Wednesday, June 15, 2005

San Francisco Mayors' Conference

The following is a collection of quotes, and highlights from articles regarding the recent San Francisco conference of Mayors, links to articles included following highlights:
[official website of this conference--]

"'Mayors are emerging as the most powerful and flexible agents of change. They are able to respond quickly to environmental issues and are uniquely accountable to their citizens. Their enormous purchasing power is shaping markets…their visionary solutions provide inspiration and serve as models to all sectors of society.'

It’s just like the bumper sticker says: Think globally, act locally."

"Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels is encouraging mayors to fight climate change at the municipal level by cutting greenhouse-gas emissions from automobiles, power plants and factories. After the landmark Kyoto Protocol on global warming went into effect without the United States earlier this year, Nickels asked U.S. mayors to voluntarily comply with the international treaty's emissions standards. So far, 156 mayors have agreed to do so, he said. "

"CADMAN: When we did a 100 year plan we learned that we run out of water in 35 years, run out of oil in 40 years, run out of natural gas in 60 years so we can't plan tomorrow as if it's a continuum of today."

"Environmentally conscious Oakland A's fans needn't feel guilty about tossing their plastic cups into trash cans at the McAfee Coliseum. They're being composted along with half-eaten hot dogs, cardboard food trays and used napkins.

'Since 1990, we have kept out of landfills over 300 million tons of materials,' said Roni Java of the California Integrated Waste Management Board, which oversees waste diversion efforts. 'If you took trash trucks and filled them to the top and put them in a line bumper to bumper, that would make a line that would circle the Earth's equator more than six times.'

Still, the state fell short of its original 50 percent goal. According to the latest estimated figures from 2003, 48 percent of California's 78 million tons of waste is being recycled or reused. "
Too often, manufacturers package items in layers of cardboard, plastic and Styrofoam instead of simple containers. Restaurants and grocers send diners home with nonrecyclable polystyrene or polypropylene clamshell containers for their leftovers or meals instead of more environmentally friendly paper boxes.

'We're giving retailers and product manufacturers a free ride in regards to this packaging,' Murray said. "

In central Contra Costa County, a unique 'curbside reuse' program allows residents to put reusable out the day before semi-annual cleanups. The items, ranging from televisions and bikes to small furniture, linens, clothes and art materials, are distributed to nonprofits and St. Vincent de Paul, and some have been sent to Afghanistan and Bosnia, said Janet Schneider of the Centra Contra Costa Solid Waste Authority. "

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