Recyclers Call on Salt Lake Olympics to Separate Recycling from Trash

Athens, GA - Leading recyclers applaud the Salt Lake Olympics Committee (SLOC) for adopting a goal of Zero Waste for the Winter 2002 Games, but caution against using the term to describe the currently planned system.

Athens, Georgia-based GrassRoots Recycling Network (GRRN), the leading organization advocating zero waste, spearheaded the resolution at the California Resource Recovery Association (CRRA) Annual Members Meeting in Pasadena, California in July.

The adopted resolution states, "The Zero Waste goal will only have value if a more comprehensive plan for reducing waste and reusing, recycling and composting materials is implemented."

The CRRA resolution also states, "The planned system that has visitors mixing recyclables with trash will not achieve the SLOC's stated Zero Waste goal. ... CRRA urges the SLOC to reconsider and use a source separation system with containers co-located next to each other in each public location, and aggressive education, signage and on-site monitoring to direct attendees to use the correct bins."

"We are hopeful that SLOC will respond positively to the resolution," said Bill Sheehan, executive director of GRRN. "However, SLOC must significantly modify its purchasing, service and education plans for the Olympics if it is to describe this as a 'Zero Waste' system. Collecting and processing mixed wastes will not result in 90% or greater waste diversion, nor in the quality of products that is expected from a true Zero Waste system."

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