phase-out of PVC packaging, toys, and non-
essentialdisposalgoods by January l,l99l,anddiscussed further phase-outs
in 1993,1996, and 2000.
In Sweden, agreement has been reached between government and indus-
try, resulting in a voluntary ban on the domestic use of PVC in packaging, to
take effect July 1st, Denmark and Switzerland are reviewing options for
banning non-essential uses or PVC or percentage reductions in use. There is
also movement in Luxembourg towards creating a PVC-free area as a pilot
Concerns about PVC stem from its production, which results in toxic
waste products, and its disposal — incineration produces toxic chlorinated
hydrocarbonsandhydrochloricacid while land disposal can result in leaching
of organochlorine substances into soil and ground water. Substitutes such
as polyethylene and polypropylene are available for most applications
of PVC



7 - Pollution Prevention News
EPA Municipal Solid Waste Conference
Over 700 people attended the First U.S. Conference on Municipal Solid Waste
Management sponsored by EPA's Office of Solid Waste and held in Washington, D.C.
on June 13-16. Conference papers were organized around seven topic areas: integrated
planning, source reduction, recycling and composting, combustion, land disposal,
public education, and special wastes. Proceedings can be ordered through Gerri Wyer
at GRCDA, 301-585-2898. Below, selections from among the several hundred papers
presented at the conference.
Using Market Research for Consumer
Recycling Education
Because the pressure for recycling programs is so high, we tend to rush to get
programs out on the street. That rush sometimes overshadows the need for research
to determine what kind of program will work best in a geographic area and what
messages will best elicit participation.
When we don't do market research, I think we can end up preaching to the choir
—because we unconsciously assume our diverse customer populations all view solid
waste issues the same way we "garbage groupies" do. All customers are different and
they think differently from solid waste personnel.
Market research has helped us communicate appropriate messages, reduce
customer confusion, and evaluate what works and what doesn't.
We believe the customer education programs we developed have helped make
Seattle's solid waste diversion programs a success. Of the 150,000 Seattle residents
eligible for the curbside recycling program, 90 percent are aware of it and 80 percent
have signed up for it; 84 percent of eligible residents are award of the yard waste
collection program and 60 percent have signed up for it.
We held separate focus groups for people who were alread y recyclers and for non-
recyclers. But our focus groups taugh t us that there is virtually no difference between
the two groups. Instead, we learned the following;
1.	Virtually everyone views recycling positively. People do not have to be
convinced that recycling is a good thing. They value the concept and feel good when
they do it.
2.	Everybody has recycling experience with some material at some time.
However, people often don't think of what they are doing as "recycling."
3.	Each person seems to have a point beyond which recycling seems too
complicated or difficult. Consequently, it is important not to overwhelm people and
risk pushing them past their saturation point. If the choices look like all or nothing,
they may choose nothing.
4.	Convenience is the key to increasing recycling activity. People do not view
recycling as particularly easy or convenient. Every step of the process presents
barriers and will cause some people to drop out. Any measure which makes these
steps easier will pay off.
5.	Details are extremely important, and every detail presents possibilities to lose
participants. For example, people are remarkably sensitive to the characteristics of
storage containers, including their size, shape, color, sturdiness, and protection from
rain and animals.
6.	People are very responsive to what their friends and neighbors are doing.
Recycling activity spreads like an epidemic, especially when it is made visible.
7.	Apply the KISS principle: Keep It Simple, Sweetie!
— Ticiang Diangson,
Promotions and Customer Education Coordinator,
Seattle Solid Waste Utility
1990 MSW Update
EPA'sOfficeofSolid Waste released
updated estimates on the quantity and
characteristics of municipal solid waste
(MSW) generated in the U.S. from 1960
through 2010. The report notes the
continuing rise in the amount of MSW
generated nationally. In 1988,180 mil-
lion tons of MSW were generated,
equivalent to 4.0 pounds per person
per day. The report projects a 10%
increase in MSW by the year 2000 in
the absence of source reduction.
Of the 180 million tons generated in
the U.S. in 1988, paper and paperboard
MSW Materials, 1988 (by weight)
Yard Wastes
17.6% ^
V 8.0%
products were the largest component
(40%), followed by yard waste (18%).
(See pie chart.) Glass, metals, plastics,
and food wastes each ranged between
7 and 9 percent of the MSW stream.
Management of MSW has changed
in recent years. Landfilling was still
the disposal option for 73% of the solid
waste stream in 1988,but this wasdown
from 80% in 1986. Recycling of MSW
has increased from 10 percent in 1986
to 13 percent in 1988. Incineration has
similarly increased from 10 percent in
1986 to 14 percent in 1988.
The complete report, Characterization
of Municipal Solid Waste in the United
States: 1990 Update, isavailable through
NTIS, 703-487-4650 (Order No. PB90-
215112). An Executive Summary and
fact sheet are available free through
the RCRA/Superfund Hotline, at 800-
424-9346 (in Washington, D.C., call 202-

Pollution Prevention News - 8
July 1990
In Partnership With Earth
A new television program, In Partner-
ship With Earth, has been produced by
Versar Inc. in a cooperative public/private
partnership. The one-hour TV show is
targeted for national distribution early this
summer and will feature EPA Adminis-
trator Bill Reilly and singer/songwriter
John Denver as on-camera narrators. The
program aims to show how both industry
and the public can benefit by redesigning
industrial processes, and demonstrates the
innovative steps some companies, states,
and private citizens are taking to prevent
pollution at the source.
The film is cooperatively sponsored by
EPA's Pollution Prevention Division and
21 major U.S. corporations. Several envi-
ronmental organizations provided com-
mentary for the production.
Once the show has been aired, a video-
cassette will be available for purchase. For
information,con tact Michael Alford or Don
Feliciano at Versar Inc. in Springfield, VA.
(800-2-VERSAR toll-free, or 703-750-3000).
John Denver


Calendar of Events
9th National Recycling Congress
Milestone Conference
National Recycling
Aug. 20-23
San Diego, CA
Holly Winfrey
28th International Solid
Waste Exposition
Governmental Refuse Collection
& Disposal Assn.
Aug. 20-24
Vancouver, BC
Patty Magill
Prevention, Management &
Compliance for Hazardous
Wastes (Course)
American Institute of
Chemical Engineers
Aug. 20-22/San Diego, CA
Nov. 14-16/Chicago, IL
Pollution Prevention Through
Facilities Planning
National Roundtable for
State Waste Reduction Programs
Sept. 6-7
Minneapolis, MN
A1 Innes
1st Int'l Symposium on Oil & Gas
Waste Management Practices
U.S. EPA, others
Sept. 10-13
New Orleans, LA
Mike Fitzpatrick
EnSol 90: Global Env. Solutions
Conference & Exposition
CA Dept. of Health Services
CA Env. Affairs Agency, U.S.
EPA, Brits 2 Limited
Santa Clara, CA
United States Environmental
Protection Agency (PM-219)
Washington, DC 20460
Official Business
Penalty for Private Use $300
999T 08
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