ZWAC Show and Recordings

Under construction… Being updated… Content accurate

Upcoming Meeting: Second Tuesdays of most months at 5:30pm via Zoom. Call in at 5pm for sharing. All are invited to attend. RSVP

(List date and time and topic if known. Place graphic here when ready.)

The NCRA Zero Waste Advocacy Committee has been hosting a monthly “ZWAC Show”, featuring a recycling or sustainability topic of contemporary interest and a brief reading about a Recycling Pioneer from the Recycling Archives. Check here for the schedule.

September 13  – What Happened in the Room?

During the 2021 Legislative session, ZWAC had hosted three monthly discussions about the Bottle Bill, however the leading Bills faltered, and a last ditch effort to rescue CRV bottle deposit redemption centers failed.

Jeff Donlevy of the Statewide Commission on Recycling Markets and Curbside Recycling  and Business Development Manager at Recycling Industries, Inc, had been “in the room” throughout, and discussed the who, what and why, and what portends for next year.

Recycling Archives: Gerry Gillespie, a founding member of Zero Waste International Alliance, discussed how he played a key role in the first governmental adoption of a Zero Waste program in Australia.

August 10 – Advocacy for the Disenfranchised

Attorney Cynthia Chandler, featured in the documentary Belly of the Beast recounted her fight against State of California law and policy that began with Nazi-era eugenics that lead to our state prisons sterilizing women, mostly women of color, without their consent.

Nancy Gorrell, long time Berkeley activist, spoke about how she helped catalyze the reconfiguring of a holiday celebrating Christopher Columbus to one celebrating indigenous peoples.

Recycling Archives: Nancy went on to also discuss Berkeley’s landmark Styrofoam ban, and her zero waste artwork

July 13 –  Combating Plastics Pollution & Resource Recovery Businesses

Sumona Majumdar, general legal counsel to Earth Island Institute, discussed their newest lawsuit against plastic product makers like Coca-Cola, and how it differs from other anti-plastic campaigns which target misleading advertising about recyclability in plastic.

Panel Discussion Resource Recovery Businesses:

Neil Seldman of the Washington DC based Institute for Local Self-Reliance discussed his many years of research into the benefits of local resource recovery.

Three founder/owners of Bay Area resource recovery businesses each discussed their experiences, why and how they started their businesses, their market niches, how they impact zero waste and create jobs at the same time:

Stephanie Regni, Fillgood in Berkeley.

Nikki Kozlowski, Wisdom Supply.

Will Bakx, Sonoma Compost.

June 8, 2021
Three Ways that Zero Waste Can Save the Planet

Attorney Lori Mendez of the Save the Albatross Coalition discussed ongoing battles against plastic pollution.

Brenda Platt of the Institute for Local Self Reliance and directs ILSR’s Communities for Compost project, discussed advances in composting, soil policy, and carbon sequestration.

Monica Wilson, Policy and Research Coordinator of the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, spoke about the continuing global problem of garbage incineration.

Recycling Archives: Brenda Platt

May 11, 2021
Action Items for a Revamped Bottle Bill

At the 4/13 meeting, there had been a strong consensus that ZWAC and NCRA should try to promote legislation to help CRV Bottle deposit redemption centers. However there was no bill in the current legislative session to achieve this. Discussed were essential features and strategies for a revised Bottle Bill, which would need a huge social media and community outreach component to succeed.

Recycling Archives: Delyn Kies, inspirational story of how she spearheaded environmental legislation in Oregon in the 1990s.

April 13, 2021
Should the Bottle Bill be Fixed or Scrapped and Why

Susan Collins, President of the Container Recycling Institute, and Richard Valle, Alameda County Supervisor and President of Tri-CED, each provided answers, insights and perspectives on pertinent Bill proposals.

Adolfo Ramirez, owner of BC Recycling Inc, with several buyback facilities serving the most disadvantaged populations in Visalia, described the shortcomings of the current and proposed Bottle Bill legislation.

Dr. Dan Knapp, President of Urban Ore Inc, discussed the sociology of recycling and why personal contact with redemption centers is such an important part of zero waste that cannot be served only by machines.

Recycling Archives: Susan Kinsella, Director of the Recycling Archives, read passages from the early transformative years the youthful Dr. Knapp.

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Plastic Free July – What Actions Are You Taking?

Plastic Free July 2021 …
… to foster sustainable behavior change?
By Bonnie Betts, NCRA Social Media Coordinator

For folks passionate about Zero Waste, recycling and protecting Earth’s delicate ecosystems, Plastic Free July (PFJ) is a time to rally and learn about the movement to break free from plastic. We get to show our network that living without plastic can be done!

The initiative originated in Australia back in 2011, spearheaded by the Plastic Free Foundation. The vision of PFJ is to see a world free of plastic waste. Despite the turmoil and uncertainties of the pandemic, July of 2020 had an estimated 326 million people across the globe who took part in the challenge from 177 countries. Overall, PFJ participants have reduced their household waste by almost 5% per year, and 8.5 out of 10 people have permanently changed their behavior.

The PFJ challenge uses elements of Nudge Theory by Richard Thaler & Cass Sunstein, and Community-Based Social Marketing by Dr. Doug McKenzie-Mohr (CBSM) to intentionally encourage sustainable behavior change. Both are based in social psychology and draw from the idea that sustainable behavior change is most effective when it involves direct contact with people, in their community. Most importantly, this method encourages that the desirable action (i.e. stop using plastic) be met positively, rather than discouraging harmful actions.

The point to having a PFJ challenge is to positively change people’s relationship with plastic in order to make more sustainable choices and ultimately stop the reliance on plastic all together. Here is a quick snap-shot of the social psychology elements at play:

Social Norming – Exemplifying the desired behavior for others to adopt:

This could look like shopping with reusable bags, bringing reusable utensils, containers when dining out, refusing straws and single-use to-go items, refilling your water bottle…

Restaurant owners can display a blurb – on their window, website or ads the percentage of customers who opt out of single-use to-go items (utensils, napkins, straws, etc.).

Social Diffusion – Quickly scale the desired behavior throughout your personal sphere:

Whatever the action is, utilize strength in numbers to get the message out. At the community level – This could look like having neighborhood green teams, compost-food scrap collection collective, Zero Waste champions at work or, local Zero Waste business collectives. Individuals can utilize social media to build awareness and share actions to their immediate networks.

Prompts – Visual or auditory reminders closest to the desired behavior:

In the community we see this most often with visually appealing receptacle signage. Restaurants can include prompts on their ordering menu to forgo single-use to-go items.

Incentives – Reward positive behavior, include promotions, gamify the challenges:

Business initiatives could strategically promote deals that encourage multiple sustainable actions like recycling + composting instead only recycling. Work teams and friends can take part in friendly competitions. Business, and community organizations can offer raffle prizes.

Convenience – Make doing the right thing easier, or the unsustainable action less convenient:

We have seen this with centralized receptacle stations. Green events can make reusables more appealing. Municipalities like the City of Berkeley, include single-use to-go item fees.

When it comes to fostering sustainable behavior change it is important to understand the underlying psychology that perpetuates our decisions.

What actions do I want people to take? What are the barriers? How can I overcome those barriers? These are important questions to ask.

Looking for Plastic Free July Challenge Resources?, based in Berkeley, has a great weekly step-by-step challenge and other great examples of what individuals can do in the home and community.

Also, the Berkeley Ecology Center has free stellar resources and events available throughout the month.

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Letters of Support Needed, 7/4/21

By Doug Broms, ZWAC Co-Chair

Posted below are three draft support letters which I propose NCRA support and other groups could reuse:

If there will be sufficient interest, then NCRA support letters also could be drafted for these three other previously proposed Bills:

  • AB 762 Lee D Hazardous emissions: schoolsites: private and charter schools.
  • AB 1311 Wood D Recycling: beverage containers.
    SB 451 Dodd D Beverage container recycling: pilot projects.

Thanks for your timely considering. Enjoy your July 4 fireworks. []

Edible Food Recovery Tech Council – April 6 Webinar – Free

Join the Edible Food Recovery Technical Council for their upcoming webinar about the Food Industry and Edible Food Generators. Join in on Tuesday, April 6 from 1 pm – 2:30 pm for an afternoon webinar and learn more about:

  • Generator awareness of 1383
  • Outreach and education to generators
  • Barriers and benefits from the food industry perspective
  • Strategies for engagement & guidance for implementation

Register here: