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An example of planning for sustainable production : the dry-cell battery problem Kowey, Bernadette Nola 1990

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c .1  A N EXAMPLE OF PLANNING FOR SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTION: THE DRY-CELL BATTERY PROBLEM by BERNADETTE NOLA  KOWEY  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL F U L F I L L M E N T O F T H E REQUIREMENTS FOR T H E DEGREE O F MASTER OF ARTS in T H E F A C U L T Y O F G R A D U A T E STUDIES School of Community and Regional Planning  We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard  T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F BRITISH C O L U M B I A September 1990 © Bernadette N o l a K o w e y , 1990  In presenting this thesis in partial fulfillment of the requirements for an advanced degree at The University of British C o l u m b i a , I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the H e a d - of m y Department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission.  School of Community and Regional Planning The University of British Columbia 2075 Wesbrook Place Vancouver, Canada V 6 T 1W5  Date: September 1990  ii  Abstract Growing awareness of world-wide environmental degradation has prompted the global community to explore alternatives to present human activities, and present economic development models.  One concept which has emerged within  this exploration is that of Sustainable Development. This thesis specifically uses the concept of Sustainable Development as Rees (1988, 1988a, 1989) and Gardner (1989) define it.  Sustainable development will require substantial changes in the  productive sphere.  A n 'energy spiral' is used to depict each stage necessary in  the creation, use and disposal of a good.  The social and environmental costs of  each of these stages of production are explored.  The positive impact of  integrating re-use, recycling, recovery and replacement strategies  into the  consumption, production and disposal cycle for goods is described. In this thesis dry-cell batteries are used as an example of products which create problems in their disposal:  heavy metals contained in these batteries exist in  concentrations which require these spent batteries to be considered hazardous waste. Responses to this problem in other countries are described and critiqued. Present methods and planned strategies for hazardous waste disposal within the G V R D and the city of Vancouver are noted, and analyzed as to the sustainability of these methods and strategies.  Specific plans for the disposal of dry-cell  batteries are described and critiqued. U s i n g the principles for sustainable development from Gardner (1989) and the 'energy spiral'  together provides a synthesis of these two concepts.  This  framework provides planners and analysts a base from which strategies for sustainable production can be determined.  The possibilities for use of this  framework are explored, with a specific focus on dry-cell batteries. In considering  iii the whole life-cycle of such a product, and not just focussing on the disposal stage of that cycle, responses that are more useful and pro-active can be devised. Some of the organizations and structures which presently exist and will be useful  i n establishing  a base for the  development will require are mentioned.  kinds of  change  that  sustainable  iv TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract  ii  Table of Contents  iv  List of Tables  viii  List of Figures  ix  Acknowledgements  x  CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION  1  CHAPTER TWO: T H E PRESENT W O R L D  6  2 .1  The earth we stand on, now  6  2 .2  Present economic development models  8  2 .3  Dependance on raw resources from 'undeveloped' nations  2 .4  G N P : A measure of what exactly? 2.4.1  2.4.3  base  14  Changing the G N P  15  Growth as a basic premise  2 .6  What we need to understand, to integrate into our world view  2 .8  13  Competition for a limited resource  2 .5  2 .7  10  Implications of G N P for the developing world  2.4.2  10  16 18  The implications of life lived on a small and fragile planet  19  The limits of the planet earth  22  C H A P T E R THREE: T H E NEED FOR C H A N G E : A S E A R C H FOR SOLUTIONS  25  3 .1  Sustainable Development: what is it?  25  3 .2  The need for imagination  32  C H A P T E R FOUR: IMPLICATIONS FOR T H E P R O D U C T I O N , CONSUMPTION A N D WASTE CYCLE 4 .1  35  What sustainability means for production, consumption and waste  35  4.2  4. 3  Lifecycle of a product  39  4.2.1  Resource extraction  39  4.2.2  Resource refinement  42  4.2.3  Manufacture of a product  43  4.2.4  Packaging of a commodity  43  4.2.5  Transporting goods  44  4.2.6  Use of a product  44  4.2.7  Disposal of a product  45  The many R's of changing our ways  47  4.3.1  Reduce  47  4.3.2  Reuse  48  4.3.3  Recycle  48  4.3.4  Recover  50  4.3.5  Replace  50  4.3.6  Rethink  50  4 .4  The greening of the marketplace  51  4 .5  What does this mean for planners?  57  4 .6  Planning for the disposal of solid waste;  4 .7  introducing sustainability  59  Household hazardous wastes  62  C H A P T E R FIVE: T H E P R O B L E M O F B A T T E R I E S I N T H E SOLID WASTE S T R E A M 5 .1  Batteries  5.2  A growing and changing battery market  65  has environmental implications 5 .3  65  79  Experience in other countries: controlling batteries in solid waste  84  5.3.1  The European Economic Community  86  5.3.2  Switzerland  87  5.3.3  West Germany  88  5.3.4  Austria  89  5.3.5  Sweden  89  5.3.6  Denmark  90  5.3.7  Holland  90  5.3.8  France  91  5.3.9  Japan  92  5 . 3 .10  United States of America  93  vi  5 .4 5 .5  5 . 3 .11  Canada  94  5 . 3 .12  Summary  95  Recycling and recovery methods for used batteries  97  Are these methods sustainable?  99  C H A P T E R SIX: T H E L O C A L R E S P O N S E T O B A T T E R I E S I N T H E SOLID WASTE S T R E A M  101  6 .1  Managing solid waste  101  6 .2  Disposal of batteries in the solid waste stream: The G V R D  6 .3  Change in the way we deal with 'special' products in the SWS  6 .4  105  Local response to batteries in the solid waste stream  6 .6  104  The Rabbit Report and the MacLaren Report: Developing policy perspectives  6 .5  103  107  6.5.1  The Province of British Columbia  107  6.5.2  GVRD  110  6.5.3  Vancouver  Ill  Removing batteries from the waste stream: a sustainable plan?  C H A P T E R SEVEN: T H E JOURNEY T O SUSTAINABILITY 7.1  Frameworks for change  7. 2  Batteries: Some ideas for sustainable  113 120 120  strategies and practices  125  7. 3  Integrate SD goals into strategy  127  7. 4  Focus on appropriate 'players'  127  7.5  The role of municipal governments  128  7 .6  Changes in the market  131  7. 7  What we have to build on  131  CHAPTER EIGHT: FINAL REFLECTIONS P L A N N I N G FOR A DIFFERENT FUTURE  133  8 .1  Summary  133  8.2  A framework for a different future  134  BIBLIOGRAPHY. APPENDICES Appendix A  Existing initiatives in the industrial and commercial sector:  "Environmental Guidelines  for W o r l d Industry" published by the International Chamber of Commerce  Appendix B:  Existing initiatives in the industrial and commercial sector: "Codes of Practice Commitment Package:  Research and  Development Code of Practice," excerpts from Chemical Producers' Association Statement of Policy on Responsible Care  viii LIST O F T A B L E S TABLE I  Characteristics and uses of dry cell batteries  67  T A B L E II  Composition of dry cell batteries  75  T A B L E III  Health and safety concerns and recommended exposure levels to heavy metals  78  T A B L E IV  Canadian battery imports: 1988 and 1989  83  TABLE V  Proportion of solid waste eliminated by  T A B L E VI  incineration  85  Treatment plants for used batteries  99  ix LIST O F F I G U R E S FIGURE 1  Lifecycle of a Product  37  FIGURE 2  Percentage of battery sales by use: 1982 and 1986  70  FIGURE 3  Gross battery sales by use: 1982 and 1986  71  FIGURE 4  Battery sales in Canada  73  FIGURE 5  Percentage of battery sales by type of battery:  :  1982 and 1986 FIGURE 6  Gross battery sales by type of battery: 1982 and 1986  FIGURE 7  80  Framework for change  81 124  X  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS M a n y people  contributed their efforts  to this thesis.  individuals I would especially like to acknowledge. love and support throughout this process. Havens for his encouragement  The  following  I thank my family for their  I thank my friend and partner, Bill  and the many discussions he  took part in while I was reading and thinking about the thesis.  enthusiastically I thank Claire  and Thomas Havens, my children, for their inspiration and the distraction they provided.  Thanks are due as well to my sister Bridget Kowey and my mother  Jane K o w e y for all of the childcare and practical support they willingly contributed. Henry Hightower has been my advisor and friend throughout my years at SCARP.  H e has patiently spent hours with me discussing my research. It is due  to his constant support and understanding that I have finished this thesis. I also thank Julia Gardner for her thorough reading of this thesis and the constructive commentary she provided. I gratefully acknowledge the support I have received through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation Scholarship Programme.  1  Chapter One Introduction "I am thinking how we can use what we have to invent what we need." Adrienne Rich from 'Leaflets' " A l l things are bound together. A l l things connect. Whatever befalls the earth, befalls the children of the earth." A n anonymous American Indian Chief "No society is fully awake either to its inherent nature or its natural prospects, if it ignores the fact that there are many alternatives to the path it is actually following." Lewis M u m f o r d  The earth is changing.  There are indications that present human activity is  leading to the destruction of the environment on the earth as we know it. A s a result of the growing recognition of this environmental destruction, and the changes in life and life forms that it implies, one of the most important challenges  facing governments,  industry, communities  and individuals is  formulating responses to this global crisis. This thesis argues that it is necessary to work toward changing the present patterns of human action, in order to safeguard the earth's wealth, resources, beauty and life-sustaining systems for present and future generations of people, and because of the inherent value all of the life-forms on the earth represent.  The purpose of this thesis is to suggest a  framework from which strategies for developing sustainable production can be devised.  Present economic and productive practices are contributing to the  degradation and destruction of the earth's environment.  In order to create a  context for planning which challenges present productive and economic systems,  2  this thesis proposes analyzing the life-cycle of a product, and focussing on aspects of that cycle which are not being 'paid for'.  Planners can establish rules for a  more sustainable productive base by requiring social and environmental costs of production to be internalized, and made obvious in economic equations used by industry.  Goals and processes necessary for sustainability are described by  Gardner (1989). These establish the priorities and principles which inform both the kinds of strategies  chosen,  and the manner in w h i c h strategies  implemented in w o r k i n g toward sustainability.  are  These goals and processes  provide the base from which sustainable practices (consistent with sustainable development as it is defined in this thesis) are created. The thesis uses dry-cell batteries as an example of products which pose a solid waste management problem. A s most of these batteries contain toxic levels of heavy metals (primarily mercury and cadmium), they are essentially hazardous waste.  Currently batteries in Vancouver and the G V R D are disposed of with  other refuse in the solid waste stream, and the heavy metals in them enter the environment in an uncontrolled manner.  Most attempts to deal with this  problem here and in other countries around the world have involved collection of these products, and placing them in hazardous waste landfills.  The battery  market is expanding and the numbers of batteries being disposed of are growing: it is not a sustainable plan to continue to dispose of them in this manner. The application of  a framework which documents each step in the life cycle  of a product can point to the social and environmental costs of creating that product.  U s i n g sustainable development principles, proactive and long-range  responses to the problem of these environmental and social costs can be devised. One problem with present planning is that it often fails to establish problems  3  within a holist context: confined manner. outlines  first  the  situations  are often approached in a narrow and  In approaching the problem of hazardous waste, this thesis present  ideology  which  environmental problems which now challenge  has us.  lead  to  the  social  and  Changes which h u m a n  actions have foisted on the world result from not considering the impact of those actions on the social and natural world. models, a profound  There exists, in present  development  disregard for human life and its relationship to the needs  and presence of other life-forms. In order to establish a context for devising a framework for sustainability, Chapters T w o through Four provide a broad background describing ideas and practices which historically have informed thinking with regard to development and economy, and ideas which are currently gaining credibility. Chapter two describes the present economic development models, and the environmental and social problems which exist due to flaws in this model. use and overuse of resources is described.  The  The global measuring stick, as it is  represented by the G N P is described and critiqued  and the establishment of  growth as a basic premise in the dominant world economies is described. The earth is described as the finite and fragile body it is, with inherent limits to its resources. Chapter three deals with the need for change. The concept of Sustainable Development, as it is used in this thesis is then described.  A s any change will  necessarily involve positive, future images of a different k i n d of world, the chapter ends with a description of the need for imagination in this endeavour. Chapter four provides a description of the kinds of change a sustainable development model will require within the production, consumption and waste  4  cycle.  A diagram of the life-cycle of a product, and 'energy-spiral' provides the  basis for depicting  the energy and resources which are needed in the creation,  use and disposal of all  goods and commodities.  reusing, recycling and recovering  The possibility of reducing,  these objects is explored, pointing out the  optimum practices for environmental and social well-being.  The new  'green  consumer' phenomenon is described, along with some of the positive  and  negative effects of this trend. Chapter five describes the problem that batteries pose when they are disposed of in the solid waste stream, and the implications of the present growth in the battery market for that disposal method.  Alternative disposal strategies  are explored, along with other kinds of control measures that have been used around the world. Chapter six reports in detail the response of the B.C. government, the G V R D and the City of Vancouver to hazardous waste problems in general with specific descriptions for their plans with regard to batteries.  The strategies are analyzed  with regard to their sustainability. Chapter seven provides a framework for devising strategies which build in sustainabilityin production.  A diagram which presents  a synthesis of the  'energy-spiral' which illustrates the life-cycle of a product, combined with the substantive and process-oriented principles for sustainable development from Gardner (1989) provides the base for understanding how planners might devise proactive, long-range  strategies for change.  Focussing on the  involved  individuals and groups and making sure that strategies affect the appropriate 'players' is an important part of deciding on specific policies and programmes. Although this is a radically different approach from present planning practices,  5  this chapter depicts some existing structures and organizations w h i c h can provide a base for beginning to plan in a sustainable manner. Chapter eight summarizes the thesis, and ends with some final reflections about the kind of re-thinking true sustainable development will require.  6  Chapter Two The Present World  This chapter describes  present  economic  development  models,  and the  environmental and social problems which exist due to flaws in this model. The G N P which is used as a measure of progress is critiqued and the implications of a finite earth are explored.  2 .1 The earth we stand on, now When the 20th century began, neither human beings nor human technology had the power to radically alter the global ecosystem. Today, as the century draws to a close, human beings in ever-increasing numbers have that power, and as a result of their activity on the planet, major unintended changes are taking place in the atmosphere, the biosphere and the hydrosphere.  These changes outstrip our present ability to  cope; the world's financial and political institutions are out of step with the workings of nature. (Bruntland, 1989.)  The Bruntland Report, O u r C o m m o n Future, was published in 1987 as the result of a United Nations W o r l d Commission on Environment and Development.  In  this report, the concept of sustainable development was proposed as the strategy which could change the present destructive direction of human activity on the planet and ease some of the stress our world environmental systems are experiencing as a result of this activity. The publication of O u r C o m m o n Future has been accompanied by a growing body of scientific evidence which documents the environmental degradation which our present social, political and economic institutions and practices now promote.  7  These global threats to our environment are now common concepts in North America and Europe: the greenhouse effect, the depletion of the ozone layer, the reduction of biodiversity. A l o n g with this scientific evidence, more and more people are becoming aware of changes in their own immediate environments.  Here  in southwestern British Columbia we experience a number of troubling situations: an increase of noxious gases as a result of more people using more cars, the halt of local shellfishing  due to the pollution of Howe Sound, a serious oil spill in  Vancouver's inner harbour, and many other indicators of the ill health of our immediate environment.  The combination of the global crises and direct personal  experience of this degradation of the environment has resulted in a public willing to change their daily habits in order to protect the environment . 1  A l o n g with this understanding of the present global environmental crisis is a growing awareness that the industrialized or overdeveloped  2  countries share  this planet with other nations. People in many countries do not at present receive enough of the world's resources to meet even their most basic needs for food, warmth and shelter.  The present allocation of resources is inequitable, and this  threatens our global political and social stability.  Indeed, there exists an inequitable  distribution of resources within many overdeveloped nations.  For example, both  •^The "Greater Vancouver Urban Futures Survey" conducted by Walter Hardwick in January and February 1990 indicates that the Environment is of critical importance to the people surveyed. The issues which rated highest within the survey were : 'Hazardous Waste Disposal', 'Water pollution from industry', 'Air pollution from industry', 'Garbage recycling', 'Preserving the natural environment', 'Protecting the Fraser River estuary' and 'Air pollution from autos'. It should be noted that the other issues which were rated at the same time  were issues such as crime,  affordable housing, rising property taxes, managing the region's population growth, etc. This term was first encountered by this author in Ehrlich and Ehrlich, 1978.  It seems a more  accurate description of the countries which are otherwise referred to as 'developed' which infers superiority. The term 'overdeveloped' suggests that something has gone wrong, the development has been pursued with too much zeal, to the detriment of all.  8  the American and Canadian poor population are growing in number and are often without homes or sufficient f o o d .  3  Sustainable development also speaks to these  social ills and addresses ways of altering the inequities which create them.  2 . 2 Present economic development models Understanding the basis of present economic development models provides some clues to why the earth's environment is being degraded, and why social inequity prevails. Western philosophy and thought has resulted in industrial societies and cultures based on the premise that nature exists to be controlled by humans, and to serve human needs.  Those needs are almost always defined as the need for material  goods which are fashioned from natural resources having 'use value' within the productive process. Western market-driven economic practices require that for an economy to be successful production must continue to grow. Growth is basic to the prevalent economic structure of the overdeveloped world, the 'stable' capitalist economy. One way to maintain growth is to constantly have markets to satisfy, and a demand for new goods. The consumerism of today has its roots in the development of new materials and technology in the late forties and early fifties.  The creation of man-made  materials from petro-chemical products became possible.  There was a new aspect to  consumer goods and products which were available: goods could be created cheaply as a result of the manufacture of new materials and through mass production The Vancouver School Board February 1990 study on poverty "Canada's Future? One Million Children in Poverty" indicates that one Vancouver child in four lives in a family whose income is below the poverty line.  9  technology.  Material goods and products proliferated, and were often touted as  disposable: people bought them for a short term of use and then threw them 'away' . 4  Unlike the products which preceded them, many of these new products  were made of manufactured materials which d i d not break down in the way previous natural materials such as wood, cotton, or metal d i d in nature. M a n y of these new consumer goods did not biodegrade.  5  The 'disposable' nature of many of the post-war products meant that people would always need to buy more and more consumer goods. had a built-in obsolescence.  M a n y of these goods  This limited life-span for goods provides a perfect  formula for an economy which has to continue to produce, indeed which has to 'grow' in its material production in order to continue. The addition of television and the possibility of large scale advertising then allowed further presentation of products to mass audiences.  After needs (which are  indeed limited) were met, this audience could be taught to want and desire new consumer items.  Fashion dictated that a new model car, a new style coat, and  modern goods required one to relinquish the old for the new. Thus the consumer culture grew, a culture which associated (and still does) the possession of commodity goods with social status. This culture even establishes the consuming of material goods as a social good: it benefits the economy, drives the economy, keeps the Gross National Product growing. Conspicuous consumerism 4  The fact that there was no place that is really 'away' was somehow missed.  ''Many of these new materials were plastics, which have a very stable molecular chemistry: the lifetime of plastics is extremely long and they cannot be broken down by micro organisms. This has lead to some real problems, particularly when these materials are disposed of in oceans and lakes. These plastic products are durable, and the numbers of them build up in the oceans. As plastic is relatively cheap to make, and is touted as 'disposable', a frightening amount of plastic is discarded into the sea where it creates a hazard for sea life: when plastic is ingested, it can kill a fish or mammal, and plastic packaging and nets can entangle waterfowl and other sea animals, resulting in injury and death.  10  became a way of life.  2 . 3 Dependence on raw resources from 'undeveloped' nations As raw resources in the industrialized and overdeveloped nations grew scarce, global trade in resources grew in order to secure raw materials for the constant and growing production which fuelled these economies.  Many of these resources were  taken from nations whose technologies had not 'developed' to the same extent and who sold (or were inveigled to sell) their resources cheaply. Often these materials were taken from 'colonies' (either political or economic 'colonies') which also served as a new market for the consumer goods being produced. This has resulted in the consumption of the majority of the world's resources by the industrialized and overdeveloped nations: the W C E D reports that 26% of the world's population, those who live in the overdeveloped world, consume 80 - 86% of the nonrenewable resources, and as much as 53% of the food products ( W C E D , 1988). It is clear that there exists a tremendously inequitable allocation of resources in our present world system.  2 . 4 G N P : A measure of what exactly? A n analysis of the G N P provides further insights to the problems associated with present economic development models.  Systems of National Accounts ( U N S N A )  which establishes internationally recognized methods for measuring the workings of the global economic system, has as one of its primary indicators the Gross National Product (GNP). This measure is used by individual countries to provide a measure of their economic 'health'. But this measure is flawed: it only recognizes as valid those activities and transactions which involve the exchange of money.  11  This means that crucial information is left out of this calculation: work done in the home is not figured into the equation while the cost of storing toxic waste is 6  included as a positive in the G N P .  Natural resources extracted and sold abroad add  to the G N P , even as this depletes the basic 'capital' of a country.  The official accounting systems in use in capitalist economies, such as that which calculates GDP7 only count goods and services which are sold on a market. They also do not count bads, such as environmental destruction  A country could exhaust  its mineral resources, cut down its forests, erode its soils, pollute its aquifers and hunt its wildlife and fisheries to extinction, but measured income would not be affected as these assets disappeared. Environmental degradation has now reached a point where measures of GDP, such as those discussed above, are seriously overstated. As an example, consider Indonesia where GDP figures have been re-calculated to include natural resource depletion. Depletion had the effect of reducing GDP growth by 40 percent. Instead of the 6.9 percent growth rate officially measured for the years 1971 to 1984, Indonesia grew at only 4 percent. There is an urgent need for this type of exercise on a world scale. Governments must commit themselves to comprehensive environmental accounting. It's a modest step, but an essential one.  If we did it, and took a reasonably broad definition of  environmental degradation, my hunch is that real GDP growth in the 1980s would be negative. (Schor, 1990, p. 54)  We do not measure the 'Gross National Equities' of our nations, of our earth, and 6  Scott Burns in his 1975 book Home  produced  Inc. concludes that the total value of goods and services  in households, but neither sold or compensated with wages, can be calculated as  approximately one-third of the value of the entire market economy. Marilyn Waring, a member of parliament in New Zealand's National Government and a political economist, in her  book If  Women Counted : A New Feminist Economics criticizes the designation of unwaged work done in the home (primarily by women) as 'nonproductive' work: the nurturing of families, reproduction, and household  maintenance. This 'non-productive' designation essentially makes this work  invisible in the calculation of the GNP. ''Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is equal to GNP less remittances from abroad.  12  we do not acknowledge their expenditure: our spending of this planet's 'capital' goes against all economic logic. As the G N P is used as a primary determining factor in domestic policy, industrial policy, trade policy and other basic and major positions and actions taken by governments it is an important, and powerful, indicator. There are other criticisms made about the way in which we presently calculate the  GNP.  Gross National Product is the single most publicly visible manifestation of the industrial economy. It reveals the gross dynamics of the monetarized economy, but never the value of the nonmonetarized economy — and now it hides the costs to the nonmonetarized  sector.  G N P does not refer to utilization value, but to cash  transactions. Thus, it reflects as "value" money spent to treat illnesses (even if they result from industrial growth), to replace consumer goods (even of the plannedobsolescence variety, even if they were never actually used), to cope with toxic wastes (even if they were a by-product of 'production'). (Garbarino, 1989 p. 156)  One  result of this superficial measurement  of the monetarized sector —  adding the creation of products and their consumption, without acknowledging their inherent cost to the environment a n d / o r the social impacts the creation and  use of these products have - - is that attempts to change practices which  damage the environment can actually be seen to negate the G N P . If a family buys cloth diapers for a child, in order to launder them at home instead of b u y i n g a constant stream of single-use 'disposable' d i a p e r s  8  their  Q  These single-use diapers are damaging to the environment in terms of the materials they require to be extracted for their creation and the polluting byproducts created in their manufacture. The numbers used for a typical child greatly outnumber the cloth diapers they replace: about six thousand single-use diapers are used for each child as compared to four or five dozen cotton diapers (which can be used again for another child, or used as cloths, rags, etc.)  Another negative  environmental impact of single use diapers is that although they constitute a growing problem in landfills, as they add  significantly to solid waste (between 2% and 5 % by weight of the garbage  13  choice only adds to the G N P once and not each week as w o u l d their purchasing of the more environmentally damaging product.  Because the environmental  costs of creating and disposing of the single-use diaper is external to the calculations considered relevant in determining the G N P , they remain invisible and uncalculated. There are other problems.  The present measure of G N P results in all  economic activity and exchange being factored into a positive outcome regardless of the nature or cause of that economic activity.  The great tanker spill in Alaska. For all its environmental damage, for all the tragedy that it created for local people, added several millions of dollars to the U.S. Gross national product. It goes down by our standard indicator of progress as a great benefit because it created new jobs in the shipyards that will have to repair the tanker, hundreds of new jobs in terms of the people cleaning up the mess, and so on. A l l of those things are added to GNP, when in fact the quality of life for people there, and indeed for the globe as a whole, has deteriorated. Well this is an absurd system. (Rees in Suzuki, 1989, p. 11)  This measure of 'progress' represents old thinking, thinking which does not consider that the earth is finite, is infinitely fragile and is being increasingly threatened by the environmental degradation that present economic activity creates.  2.4.1  Implications of G N P for the developing world  Because G N P is taken as a global measure of 'progress', it is applied as well to sent to Canadian landfills: 240,000 tonnes a year of diapers, according to Pollution Probe, in the Canadian Green Consumer Guide), they do not biodegrade (being covered in plastic) and their use leads to the disposal of human feces in landfills, thus endangering community health and sanitation.  14  the developing countries, countries which do not have the manufacturing infrastructure that the overdeveloped nations do.  Often loans from the W o r l d  Bank, and aid from the overdeveloped nations is predicated on these countries' increasing their G N P .  This often results in developing nations being required to  sell their raw resources (often non-renewable), or if they are renewable,  these  resources (usually primary commodities such as cocoa, coffee, sugar,) require the replacement of traditional crops and forested areas by land uses which foster the creation of farming systems for export crops or grazing lands for livestock which are raised to produce meat for export. Thus our first w o r l d definition of 'progress' becomes the measuring stick used to determine the kind of development which occurs in the underdeveloped nations.  This use  of a limited measure  of progress,  applied to these  underdeveloped nations, negates the ability of these nations to determine their own kinds of 'success' and 'progress'.  Developing on their own terms, in ways  appropriate for their population and their land and resource base, is replaced with a development model which benefits activities  i n overdeveloped nations.  manufacturing and commercial  This development  model  necessarily  depletes their resource base, and often undermines their abilities to even provide the basics of food, clothing, shelter and warmth for their own population.  2.4.2  Competition for a limited resource base  There is a limited resource base on the planet, and, at the present time, nations are all trying to maximize 'progress' and 'growth': all countries are placed in direct competition with each other for  raw resources, both non-  15  renewable and renewable materials.  The present measure of G N P in no way-  fosters a consideration of husbanding  resources or conserving earth's bounty.  Instead, thoughtful stewardship of the planet is replaced with a race to extract the maximum amount of raw materials, manufacture the most goods, consume the most products.  2.4.3  Changing the G N P  In order to change the nature of human relationships to the environment, and with each other, there is a need to find a new measure of human activity which is more balanced, and more acknowledging of what is truly going on in human and environmental terms.  It is necessary to find new ways to measure  progress and success, to define what a different kind of development, (based on premises which incorporate social and environmental considerations, not just the creation and exchange of material goods,) might involve. A number of writers have posited more inclusive methods for determining GNP.  In her book If W o m e n Counted:  A N e w Feminist Economics, M a r i l y n  Waring (1988) provides a concrete system for changing this measure. Her system w o u l d encompass home,  as  well  the measurement of work which is now unwaged in the as  incorporating ecological  consumption into the Common  Good:  economic  Redirecting  impacts  calculation. the  Economy  of  production  In their new Toward  and  book F o r the  Community,  the  Environment and a Sustainable Future, Herman Daly, and John B. Cobb Jr. (1989) also posit alternatives to the G N P as an economic measure.  These are but two  considerations for establishing new ways of calculating G N P , and thus new ways of measuring progress and development.  They represent only a beginning in the  16  thinking about numerous creative, and more inclusive measures which can be employed to replace our present measures. Hazel Henderson, a futurist, suggests in her presentations that the sustainable solution, when all factors are considered into the equation, is the true economic solution. What is necessary in order to establish these new measures and ways of considering  our development  and progress, is  a political  will,  a basic  commitment to real change in order to safeguard our natural and human future.  2 . 5 Growth as a basic premise In order to create a context for real change, Rees (1988b) argues that the present dependance on the concept of growth, and the inherent expectations that exist (even within people's imagination and dreams for their own lives, as well as the expectations of nations)  which are based on growth and accumulation of  material goods, must change.  This requires altering  which, along with the basis of our economic system,  the present world view, is firmly grounded in this  growth paradigm. Using growth as the basic measure of human activity influences even the way we can think about change, and consider altering present systems. points out that in the  Canadian study  Rees (1988b)  completed in 1987 by the National Task  Force on Environment and Economy, the concept of growth is defended. the W C E D  Even  report suggests that growth of p r o d u c t i o n in industrial and  developing countries  —"a five- to tenfold increase in world industrial output"  ( W C E D , 1987, p. 89) along with a major alteration in the way that output is distributed— is the answer to the present inequities which exist. Considering that indications we have now strongly suggest that present industrial activity is  17  already creating severe stress on the global environment, it w o u l d seem that growth at a rate such as the W C E D report suggests is in no way sustainable. Growth is the basic paradigm of our present global system.  Industrial growth,  a materialist growth structure is at the root of economies based on both capitalist and socialist principles.  Economics and  basis of both of these ideologies.  materialism establish the conceptual  Although they rely on different systems for the  exchange of material goods, growth in the production of goods is essential to both systems of thought and governance.  Economic growth is the most universally accepted goal in the world. Capitalists, communists, fascists, and socialists all want economic growth and strive to maximize it. The system that grows fastest is considered best. The appeals of growth are that it is the basis of national power and that it is an alternative to sharing as a means of combatting poverty. none  It offers the prospect of more for all with sacrifice by  If we are serious about helping the poor, we shall have to face up to the  moral issue of redistribution and stop sweeping it under the rug of aggregate growth. (Daly, 1977, p. 8.)  The present systems are based on obsolete assumptions, developed at a time when there was little knowledge or consideration of the impact of human activity on the environment.  There is more knowledge now about the environmental and  social implications of human activity. As a result, it is necessary to change the values and priorities within the socio-cultural realm and incorporate a larger framework in planning for the future. "Contrary to left versus right-wing arguments, it is not simply a question of either state planning or free market but of creating an ecological framework to guide the overall economy"  (Irvine, 1989) and all planning and policy objectives.  As part of that framework, the human and environmental costs of the present  18  growth paradigm must be acknowledged and considered in all policy and planning objectives.  2 . 6 What we need to understand, to integrate into our world view Economic growth — and the consumerism, advertising, accumulation, waste, and pollution that go along with it — is killing us. It is killing the ecological systems of the planet. It is wiping out other species at the estimated rate of two an hour. It is built on maximum exploitation of the earth, and it is unsustainable  [we must  put] an end to our war on the resources, species, and systems of the planet-and an end to our war on our fellow humans that goes by the name of industrialism." (Sale, 1990, p.47)  Schumacher maintained seventeen years ago that the modern industrial system lives on irreplaceable capital. The three categories of capital he delineated were fossil fuels, the tolerance margins of nature, and the human substance. These are useful categories to consider, now that we are beginning to understand the true cost of  growing industrialism. A t the present rate of resource use, we  have less than a century left of petroleum.  If consumption of oil and oil  products continues to grow as it has over the last ten years, then we have less than fifty years of this energy source available for use 1989).  (Frosch and Gallopoulos,  We are hovering at the edges of the tolerance margins of nature as  environmental evidence exposes. the world is grim:  The nature of human life in many parts of  poverty, hunger, starvation and illness characterize the lives  of the majority of the world's population.  In the overdeveloped nations, even  though material goods provide a measure of comfort for most (although not all), there is a poverty of spirit and growing social problems even among those who enjoy a proliferation of material possessions.  19  Clearly, we need to understand the interaction between our two worlds: the natural ecospheres, the thin global skin of air, water, and soil and the plants and animals that live in it, and the man-made technosphere—powerful enough to deserve so grandiose a term. The technosphere has become sufficiently large and intense to alter the natural processes that govern the ecosphere. A n d in turn, the altered ecosphere threatens to flood our great cities, dry up our bountiful farms, contaminate our food and water, and poison our bodies—catastrophically diminishing our ability to provide for basic human needs. The human attack on the ecosphere has instigated an ecological counterattack. The two worlds are at war. (Commoner, 1990, p. 7)  2 . 7 The implications of life lived on a small and fragile planet Story Musgrave was the first physician to walk in space.  He told of what it had been like to know the beauty of Earth as seen from the heavens  a small and fragile blue planet enveloped in a veil of clouds, floating, as  he recalled 'in the velvet void of space.' To have experienced that vision, he said, a sight made possible only by the brilliance of human technology, and then to remember the blindness with which we as a species abuse our only home, was to know the purest sensation of horror. (Davis, 1989, p. 46.)  This image illuminating. recognize  of l i v i n g on a 'small and fragile blue planet' is useful  and  This planet is truly 'spaceship earth', and it is now necessary  to  the implications of this for the journey of the present population  living on the earth, and the future generations who will inherit it. finite system.  The earth is a  The social, economic and political organization humans  establish  must acknowledge this fact.  The expanding economic system is inextricably linked to the biosphere.  Every  economy draws on the physical environment for non-renewable resources and on ecosystems for renewable resources and all the products of economic activity (i. e.,  20  both the waste products of the manufacturing process and the final consumer goods ) are eventually discharged back into the biosphere as waste. (Rees, 1988a, p. 6)  It is necessary  to establish policies and practices which discourage  excessive use (and waste) of energy and raw materials in the economy.  the "The  most important truth about ourselves, our artifacts and our civilization is that it is all borrowed  'We are forever borrowing from the environment to create  and maintain the totality of our way of life. Everything we transform eventually ends up back in Nature after we have expropriated whatever temporary value we can from it.'" (Jeremy Rifkin as cited in Irvine, 1989) There are definite ecological limits placed on human activity because the earth is finite.  There are also limits on the use of renewable resources in human  endeavors.  Although the planetary ecosystems have an external source of free  energy in the sun, there are still limits to their productive capacity. not grow indefinitely  "Ecosystems do  Ecosystems are held in "steady-state"or dynamic  equilibrium, regulated by limiting factors" (Rees, 1988 a, p. 8). What does this mean for human activity on earth?  Rees (1988 a) maintains  that because humans and their economies are now a dominant aspect of the earth's ecosystems, there is a problem.  H u m a n economies are growing, the  earth's ecosystems are not.  The use and consumption of ecological resources all  over the w o r l d threatens  to overcome  production and reproduction.  the sustainable  rates of biological  But there is another significant point.  The  present systems in modern industrial economies are polluting and degrading the environment to such an extent that they are having a negative impact on the capability of ecosystems to produce what have been considered until now  21  renewable resources. Rees succinctly states that:  ....over-exploitation is exacerbated productivity of ecosystems  by pollution which impairs the remaining  Modern industrial economies both directly undermine  the potential for sustainable development through over-harvesting, and indirectly compromise future production through residuals discharge. (Rees, 1988 a, p. 9)  As  well as the devastation of natural systems as a result of  present  unsustainable economic development practices, there are many negative social circumstances which arise as a result of our present system. The  current use and allocation of resources creates social and political  problems.  There are major social challenges within the global community, as  well as within the social and economic structures of the overdeveloped nations. There is a radical disparity in the benefits  and resources enjoyed by those  presently sharing the earth. If one goal of re-structuring society is to preserve the earth to ensure a decent life for future generations, then it w o u l d seem that ensuring a decent life for those presently alive would be a logical philosophical and  moral extrapolation of this goal.  Inter- and intra-generational equity are  necessary priorities: they are necessary to effect ecologically sustainable systems as well as socially sustainable systems  (Gardner and Roseland, 1989.) These two  are inextricably linked: social instability results in environmental threat. Reducing the present inequities which exist between the rich and poor will require that the rich reduce their present consumption and re-arrange their dreams and future expectations.  Rich nations and individuals will have to do  without the extensive material wealth that they presently enjoy so that the poor  22  (in rich and poor nations alike) may enjoy a fairer share of the world's resources (Rees, 1988 a).  We must live simply so that others might simply live  (Suzuki,  1989). In this change, the exchange of resources must necessarily involve sharing skills and technology.  The "...new wave of environmental consciousness in  Europe and the U.S. means the poor countries will be exhorted to forgo Westernstyle growth for the greater good of the planet  China and India have made it  clear that they will not abandon ozone-destroying chlorofluorocarbons for their refrigeration needs if they must, as a consequence, buy more costly technologies from the West" (Benedick, 1990, p. 154).  The overdeveloped nations must be  prepared to provide information and appropriate technology to ensure that the environment of the whole planet is protected.  2 . 8 The limits of the planet earth Frontiers have always been a part of human life. If resources became scarce, or social and political life too harsh, one could always travel somewhere else, to a frontier - a new land, a new life. Until recently, there has always been frontiers, there has been somewhere else to go to populate, to get raw resources, or to provide locations for building new societies and cultures. But we have come to the end of this planet's territory. It is hard to take this concept of frontier away from the human psyche.  The race to put people in space can be seen as an  attempt to establish a new frontier, a new territory.  It is very difficult to really  understand and imagine earth as an essentially limited, closed environment. "The idea that you can destroy this place and go to another place is exhausted. We can't do that any more." (Berry, 1990, p.34).  23  There is a need to restructure the way humans understand and imagine the earth - it is necessary to focus on this planet as the finite ecosystem it is.  As  Boulding (1966) suggests, this planet earth really is a 'spaceship'. It is necessary to husband the resources on the spaceship for there is indeed an end to them. In attempting to understand the finite nature of earth, and the real limits to growth this imposes, it becomes apparent that the earth cannot withstand present consumption and production activities.  Schumacher (1973) states that  although there are limits to growth this does not pose a real problem, as real needs are indeed limited.  It is the wants that are, it seems, unlimited.  They  must change . 9  One response to this need for change is to attempt to find a technical fix which will allow life to continue as it is. There is still a belief that technology can rescue humans from themselves.  Although appropriate technology may well  provide solutions which allow us to make the transition to a truly sustainable society, and technology may provide new methods of energy use and production, some basic aspects of life must change.  There must be social and cultural  adaptations made so that values based on material accumulation and wealth are replaced with values which honour interaction with nature and with other humans.  Regardless of technical advances and discoveries, there must be a  reduction in the use of energy and the use of renewable and non-renewable raw materials.  There must be a reduction in the creation, use and disposal of all  material goods. The answers lie in re-thinking the nature of our productive realm.  H o w do  we produce things, why do we produce them and who do we produce them for? 9  Although life in a sustainable future will necessarily have less material goods, there is no limit  to the social richness and possibilities which can be created.  24  Until recently, increasing production was considered to be a necessary condition of progress.  It is becoming clear that growth in the productive sphere is  destroying the planet.  W e need to consider whether  an ever-increasing  productive sphere is an appropriate (or even possible) goal for our societies.  25  Chapter Three The need for change: a search for solutions  Establishing  alternatives  to  present  development  models  involves  considering the kinds of priorities which need to be established to create a context for positive change. Sustainable development, as described by Rees (1988a, 1988b, 1989) and Gardner (1989) provides a good basic definition for an alternative development model.  3 .1 Sustainable Development: what is it? The term 'sustainable' is being used by environmental groups, industries and governments.  It is apparent from the often opposing views that these interests  hold, that there is little agreement on what the term means.  Planners and  policy-makers must establish an explicit, specific definition of S D .  Goals and  objectives must be overt and described. If strategies are to be established on the basis of an SD model, then there must be a clear understanding of what is being aimed for. A s well, it is important for the process of change to incorporate the same qualities as the end goals.  If SD involves establishing community self-reliance,  then community participation and involvement must be an implicit part of that move toward change.  The process of attaining  sustainable development is as  important as the end 'product'. In  the  Bruntland  Report,  Sustainable  Development  is  defined  as  "Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the  26  ability of future generations to meet their own needs." useful definition is found in W o r l d enough and time: Resource  Management  by  R. Reppetto.  A more inclusive, and Successful Strategies for  H e states that "...Sustainable  development, as a goal, rejects policies and practices that support current living standards by depleting the productive base, including natural resources, and that leave future generations with poorer prospects and greater risks than our own." Planning for sustainable development involves re-thinking and re-considering all current productive practices and processes. The definition and delineation of Sustainable Development that will be used in this thesis is best described and set out by Rees (1988a, 1988b and 1989) and Gardner (1988 and 1989). They are used because they both overtly support the establishment of completely different objectives for development than those which presently inform our social, political and economic institutions.  It is  necessary to challenge the present development models, and to create new goals for development if sustainability is to become a reality. Rees states:  Sustainable development is positive socioeconomic change that does not undermine the ecological and social systems upon which communities and society are dependent. Its successful implementation requires integrated policy, planning, and social learning processes; its political viability depends on the full support of the people it affects through their governments, their social institutions and their private activities (1989, p. 3).  Rees also cites five specific characteristics of SD: 1) it involves  achieving  explicit  ecological,  social  and  economic  objectives. 2) it may impose limits (as a result of ecological  realities) on material  consumption, but it will foster development at the community and individual levels that is qualitative. 3) it will require intervention  on the part of government, but will also  27  involve  active relationships and co-operation between  government  and the private sector 4)  it will demand an integrative and co-ordinated policy at all levels  5) depends on educational,  planning, and political processes that are  informed, open and fair. (Rees, 1989, p.3 ).  Development which is based on these premises will look very different from present efforts.  Free market practices and  command economies (such as those  which have, until recently, dominated the eastern block countries), economic growth presently determine our development decisions.  rooted in What is  called for, in sustainable development, is a radical change of perspective. Economic forces will stop being primary, and explicit social and environmental goals will be included and primary in determining the way that development occurs.  The ability to anticipate and prevent environmental damage requires that the ecological dimensions of policy be considered at the same time as the economic, trade, energy, agricultural, and other dimensions. They should be considered on the same agendas and in the same national and international institutions. This re-orientation is one of the chief institutional challenges of the 1990s and beyond. Meeting it will require major institutional development and reform. (World  Commission  on Environment and  Development, p. 12)  The present system which concentrates political and economic power has lead to both unconscious as well as conscious ravaging of the earth's resources, including its human resources.  It leads to an overuse of energy and resources.  The energy used just to shuffle raw resources and products around the globe is tremendous:  products can usually be created within the very population that  28  needs to use them. Decentralizing, along with community control and decisionmaking is essential to SD. What is necessary is to place emphasis on community decision-making in order to allow for community commitment and self-determination.  If you are  going to sustain anything, you must have populations that are locally committed (Berry, 1990). A change such as this is radically different from present world systems. In order to change the present use of energy and resource use, what is necessary is to minimize  the  amount of resources  and energy  used  in the  creation of  everything. Rees's definition provides a broad based framework from which to glean an understanding of SD. Gardner (1988) takes these goals and further elaborates them  by  setting  development.  out  eight  specific  principles w h i c h  define  sustainable  Her eight principles provide premises which establish approaches  to decision-making for resource management, premises which essentially guide the resource management approach toward sustainable development.  Although  she specifically uses these principles in a resource management context, they are also informative and useful in understanding basic elements necessary when planning for sustainable development in other  contexts.  Gardner sets out two categories of principles: process-oriented.  the substantive, and the  The substantive principles establish the underlying values  which create the fundamental goals of  decision-making for SD. The process-  oriented principles provide a framework for the means of decision-making, the "...structures, contexts and processes  that are necessary  sustainable development" (Gardner, 1988, p. 4).  to the pursuit of  29  The  substantive principles are established as:  the satisfaction of human  needs, the maintenance of ecological integrity, the achievement of equity and social justice and the provision for social self-determination. The  achievement of equity is an important aspect of SD. If an established  goal is to protect the environment in order to maintain a liveable world for future generations, then the establishment of a liveable w o r l d for present generations logically follows.  One basis for this is moral and ethical. Another  is informed by enlightened self-interest:  the present inequity cannot continue to  exist because the social and political instability which results from it threatens the environment.  There are no real boundaries.  Nation states cannot place  barriers to the military or environmental destruction which can result from the unequal distribution of resources — a distribution which at present withholds from the world's poor even the basic necessities of life.  Thus, environmental  goals are intricately bound to social goals. The  process-oriented  principles established  by  Gardner  suggest  that  approaches to SD must be goal-seeking, relational or systems-oriented, adaptive and interactive. In  analyzing present strategies,  and in designing future strategies for  development, it is useful to consider these principles. Gardner elaborates:  Goal-seeking...means that approaches seek pre-identified goals in a normative, proactive way, and also seek to identify new goals and policies or priorities that are consistent with principles of sustainability....Motivation for action is taken beyond reaction, anticipation of procedure to be positive, value-oriented,  initiating,  innovative and alternative generating.  Relational or systems-oriented [processes involve drawing] attention to key points of  30  entry into a system, dynamics and linkages within and between systems, and the spatial and temporal context of decision-making. Awareness of interconnections between human and biophysical systems, or economics and environment, is integral to the sustainable development theme. Attention to spatial and temporal scale leads to a mix of solutions appropriate to the decision-making arena of concern, with full consideration of implications for other arenas, whether larger or smaller, sooner or later.  The third process principle maintains that strategies...must be adaptive.  Adaptive  approaches manage risk through anticipation and prevention while seeking balance in human and natural systems through monitoring and self-regulation  Such an  approach permits the seeking, testing and redesigning of goals, and helps managers respond to surprise and discontinuous change in ways that promote sustainability. The final process principle requires that organizational approaches to sustainable development be interactive.  A n interactive design for organization promotes trans-  disciplinary collaboration amongst experts for the synthesis of strategies for management, and integration within and between management systems or sectors for strategy implementation.  The National Task Force (1987 p. 6) refers to 'a shared  partnership of governments, industry, non-governmental organizations and the general public" which will "guide us through an integrated approach to environment and economy". (Gardner, 1988, p. 5 - 6)  Perhaps the real value of O u r C o m m o n Sustainable Development  Future was  into c o m m o n parlance.  the introduction of  A l t h o u g h it has  lead  to  confusion, and dilution of the term (it means so many different things that it begins to mean nothing in particular), it has required that everyone consider the future of the earth a legitimate and overriding concern.  Industries,  business,  governments, politicians, academics, environmentalists, and the public at large must consider the  fate of the earth as a serious issue, and one which we must  shape by our actions, our policies and our production.  SD has been used as a  jumping off point (by some) ~ a point of departure for people to consider and  31  think about and explore and political life.  alternatives to our present systems of social, economic  This thinking is based on the need to consider other ways of  defining development and progress. Rees states explicitly that SD is value- laden and goal- seeking. This is not to suggest that the present system is value neutral: established systems promote production, consumption and waste along with inequity in the distribution of resources on the earth. What Rees establishes is that we need to change these values, and adopt new ones. SD has explicit policy objectives.  A s a development model it is based on  changing the quality of growth and meeting essential needs for jobs, food, energy, water, sanitation, and shelter.  This requires a change in the focus of growth:  development will be oriented towards attaining these goals for all, including the present generation and future generations.  Development that is sustainable  involves our rethinking the concept that development is equivalent to growth, and considering development as a process of economic and social change that involves shifting (Brown, 1981).  efforts toward goals which provide for a sustainable future. Sustainable Development involves ensuring a population in  harmony with ecological productive potential, conserving and enhancing the resource base, reorienting technology, managing risk, and merging environment and economy in decision-making ( W C E D 1987, p. 49). If we do not adapt and make explicit and conscious changes, considering carefully the goals we choose, change will be foisted u p o n us anyway.  As  environmental degradation increases and current social and political unrest grows as a result of further degradation, present systems of life and living will be threatened.  It is not possible to wait until present systems are devastated; it  32  makes much more sense to assume that some action must be taken now.  It is  necessary to set in place systems, structures and institutions based on a durable way of life involving sustainable values and goals. What is necessary is a big kind of change:  a major social, political and  economic overhaul. Those who benefit most from our present systems will not give u p economic a n d / o r political power easily.  There is m u c h work in  convincing those with money and power that short term profits will lead the earth to long-term devastation. With this definition of SD, can you get there from here?  3 . 2 T h e need for imagination Useful dreams and imaginings are necessary to guide action. These dreams must show us possible, desirable goals, and the way to take steps toward those goals.  The road to sustainable development is not all paved with should nots.  There are many shoulds: building and creating  there is much richness and hope in the prospect of  a durable, enduring future based on values far more  human and life (all-inclusive-life) sustaining goals. Imagination and ideals provide the basis for planning for a future world. They are essential to the planning process.  Imagination is the link from the  present into the future, providing us ways to envision what is possible and what can be. Long range planning inherently involves  an image of the future we are  planning for.  The only form in which the future presents itself to us is that of possibility, while the imperative, the 'should,' tells us which of these possibilities we should choose. As regards knowledge, the future —insofar as we are not concerned with the purely  33  organized and rationalized part of it — presents itself as an impenetrable medium, an unyielding wall. A n d when our attempts to see through it are repulsed, we first become aware of the necessity of wilfully choosing our course and, in close connection with it, the need for an imperative (a Utopia) to drive us onward. Only when we know what are the interests and the imperatives involved are we in a position to inquire into the possibilities of the present situation, and thus to gain our first insight into history. (Mannheim 1929, as cited in Friedmann, 1987, p. 343) For Mannheim, Utopia was an image of a transcendent future, a goal, a vision. Its purpose was to spur us on to action and give meaning to what, individually and collectively, we chose to do. ...Centrally preoccupied with a future that is linked to the present, he was concerned with realistic Utopias." (Friedmann, 1987, p. 343)  If the future is going to look different from the present, and it seems that necessarily will be so, then there is an opportunity now to establish what that future might look like, and establish the priorities that will take precedence in this new social, political and economic order. Planners involved in  SD must have a commitment to the environment and  to human life and a real belief in change and the possibility of change. The actions of planners must reflect this commitment and this belief at every level. In planning for Sustainable Development, it is not possible to be complacent. Each decision made must reflect the goals and intentions of Sustainable Development. In devising frameworks for establishing sustainability in production systems it is necessary to take some decision-making away from the profit-driven market economy.  Systems  must be devised  to allow for a wider spectrum of  34  acknowledgement to be made of the real expense of productive activity.  There  must be an internalizing, an accounting of the environmental and social costs which are at present external to the profit/loss equations used by conventional business and industry.  35  Chapter Four Implications for the production, consumption and waste cycle  The following chapter provides a description of the kinds of change sustainable development will require in the productive sphere. cycle of a product is presented. recovering  are explained.  A diagram depicting the life-  Concepts of reducing, reusing, recycling and  The 'Green' consumer movement is described, along  with the positive and negative aspects of this trend.  4 . 1 What sustainability means for production, consumption, and waste If economic development is going to integrate environmental and social priorities, then the whole spectrum of the creation of material goods must be reconsidered.  Acknowledgement must be made of the social and environmental  costs of the entire process of production:  in resource extraction, refining,  manufacturing, packaging, transportation, and disposal of these goods.  Those  goods which are not 'needs' must be considered luxuries, and they may be luxuries the planet cannot afford. A l l manufactured goods are causing pollution, therefore  we must limit and reduce the need for the creation of manufactured  goods. A s a result, the  'standard of living' as it has been experienced in the  overdeveloped world must necessarily be lowered.  This standard is reliant on  the overproduction, overconsumption and waste of material goods. not mean that people's lives will become 'worse'.  This does  There will be less material  objects but there will be the possibility of a more satisfying, richer human life  36  involving more interaction, and deeper human relationships.  M a n y human  values have been lost in the race to create, consume and discard material goods. Understanding the steps which are necessary in the production, consumption and disposal of a product is an important part of determining methods of altering production systems and determining places where changes must be made.  It is necessary to minimize environmental impacts of all production.  In  breaking down the steps required to make a given product, and in studying the lifecycle of that product, it becomes apparent that change can be made to eradicate or minimize environmental degradation which is a result of its creation. A number of questions will have to be asked about the creation of any and all material goods.  ...what is to be produced, why, when, where by whom and how  most of the goods  that we produce in this society aren't — they are bads, or at best unnecessaries with staggering social and environmental costs. (Sale, 1990, p. 46)  The following diagram (Figure 1 ) illustrates an 'energy spiral': the steps which go into the creation and disposal of every product created.  In devising methods  and strategies of limiting and changing production, producers must be required to pay the true cost of every  expense, including environmental and social,  which the creation of their product incurs.  What are presently externalities in  the economic equation would become internal to the expense calculation, and w o u l d essentially become 'the bottom line.'  Those products and commodities  which are too expensive for the earth will no longer be profitable for industry. Breaking down the steps which are required to produce and dispose of a product gives some indication of the many impacts of production which are presently  37  Waste Stream  Consumption  Retail Products Transport  iiiiiiiiiniiiiiiilliiiiiM"  iuudirg]^  m®w<g\f  iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiyiiiiiin  Packaging  Wholesale Products Hill  Manufacture  Stock Materials  Mm^jf  IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIMI(|||IIII»  Resource Refinement  Ecological Impact  R a w Materials linioirg)^  iiiiiiiiiiiiiniiilllliii  Ecological Impact  Resource Extraction  Natural Resources  Waste D i s p o s a l  Earth Figure 1: Lifecycle of a product The ideas for this figure were derived from Morris (1989), Frosch and Gallopoules (1989) and unpublished notes from the Environmental Choice Committee on the lifecycle of a commodity.  38  costing the earth, but which are free to industry. If we consider this lifecycle of a commodity, it becomes clear that there is a tremendous impact on the environment, and a tremendous use of resources and energy which goes into creating everything we use.  "As much as two thirds of  all energy is used to extract, process and transport raw and finished products." (Morris, 1989, p. 87).  A s well, there are often energy, resources and  an  environmental impact involved in the use of a particular good, and again in its disposal.  Considering every step in the creation, use and disposal of a product  can illuminate the inherent preciousness of everything bought, used, kept or disposed of.  It can create an awareness of the tremendous aggregate impact  humans are having on the environment,  the renewable and non-renewable  resources that are being used, and the sheer volume of energy required to maintain our consumer-driven societies.  Consciously recognizing that this is  happening is a first step toward understanding the way change might occur. A t the present time, much energy, and many resources are being squandered, the value of the earth's bounty is not being used well or with care. Specific regulations and requirements must be created so that the real costs of creating a product are borne by the producers and consumers of those products. It must become unprofitable for industry to produce goods which are too environmentally or socially expensive.  If these regulations are put into place,  the design stage of a product will have to establish that goods which are developed build in environmentally appropriate production, use and disposal systems.  M a k i n g the creation of an environmentally benign good far more  advantageous, and less expensive than creating an environmentally damaging  39  product will lead to changes in the production processes and in the products that are created.  4. 2 Lifecycle of a product There must be a more specific, exacting understanding of the social and environmental impacts which are a result of the creation of consumer goods and products.  What must be developed is an environmental impact assessment of  the whole lifecycle of a product, incorporating an inclusive, broad ranging consideration of the effects of the entire creation, use and disposal of a product. A s resource extraction is the first step explained, it details many aspects of the possible social and environmental implications of this stage. concerns are related to subsequent  M a n y of the same  stages, but they are not elaborated  as  extensively again under these headings. 4.2.1  Resource extraction:  This stage in the lifecycle of a product involves  the (usually non-renewable) energy necessary for the extraction of raw materials, the environmental impact of that extraction process, the social impact of this activity, and the context within which this activity occurs.  (This last category  refers to whether raw materials are 'mined' or 'fished' or 'harvested' in a smallscale manner, or if the work is done as a large scale project.)  A s most products  are made up of a complex mix of raw materials which are refined to provide the material for manufacture, the extraction of a number of natural resources is often necessary in order to provide the basic components of, for instance  a  battery, or a car, or a computer. There is an environmental cost and impact from  resource exploration, from  extraction (mining, oil rigs, cutting trees, even growing and harvesting crops),  40  and developing the systems for transportation of raw material. extraction  depletes the planet's  resources that are limited.  'economic  A s well, this  capital', taking from  the  earth  S o c i a l / h u m a n costs are also associated with this  activity, particularly with the development of more sophisticated and technology intensive practices in resource extraction. If  non-renewable resources are being extracted, this constitutes an expense  that can never be recovered.  If renewable resources are extracted,  present  practices can lead to an inability to renew those resources: soil erosion from clear cutting lumber can have an impact on our ability to successfully reforest, soil loss through intensive agriculture often results in the loss of more soil than food or textiles harvested, etc.  Other environmental impacts are the result of these  extraction processes on the immediate ecology (and beyond): clearcutting forests destroys completely the habitat of a complex and developed biosystem involving plants, animals (often including people), insects, soils; the soil eroding from clearcutting trees ends up in streams and rivers, destroying fish habitat; the fertilizers and pesticides from agricultural activity end up in waterways killing fish, plants, and poisoning drinking water. A l l extraction processes have an impact on the immediate environment, and because of the complex and many ways ecosystems are interrelated, unknown and extensive impacts can result.  A lack of salmon through the destruction of  their habitat due to silting of streams, or collection of debris and foreign matter from logging operations,  can lead to the starvation of seabirds or mammals  hundreds of miles away from the logging site. During this extraction stage, a tremendous amount of energy is used, most of which is non-renewable energy from oil products: not only does this deplete the  41  stock of non-renewable resources available to future generations; the byproducts of the use of this energy source are having a serious impact on the atmosphere of the earth, building up carbon dioxide and increasing the greenhouse effect which contributes to global warming (which will have a negative impact on our ability to renew what are at present resources considered renewable ).  The extraction  and transportation of oil itself has, as well, a significantly degrading impact on the environment.  It is becoming more apparent that there are large risks to the  environment which accompany the transportation of oil. There are also human and social costs associated with resource extraction. A n extreme example is occurring with the present deforestation of the A m a z o n . This is destroying the  homes of a number of indigenous tribes, resulting in the  destruction of their entire way of life. Many of these people do not survive away from their traditional forest homes.  Another case where the human and social  costs of this process is apparent is in cases where farms are created for commodity crops in the third world.  This can undermine the ability of these peoples to  adequately feed themselves. Often land previously used for food production or gathering  is transferred to cash crop production in order to supply foreign  markets. Particular types of resource extraction require large scale, capital intensive organization, such as the present agri-business  which now constitutes the  dominant form of agricultural development in N o r t h America.  This system  requires tremendous amounts of petroleum based fertilizers and pesticides and herbicides.  It also requires the use of heavy machinery.  Because of the costs  associated with this technology it is difficult for small family farms to survive economically.  (It is also particularly injurious to ecological systems, resulting in  42  soil erosion, a growing concentration of the petro-chemicals used for fertilizers and pesticides in the water table.  This system relies largely on oil products for  fuel: it is extremely energy intensive) The large fishing boats which now harvest the sea have displaced many small fishing boats which were once owned and controlled by individuals and families in small fishing communities.  N o w the control and the profits from these  activities are often lodged in cities and boardrooms far removed from the traditional fishing communities which once benefited directly from this work. The result of these changes in the way we extract and harvest raw materials and food has been an erosion of  community self-reliance, and a deterioration of  community life. There are health and social effects  related to the work of people involved in  resource extraction: extracting materials which are hazardous, such as uranium, asbestos, coal, etc.; harvesting foods which have been treated with pesticides and fertilizers (indeed, applying those substances to a crop) all have an impact on the health and well-being of the workers. It is necessary to gain a more complete understanding of each phase and aspect of resource extraction, and develop ways of monitoring the effect of this activity on the entire ecosystem (including the human implications), analyzing it in terms of present and future considerations for natural systems and human life. 4.2.2  Resource refinement refers to that stage in the lifecycle of a product  which involves the refinement of raw material into a purer form, or a form more amenable to manufacturing .  This process uses energy, and often requires  various compounds or chemicals to aid the refinement.  It often, as well, results  43  in waste products being produced, and these must be disposed of. Once again the ecological and human costs of this process must be scrutinized carefully. The renewable, and non-renewable energy sources must be considered, along with the hazards to health and the environment associated with the chemicals and compounds used in the processes.  Characteristics of byproducts  which occur in the refinement need to be studied and an appropriate method of disposal for this waste adopted. 4.2.3  Manufacture of a product.  A s above, what must be considered  carefully is the ecological and human impact of manufacturing a product:  the  energy necessary to create it, the materials necessary in its manufacture, the byproducts and waste p r o d u c e d in the  manufacturing process.  Human  implications of this stage, such as safety and health implications of the process must be considered.  A s well, the  location of manufacture can be considered.  Are these products produced locally for local needs, so that jobs are created in the community which is consuming the product?  This has relevance for other  stages, such as the energy required for the transportation of goods. 4.2.4  Packaging of a commodity.  A tremendous amount of materials and  energy goes into the production of packaging.  H o w much energy does the  extraction, refinement and manufacture of packaging for a specific product require?  What is the impact of this process on the environment?  (For instance  the manufacture of one ton of polyethylene plastic, used often for packaging, creates between three to five tonnes of waste.) What kind of materials are used: renewable or non-renewable?  C a n the package or packaging be reused, or  recycled? What kind of impact does the packaging have on the solid waste stream?  Sixty percent of packaging is pre-consumer packaging: the pallets, and  44  cardboard boxes and styrofoam which is used to package the packages of goods. H o w can this packaging be re-used or the need for it eliminated? 4.2.5  T r a n s p o r t i n g goods.  lifecycle of a product.  Transportation occurs at every step in the  The need to transport equipment to a site for the  extraction of raw material, the transportation of raw materials to refining and manufacturing facilities,  transporting manufactured goods for packaging,  warehousing and retail facilities all requires significant energy and resources, and results in environmentally damaging by-products due to the burning of fossil fuels.  There are many changes which can be used in order to minimize the  environmental effects of transportation: reducing the amount of transportation necessary by decentralizing the production of manufactured goods.  Recycling  and recovery methods can provide local supplies of materials available for reprocessing and re-manufacture.  Creating and using more  energy-efficient  vehicles is necessary as present vehicles convert only about 15% of fuel burned into motion, and the rest becomes waste heat or pollution (Morris, 1989).  Effort  must be put into converting vehicles to use of renewable energy alternatives, in order to reduce the need for oil products, and the negative impact on the environment of their use. 4.2.6 use  of  Use of a product: There are often harmful byproducts released in the  a product.  The use  of  aerosol  sprays  were  found  to  release  Chlorofluorocarbons into the air, and thus contributed to the depletion of the ozone.  M a n y household cleansers, solvents, garden care products and fuels  create harmful byproducts, or are directly damaging to the environment if they are used, even when they are 'properly' used. limit the use of these products.  It is necessary to regulate and  45  4.2.7 it?  Disposal of a product. After a product has been used what happens to  Does it contribute to the increasing landfill problem?  recycled or used  for the recovery of materials?  C a n it be re-used,  Is it hazardous to  environment, and does it require special disposal methods?  the  The control and  limitation of products which require to be landfilled, or in particularly those products which need to be placed in secure landfill facilities is a necessary condition in a sustainable society.  In adopting a 'polluter pays' principle, and  requiring the producers of a product to pay for or be responsible for the disposal of a good, particularly if that product represents waste which is problematic or special in some aspect, the economic incentive to change the technology of production,  or of  disposal  would  lead  to systems more  appropriate to  environmental concerns. One  issue w h i c h has been pivotal i n p o p u l a r i z i n g the  movement has been the disposal of solid waste. problem in overdeveloped countries.  environmental  'Garbage' has become a major  The garbage thrown out in North America  is increasing, at the same time as landfill sites are filling up and becoming more difficult to site.  A l o n g with this situation is a growing awareness that what is  being thrown away is potentially a valuable resource when it is reused or recycled. Pollution Probe suggests that the garbage problem is really just a 'used materials mismanagement' problem. With growing global awareness, the public is becoming aware that so much is being thrown away in the overdeveloped w o r l d , precisely because far too many resources are being used. 1 0  O u r culture  does not adequately consider the true value of these resources and the real costs 1 0  I n the GVRD NEWS, published by the GVRD in November/December 1989, the amount of solid  waste generated in 1988 by this region was listed as being 1,166,811 tonnes. 12.7% of this waste was recycled, which constituted 147,980 tonnes of that waste.  46  of their use and their disposal. This  issue  has  also  manufacture and use of such as packaging. question  the  brought  into  focus  questions  about  the  current  various materials, such as plastics, for incidental uses  The environmental movement is increasingly calling into  creation (which requires tremendous  amounts  of energy  and  resources and which produces large amounts of w a s t e ) and disposal of these 11  materials, and questions the mass use of these materials for any reason at all. There are indications that there is a growing proportion of the solid waste stream which is hazardous to the environment and to h u m a n health.  This is a  result of the numbers of products used in our homes, businesses, and industries which are increasing in volume and t o x i c i t y . 12  W h e n these are disposed of in  the solid and l i q u i d waste s t r e a m s , or i n backyards, they constitute a major 13  environmental hazard. Once again environmental and social costs must be factored into every aspect Ingrid Komar, the Development  Co-ordinator at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance in  Washington, D.C. states in a letter to Mother Tones February/March 1990 Issue that for each ton of polyethylene used, three to five tons of waste and pollution are generated in the extraction and manufacturing processes. Pollution Probe, in their book The Canadian Green Consumer Guide indicate that each Canadian is responsible for putting between 16 to 18 kilograms of plastic into the Solid Waste Stream each year. 12ln 1989, over a thousand new synthetic chemicals entered the marketplace with less than 10 percent pretested for health effects. None were tested for the pollutants produced as a by-product of their manufacture, or their impact on the ozone layer, global warming, or other ecocidal effects (O'Connor, 1990).  These are only added to virtually millions of other synthetic chemicals which  have been created previously and are routinely used in industrial and household products and processes. As well, heavy metals which have been extracted and used in various products used by industries and in households also pose a hazard as they potentially contaminate the environment. 1 3  I t is estimated that in an average city with a population of 100,000 3.75 tons of toilet bowl  cleaner, 13.75 tons of liquid household cleaners and 3.44 tons of motor oil are discharged into the sewage system each month (Environmental Hazards Management Institute, 1988).  Household  cleaners constitute a widespread and unmonitored source of toxic waste. 65% of water pollution in the U.S.A. can be traced to non-point sources: oil dripping from automobiles and chemicals washed off lawns and fields (Paulson, 1990).  47  of the lifecycle of a good; these must be included in the bottom line.  4 . 3 The many R's of changing our ways 4.3.1  Reduce:  The first and most effective way to begin to change the  present overuse of the earth's resources is to reduce what is produced and consumed.  Considering a product's necessity and exploring alternatives to its  use  purchase  or  its  provide  consumption of goods.  an initial perspective  on  considering  A s the real costs of creating products are transferred to  the consumer some of the following kinds of strategies will become popular. Sharing appliances or tools is possible and makes sense: laundry facilities, etc. can be used by a number of families. stronger community  the  bonds.  more  lawnmowers,  This also creates  T o y libraries, renting seldom-used  machines,  establishing baby-equipment swaps, etc. are alternatives to buying more than is necessary. For  planners,  initiatives designed  the  possible  and achievement  establishment  of  community  development  of community organization through strategies  to reduce consumption provides a doubly beneficial policy and  programme perspective. Reduction of packaging that surrounds commodities is also a necessary step: the  Federation of  Canadian  M u n i c i p a l i t i e s maintains  household garbage is packaging (Pollution Probe, 1989). and the expenditure of the resources necessary  that  one-third  of  This costs landfill space,  to create and recreate  this  packaging. When the consumption of a good is reduced or eliminated, the use of energy,  48  resources and polluting effects from the manufacturing process are completely avoided. 4.3.2  Reuse: The reuse of products or packaging can decrease significantly  the energy and resources necessary for creating these products.  In reusing  bottles, such as milk or beer bottles, cloth diapers, etc., the energy that was necessary in creating that bottle or diaper is saved again and again. Energy and resource savings multiply with each reuse.  A s well, it also saves the energy,  pollution and materials needed in creating disposable alternatives, such as plastic jugs or single-use diapers, which often replace more durable products which can be re-used. Even with the creation and use of bottle washing facilities or laundry facilities to prepare durable goods for reuse, this strategy results in a net reduction in the use of energy and resources (Pollution Probe, 1989). Repairing a product for re-use instead of disposing of it and buying another saves landfill space, and also saves the need to create a new good. People must be urged to buy for durability, and be prepared to reuse a product over and over. This durability must be factored into the design and manufacture of all products. Once again, when the real costs of production are taken into account, it will make more economic sense for this to be common practice. 4.3.3  Recycle: Recycling is less environmentally sound than reuse, because  the products must be reprocessed (Pollution Probe, 1989). Daly (1977) establishes that we cannot convert waste into raw materials without expending energy.  This  energy degrades into waste heat. Although recycling is a good idea, it is limited: the energy we use to recycle waste cannot be recaptured. The most efficient method of recycling is when a material is used again in its original form:  newspaper should be recycled as newspaper, glass (when the  49  containers are not reuseable) should be recycled into glass. This saves 20 to 95% of the energy, water, mining wastes and air pollution consumed or produced to process the product from virgin materials. material is recycled.  These savings accrue each time the  For instance, recycling a ton of newsprint saves 17 trees:  newsprint can be recycled five to eight times before it loses its usefulness for that purpose (Morris, 1989).  Environment Canada statistics suggest that  43% less  energy is necessary to produce a tonne of recycled paper as compared with a tonne of non-recycled paper.  Less pulping is required, consequently  recycled  paper uses 7,000 less gallons of water per ton of paper produced, and the recycling process creates up to 75% less air pollution and 35% less water pollution as well as eliminating 3 cubic yards of landfill material (Pollution Probe, 1989).  A t the  end of the newspaper recycling chain, the paper can then be recycled for other purposes: the base material for cardboard boxes, egg cartons, etc. If materials are recycled into a secondary form, such as paper being recycled into compost,  or glass being recycled into glassphalt,  this does little to avoid the  need to make new products using newly extracted, refined and manufactured materials.  Although strategies which recycle into secondary forms do cut down  on the solid waste stream, they do little to reduce pollution and environmental degradation (Morris, 1989). N e w plastics and styrofoam recycling plants are an example of this: the plastic or styrofoam is made into something else: still constant  yo-yo's or plastic lumber.  There is  manufacture of new plastic goods occurring, using up non-  renewable oil resources, requiring the extraction and transport of that oil, and creating significant pollution in the plastics manufacturing process.  Re-cycling  these goods is questionable as to its utility other than reducing need for  landfill  50  space.  Reduction, or eradication of the creation of these goods is a more useful  goal. 4.3.4  Recover:  This process involves taking a product, such as a battery,  and recovering materials in it which can be used again, such as mercury, silver, cadmium. This works best when all the materials in a product can be used in the manufacture of new products.  This technology is sometimes not  efficient or  environmentally sound: at times the energy used and the byproducts which are created can make the process prohibitive in terms of cost a n d / o r ecological impact.  Nevertheless, the 'costs' (including environmental impact) of recovery  must be measured against the full cost of extraction and refinement of raw materials  necessary in order to manufacture new products.  It is important to  consider as well the costs associated with landfilling these materials, particularly if it requires the storing hazardous goods. in terms of the earth, as well as  Storage and landfilling are expensive  in terms of energy use,  and environmental  degradation. 4.3.5  Replace: The replacement of certain products or processes with more  energy- efficient and appropriate products or processes can result in significant savings to the environment.  These 'opportunities for efficiency' can make a  significant contribution toward maintaining stocks of non-renewable resources.  energy  A s well, replacement of conventional energy with energy derived  from the sun, w i n d , water flow, and biomass, can provide abundant and affordable energy that uses renewable resources 4.3.6  (Lovins, 1989).  Rethink: This is possibly the most important change.  Social change,  and a process of education and social learning is necessary in order to begin to integrate new strategies and practices, in industry, in government and in the  51  lives of individuals, families and communities which are aimed at developing a sustainable future.  4 . 4 The greening of the marketplace Environmentalism and ecological concerns are in the speeches of politicians everywhere. corporations.  These concerns are showing up as well in the advertising of major The popularity of the concept of environmentally friendly  practices and products is growing. future of the planet.  The public is increasingly fearful about the  Green products and policies are a wonderful marketing  technique for selling products and politicians.  But just because these issues are  being used to sell goods, or political parties, does not mean that the changes that are necessary are being considered seriously.  They may adopt our rhetoric, but not our values. A l l our leaders now call themselves environmentalists. But their brand of environmentalism poses very few challenges to the present system. Instead they propose to spruce up the planet with a few technical fixes or individual lifestyle changes: scrubbers on coal plants, eating 'all natural' cereals, and so on. (Morris, 1989, p. 91)  Manufacturers and retailers are appealing to a limited description of the problem; the analysis which has gone into developing new 'green' products or policies is not necessarily deep or profound. fast-food  MacDonald's, the world's largest  chain, suggests that recycling of their plastic foam containers is  'environmentally friendly', but they have not considered alternative packaging made of renewable materials, except where laws or regulations have required it of them.  52  Recycling is seen as the ultimate solution, and although it is a better alternative than landfilling materials,  the energy and resources necessary to  convert recycled materials into useable products is still substantial.  Recycling  often transfers the responsibility for the disposal of the packaging or product to the consumer, and does not establish that the producer of that package should also take responsibility for the way it is disposed of.  It is interesting to note the  number of beverage container companies that are aiding recycling efforts in Canada, in a bid to defeat, or eliminate litter laws and deposit systems which effectively  hold the manufacturers of these containers responsible for their  collection, reuse, recycling or disposal. There is a plethora of retail outlets which now offer green products, or environmentally friendly products.  They suggest that consumers can buy  environmentally benign products.  T h r o u g h their i n d i v i d u a l choices,  'consumption  can  votes',  consumers  have  a  positive  impact  their  on  the  environment by buying products which, in some way, take the stress off the environment. There are a number of problems with this marketing technique, and a number of good aspects.  The problems first. Consumerism, and the growth in  the production of consumer goods is at the root of present environmental problems.  The green  products  marketing strategy  does  not  question  consumption. If people are to really make an impact on improving the health of the planet, it is necessary to reduce the production, transportation, consumption and disposal of all products. Buying more of anything is not good for the planet. A t present there are no controls on what a manufacturer or retailer can claim is 'green' or 'environmentally friendly'.  A product can be designated  green,  53  command a higher price than its equivalent that is not labelled 'green', but it may not really make any difference,  environmentally, which product the  consumer buys or uses. The label might just represent advertising hype.  Even if  the product is 'phosphate-free' and as such does not contribute phosphates to the sewer system, and ultimately the hydrosphere, what of the rest of the life-cycle of that product? Were the conditions under which that phosphate-free  detergeant  made environmentally and socially benign? This information is not available about most products; one must trust the manufacturer and the retailer to honestly inform consumers about what they are buying.  If the product is  designated 'green', it may be a very narrow band of green indeed.  Another precondition for a real greening of society  is an opening up of all those secret  doors behind which information about the composition of products, expected lifetimes and so forth is locked away from public scrutiny. Similarly, decision-making processes in the corridors of government and the boardrooms of business need to be made more visible to the people whose lives they affect." (Irvine, 1989, p. 23)  It is also necessary to understand the relative toxicity of a product, the energy required to make it, the resources used and the pollution produced in the entire manufacturing process in order to make a truly informed consumer choice. There is not enough information provided about products that are for sale.  If  one wants to buy a new appliance, what kinds of information are available about the energy efficiency of that appliance? If the appliance is a refrigerator, are there regulations to designate if it is C F C - free, and if so, what does it incorporate as a coolant?  Expected lifetime of an appliance, the impact to the environment from  its manufacture and the potential for re-use or recycling of it or its parts in the  54  future all provide necessary information to a consumer who wants to make a truly informed environmental decision about what they buy (Kellner, 1990). Even stores which characterize themselves as environmentally  friendly  retailers are quite happy to place the phosphate-full detergeants beside the phosphate-free  ones.  Their marketing ploy does not get in the way of their  wanting to gain profit from p r o v i d i n g consumers with a 'choice' about the products they wish to purchase.  Some of the rationalization for this 'choice'  springs from the belief in this culture that one kind of freedom people expect is the freedom to buy products, even if those products are not particularly good for the environment. A n example of 'green' marketing in a manner which benefits a company can be seen with the  introduction of Environmentally F r i e n d l y / E c o  Energizer batteries by Eveready. Eveready effectively  Logique  W i t h the introduction of these batteries,  reduced the amount of mercury to ten percent of its  previous l i m i t . Eveready's press release in November of 1989 was welcome 1 4  news.  Nevertheless, they did not begin to use this 'green' information in their  advertising until February 1990.  The stock of batteries which was already in most  retail outlets in November was not Environmentally Friendly, and the company wanted to deplete the present stock before introducing their new p r o d u c t . As 15  1 4  This .025% by weight of mercury is the same amount of mercury which is allowed now within  many European countries beginning in 1990. This reduction in mercury in European batteries is a response to severe regulations imposed on the battery industry by various European countries. See chapter five for a more detailed discussion of these regulations. ^Interestingly, Duracell's response to Eveready's introduction of the environmental battery was skeptical, calling it a numbers game, and stating that there was no such thing as an environmentally friendly battery. At present batteries do not have to label the amount of mercury, or cadmium which they contain. Many people are not aware of the hazardous nature of this product, and the very real dangers improper disposal of batteries can have on the environment and human health.  55  well, Christmas is a very popular time for people to buy batteries, and there was no real need to boost sales at this time. Green consumer marketing focuses on the responsibility of the consumer to choose the environmentally appropriate product: retailer benefit  from  either  choice.  the manufacturer and the  There is no responsibility taken by  manufacturers or retailers for the part they should play in environmental protection. Change occurs when there are changes in demand, and then markets shift to meet that demand. It is the power of the consumer to demand products w h i c h are more appropriate environmentally and the  manufacturers and  retailers will meet that demand. Despite these criticisms, the green consumer movement has some merit.  It  makes available to consumers products which are better for the environment, for example recycled toilet paper, unbleached paper products, non-toxic cleaning agents.  The fact that these products have been widely available in many  European countries for years brings into question the real 'freedom' that exists in the present marketing system.  O b v i o u s l y , until the recent environmental  consciousness, industry and retailers d i d not see the need to provide these products here.  Consumer demand for these products has grown recently, as a  result of environmental awareness and education.  This has forced industries  and retailers to make these products available in North America.  Consumer  awareness can have a positive impact on what products are made available. The green consumer movement does provide a context for people to consider the impact of their choices on the environment, and it encourages people to weigh their choices with concern for a wider spectrum of issues than just their personal or family convenience or ease. A s such, it can operate as an educational  56  tool.  The remarkable popularity of green products indicates that the public is  truly willing to change buying patterns in order to minimize environmental risk.  In order to make this a real option, the labelling and descriptions of  products must include adequate, and accurate information with regard to the entire life-cycle of that product, and its adherence to environmentally and socially appropriate processes and practices. Green products and the green consumer movement can be established as a transitional strategy on the way to sustainability: as people become aware of the products which are less hazardous to the environment, their use will grow. there is  If  legitimate regulation and endorsement of appropriate products, other  more harmful products can eventually be phased out.  The present Federal  Environmental Choice programme, which screens products to be endorsed with its eco-logo has as its mandate specific criteria for approving products which can change. The guidelines can become stricter and stricter as time goes on, and they can be applied to any phase in the lifecycle of these products. If green products are to be sold, the term 'green' or environmentally friendly needs to have a real meaning.  This will require some government intervention  to designate specific expectations which must be met if a product is to be labelled 'green'. It must be completely clear to consumers what is being sold. Regulation of products labelled environmentally friendly can be done now under the provisions of the Trade Practices  Act of B.C. and the Federal Competition Act  which deal with issues concerning false advertising. In the case of larger consumer items, such as appliances, a plethora of environmental information which is presently not available should be made available on a mandatory basis.  57  Contents of products, toxicity with regard to the natural environment, health, safety and environmental information should be labelled on products so that people are aware of the dangers a n d / o r benefits of the use of a specific product. These could take a form similar to the present health warnings which label cigarette  packages,  and information p r o v i d e d could alert people  to  the  environmental impact or risk associated with specific products. In the best of all possible worlds, hazardous goods would be phased out, so that they would not be available for use at all. A l o n g with these strategies, there is a need for widespread social learning. It is necessary for people to understand that freedom goes beyond having the right to buy something, particularly the right to buy something which costs the earth.  4 . 5 What does this mean for planners? For planners, the need to establish a sustainable society has many far-reaching implications. These apply to the traditional territory of planning: transportation planning, land-use planning, housing, social planning, cultural and recreation planning.  But they also will apply to planning in contexts which have, until  now, been outside of the usual realms of planning practice. If there are to be real changes toward sustainability, there will be a need to change the nature of the production of goods:  "...what is to be produced, why,  when, where by whom and how" (Sale, 1990, p. 46).  This is a materialistic  society. Making things and the exchange of those things is what this economy is primarily  organized for.  What is problematic is  that  there  is  now  an  overproduction of material goods, which has resulted in current environmental and social problems. Planners must be among those participating in establishing  58  structures for the necessary changes which must occur within the productive realm. Regulation and control will be involved, sometimes using  traditional areas  of planning in creative and innovative ways in order to create a context for the production of goods which are more in line with environmental and social considerations.  A s well regulation and control will involve using new kinds of  powers and planning tools as municipal and regional districts become more responsible  to  ensure  the  public  environmental and social c o n c e r n s .  well-being  in  matters  which  involve  16  E v e n though the productive realm has not been the legitimate territory of planners, there is now  a growing need for public powers to be exerted  regulating and controlling the productive sphere.  in  This is particularly true where  the goods produced have overtly hazardous or problematic characteristics in their creation, use or disposal.  1 6  Municipal and County restrictrictions and regulations are now being exercised in Los Angeles in  order to ensure cleaner air. Bans on the sale of many consumer chemicals and products such as oil paints, solvents (such as lighter fluid), aerosols, freon, etc.  are being instituted, because of the  negative impact these products have on the rapidly deteriorating air in Los Angeles. These powers are being exercised by the Southern California Air Quality Management and Control District, which represents a number of counties in Southern California. The GVRD has just voted to establish a ban on landfilling demolition waste, in private and public landfills within the GVRD district. This waste was being landfilled at an increasing rate, and represented a significant proportion of the waste going into landfills within the district. The majority of the materials being landfilled can be reused or recovered. This ban will have an interesting effect: it will create more jobs, as it will be necessary to slowly and methodically deconsruct housing in order to retain the materials for salvage. This is more labour intensive than bulldozing a site. The material for salvage will provide resources (which have been destroyed and landfilled until now) for people building or renovating . It will take more time to demolish these buildings, and thus cost more (in labour and interest costs on the properties) so that there may be less demolition incentive to demolish older homes. More renovation of existing housing may result, thus retaining neighbourhood chaacter and history.  59  4. 6 Planning for the disposal of solid waste; introducing sustainability In Canada,  municipal and regional governments are responsible for the  management of solid waste. This responsibility falls to this level of government because public health concerns are dealt with at the local level. garbage  has  communities.  been  an outgrowth  of sanitary health  Collection of  organization w i t h i n  A s such, in most Canadian communities, it has developed as a  public service, provided for by municipal or regional taxes . 17  Current planning methods for waste disposal are inadequate.  Planning for  sustainable development does not yet exist in our solid waste management systems . Waste disposal is currently viewed as an after-the-fact public service that must accommodate the waste that is generated by producers and consumed by individuals.  It is therefore reactive and has no control over the nature or  scope of the problem. The realities implied by sustainable development, among them the growing environmental degradation of our earth's ecosystem which is a closed, limited system, require a more proactive planning method.  This method must  incorporate a broader perspective of the relationships between producers (industry), consumers (individuals and groups) and the public (responsible agencies/all levels of government) as well as a deeper understanding of the impact of the whole lifecycle of a product on the environment, both natural and human. Waste disposal requires a long-range planning strategy which anticipates the need for sustainable development. 17  This can be accomplished, in part, by  Sometimes there are provisions for charging households for the number of refuse containers  which are set out on a regular weekly basis.  These charges are nominal. It is not a user-pay  service, as the service is seen as an extension of the public health system.  60  educating the public, reducing the disposal of materials which can be used again through recycling and reuse measures, reducing the waste at source by limiting packaging and eliminating the use of non-durable products.  It is also necessary  to reduce the hazardous components in the waste stream through regulation and elimination of potentially hazardous products which are presently entering the environment in a completely uncontrolled manner.  In this way it is possible to  reduce the use of land for landfills or the necessity to build waste disposal sites and  incinerators.  It is also possible  to eliminate the hazards posed  when  potentially harmful products are placed into the environment, or the expense and risk of having to securely landfill specific toxic materials and products. Most solid waste management planning has been focussed on dealing with wastes according to the popular technologies of the times such as burning, incinerating, etc. reducing waste. technology  landfilling,  O n l y recently has the emphasis been placed on  This has often been incorporated through the use of high-  solutions  like  incineration  and  Resource  Recovery  Plants . 18  Recycling and reuse aspects of waste management have only recently become a primary focus for Waste Management Planners. 18  Engineers who traditionally  Resource Recovery Plants are usually described as recycling technology. This is not necessarily  true. They operate in the following manner: unsorted, mixed waste is taken to a plant, where it is separated into appropriate categories: metal, cardboard, plastics, glass, yard wastes, etc. This involves conveyer belts and machinery, and some sorting by workers in the plant. The final refuse, which has no market value, is either landfilled, or made into fuel pellets.  As there is no  separation at source, most of the paper products and other materials which might be reuseable or recyclable are not marketable as a high grade paper product. Most of this paper ends up being landfilled or burned. As well, because there is no source separation, hazardous and toxic wastes often find their way into the final stage and either contribute to toxins in the landfill or become concentrated in the ash from the burning of the fuel pellets. The argument against RRP technology is that with a little extra effort on the part of those disposing of the waste, the recoverable materials retain a high value, and there is no need for such an expensive plant.  61  plan in this field do not consider the social possibilities which can lead to solutions, and inevitably proceed with technical solutions, which often bring with them new problems. reducing  Nevertheless  the awareness is growing that by  waste, in reusing and recycling much of what is presently thrown  away, a tremendous amount of resources and energy can be s a v e d , and thus 19  there is less of a negative impact on the environment.  Because these strategies  avoid the need for landfills, and new goods can be created from recycling or recovering processes which avoids the need to extract new raw materials, they cause less environmental damage in numerous ways. measures do not proceed far enough  Even so,  proposed  in the direction of a true sustainable goal,  and this is particularly true in the case of hazardous wastes. One way to test SD policies and practices (as they will have to evolve in order to limit and reshape productive activities) is to begin with classes of commodities which present a specific kind of problem in their life-cycle.  One specific problem  is the toxic components of products which are presently being disposed of in local landfills. In order for planners to establish some kind of control of these of products, they must go beyond their present role and participate with others in exerting 1 9  This  ideally would involve developing  local plants which can process  the materials to be  recycled. At present there are few of these industries in British Columbia, and most of the glass, tin and paper which is collected in recycling programmes is exported either to the United States or to Asia. This is a lost opportunity. There is a tremendous opportunity to develop recycling systems which close the circle within a community, 'extracting' the waste for raw material, the products, and selling them all within the same community.  manufacturing  It is also more feasible for  manufacturers relying on recycled materials to operate on a smaller scale than those who rely on virgin material. Mini-mills which use scrap steel use 95% less energy, and are only 10 to 20% the size of the iron-ore-based manufacturers.  These mini-mills now constitute 30% of the steel market  in the United States, and will possibly acquire as much as 50% of this market by the year 2000 (Morris, 1989). As waste which is the 'raw material' is in every community, and these plants can be operated on a smaller scale, there is a real opportunity for community economic development within recycling initiatives.  62  control within the market economy in order to establish sustainable practices. If planners are to begin to take a role in this sphere, a logical place to start is within the context of the production of goods that become problematic waste such as hazardous or toxic products which, at present, municipalities and regions must contend with.  Planners are implicitly involved in determining what must be  done with these products; there is a legitimate reason for planners to become involved in a much more comprehensive manner with establishing appropriate parameters for the production, use and disposal of products such as these. There is a specific role that planners can take at a local level change.  in establishing  This is the level from which change can be initiated, and this, in many  circumstances, is the level at which problems are encountered.  Think globally,  act locally.  communicating  Municipal planners need to establish new ways of  and developing links and structures which can be used to establish policies, procedures and strategies to provide a base from which to  work toward a  sustainable goal.  4 . 7 Household hazardous wastes There are many objects  and substances  potentially dangerous to the environment:  that are used daily which are  pesticides, paints, solvents, aerosols,  cleaners, automobile products, etc. When these are disposed of by pouring them d o w n drains, or by placing them with household garbage for collection, they enter  the  environment  in an uncontrolled fashion.  'household hazardous waste' landfills  The result  of  this  being put into sewer systems or incinerators or  is that an accumulation of toxic chemicals and metals can end up in  waters, soils and in the air. It is becoming increasingly clear that it is necessary  to  63  control and monitor these substances.  There is a need to develop systems to  divert these wastes from the solid waste and liquid waste streams. D r y cell batteries are one such household hazardous waste. Dry-cell batteries are found in virtually every household, business, industry and institution. They contain toxic amounts of heavy metals.  A t present these products are created  and disposed of without consideration for the hazards the heavy metals within them pose to human health and the environment.  This thesis uses batteries as  an example of a product which presents a problem in its disposal. It could just as well be smoke detectors which contain radioactive material, or fluorescent tubes which have coatings of various heavy metals on the inside of the glass, or countless other products that are bought, uses and casually disposed of with garbage. health.  They are potentially hazardous to the environment a n d / o r to human Batteries are being used as the example in this thesis because they are  common products used in homes, industry, commercial enterprises and within our institutions.  Due to changes in technology and  culture, there is a growing  market for batteries, so more and more of them are being disposed of in the Solid Waste Stream.  H o w do we deal with a problem such as this, using a Sustainable  Development perspective? The problem of disposable batteries is indicative of the larger problem of hazardous or toxic waste, and the growing production, use and disposal of products which contain hazardous materials. Using batteries as a test-case, present methods for controlling the disposal of these products will be analyzed in light of SD goals.  The Greater Vancouver  Regional District (including Vancouver city) is used as an example of a Regional government and a Municipal government coping with toxic waste in the solid  64  waste stream (SWS). The following chapter indicates the magnitude and the characteristics of the problem dry-cell batteries pose in their disposal, and the actions which are taken throughout the world in order to deal with the problem.  65  Chapter Five The problem of batteries in the solid waste stream  This chapter describes dry-cell batteries and the reasons they are used, and documents the growing battery market. Possible negative effects the disposal of spent batteries has on the environment are cited. The strategies and actions that other nations have devised in order to deal with the problem of batteries in the solid waste stream is documented.  5.1  Batteries A battery is a device which uses electro-chemical reactions to produce  electrical energy.  Batteries are designed to store electricity in the form of  potential chemical bonding between two active ingredients.  The chemical  composition is changed and discharging takes place as electricity is drawn from the battery (either over time, or through its use as an energy source for an appliance).  Depending on the chemical composition of the battery, it can be  classified either as a primary cell (those which cannot be recharged) or secondary cell (those that can be recharged by reversing the chemical reaction).  This thesis  does not deal with secondary cell lead-acid car batteries. The focus of this work is the smaller primary and secondary cell batteries. termed dry cell:  Most of these batteries are also  the electrolyte is not a free liquid, but a damp paste, and the  resulting battery is more appropriate for purposes of portability. These include the  small, button batteries which have a different shape than the conventional  cylindrical dry cell batteries.  66  The thrust of research in the battery industry has, for a number of years, concentrated on developing batteries with higher energy densities, particularly for  applications  which  required lighter  combination of the smaller batteries, with  and/or  smaller  batteries.  The  higher energy densities, and the  proliferation in the electronics industry of more efficient appliances and tools has resulted in a plethora of new products which use batteries as their energy source.  A s well, the popularity of electronic devices for entertainment and  communications has increased:  portable audio cassette and compact  disc  recorders, radios, remote control devices for televisions and V i d e o Cassette Recorders, portable cellular phones, etc. market for the battery industry. new uses for batteries.  have all provided a new and growing  The computer revolution also presents many  The characteristics and most common uses of dry cell  batteries are described in Table I. In many cases this technology has been extremely beneficial.  Modern hearing  aids can provide a hearing impaired person with a small, portable device which improves their hearing, thus reducing, or eradicating a serious handicap. Nevertheless, as is apparent from Figure 2 and Figure 3, many uses for batteries, although p r o v i d i n g for convenience  and entertainment, are not necessities.  Batteries for children's toys now represent 15% of a three hundred million dollar industry. Pollution Probe estimates that it takes as much as fifty times more energy to create a battery than that battery will provide. This estimate was probably made with regard to zinc-carbon and alkaline batteries.  Although this thesis deals  specifically with the problems of disposal of batteries, there are also other issues involved in the lifecycle of a batteries, particularly with respect to this kind of  67  Table I: Characteristics and uses of dry cell batteries C a r b o n - Z i n c batteries are less expensive than alkaline batteries.  They are  general purpose, heavy duty batteries and work best for devices which demand a low or m e d i u m drain of power for short-term or occasional use: a radio or flashlight for example.  They bounce back to almost full power when they are  turned off ( in the short term). They discharge slowly over time, even when not in use, so they are not good for emergency lights, smoke alarms, security devices, etc.  T h e y are inefficient  in cold,  freezing temperatures.  They last for  approximately one and a half hours. O l d batteries should be stored away from new ones. They cannot be recharged: placing these batteries in a recharger can be dangerous. These batteries come in sizes  Alkaline  A A A : 7.5 -10 gm.  A A : 16 - 22 gm.  C: 66 gm  D: 100 -132 gm.  9V: 32 - 46 gm.  6 volt larger lantern size  batteries last a long time under full power:  they can work  continuously for as long as four and a half hours. They can accommodate high instantaneous current drains making them good for uses which require this kind of power, such as cassette players. They recover faster after intermittent use, so they are also best for uses such as camera flashes.  They  do not discharge  significantly over time (retaining as much to 90% of useful life after two years at room temperature, and as much as 80% of their life after as long as five years), so they are good when it is necessary to have a power source which must be used after long periods of dormancy, such as clock or a security system. the cold.  smoke alarms, a back up for an alarm  They are more efficient than Zinc-carbon batteries in  They should be stored away from old, discharged batteries.  These  batteries should never be recharged: placing them in a recharger can result in these batteries bursting and leaking. Alkaline batteries come in sizes  A A A : 7.5 -10 gm.  A A : 16 - 22 gm.  C: 66 gm.  D: 100 -132 gm.  9V: 32 - 46 gm.  6 volt larger lantern size  Button-type batteries The following three types of batteries:  mercury oxide, silver oxide and zinc-  68  air batteries are all button-type batteries. specific usage.  Their size is dependant upon their  The size of these batteries is small, in order to accommodate the  kinds of uses they are designed for.  There is also a necessity to design these  batteries with special qualities for specific uses:  a watch battery must stop  suddenly, rather than slow down in its energy output, whereas a hearing aid power source must slowly lose power for safety reasons.  Zinc-air batteries are  taking over this market, and they are less hazardous to the environment, having between 1% and 3% of mercury in their composition. Mercury Oxide batteries are used for watches, hearing aids, pocket calculators, etc. Silver oxide button batteries are used for the same kinds of reasons as are mercury oxide: watches, hearing aids, calculators, etc. Zinc-Air  button batteries are used for the same purposes as mercury oxide  and silver oxide.  They are taking over this market, due to their lower toxicity  and their relatively low cost. L i t h i u m batteries are relatively new to the battery market. They are waferthin batteries, created to fit the specific device they are used within. They are extremely expensive, but last as long as ten years.  They are used as the power  source in pace-makers, thin watches, hearing aids, etc. The same kinds of design concerns apply to their necessary characteristics as those of button batteries:  the  specific usage dictates the way that the battery must operate, whether it winds down its power slowly, or quits suddenly, etc. A s Lithium reacts explosively with water, the casing constitutes over two thirds of the battery weight. Nickel-Cadmium conventional batteries.  batteries  are rechargeable. They are a substitute for the  Although they have an initially higher cost compared to  zinc-carbon batteries and Alkaline batteries, they can be recharged as many as 500 times. voltages.  They lose their power even faster than carbon zincs, and at higher (For example, if they are put in a  toy car, the car goes much faster than  with either carbon zinc or alkaline batteries, but it discharges much more quickly as well.)  Nickel-Cadmium batteries are not suitable for security devices, such as  smoke alarms and emergency flashlights as they slowly lose energy over time.  69  As they  give up power quickly and strongly they are good for such things as  cassette players.  They usually provide adequate power for an hour or so.  It is  necessary to recharge them properly: they must be discharged fully and then recharged fully, otherwise they are not good for the 500 recharges they advertise. If improperly used, they can lose as much as half their life. These batteries come in sizes  AAA:  7.5-10gm.  AA:  16-22gm.  C: 66 gm.  D: 100-132 gm.  9V:  6 volt larger lantern size  32-46gm.  E m b e d d e d N i c k e l - C a d m i u m are rechargeable batteries which are sealed or 'embedded' in tools and appliances. to a whole range of devices:  These provide portability and convenience  cordless drills, saws, cake-mixers, etc.  The whole  appliance needs to be replaced when the battery runs out as it is usually as expensive to have the rechargeable battery unit replaced as it is to buy a whole new unit.  70  Battery sales by use in Canada: 1982 and 1986  g  1982 % Sales ($136M)  H  1986 % Sales ($221M)  1I CO  1 I  I1 I  CO  CO  CO  CD  CD  o o O  o o  CD  Q  CD  oc5 to  CD x:  O  o  E  CO  CO  Usage by application type  Figure 2: Percentage of battery sales by use: 1982 and 1986 Figure 4 indicates that the battery market is growing : sales have doubled in the time from 1982 to 1989. The proportion of batteries sold and used for various applications is shown above. Information for this chart was derived from Eutrotech (1988).  71  Growth of battery sales by usage in Canada : 1982 and 1986  LU  CO  Usage by application type  Figure 3: Gross battery sales by use: 1982 and 1986 The chart above indicates the increase in the gross sales of batteries with reference to the applications for which the batteries were purchased. Use of batteries for toys has increased from 33.2 million in 1986 from 12.2 million in 1982.  This is almost a threefold increase.  Even though audio  use has held to its 30% market share, that proportion of the gross sales represents 66.3 million dollars worth of sales in 1986, up from 40.8 million dollars worth of sales in 1982. Information for this chart was derived from Eutrotech (1988).  72  calculation. The  result of changes in battery technology and electronics technology has  been a dramatic increase in the volume of batteries being bought, used and consequently being disposed of in our solid waste stream.  Figure 4 indicates the  growth of the battery market in dollars. A l t h o u g h official reports of the numbers of batteries sold in Canada are not a v a i l a b l e , it is estimated that each person uses from 10 - 12 batteries per year 20  with  8 - 10 of these being the conventional cylindrical dry cell batteries, and two  being button type batteries  (Seeberger, 1989).  This does not account for the  batteries used in industry, commercial enterprises, or institutions. that, at a m i n i m u m ,  This means  11 million conventional dry cell and 2.8 million button  batteries are being used and disposed of in the G V R D each year (Stringer, 1990).  2°Letters of inquiry requesting information on numbers of batteries sold in Canada, components in these batteries, considerations for change in battery technology  in the light of a growing  environmental awareness within the public, etc. were sent to the two men who hold the positions of Vice President, Marketing at the two major battery importers and manufacturers in Canada: Eveready and Duracell. After a second letter was sent and numerous telephone messages were left, Wayne Uren of Eveready returned my telephone calls and supplied me with a minimum of information, following up our call with some general information about batteries, and the press release referring to the new Ultra Low Mercury battery which Eveready has just introduced to the market. Mr. Uren then forwarded my letters to the Canadian Battery Manufacturers' Association so that they could send me information which would be more relevant to the enquiries I had made. Brian Wheeler, the Manager of the Association wrote to me and indicated that the Association had prepared a position paper on this subject, but he was not yet at liberty to provide me with a copy of this information.  As well, he was unable to supply me with any other information  concerning the industry . To date Duracell has not replied to either of my letters, or responded to the telephone messages that were left for Gary Belanger at Duracell head office in Mississauga. When Eutrotech Environmental Consultants were researching batteries for their Environment Canada report they were commissioned to write for Environment Canada they encountered a similar difficulty:  Neither Eveready  information about the battery industry.  nor Duracell chose to supply them with any direct  73  1982-1989: Battery Sales in Canada 1989  Figure 4: Battery sales in Canada Information for this chart was derived from Eutrotech, 1988 and data collected by Statistics Canada  Figure 2 and Figure 3 indicate the uses for which batteries are bought.  Note  in Figure 4, that the 1986 sales represent a market that has increased by 62% over the 1982 market. The numbers of batteries sold in each category have increased accordingly, as is illustrated in Figure 3. The most popular batteries are  zinc-carbon, alkaline, mercury oxide, silver  oxide, and zinc-air which are all primary cells.  A s well, the secondary cell or  rechargeable nickel/cadmium batteries are gaining popularity. All  of these batteries are constructed of corrosive materials, which are  hazardous if they leak from their casings.  A s these casings are made of paper,  plastic or metal, they eventually break d o w n and leak their contents.  In a  74  landfill, the process occurs over a long period of time.  (See Table II which cites  the composition of dry cell batteries). This leakage could contribute to soil and ground water pollution, if the leachate from the landfill is not adequately collected and properly disposed of. Batteries which are burned in an incinerator explode, releasing the metals they are made of into the air and the ash of the incinerator (Seeberger, 1989). A s cited in a memorandum written by Mike Stringer of the G V R D (1990), the batteries disposed of in this region have the potential of releasing the following substances into the environment: Manganese  78 tonnes per year  Zinc  77 tonnes per year  Caustics  18 tonnes per year  Nickel  18 tonnes per year  Cadmium  2.8 tonnes per year  Mercury  2.6 tonnes per year  Silver  1.5 tonnes per year  Table II: Composition of dry cell batteries Material Manganese dioxide Mn02  Type Carbon-Zinc  Zinc Ammonium  (cylinder)  Chloride or  Zinc Chloride  % by weight 29%  Zn  17%  NH4CI ZnCl  anode  5%  electrolyte  7%  cathode current collector  2  Carbon  Steel Paper /plastic Cadmium Mercury Lead  Function cathode  Cd Hg Pb  Alkaline  Manganese dioxide M n 0  (cylinder)  Zinc  2  Zn  16% 10% 0.08% 0.01% trace  casing  22%  cathode  14%  anode  Potassium hydroxide Carbon  KoH  5%  electrolyte  C  2%  casing  Steel  27%  Paper/Plastic  5%  Mercury  Hg  Cadmium  Cd  trace  Lead  Pb  trace  Mercury oxide  Mercury  33%  cathode  (button)  Zinc  Hg Zn  11%  anode  0.025 - 1.0%  Potassium Hydroxide or  KoH  }  Sodium Hydroxide Steel Paper/Plastic  9%  electrolyte  NaOH } 22% 7%  casing  76  Composition of dry cell batteries Type  Material  Silver Oxide (button)  % by weight  Silver Zinc Potassium Hydroxide Sodium Hydroxide  or  Zinc-air  Ag Zn KOH } NaOH }  27% 10%  cathode anode  11%  electrolyte  22%  casing  Hg  1%  Zinc Oxygen  Zn o  30% ??  anode cathode  ?? 60% 1% 1-3% < 7%  electrolyte casing  Manganese dioxide  2  ??  Mn02  Lithium Li Steel Paper/plastic Nickel - C a d m i u m (rechargeable)  Function  Steel Mercury  Potassium KOH Hydroxide Steel Silver Ag Mercury Hg Paper/Plastic Lithium  cont'd  Nickel Cadmium Potassium or Sodium Hydroxide  Ni Cd KOH  cathode  10 - 30% 60% 7%  anode casing  20 - 32% 15 - 18%  cathode anode  ??  electrolyte  }  NaOH}  Note: All constituents are not listed, so the percentages may not add up to 100%. This table has been adapted from a similar one in Stringer, 1990, using information from Eutrotech, 1988 and from Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia, Fifth Edition.  77  In Table III, health and safety concerns which apply to humans exposed to these substances are cited; as well these heavy metals also have the potential of negatively  impacting plants and animals in the ecosystem.  The two  most  concerning substances are mercury and cadmium, both of which are cited as hazardous to the environment in section 9 of the Federal Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act. This designation is established when the concentration of mercury or cadmium exceeds 100 parts per million (100 ppm.)  Controlling the  release of these metals into the environment is thus an important part of solid waste management.  Health and safety concerns and recommended exposure levels to heavy metals Metal  MAC  Mercury*  0.001  TLV  Health and Safety Concerns**  0.1  May contribute to mental and motor disorders, kidney and pulmonary damage and genetic disorders. May react to form unstable, explosive products.  Cadmium*  0.005  0.2  Linked to prostate cancer; liver and lung disease. Also associated with certain birth defects.  Manganese  0.05  5.0  May damage central nervous system and contribute to upper respiratory infections and pneumonia.  Lead  0.05  0.2  Damages red blood cells, resulting in a number of different health problems.  Zinc  5.0  Silver  -  15.0 0.01  Generally low toxicity. Produces greyish pigmentation of skin and mucous membrane.  Nickel  -  1.0  Lithium  Generally low toxicity. Generally low toxicity except in large doses. Reacts violently with water.  M A C - Maximum Acceptable Concentration in drinking water. TLV  -Threshold Limit Value in air for which repeated exposure will have no effect.  * Designated a hazard to the environment in Section 9 of the Federal Transportation of dangerous goods act. **Note that this table does not incorporate possible environmental hazards posed to an ecosystem by these heavy metals. The information for this table was adapted from Stringer, 1990, and Eutrotech, 1988.  Table III: Health and safety concerns and recommended exposure levels to heavy metals  79  5. 2 A growing and changing battery market has environmental implications As a result of the growth of the battery industry, the use of mercury and cadmium in the manufacture of batteries has increased.  As well, the popularity  of certain kinds of batteries has resulted in more of these metals being used by the battery industry.  While use of mercury declined in most industries, it has  increased in the battery industry (Eutrotech, 1988).  It is estimated that the  disposal of used batteries placed fifty tonnes of mercury into the Canadian environment in an uncontrolled manner in 1988 alone (Eutrotech, 1988). Alkaline batteries were introduced into the battery market in 1966. their strength and long life, they displacing  Due to  have progressively taken over the market,  Carbon-zinc batteries.  Alkaline batteries  until r e c e n t l y  have  21  contained approximately 100 times more mercury than carbon-zinc batteries. This has resulted in more mercury being used in manufacturing batteries, and consequently being disposed of in the solid waste stream. The growing popularity of N i c k e l - C a d m i u m rechargeable batteries  (which  contain from 15 - 18% cadmium) has resulted in a significant increase in the amount of cadmium being used by the rechargeable battery industry.  These  batteries went from being 3% of the battery market in 1982 to 8% of the battery market in 1986.  (See Figure 5.)  A s indicated in Figure 6, this represents a  remarkable rise in the sales of these batteries, as the battery market increased by 2 1  I n early 1990, Eveready Canada introduced a new alkaline battery into the market:  'environmentally safer' alkaline battery.  their  This ultra low mercury (ULM) alkaline battery  manufactured by Eveready Canada is the first U L M battery to be produced and marketed in North America. It contains 0.025% mercury by weight, which is ten times less mercury than previous Alkaline batteries contained. This concentration of mercury is considered polluting' battery in Switzerland.  to constitute a 'non-  In Canada, the 250 ppm of mercury is more than the lOOppm.  which is the cutoff point which designates Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act.  a 'hazardous' designation under the Federal  80  Battery sales in Canada by type: 1982 and 1986  CO  O  CJ  Iz Battery sales by type  Figure 5: Percentage of battery sales by type of battery: 1982 and 1986 The percentage of sales of Nickel C a d m i u m batteries jumped to 8% of the market share in 1986 from 3% in 1982. in the text.  This poses some problems, as outlined  Alkaline batteries are also gaining in market share, and Carbon  Zinc batteries are  declining.  A s Alkaline batteries contain more mercury  than Carbon Zinc, this change has implications for developing policies with regard to the disposal of these products. Information for this chart was derived from Eutrotech (1988).  Growth of battery sales by type in Canada: 1982 and 1986 g  1982 $ Sales  CO  O  o  iz Battery sales by type  Figure 6: Gross battery sales by type of battery: 1982 and 1986 The percentage changes in the market share of specific types of batteries is shown here in the gross sales of these batteries.  Nickel C a d m i u m batteries  sales rose from 4.1 million dollars in 1982 to 17. 7 dollars worth of sales in 1986. This represents a large increase in the actual sales of these products, and as such represents a growing hazard if these batteries are not disposed of in a safe and appropriate manner. Information for this chart was derived from Eutrotech (1988).  82  62% in that time, and the percentage of this market represented by NickelC a d m i u m batteries  also increased by 5%. Because of the rechargeable nature of  these batteries, and the longer life they have due to their being reused, they represent a slightly different problem in the waste stream.  Fewer of these  batteries are disposed of because they are rechargeable (thus representing about 400 carbon zinc batteries, or 100 alkaline batteries because of the high concentration of c a d m i u m hazard if  2 3  22  when used properly), but  in these batteries, they pose a  they are disposed of improperly. A s their popularity grows, more  cadmium will be released into the environment if the disposal of these batteries is not controlled. Another problem represented by rechargeable batteries is the design of many appliances and tools which have an 'embedded' nickel-cadmium battery.  Once  the battery can no longer be recharged, most of these appliances and tools are disposed of as replacement of the battery component is expensive,  often costing  as much as replacement of the whole unit. Table IV gives an indication of the numbers of the nickel-cadmium batteries, tools and appliances being imported into Canada. A s nickel-cadmium batteries  2 2  T h i s estimate is based on the proper use of a nickel-cadmium battery, which involves  completely discharging and completely recharging the battery when it is being used. If used correctly, these batteries can provide as much as 500 hours of power. In comparison, a zinc-carbon battery provides 1.5 hours of power, and an Alkaline battery provides about 4.5 hours of power. (This information was provided by Wayne Uren, Eveready Canada.) 23  C o m p a r e d to the U L M alkaline batteries, with 250 ppm of mercury, the cadmium in a nickel-  cadmium battery represents at least 150,000 ppm. of cadmium which is 600 times more toxic. Even if the nickel-cadmium battery can be used in place of 100 Alkaline batteries, it represents a larger hazard when disposed of improperly. It does, though, represent only 1/100 of the volume of an alkaline battery in a landfill, and only requires the energy to make one battery in place of 100 (thus saving energy, resources, etc.) but its proper disposal is definately indicated. It is, as will be noted later in this paper, one battery which can successfully be recycled.  Importation of batteries and associated appliances into Canada: 1988 and 1989* Product  1988  1989*  38,225,167  40,795,577  3,947,371  2,884,941  3,037,358  3,103,670  (external volume <300 c m )  25,665,247  16,813,107  (external volume >300 c m )  507,405  255,348  8,719,476  8,467,757  Accumulators!! n e s §  465,585  262,621  Drills, hand-held, with self-  844,731  501,589  579,082  476,003  2,037,686  2,176,432  Manganese dioxidet primary cells (external volume <300 c m ) 3  Mercuric oxide primary cells (external volume <300 c m ) 3  Silver oxide primary cells (external volume <300 c m ) 3  Primary cells/batteries n e s § 3  3  Nickel-cadmium electric accumulators.  contained electric motort Saws, hand-held, with selfcontained electric motor* Tools n e s § , hand-held, with selfcontained electric motor* * These numbers only represent imports until October 1989. t This category represents Carbon-Zinc and/or Alkaline dry cell batteries. § Unspecified category. H rechargeable batteries. $ Nickel-Cadmium rechargeable batteries are incorporated into these tools. (These numbers do not include small vacuums, handmixers, or other appliances with embedded nickelcadmium rechargeable batteries, which are imported in addition to this category.) Information for this table was derived from data collected by Statistics Canada.  Table IV: Canadian battery imports: 1988 and 1989  84  and  appliances  are  all imported (none  are made  in C a n a d a ;  they  are  manufactured primarily in Japan or by Japanese companies in other parts of Asia), Table IV indicates the total number of these products being sold in Canada.  5 . 3 Experience in other countries: controlling batteries in solid waste Studying what other countries have done to control battery waste is a useful task. It can point to ways of solving this problem that will work in a local setting, and  can also indicate actions which have not been useful for eliminating the  environmental  risk  associated  with  the  disposal  of spent  batteries.  M a n y European nations and Japan have had years of experience in dealing with the problem of reducing hazardous waste in the waste stream.  Their  concerns have been more acute with regard to batteries as a hazardous waste because incineration is a much larger part of their waste management system. Heavy metals in batteries easily enter the environment in gases from the flue of an  incinerator, or end up in the ash residue from the incinerator.  The  proportion of solid waste eliminated by incineration in some of these countries is indicated in Table V .  85  Proportion of solid waste eliminated by incineration Country  % of waste incinerated  Switzerland Denmark Japan Holland Sweden France West Germany Belgium Italy England United States of America Canada  Year  80% 75% 69% 40% 37% 37% 30% 30% 24% 14%  1987 1983 1984 1983 1986 1983 1983  12% 4%  1984 1986  1983 1984  Table V: Proportion of solid waste eliminated by incineration This information was adapted from a similar table i n Eutrotech, 1988, p. 58.  The  experience  these countries have  eliminating batteries  from  the  developed  in devising systems for  waste stream, and disposing  or recovering  materials from them once they have been collected, provides us with useful information and resources 2 4  24  for understanding how we might go about dealing  T h e collection of information for this thesis  was a difficult task . The same studies from  Sweden were quoted over and over in the literature, as there was little else readily available to use as data. One system which would be useful if it were put in place would be an environmental information bank. What have other countries done in response to specific environmental concerns, what has worked ,and why? What has not worked and why not? We need to have some kind of resource which provides information across the globe in terms of problem solving in environmental areas. The pivotal study used in this thesis, done for Environment Canada by Eutrotech Inc., took  86  with this problem in Canada, and more specifically, in the G V R D  2 5  The following list describes the specific kinds of measures and practices that are used in order to control the disposal of battery waste in the SWS in countries around the world.  Information for this list has been derived from Stringer  (1990), and Eutrotech (1988).  5 . 3. 1 The European Economic Community In order to limit the hazards associated with batteries in the waste stream, the European Economic Community (EEC)  has established a limit (0.15% by weight)  for the amount of mercury allowed in batteries being manufactured, or imported into countries within the E E C after 1990.  (This is the third step of a four step  process which began in 1987 and will be completed in 1993 when the level of mercury allowed in batteries will be 0.10% by weight).  These regulations  establish a mercury limit in countries which have not already developed regulations  for batteries.  (Environmentalists have  argued that these are  absolutely minimal regulations, and do not go far enough in their regulation of the battery industry.) much time and expense, and is only available in French at this time. In many cases the information is already dated.  Specific environmental information is not easy to get, it is expensive, and not  accessible to most people needing to determine solutions or have some impact on the solutions decision makers choose.  As well, the time frame of research and reporting at present means that  often decisions are made using information which is outdated and often no longer relevent.  There  is little access to more recent, relevant findings. Electronic messaging systems are available, and computer communications which can serve as links between people, agencies and governments around the globe now exist. A tremendous resource which could be created is an information system about environmental issues. 2 5  I t is necessary to consider, that although this problem must be dealt with on a local level, it  will ultimately involve the co-ordinated efforts of federal, provincial, regional and municipal governments in order to deal with it adequately.  87  The problem of nickel-cadmium batteries entering the Solid Waste Stream has not yet been considered by the E E C , although it is now beginning to be perceived as a possibly hazardous circumstance with the growth in popularity of these batteries. Another measure being considered by the E E C is a system of marking, or labelling batteries which exceed a 'polluting' level of heavy metals.  This would  allow consumers to understand that certain batteries cannot be disposed of in household waste, but must be treated as special waste, and as such must be returned to a depot for special waste, or to a retailer who sells batteries.  In order  for this to be a realistic system, the labelling system w o u l d ideally use an international symbol, which would be uniform throughout the countries in the EEC.  By using a colouring system to indicate batteries which are potentially  dangerous to the environment, and pictogrammes to indicate what must be done to ensure the safe disposal or recycling of the specific battery, consumers would then be able to act accordingly. A s button batteries are too small to have such a label affixed, they would be marked with a symbol, such as a cross ('+') in a specific colour to indicate to a consumer that this battery is a potential hazard to the environment.  There are no deposit systems suggested, or legal regulations  assigned to the disposal of these goods: the return of these batteries to the proper place would depend on voluntary action by the consumer.  5.3.2  Switzerland  Batteries have been collected in Switzerland since 1981.  In 1986, the Swiss  government passed an Ordinance which defined any battery with greater than 0.025% by weight of cadmium a n d / o r mercury as a pollutant. There are specific  88  import restrictions placed on pollutant batteries and devices containing them. A l l pollutant batteries must be labelled, and all advertising at the point of sale of these products must state that these batteries are not to be disposed of in household waste, but should be returned to the retailer. The legal responsibility for the disposal of batteries  was placed on the vendor, and all retailers,  distributors and manufacturers have to accept all spent batteries free of charge: The cost of the disposal of the batteries is to be included in the cost of the battery. A l l manufacturers must report annually the total weight of each type of battery manufactured and imported and the amounts of mercury and cadmium which are contained in these batteries.  A l l companies which process or dispose of used  batteries must report the total weight of the batteries and the amounts of mercury and cadmium handled. Collection is organized through the provision of drop-off boxes in all retail outlets.  A p p r o x i m a t e l y one third of the batteries sold in Switzerland are  collected in this manner. Until 1987, mercury batteries (mercury oxide) were sent to a processor for mercury recovery, but the recovery plant closed down. N o w they are disposed of in hazardous waste sites in Spain and West Germany.  5.3.3  West Germany  The battery industry is voluntarily reducing mercury content of alkaline batteries from 1.0% to 0.15% in 1990 and to 0.10% by 1993. the standards required for the E E C as a whole.) order  to  avoid  requirements.  government  regulations  (This basically meets  The industry is doing this in  involving  deposits  or  disposal  89  Batteries in West Germany are marked with pictograms indicating the proper methods for their disposal, and drop off facilities are provided at recycling depots, large retailers, camera and watch stores.  5.3.4  Austria  Austria has a system similar to West Germany, with the battery industry taking responsibility to meet the basic E E C standards.  They also label their  batteries, indicating appropriate disposal venues.  5.3.5  Sweden  After 1993, the import and sale of alkaline batteries with more than 0.025% of mercury will not be permitted.  A l l batteries imported into Sweden must be  labelled according to regulations, indicating their heavy metal content.  (Sweden  has no dry-cell battery manufacturing industry, so all batteries are imported into the country.) M u c h of the solid waste stream in Sweden is managed by incinerating it in waste to energy facilities.  It was calculated that incinerators were emitting about  55% of all the mercury released into the Swedish environment, and indications suggested that the bulk of this mercury originated in batteries. In 1983 the government of Sweden initiated a battery collection program based on consumer education and information. manufacturers.  It was administered by the battery importers and  The goal of reaching a battery return rate of 85% was  not  reached, so the government in 1986 placed an environmental fee on batteries containing mercury or cadmium.  This fee was used to finance the public  information and treatment costs associated with keeping the  batteries out of the  90  SWS. Battery collection was taken on and paid for by local authorities.  This did  not accomplish a rate of return much beyond 30%, so in 1988 a deposit system was proposed.  A deposit of between twenty and thirty cents was charged, and  when batteries were returned their disposal would be the responsibility of the battery importers/industry. The return rates for batteries in this programme are not yet available, although the rate of return the Swedish government believes to be realistic is about 75%.  This is significantly better than the 20 - 30% return  rate the voluntary programmes attained.  5.3.6  Denmark  The government  of Denmark has tried a number of voluntary return  programmes for batteries, but they have not had much more success than the Swedish programmes.  A s a result of this the Danes are considering a deposit  system for both Alkaline and Nickel-Cadmium batteries.  5.3.7  Holland  The collection of mercury button batteries has been a practice here for many years: the percentage of recuperation was about 30% in 1986.  N o w , the battery  manufacturers are encouraged to use zinc-air batteries for hearing aids in place of mercury oxide. H o l l a n d is following the E E C regulations for the reduction of mercury in batteries.  They have had some pilot projects in the Southern provinces, partially  financed by the Battery companies, partially by the local authorities.  Collection  containers are placed in a number of retail stores and public places: about 33% of the batteries sold in this area are returned.  These collected batteries are then  91  stored for future recycling or for future placement in a special waste site. There is some concern being voiced about the amount of cadmium which is put into the environment as a result of the disposal of nickel - cadmium batteries in the waste stream.  They have no designated programme to deal with this  problem yet. A number of private initiatives exist in Holland, where specific  chain stores  or companies (such as photographic stores or jewellers) will give a small sum of money to people returning specific batteries which are then sold for recycling. (These w o u l d be primarily mercury and silver button batteries). Research into recovering materials from spent batteries has been conducted in Holland by the Netherlands Organization of A p p l i e d Scientific Research, and the department of Engineering at the University of Twente.  The Dutch have  been trying to establish a treatment for batteries (carbon-zinc and alkaline) which w o u l d allow the recovery of  various components of the batteries for reuse.  There has not been a method devised which is, at present, economic.  5.3.8  France  The focus in France for the last ten years has been on collection of mercury oxide batteries.  In 1983 the percentage of Mercury button batteries collected was  as high as 78%, reducing by 5.9 tons the mercury that would otherwise have been released into the environment.  The National agency for the elimination of  hazardous household waste, established a government/industry association for the recuperation of button batteries in 1978.  Information on each package of  button batteries, a red cross on each battery which should be returned, and a widespread public information campaign has successfully convinced the public  92  to dispose of these batteries in the bins provided in various retail outlets and at various public places.  The collected batteries were treated at a recovery plant,  where the various components were recovered for reuse.  When this proved to  be uneconomic, the batteries were stockpiled. A new programme instituted in 1987, aims to collect all types of batteries, and will attempt to sort them by type, treat the mercury button batteries, treat the nickel-cadmium batteries, and stockpile the other batteries.  Technology for the  treatment of these batteries has not been completely developed to the satisfaction of governmental authorities.  The successful utilization of nickel-cadmium  batteries in the steel fabrication industry has been promising, however.  5.3.9  Tapan  In Japan, half of all mercury consumed is used in the manufacture of batteries.  In a typical ton of waste, there is an estimated 40 - 50 batteries. (This  represents a much higher incidence of batteries in solid waste than is the case in the G V R D . )  A s much of the solid waste stream is incinerated in Japan, this  poses a large problem. The battery industry has voluntarily reduced the mercury content in alkaline batteries.  Collection of batteries  is up to  individual  municipalities. Retail outlets are supplied with boxes for battery collection, with an emphasis placed on mercury button batteries.  A pilot programme for a  mercury refinery is subsidized by the government, as a possible 'recycling' method for batteries.  Most batteries are being stored until better disposal  methods for batteries are developed.  A s there is great fear of environmental  pollution from mercury in Japan, the Ministry of Health and Welfare is promoting battery recycling, as a result of health concerns, and a concern for  93  resource conservation.  5 . 3 . 1 0 United States of America The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) describes batteries as a hazardous waste. In the 1987 pamphlet which contains this description, the E P A suggests saving batteries for special hazardous waste collection or drop-off programmes.  The E P A Municipal Waste Task Force is presently studying the  battery disposal issue. M a n y States collect spent dry cell batteries as part of their H o u s e h o l d Hazardous Waste Programmes. In N e w York State, as the battery companies have initiated no programmes to remove batteries from the waste stream, there is proposed legislation which w o u l d prohibit incineration of batteries, w o u l d place a $0.25 deposit on all household batteries, and would require distributors and manufacturers to accept used batteries for disposal. California has passed legislation  which exempts facilities  which  collect  household batteries from the usual requirements which apply to the receipt, storage and transport of hazardous wastes.  This exemption applies only if the  facility is sending these batteries to an authorized facility, if the  collection  location holds less than 200 pounds of batteries and if these are held less than six months.  As well the storage and transferring must minimize the risk of fire,  explosion or release of hazardous wastes.  Proper documentation  of these  quantities and shipments of batteries must be kept for at least three years. Connecticut  requires  appliances be removable.  that  all n i c k e l - c a d m i u m  batteries  in  electronic  94  N e w Hampshire and Vermont have collected batteries as part of a project since the Spring of 1987.  Retailers have drop- off containers, and volunteer  groups collect and sort the batteries.  Silver and mercury batteries are sold to a  metal refiner, with other batteries being sent to a secure chemical landfill. Although more than nine tons of batteries were collected between M a y 1987 and September 1989, this is estimated to represent only about 8% of the batteries used in the area during this time. Missouri, in a program organized through the Southwest Missouri State University, plans to provide retailers with collection boxes which can be mailed back to the household hazardous waste programme. Washington State's Thermal Reduction Company, which is a waste-to-energy incineration company in Bellingham has recently initiated a household battery collection program in co-operation with local businesses.  The batteries are  collected at retail outlets, health departments, libraries, etc. and disposed of in secure landfills outside the state.  5 . 3 . 1 1 Canada In Toronto, all types of used batteries were incorporated into the recycling depot program, and batteries can be dropped off at specific recycling sites. Eventually, permanent depots are to be established at landfills and transfer stations.  Batteries collected in this programme are presently being stored. People  were informed of this programme through a notice in their electricity bill.  95  5.3.12  Summary  Strategies and efforts to control the batteries in the waste stream in these countries can be summarized as follows: • i n c l u d i n g batteries in hazardous waste collections, both pick-up and dropoff programmes. •establishing centres at retailers, public places and at waste disposal facilities for the dropoff of spent batteries. •educating the public as to the hazards of spent batteries, and providing directions as to the proper disposal of these products. •labelling batteries as to their status: assigning  the  appropriate  polluting, non-polluting and  pictogram  describing  the  proper  disposal method for that particular battery. •establishing deposit systems for batteries, similar to the bottle return deposits we have presently in B.C. •establishing a disposal tax which is applied at the point of sale to fund  the  collection  and disposal  programs to  deal  with  these  products. •establishing rewards (usually economic) for the return of batteries, •legislation which bans the disposal of batteries in the solid waste stream. •establishing legislation placing responsibility for accepting and disposing  of  batteries  on  vendors,  battery  manufacturers  and  importers. •directly banning the sale of batteries which exceed a certain limit of mercury a n d / o r cadmium.  96  •banning embedded nickel-cadmium batteries in appliances and tools. • i n order to get a maximum number of batteries out of the solid waste stream, establishing a deposit the  most  successful  effective  means  of  system  isolating  w h i c h seems to be  these  in p r o d u c i n g as m u c h as 75%  products.  It  is  return rate for spent  batteries. •the Swiss require that the weight of spent batteries collected, and the  weight  these in  the  in  collected  total  of  batteries  calculation of the  the be  mercury  reported.  and  This  cadmium  in  information aids  amount of hazardous material w h i c h  may be entering the environment.  The Swiss are by far the most advanced in their regulations and limitations controlling hazardous waste disposal in the solid waste stream, particularly as this is represented by batteries. Unfortunately, most of the batteries collected are landfilled in secure waste disposal sites outside of Switzerland. After removing batteries from the waste stream the question of what to do with the collected batteries arises.  The following information indicates the  present recycling potential of various batteries, and the places in which recycling plants exist.  97  5 . 4 Recycling and recovery methods for used batteries In order for the recovery of materials from batteries to be viable, a number of criteria must be satisfied : 26  •there must be a constant supply of batteries to recycle •there must be a high concentration of material to be recovered •there must be an efficient technology •there must be a way to reuse the secondary materials which are also recovered •there must be an economic return on the recovered materials (Eutrotech, 1988)  Most technologies require that batteries be sorted by type, as the difference in chemical make-up of batteries can lead to interference with the recovery systems,and can create problems in the process.  This is one problem with  collection of batteries for 'recycling' or recovery: maintaining a uniform stock of batteries. A t present there is no colour coding, or bar coding system  to allow for  easy differentiation.  Mercury Oxide and Silver Oxide button batteries are small, and are used in smaller quantities than conventional batteries.  Markets for these batteries do  exist, because of their high concentration of silver and mercury. Using a thermal treatment, the batteries are heated to 6 5 0 ° C and the mercury is condensed out of the resulting gas.  The residue is then treated to recover the silver, and the  wastewater is electrolysed in order to recover remaining mercury, and neutralize the water before it is disposed of. 26It should be noted that these criteria are not specific to the recovery of materials from batteries. They are a useful guideline in determining the feasibility of recovery systems for any kind of product.  98  Alkaline Batteries are treated in Austria, in a pilot project by the Voest-Alpine Environmental Engineering Company.  There are also places in California and  Japan where alkaline batteries are processed for material recovery. A typical system for recovery of materials from  Alkaline batteries involves crushing the  batteries and screening this crushed material magnetically to remove ferrous materials.  U s i n g a thermal treatment, the zinc and mercury are removed as  metals or oxides.  The residue from this stage is then leached to remove  potassium and sodium.  The remaining material is used in the making of  manganese dioxide. N i c k e l - C a d m i u m batteries have been successfully used in the steel fabrication industry in France and Sweden.  A s well there are companies in California that  are capable of recycling nickel-cadmium batteries and using the components of these batteries in the steel fabrication industry. Table VI indicates which countries have, or plan to have, treatment plants for used batteries. Even countries which severely restrict the disposal of spent batteries in ordinary landfills and incinerators end up placing most of the collected batteries in hazardous waste landfills.  Often these batteries are exported to toxic waste  landfills outside of the countries in which they were bought and used. there are recycling plants in a number of  Although  countries, (SeeTable III: Treatment  plants for used batteries), it seems that the majority of spent batteries are not recycled, due to the nature of the chemistry of the battery itself, the uneconomic return from  the  recycling process,  and other problems such as supply,  transportation and the necessity to sort batteries . 27  2 7  T h e number of batteries recycled in recovery plants is not available. In many countries which  have had an industry to recycle batteries, the plants have closed down, apparently for economic  99  Treatment plants for used batteries Country  Switzerland France Sweden West Germany Austria Holland United K i n g d o m Belgium United States Japan  HgO  Ag 0  Alkaline &  batteries  batteries  others  2  Ni-Cd  batteries  o x x  X  o o X  o x o x  X X  x = plants which exist 0 = plants which are being considered Information for this table was derived from a similar one in Eutrotech, 1988.  Table VI: Treatment plants for used batteries  5 . 5 Are these methods sustainable? From a sustainable development perspective, these disposal methods have some serious implications:  with the growth of the battery industry, and the  subsequent increase in the numbers of batteries to be disposed of, more and more secure landfills must be sited, developed and built.  If we are to focus solely on  the removal of batteries from the solid waste stream, we encounter other problems with respect to the disposal of what is now a growing amount of reasons related to the cost of recovery, the low income from the recovered materials, and the difficulty of getting a constant and pure source of batteries for recovery.  100  hazardous waste. A s a result, it seems that although there is a will to change the present systems which might possibly have an impact on our present and future health and environment, the analysis has not been extensive enough to provide a context for devising a system which is truly sustainable. A t this time, the public is calling for changes in environmental policy and the establishment of laws to control industrial regulation and activity. The public is asking for more environmentally-appropriate choices to be made available to them.  N o w is the time to  integrate a framework for sustainability in analyzing  and devising strategies for dealing with the problems that products such as batteries pose to the environment in their disposal.  101  Chapter Six The local response to batteries in the solid waste stream  This chapter indicates the response of the B . C . government, the G V R D and the city of Vancouver to problems in the management of solid waste, with particular consideration of the problem of batteries in the solid waste stream. These strategies are analyzed with regard to their sustainability. 6 . 1 M a n a g i n g solid waste In British Columbia, there have recently been two studies analyzing the issue of solid waste.  The G V R D  contracted an intensive study and report which  was released by the MacLaren Engineers in June of 1989: "Waste Reduction and Recycling  in  the  GVRD:  Management, Strategy  A  B l u e p r i n t for  Comprehensive  Resource  and A c t i o n Plan For Greater V a n c o u v e r Regional  District." A s well, the Province of British Columbia, in March of 1989 completed the Rabbit report:  "Taking Action:  A Strategy for the Management of Solid  Wastes, A report from the M u n i c i p a l Solid Waste Management Task Force." Both of these reports conclude that the nature of solid waste management in our community must change drastically: there must be a reduction in the volume of waste at source by reducing what must be disposed of, systems must be put in place which will promote the recycling of materials which can be used again, and the presence of hazardous wastes which are entering the solid waste stream must be minimized. The major reason these studies were instituted is due to the costs of landfilling, and the lack of available land to site new landfills. It is getting too expensive to simply throw everything 'away'.  102  The G V R D report suggests that hazardous waste comprises between 0.5% to 4% of the material being disposed of in solid waste disposal facilities in North America.  These hazardous or special wastes are generated in households and in  the workplace, where unregulated, small quantities of hazardous Industrial, Commercial and Institutional (ICI) waste enter the waste stream (MacLaren, 1989). Provincial "Special Waste Regulations" are the primary determining factors with regard to the amount of hazardous, or 'special' waste which goes into the solid waste stream.  In B . C . household hazardous waste is exempt  from  management requirements specified in the Provincial Special Waste Regulation, as is ICI hazardous waste if it is disposed of in amounts of 5 kilograms or less per month.  A s there is no provincial regulation which deals with these wastes, and  there is a lack of local facilities to manage these wastes the "...co-disposal of these hazardous wastes with solid wastes is likely to be widespread" (MacLaren, 1989, p.20). These wastes are of concern for a number of reasons cited in the G V R D MacLaren report:  they have contributed to injuries sustained by sanitation  workers, they have been responsible for damaging equipment, and they pose a threat to the environment and human health by contributing to toxic landfill leachate.  Solid waste incinerator emissions which contain gases and particles  from these wastes have been broadly documented in Sweden as being well above the  acceptable  environment.  toxic  limits  imposed  to  protect  human  health  and  the  Indeed, the G V R D has been experiencing difficulty at the Burnaby  incinerator with emissions from the flue.  Ground and fly ash have been found  to contain high levels of heavy metals.  A s a result of this, in December the  103  GVRD  had to apply for a Special Waste licence for the incinerator as it generates  ash which is so high in toxins and hazardous heavy metals, that this ash is now categorized as Special Waste by the province.  A l l incinerator ash from the  G V R D incinerator in Burnaby must be now disposed of in a special waste facility.  6 . 2 Disposal of batteries i n the solid waste stream: The G V R D A t present most batteries in the G V R D are disposed of with household or Industrial, Commercial and Institutional (ICI) waste. This is because, under the Waste Management Act, the Special Waste Regulations "  do not apply to a  quantity of special waste which is less than 5 kilograms or 5 litres and which is produced in a period of less than 30 days, but only if the total accumulated does not exceed 5 kilograms and 5 litres at any one time." Columbia Government, 1988, p.7).  quantity (British  The result of this clause, along with lack of  education about the hazardous materials contained in batteries (and other consumer and household products), combined with the absence of a collection or dropoff system for batteries,  is that virtually all of the batteries used for  individual, industrial, commercial and institutional uses within the G V R D are placed into the SWS.  This means that they end up in a landfill, incorporated  into Refuse Derived Fuel at the Coquitlam Resource Recovery Plant or added to the refuse entering the G V R D incinerator in Burnaby. These disposal methods for batteries result in hazardous substances entering the environment in an uncontrolled manner.  There needs to be a change in the  way we deal with batteries in order to develop more appropriate strategies for protection of the environment.  104  6 .3 Change in the way we deal with 'special' products in the SWS Batteries, during the time taken to research and write this thesis, have been a changing phenomenon.  As the last year has heralded an unprecedented public  response to environmental issues, politicians and industries are responding. The  municipal government,  the Greater Vancouver Regional District and  the province have all developed, within the last six months, direct strategies to deal with the present inadequate disposal methods for special waste, including spent dry cell batteries.  The fact that this issue has been raised as a serious one  has much to do with growing environmental awareness within the p u b l i c . 28  In  January 1990,  Eveready, a major battery manufacturer in Canada,  introduced an alkaline battery which has a significantly reduced amount of mercury.  Although  the 0.025% by weight of mercury in these Ultra L o w  Mercury ( U L M ) alkaline batteries exceeds the maximum allowable level of 100 ppm.  allowed under the Canadian Federal Transportation of Dangerous Goods  A c t , the reduction of mercury to this amount in Alkaline batteries is still a welcome and positive move on the part of the battery industry. A t the same time, the increase in sales and uses of batteries such as cadmium batteries poses a growing hazard as these concentration of cadmium.  nickel  contain a high (15% - 18%)  These changes have contradictory impacts on the  potential environmental effects of battery use:  one  trend makes  battery  technology (with regard to the disposal of these products) less risky, as the other 28  Nevertheless, at the present time the majority of the public is only slowly becoming aware of  the potentially hazardous nature of many household products, including batteries. As they become aware of this, through education, there must be appropriate systems for the collection and  proper  treatment for material recovery or disposal of these products. As well there must be information available encouraging the reduction in the use of these products as well as information about alternatives to hazardous products in order to facilitate the use of less toxic replacements.  105  increases the risk to the environment with the disposal of batteries containing even larger concentrations of a heavy metal. Manufacturing changes and market trends must incorporated into the systems established  be acknowledged  and  to minimize the effects of these  products on the environment.  6. 4 The Rabbit Report and the MacLaren Report: Developing policy perspectives In the Provincial report on solid wastes, the Rabbit report (Municipal Solid Waste Management Task Force, 1989) makes a number of recommendations which refer to the issue of special waste. Under the heading of funding for solid waste management, it suggests that the province adopt a polluter pays principle as its long term approach to waste management.  This is one way of making the  real costs of these wastes apparent to industry and accountable in the price of a good.  The cost of disposing of these products would become the responsibility of  the manufacturers and companies producing and selling them.  They w o u l d  then have a direct incentive to change the technologies in order to allow for more cost-effective disposal or designs of products which avoid the need for disposal of special wastes from the outset. A t the same time, the Rabbit report suggests that the province treat the location and development of a special waste disposal f a c i l i t y  29  as an urgent  priority. In addition, the report recommends the Province fund one-third of the cost of building a facility for the storage of special wastes which are diverted from the municipal solid waste streams in communities which establish special waste collection or drop-off programmes. 29  The report also indicates that information  T h i s facility would most probably be an incinerator, and possibly a secure landfill site as well.  106  should be prepared and produced for local government about handling and storage of special wastes.  The Province should accept responsibility for the  disposal of any special wastes which it requests a municipal facility to accept. The G V R D report (MacLaren Engineers, Lavalin in association with Recycling Development  Corporation  Sound  Resource  Management  Group,  1989)  recommends the development of a permanent collection program for special wastes to deal with the management  of household  and unregulated ICI  hazardous waste. They propose a network of permanent depots throughout the G V R D . The reuse and recycling of these wastes, when possible, should be a longterm goal of the programme. A t the same time the report suggests a household hazardous waste education program to raise awareness of this issue in the community.  Information for the business community should also be prepared  and distributed through industry associations and Round Table participants. Both of these reports are assuming a business- as- usual scenario. They do not face the basic problem. In treating the symptoms and not the causes of the problem they are inadvertently adding to the development of an even more significant environmental problem: the storage or incineration of a growing amount of hazardous waste. need to be  What are these hazardous materials, and do they  produced and used?  H o w can they be eliminated at source?  Is it  necessary to use the tremendous amounts of chemical fertilizers for green lawns which potentially affect drinking water purity? Do Canadians really need to buy 45 million dollars worth of batteries to power children's toys?  If they do, is it  necessary for those batteries to contain toxins, or to contribute toxins to the environment for them.  or possible hazards to the environment through disposal methods The essential questions are not being asked.  These reports and  107  recommendations  are still assuming that governmental responsibility lies in  disposal of whatever is produced.  What of  these products? What of considering  restricting the use and disposal of  reducing, directly, the need to dispose of  this waste through the elimination or alteration of the production and use of the products to begin with? commodities  There is  a growing system of production involving  which represent essentially household hazardous wastes.  An  increasing public are being convinced through advertising that they need these substances in their  homes,  businesses and  offices.  Prevention  of  the  development of these products from the outset, through regulatory processes, w o u l d avoid the necessity of developing systems to deal with their disposal. O b v i o u s l y we cannot keep up with the present problem.  A more radical  alternative to the present approach must be considered.  6 . 5 Local response to batteries in the solid waste stream The following descriptions provide an indication of the recent plans which have been made, or are being planned for in the Province of British Columbia, in the G V R D and in the city of Vancouver.  A discussion critiquing these actions  and plans from a sustainable development perspective follows the descriptions. 6.5.1  The Province of British Columbia  The province had not considered the specific problem of batteries in the SWS until recently.  During a telephone discussion in November with Ron Dreidger,  Ministry of the Environment acting director of Municipal, Solid and Biomedical Waste, it was indicated that the province was considering a tax or surcharge on batteries (and other problematic, toxic or hazardous products) termed a 'waste initiators tax' which would go towards funding of environmental research. This was similar to the scheme suggested in the Rabbit report, and would constitute a  108  specific fee per product being added to the price. established.  This surcharge has not been  The 'Green Tax', introduced in A p r i l , and explained below is  modelled on this waste initiators tax. O n 17 March the Minister responsible for the Environment, John Reynolds, suggested in a speech that his ministry was seriously considering direct deposits on such items as tires, single use 'disposable' diapers, batteries and other hard to dispose of products.  This was the first time that the province took an overt  public position on establishing  systems to remove these products from the SWS.  It was not clear from Reynolds what kind of deposits would be placed on these products, and who w o u l d be eventually responsible for the collection and disposal of the batteries and tires, etc. or how a deposit system could work for items such as single-use diapers. In another discussion with Ron Dreidger on 20 March, he stated that decisions  about the proposed deposit systems were being  made at a higher level than his office, and a firm plan was not expected until sometime later. In the Provincial Budget tabled 19 A p r i l , the finance minister M e l Couvelier introduced a new 'Green Tax', which will be applied to specific products which are difficult to dispose of.  This tax is described as a measure "...to address  environmental risks which arise through the life cycle of products" (Couvelier, 1990). This tax will not be used to directly finance the disposal of these specific products, but will be used to fund new environmental programs and research. Although dry cell batteries were not cited specifically as a product which will have a tax applied, it is believed that they are included in a category of yet-to-bedecided hazardous products which will be announced as being subject to a similar tax at some future date.  The government has indirectly let industries  109  know, through the imposition of this tax on some items, that if they are to avoid such a tax they must come up with alternative strategies for disposal of their own products. It w o u l d seem that, at this time, the provincial government has decided against deposit systems which are specifically tied to the return of these difficult to dispose of a n d / o r hazardous products. The Provincial budget also indicated another action the government will take in the near future which will have a significant impact on the disposal of toxic and hazardous wastes. The province is now working toward the establishment of a new environmental C r o w n corporation:  a hazardous waste corporation.  This corporation will be the facilitator for hazardous waste management.  The  government  The  will  remain  as  the  regulator  of  hazardous  waste.  Environment Minister John Reynolds states that the province will continue to strictly enforce the present legislation.  The private sector will be the provider of  technology for this corporation. There are many questions about such a corporation. It will place in the hands of the private industrial sector the responsibility of establishing secure landfills, storage and incinerators for hazardous wastes.  The government maintains that  its priority is to encourage industrial reduction and elimination of hazardous and toxic substances at source, and to encourage reuse and recycling technologies where possible.  Nevertheless, although the reduction technology is touted as the  the highest priority, the hazardous waste corporation w i l l only be  using  incentives to industry as a main vehicle toward change, and regulations and legally established time-lines for reduction will not be instituted.  110  6.5.2  GVRD  Before beginning operation of the Burnaby incinerator in the spring of 1988, the G V R D contracted a study of the separate collection of batteries in Switzerland and  West G e r m a n y  3 0  and decided not to source separate batteries (or any  components in the solid waste stream, neither hazardous wastes, nor recyclable materials).  In November 1989, the ash from the incinerator, both the fly ash and  the bottom ash, were found to be toxic enough to be considered 'special waste' as designated in the Province's Special Waste Regulation . A s a result of this, the 31  G V R D had to apply for a permit to become a special waste generator and now must comply with special waste regulations in order to dispose of the ash in a secure, hazardous waste facility. Because of the expense involved in this process, as well as the belief that "...toxic materials should be kept from the environment as a precaution and because public perception indicates it is the right thing to do..." (Stringer, 1990, p.l) the G V R D is now committed to separating out hazardous and potentially toxic components from the SWS.  This will effectively eliminate these toxins  from entering the incinerator and concentrating in the bottom ash, the fly ash or escaping as gases from the flue.  The G V R D is also supporting the establishment  of recycling systems for its member municipalities in order to reduce the amount of waste that is being incinerated and landfilled. o u  The G V R D has decided at this  T h e report "Review of recent literature and information from Switzerland and West Germany  concerning separate collection of galvanic batteries to reduce heavy metals pollution with an assessment of mercury and cadmium emissions from refuse incinerators", was completed by W.A. Mechler for the GVRD in preparation for their bringing the Burnaby incinerator on-line 3 1  T h i s information became public throught newspaper articles. Appendix I contains a number of  newspaper articles which refer to the toxins found in the incinerator ash, and the subsequent application for a permit to produce 'Special Waste' as defined in the 'Waste Management Act'.  Ill  time  not  to  incorporate Resource  Recovery  technology  i n their  waste  management plan. The G V R D is urging municipalities to prepare bins to collect batteries as part of curbside recycling collection in order to reduce the effects of uncontrolled entrance into the environment.  the batteries  A t this time the plan involves  stockpiling/storing the batteries until something can be done with them. 6.5.3  Vancouver  The city has recently considered separately collecting batteries during curbside recycling pick-ups (or having them dropped off at one of the transfer stations as part of hazardous waste drop-off days, or ongoing programmes.)  The city's  interest in this was developed largely as a result of the public meetings which were held to discuss the  proposed Resource Recovery Plant ( R R P ) . 32  A t these  meetings, a number of speakers referred to the potential of toxic substances ending up in the Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF).  R D F is a product which is made  from the waste remaining after recyclable materials have been separated out from  the mixed wastes processed at a R R P .  Pellets are formed from this  remaining waste, and are burned as fuel, often for industrial purposes. were specifically cited as a potentially hazardous component of R D F .  Batteries  A s a result  of the concern voiced about toxic waste at the first meeting in January, Dave Rudberg, from the city engineering department,  announced in February, at a  second public meeting about the proposed R R P , that there w o u l d be separate collection of potentially hazardous or special waste before the bulk of the refuse from the targeted areas in the city would proceed to  the proposed RRP. This  represented a considerable change from the original proposition which suggested 32  Telephone discussion with Paul Henderson of theVancouver city engineering department.  112  no source separation of any components of the waste at a l l . 3 3  Since these public meetings there has been mounting political pressure on the city to do something about toxics in the solid waste stream.  This public  pressure, along with the urging of the G V R D to act on this issue, and a costsharing programme initiated by the Province to provide monies for disposing of hazardous waste collected, has been instrumental in convincing the city to act. There was a hazardous waste dropoff weekend planned for 21 and 22 of A p r i l , 3 4  3 3  T h e public was opposed to the RRP at these meetings, and a community group had conducted  research which indicated that there was a willingness within the households and commercial interests (whose waste was to be taken to the RRP) to source separate their waste . These factors , added to the anger expressed by the community in which the RRP was to be sited , effectively convinced the city council to scrap their plans for the RRP. These meetings provided the city Engineers with much information and many viewpoints . Valuable research as to the numbers of people willing to recycle in the multi-family housing affected was carried out, and that data was provided to the Engineering department.  The whole process was indicative of the value of public  participation in decision-making about issues concerning waste management as well as broader environmental concerns. 3 4  T h e Hazardous Waste Dropoff which occurred on the weekend of April 21 and 22 was deemed  an unqualified success by the Vancouver Sun on 23 April. Two thousand seven hundred people used this opportunity to drop off hazardous materials which had, in some cases, been sitting in people's basements for years. Some of the substances that were dropped off were frightening even to the city's emergency response team: an unstable explosive, organic peroxide; a glass jar of oxalyl chloride, which when exposed to the air creates 'deadly vapors'; an old can of DDT proclaiming it as 'The New Product —DDT!!!'. DDT has been banned for the last 27 years. In all, 520 steel drums of material too dangerous to go to a conventional landfill were dropped off. scenario:  What a frightening  it only stands to reason that many equivalent materials have been placed in the solid  and liquid waste stream for years. Although it is a relief that these materials will not be placed into the environment  in an uncontrolled manner, they will have to be 'disposed' of. Laidlaw  Environmental Services, a Hazardous Waste private contractor will take most of the waste to Ontario, to their secure landfill site and incinerator there.  It would seem that there exists a need  for facilities to consistantly collect or accept hazardous waste that people already have in their possession. At the same time it is important to severely regulate the production, sale and use of toxic and hazardous materials. This hazardous waste roundup will be used as further reason to justify the siting of a hazardous waste facility in B.C. (To date the Province has had difficulty in finding a community willing to have this facility sited near their population.) Siting a Hazardous Waste Facility: including secure landfill and/or incinerator is not an appropriate or adequate response.  What is necessary is the severe limitation and control of substances which are  potentially hazardous and dangerous to the health of humans and  the environment. Creating a  113  and  there is serious consideration of establishing a pickup of batteries along with  the rest of the recycling/bluebox system which is being established currently in Vancouver.  Batteries, once collected, w o u l d be stored, stockpiled, or given to a  hazardous waste disposal company to bury.  6 . 6 R e m o v i n g batteries from the waste stream: a sustainable plan? A l t h o u g h it has been heartening to see some action on the issue of hazardous waste, including batteries, it would seem that the kind of planning that has gone into the development of these systems is not pro-active or long range enough. These responses might be appropriate intermediary measures, designed to buy some time i n order to develop more comprehensive systems for dealing with special waste, but at present the  actions by government  seem to be quick  programmes designed to do something in a hurry to satisfy the public's growing hazardous waste facility in the province will only mean that regulation and limitation of these materials will not occur, and continued use and abuse of similar substances will threaten humans and the environment. This Hazardous Waste Round-up will be cost-shared by the City of Vancouver and the Province of B.C.  In future regulatory  plans and policies, the responsibility for the payment of the safe  disposal of similar materials should be placed on the producer of those materials. Public monies should not be used to offset the real expense of the creation, use and disposal of these materials. There have been criticisms of the safety of such a round-up: a simple car accident involving one of the participants in the dropoff could have created a major emergency. The city had no idea about the kinds of dangerous substances which are/were being held in private hands. The transport of many of these substances, in containers which were clearly inadequate and  unsafe  calls into  question this method of collection for unidentified hazardous wastes. It also brings up a concern about the relatively free access people presently have to hazardous products and substances. In Switzerland, there is a programme which directs people who are moving house to contact the local authorities about picking up any hazardous wastes that they wish to dispose of. This programme was initiated when the Swiss government found that it was specifically when people moved house that they placed large amounts of hazardous substances into the solid waste stream. This programme was developed in order to prevent these infusions of toxic substances into the solid waste stream.  114  concerns about the environment.  Some batteries (although not a majority of  those sold) will be source sorted, and will not end up in the solid waste stream. This is certainly better than their entering the waste stream as before. They will, however, end up in storage, or in secure hazardous waste sites. sustainable plan.  This is not a  W i t h the growth of the battery industry, as described in  Chapter 5, a growing volume of batteries will require secure storage.  The  response to simply remove batteries from the solid waste stream is not an adequate one.  These reactions do not anticipate the need for a truly integrated  plan to deal with these kinds of materials. The economic cost of permanent entombment of these products in a safe and secure landfill will grow, and at present these costs are paid for by municipal and provincial governments.  There are questions about the technology for safe and  secure waste sites, and the effectiveness of the current procedures under extraordinary circumstances, such as earthquakes, or other natural or humanmade disasters. The present responses are incremental and reactive.  They only continue to  propose an after-the- fact public service for waste disposal. Public monies will go to pay for the safe disposal of the 'pollution' that private industries have essentially created.  Present government responses do not initiate a different  way of considering the responsibility for these hazards and the possibilities for avoiding the problem altogether through the regulation and limitation of the creation of products which are hazardous. There are no incentives to treat spent batteries in ways which would lead to re-using hazardous materials instead of disposing of them.  There are no initiatives under consideration in Canada  which would limit the toxicity of batteries. Current responses to this problem are  115  not far-reaching, or future-oriented. Planning for these kinds of problems necessarily involves the integration of planning at all levels: one problem with the present system is that there is little inter-governmental integration of ideas and strategies, and no communication with industry.  government  A s the City of Vancouver studies ways of  collecting dry-cell batteries, the province is considering a 'Green Tax' for them, and the G V R D is trying to establish their ideas for systems which w o u l d remove them from the waste stream.  There has been little communication between  these levels of government. The government at all three levels has not formally initiated communication with decision-makers within the battery industry.  Government representatives  at all levels were contacted throughout the research and writing of this thesis. None of them considered direct communication with industry as an appropriate step to take in formulating responses to this problem. This is largely because waste management until recently has been perceived as an after-the-fact service, a reactive process. problematic  It w o u l d seem that contact with the actual producers of  products w o u l d be one of the first actions taken by government  planners and engineers working on a problem such as this.  This perspective is  now becoming more prevalent in B.C., and industries are being warned that if they do not take responsibility for products which are problematic in their disposal, regulations will be imposed by appropriate government  authorities  (Lamb, 1990). There are a number of fairly simple responses which w o u l d be potentially more comprehensive in their approach.  H a d the province initiated a deposit  system, it could have created a context for some real change.  If the province had  116  decided that batteries were to be subject to a deposit, and had to be returned to the manufacturer or importer, the responsibility for disposal of hazardous waste would be placed on the producers of the batteries.  Faced with disposal costs of  hazardous waste the spent batteries represent, the manufacturers would have a prima facie reason to consider changes in the use of materials which lead to their designation  as hazardous waste.  If use of hazardous materials  is  unavoidable, it is possible that technical changes which w o u l d allow for the recycling or recovery of these components could be initiated, both in the initial design of the batteries, and within technology created to recover hazardous components  35  and other recoverable materials.  As it is, the 'Green Tax' the Province will implement in July will generate revenue for a 'Sustainable Environment Fund', that will not include directly funding solutions to the specific problems of disposing of hazardous products. Another approach to this problem would involve altering the Special Waste Regulations clause which allows for the exclusion of household hazardous waste and  ICI waste from the Regulations.  If, under the Federal Transportation of  Dangerous Goods Act, specific materials are designated hazardous to human health or the environment, then they should not be allowed, in any amounts, to be placed into the solid (or liquid) waste stream. 3 5  Greater public education and  Currently, the Environmental Protection Agency in the U.S. is preparing a statement about  what substances will be allowed in secure landfills. Possibly, they will put an end to the practice of importing hazardous waste into the United States and placing it in secure landfills there. British Columbia, at present, sends biomedical waste to Bellingham to be incinerated and the ash is dealt with there as well.  The EPA may, as well, ban certain kinds of products from these  landfills. If for instance, they banned batteries, they could (as long as the industry was tightly controlled and limited as to their documentation of spent batteries ) in one piece of legislation establish the necessity to recycle and reuse the hazardous materials in these products because there would be nothing else which could be done with those materials.  117  the establishment of firm and specific guidelines (which at present are not in place in the G V R D or member municipalities) for what is allowed and not allowed in household or ICI waste should be established.  This w o u l d at least  limit the amount of toxic materials entering the solid waste stream, although it would do nothing to limit the production of these goods. The combination of a deposit system for batteries,  along with stricter  guidelines and regulations for what can and cannot be placed in the solid waste stream w o u l d provide a far more effective strategy  for dealing with  this  particular problematic waste. There is also a very strong argument for the involvement of the public in determining the solutions to these kinds of problems.  Partly the rationale for  this is that it is the public which is going to have to change their lives and lifestyles in response to the present environmental threat.  If this is the case, then  they should have a role in determining how and when these changes can and should be made. The public, according to the  Greater Vancouver U r b a n Futures Survey  (Hardwick, 1990) state that one of their primary environmental concerns is the disposal of hazardous waste. The RRP issue in Vancouver only included citizen involvement as an afterthought.  Vancouver City Council had already approved  the plan for the R R P , and it responded to public outcry by initiating public information meetings about the proposed plant. occasion  for local environmentalists,  impacted by this plant, to educate  and persons  These meetings were an whose lives w o u l d  be  the C i t y Engineering staff about their  perspective on the development and siting of the R R P .  They were able to  educate the City Engineers about changes in waste management philosophies:  a  118  burn or bury perspective has to be replaced by a plan which implements source separation and institutes the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rethink framework. The Vancouver RRP project was  successfully overturned. Largely because of the  concerns and considerations brought up in the overturned Vancouver R R P project, along with the public participation which is built into determining future waste management strategies within the G V R D , the region has decided not to incorporate RRP technology in their waste management plan for the time being.  They made this decision even though the province had committed  provincial money towards the cost of setting up this expensive technical system and the Environment Minister strongly supported the use of RRP technology. The necessity of incorporating the involvement of the public in this issue has been  overlooked by the  Provincial Government.  The  newly-established  Hazardous Waste Corporation does not, in its mandate, incorporate  public  participation in the development of its practices and procedures. At  present  there  is  minimal  intergovernmental  interaction  and  communication with regard to environmental issues, little government and industry communication about these issues, and few instances where public participation occurs in the development of environmental policies and practices. A l l three of these must be built into systems for change.  In order to integrate  these into a proactive (and not a reactive) planning perspective, analytical approaches and frameworks need to be developed in order to establish changes in systems which integrate this kind of open communication and participation. What is necessary completely  new  in order to plan for Sustainable  Development  approach to planning, an approach w h i c h opens up  is a the  boundaries of what have been traditional spheres of action, communication and  119  decision-making power.  Waste management  p l a n n i n g has l o n g been  the  domain of the Engineering departments of municipalities, and their expertise has been the basis  from which decisions  have been made.  Community  involvement with these issues at every stage is now necessary, for although the public may not have all of the necessary technical information, they can be educated, and they do have information about the kinds of alterations they are willing to make within their lives and daily activities.  A s well, they have  important information to provide about the kinds of solutions they want to have applied to problems: if a city has to decide to site a hazardous waste landfill, or ban certain kinds of products, it is the population of that city which should decide what kinds of trade-offs they are willing to live with. W h a t is necessary  is the development  essentially social problems.  of social solutions  to what are  Technical solutions are not the answer, although  changes in technology will indeed be required. A s solutions will ultimately be social, requiring changes in both lifestyles and attitude, the public needs to be informed and involved in this planning.  120  Chapter Seven The Journey to Sustainability  The combination of the 'energy-spiral' from chapter four, and the principles for sustainable development elaborated by Gardner (1989) provide a framework for establishing strategies which can be used in working toward sustainable development.  7 . 1 Frameworks for change H o w then are planners to begin to create strategies which can contribute toward development of a sustainable society? Where can one start, and how can effective and proactive programmes be implemented? W e must recognize that the assault on the environment cannot be effectively controlled, but must be prevented; that prevention requires the transformation of the present structure of the technosphere, bringing it into  h a r m o n y with the  ecosphere;  that  this  means  massively  redesigning the major industrial, agricultural, energy and transportation systems; that such a transformation of the systems of p r o d u c t i o n conflicts with the short-term profit-maximizing goals that now govern investment decisions; and that, accordingly, politically suitable means must  be  developed  that  bring  the  p u b l i c interest  in long-term  environmental quality to bear on these decisions. (Commoner, 1990,193)  The purpose of this thesis is to devise  a framework for establishing  sustainable production. Using this framework in order to inform the design of policies and planning processes, planners can establish a base for sustainable  121  development.  This involves developing a very different set of guiding priorities  than the ones which presently inform planning action.  It is necessary to make  changes within all aspects of life on the planet, particularly within the systems in the  overdeveloped  shopping,  world.  P l a n n i n g for work, housing, transportation,  recreation a n d culture w i l l  development model.  all be  different  in  a  sustainable  Productive activities will have to be changed in order to  allow for a viable future.  There is a legitimate argument, in this context, for  requiring more socially and environmentally appropriate procedures and processes within these technologies and production processes.  Eventually, all  productive technologies will have to change in order to incorporate ecological and social concerns within their design. If planners take into account the entire lifecycle of a good, looking before and beyond what seems to be the specific problem, there are cues as to how change can be effected.  W i t h i n this life-cycle there are many opportunities for  alterations within the manufacturing process of a product.  Taking the reduce,  reuse, recycle, recover, replace and rethink concepts and focussing on where they might be incorporated into the production, use and disposal cycle, there are intersections where there exist clear directions for strategies.  The four process-  oriented principles elaborated by Gardner are basic to the formulation of these strategies.  The next consideration involves focussing the strategies on specific  'players'. A t w h o m are these various strategies directed? W h o is responsible to meet the criteria, or procedures, and who is responsible to implement the strategies?  A r e they to be coercive in nature, or persuasive? A r e they regulatory  or limiting or permissive or educational? Prevention is a better strategy than regulatory approaches, because policing is  122  difficult.  Regulation also establishes that a certain amount of chemicals, or  heavy metals or toxins w i l l be allowed to enter the environment. approaches do not challenge production.  The most effective  These  approaches to  eliminating hazardous substances from the environment have been in the cases where elimination has occurred such as in the case of C F C s where an all-out ban on this polluting substance has been established in many countries under the Montreal Accord.  A similar approach is being used in California where certain  products are being completely banned from sale or use because of their negative impact on the air quality there.  There is no level of toxins that these specific  products will be allowed to contain: products designated as contributing to the deterioration of the air quality are or will be entirely banned from sale. What must be incorporated into societal thinking is an overt challenge to the making and creation of toxins which are released into the environment (either as products, or by-products of production) for any reason (O'Connor, 1990). Technologies which w o u l d eliminate  release of hazardous materials, or create  alternative non-toxic products have not, until now, been the subject of research and development in the industrial sector, as this has not been required of industry.  These technologies are usually developed only in response to tighter  regulations  and limitations imposed by governments.  The risk-analysis  frameworks that have been used until now to determine how much of a toxic substance can be created a n d / o r released, have favoured industrial production over human and ecological health and welfare. These priorities must change.  123  There are many far-reaching and complex implications of this analysis. There must be a reduction of the production of certain goods. w i l l not be automatically  acceptable,  Expansion of production  although the establishment  manufacturing infrastructure which creates  of  new  more environmentally and socially  appropriate technology and products will be essential.  A s there is a need for  jobs, there will be no need to build in labour-saving designs:  the emphasis must  be on environmentally safer production methods and products.  Manufacture  must be much more efficient in terms of the environment and the production, use and disposal cycle must create no toxic outfall.  A l l of the hazardous  materials must be contained within a closed production system. Design of products must be more balanced with respect to the energy which goes into production:  a more durable product which requires less energy to create makes  more sense than the present producive imbalance.  For everything that is  manufactured, using a framework such as the following one (see Figure 7) will essentially change the rules of the game. When using such a framework, it is best to consider creating strategies which make changes as early in the lifecycle of a good as possible: removing hazardous components  from a product in the design/manufacturing stage, minimizes  problems at the disposal stage. Reducing, or eliminating the need for a product (such as a battery) in the design stage of a commodity effectively eliminates all of the problems associated with the creation, use and disposal of the batteries which would otherwise be used in the operation of that electronic commodity.  124  Process oriented principles which must inform strategies for change within the lifecycle of a product.  Waste Stream Goal seeking using sustainability as normative.  Consumption  Retail Products Relational or systems-oriented  liliiiiiminllllii'  imXiDf^  llllllllllllll|||lli>  Adaptive and interactive  Packaging  Wholesale Products ImoD^  Participatory and consultative  iiiiiiiiiniiiliiiii. Stock Materials  iTOirg^ iiiiniuiiiiilliiiii  Resource Refinement  Raw Materials Erostrg]^  iiiiiiiiiniiiliiiii.  Natural Resources 1  Waste Disposal  y777777777777777777777777777777777777.  Earth  Sustainability is defined as incorporating the substantive principles from Gardner (1989) as priorities: Satisfaction of human needs, maintenance of ecological integrity, achievement of equity and social justice, and provision for social self-determination.  Figure 7:  Framework for change  125  Make sure strategies are focussed on appropriate players: some  power,  shortcomings.  but  should  not  be  made  responsible  consumers have  for  manufacturers  Information is essential to consumers' ability to make responsible  decisions.  7.2 Batteries: some ideas for sustainable strategies and practices Goal One: Reduce production,use and disposal of batteries. •In  the manufacturing and design stage of the lifecycle, design in durability. This allows for re-using the same battery for a longer period of time, thus eliminating the need to produce as many batteries.  •Design devices which do not use batteries as an energy source. This means that there is a reduction in the use of batteries. •Restrict import and production of products which require batteries as an energy source.  This will lead to the reduction of the use of  batteries. •Prohibit the manufacture a n d / o r import of embedded nicads (in appliances, tools, etc.)  They do not fit with the concept of  sustainability at all, which requires durability of goods.  This will  require manufacturers to create appliances and tools which can be used for a longer period of time.  They could devise systems for  the replacement of the battery component, and allow for the reuse of the tool or appliance. •Development of batteries which can have their components reused, either in creating new batteries, or in some other manufacturing endeavour. • Reducing 'needs' for batteries (via education, changing consumer attitudes,  labels  indicating the hazards to the  associated with the product.)  environment  126  Goal Two: Reduce energy necessary to produce batteries •Create a more durable battery. •Create  a productive  technology  appropriate environmentally.  that  is  more  efficient  and  (Look to appropriate phases in  the lifecycle of a battery.) Goal Three: Eliminate the problem of the disposal of hazardous materials in batteries • L i m i t or eliminate  the  m i n i n g a n d / o r import of  hazardous  materials, thus making present available materials the only resource for manufacturers to use, so there would be a necessity to recover materials specifically  to  the  from spent batteries. hazardous  This c o u l d apply  components,  a n d other  non-  renewable raw materials as well. •After collection systems are put in place, effectively  separating  batteries from the rest of the SWS, place a ban on disposing of spent batteries in hazardous waste landfills.  A t the same time  establish regulations for the documentation of spent batteries collected and severe restrictions on the export of them. The only way to dispose of spent batteries w o u l d then be to recycle or recover the materials for reuse. •Require strict records to be kept of the amounts of mercury a n d / o r cadmium used in the domestic battery industry, along with the amounts  of  these substances  contained  in  any  imported  batteries, so there is a record of the amounts of these heavy metals being used and disposed of. • Reduction of toxic elements in batteries in the production stage using appropriate technology . introduction  on  changing basic batteries.)  non-toxic  This strategy could involve the battery  electro-chemistry  technology  (examples:  through  zinc-air, solar  127  Other strategies could include: •Informing the public through labelling designating the status of a product (e.g.  'this can be safely discarded'  or 'this must be  disposed of in a special manner'). If a criteria were developed to determine polluting and non-polluting batteries, they could be colour- coded or marked with symbols which indicate appropriate measures to be taken when disposing of batteries.  7 . 3 Integrate S D goals into strategy It is important to develop ecological integrity and work toward community development.  D r . Paul Connet, an opponent to incineration of garbage,  indicates that the recycling, reuse and recover strategies not only make more sense environmentally, but they also provide a context for community economic development, and community organizing.  In considering how we plan, it is  important to choose the paths which develop a wide range of the goals that SD represents.  It is important to build in multiple goals when devising strategies,  such as building community, developing participation of the public in regulating industry, encouraging community organizing while  supporting  ecological  integrity.  7 . 4 Focus on appropriate 'players' In  deciding on strategies, focus on the appropriate 'players' and design  policies accordingly.  Those who might be targeted in strategies, or who could be  part of designing and implementing change include: producer/importing companies: Eveready, Duracell, etc. employees at battery manufacturing plants employees at places which use significant numbers of batteries consumers consumer advocacy groups municipal governments/ unions of municipalities  y  128  regional government provincial government federal government trade organizations standards associations international governmental bodies international trade and commerce organizations non-governmental organizations environmental organizations Round Table participants at municipal, provincial a n d / o r federal levels  The interactions and relationships between these players can provide cues as to where change can be initiated or encouraged through various vehicles for policy and programme change. various kinds of powers:  Planners can have an impact through using  regulatory, limiting, persuasive, coercive, educational,  and applying these powers to appropriate players involved with the issue.  As  well, planners can fall back on the older, more traditional planning tools such as land use regulations and public health requirements and use them in designing regulatory and restrictive requirements which lead to appropriate changes in the productive cycle. Procurement policies  which are developed  by m u n i c i p a l and regional  governments can reflect concern for the environment through the purchase of products which use appropriate environmental technology, refusal  of  contracts  to  buy  from  companies  which  and through the do  environmental priorities within their manufacturing systems.  not  integrate  Governments at  all levels represent a significant market for industry; using purchase power to encourage changes in their practices is a powerful and useful persuasive tool. 7 . 5 T h e role of municipal governments A t the present time, municipal and regional governments are having to  deal  129  with the problems of hazardous wastes. They are responsible for the appropriate (expensive) disposal of these products or else they risk the results of improper disposal.  A l l across Canada municipalities are currently devising alternatives to  the present systems for solid waste management, and hazardous wastes in particular.  This level of government has the responsibility of dealing with this  problem, but does not have the power or economic ability to really incur change at this time.  There is a need for change in the nature of relationships between  governmental levels, and the relationships between government and industry. M u n i c i p a l and regional governments are the essential link to the solutions necessary in this instance. M a n y of the difficulties which will be encountered on the road to sustainable development w i l l be faced by local communities. Sustainable development is based on the actions and power that can be exerted by these local communities. This is where change can begin. For this reason, other levels of government must be prepared to provide essential economic and policy support solutions.  when  municipal  governments  attempt  to  establish  sustainable  Planning for a different future requires co-ordination between  governmental bodies. governmental  levels,  There must be firm relationships established between between  industry  government, industry and the public.  and  government  and  between  Within these relationships, planners  must find, invent and create vehicles to aid in the development of this coordination and communication in order to establish a firm sustainable base. The present will of the public to be responsible and to be involved in environmental issues is a strong and useful tool for planners to use in the transition to sustainability.  The very basis of this transition will require the  130  participation of the public, and the public will to change. A t every step along the way, it is necessary to involve the public in planning issues. A s well as involving the public in the planning for S D , there is a need to educate the public about the need to reduce all levels of consumption in the overdeveloped  world.  This goes beyond what is presently considered an  appropriate planning role. intervention  within  the  What SD will involve is not only regulation and market economy  in order to  reduce  ecological  degradation, but a confirmed, established position against consumerism.  In  order to reduce consumption and foster careful use of resources, planners must work toward altering the way people view freedom, and the way they view and value material goods. This is a very complex transition, and a very deep and enduring change which is necessary.  There are no easy answers or solutions, and the strategies  devised must be considered carefully in order for the goals of SD to be attained. A n ecological and environmental framework must be determination and to establish overt product controls.  basic for all policy Within this transition,  industrial responsibility and accountability must be ensured. Municipal planners are having to think globally and act locally. Planning for sustainability is very different from previous planning, because the normative values will be sustainable ones. Provincial governments  have indicated that they want to integrate their  environmental policies with each other.  This integration,  federal government environmental policy requirements,  combined with  could provide a base  for creating comprehensive legislative, regulatory, and persuasive powers to establish guidelines and regulations for producers, consumers, industry and  131  commercial interests.  7 . 6 Changes in the market The basis of change in the case of batteries, or other 'special' products, is to redefine the market game in order to create ways of factoring ecological and social costs into the profit/loss equation for these commodities.  There should be  a cradle to grave liability and responsibility for ecological impacts and waste in every step of the manufacturing process, and this should be h e l d as the responsibility of the manufacturers and importers of such products. There are other ways of incorporating change in the market system.  By  changing the directorate of companies so that all affected parties within a company, such as the stockholders, workers, consumers, the  p u b l i c and  government, have some power or say on the boards of governance, decisions for production w o u l d reflect a wider concern than the simple short-term profit motive which presently decides most choices made in industry and commerce.  7 . 7 What we have to build on There are already existing structures and organizations which can be used within the SD strategies and processes. The U n i o n of B.C. Municipalities provides a strong lobby group within which municipalities can establish their positions and organize together to gain support provincially and federally. Round Tables on the environment can be used as a stimulus and idea bank to forge relationships between individuals, industry, commercial interests and all levels of government in order to devise ways to cope with environmental problems.  The advantage of Round Tables is that they are co-operative, and  interactive, developing  links between sectors of society  w h i c h have  not  132  previously worked together, or communicated openly. The E n v i r o n m e n t a l Choice organization  works  under the  auspices of  Environment Canada, and determines whether specific products can be labelled with their eco-logo. This eco-logo is the only regulated label which establishes an environmentally appropriate product, in terms of specific Environmental Choice criteria.  A lifecycle analysis of each product is used to determine if a product  warrants their approval.  T h r o u g h their persuasive  power, Environmental  Choice has the opportunity to motivate industry in providing environmentally appropriate products.  Industries which choose to develop products which  comply with the Environmental Choice guidelines  are rewarded with  the  incread sales the logo will potentially attract. It is important to make use industrial/commercial sector. excellent brochure outlining The  of initiatives  which already exist i n the  The International Chamber of Commerce has an Environmental  guidelines  C a n a d i a n C h e m i c a l Producers Association  Commitment  cites a Research and Development  establishes environmental concerns  for  world  industry.  Responsible Care:  A Total  C o d e of Practice  which  as basic in all levels of research and  development in the Chemical industry.  These two documents are attached in  Appendix A of this thesis. Using present structures and systems, and analyzing the productive sphere in light of what needs to occur in order to develop  a base for  sustainable  development, possibilities for establishing new alliances, links and structures exist.  These can be used to reinforce environmental and social values in our  communities.  133  Chapter Eight Final reflections: Planning for a different future 8 .1 Summary Observable negative changes within the planet's environment, along with social unrest which results from an unequal distribution of the earth's resources leads  to the  conclusion that present  measures of progress are flawed.  economic  development  models  and  In this thesis, some of those flaws have been  described, and possible ways of alleviating them have been considered. Sustainable development was defined, and its utility for informing strategies for establishing change within the productive sphere has been depicted through an 'energy-spiral' diagram.  This diagram indicates the various stages in the life-  cycle of a product, and provides a structure for analyzing the environmental and social costs which are associated with each of these stages. The G V R D and the City of Vancouver have been used as a local and regional government dealing with the problem of toxic waste in the solid waste stream. Using dry-cell batteries as an example of toxic waste, the problem of batteries in the waste stream was explored. The actions being taken to remedy this problem in other countries around the w o r l d have been documented. response  of the British C o l u m b i a government, the G V R D  The current  and the city of  Vancouver to this problem has been described and analyzed. Plans for removal of batteries from the SWS are inadequate, and unsustainable. A framework for devising strategies which build in sustainability in the productive sphere was depicted and elaborated with reference to the specific  134  problem  of  dry-cell batteries  in the  solid  waste  stream.  8 . 2 A framework for a different future Sustainable development  represents  a radical rethinking of planning, a  rethinking of life as it is lived at present on the earth.  It requires that  present  priorities and practices be replaced with ones which value ecological and environmental integrity, which incorporate life-sustaining activity, and which empower community.  It will require the involvement of people in true civil  participatory democracy, and will necessarily require community determination, not just of political decisions, but also in economic and environmental systems and organization as well. It will require opening up the basis of power. Within planning, SD has some far-reaching implications for planning theory as well.  If a transition to sustainability is to be made, then it is important to  understand how governments change their ideologies, how new theories and beliefs are incorporated into old organizational structures. H o w do governments measure their progress, and how are goals are presently created? Changes in the G N P , such as those suggested in Chapter two, require a political will to promote, overtly, a changeover in priorities and values within a society.  It is important to  consider the way that decision-making powers can be transferred, and how the control of key decisions can be given to the people whose lives are most affected by those decisions. In a transition to sustainability, there must be a critical perspective applied to all technological innovation. It is necessary to be prudent about the introduction of technology dominant now.  into new realms,  and to question the technology  which is  N e w technologies must be considered with regard to their  135  effects and consequences on human economics, the social repercussions that technology represents as well as the environmental and ecological impacts of the technology. In the 1989 Massey Lectures, Ursula Franklin speaks to this skepticism that we must have about technology, and she describes the way in which productive technology has affected the way we think about the world. example the study of population, or demography.  She uses as an  Extensive and reliable data  exists to indicate population growth and the resources necessary to support that population. A s a result of this study, programmes such as the Chinese one child per family policy are widely accepted and approved by the world community. But at the same time, there is no demography of machines.  There is no reliable  data as to the numbers of cars produced in the past, or at present, and the resources w h i c h are necessary  to support that vehicle population.  Those  resources are massive, from the infrastructure required to make the cars, to physically drive the cars (roads, parking garages), to operate the cars (the infrastructure necessary to extract oil, process it, transport it and distribute it to individual vehicles) and the impact of the running of these machines on the environment, and on and on.  But there is no movement here or in Japan, or in  the United States to embark on a one car per family policy, which would, if one considers it, make as much sense environmentally, and socially as what the Chinese are d o i n g to control their population.  W e take for granted  the  production of machines, so much so that there is little or no knowledge of what is being created, where, how and why. It is necessary to incorporate this kind of re-consideration and re-evaluation of present practices into every day thinking. It is not probable that large-scale change on a global, or even a national scale is  136  going to occur soon, although it needs to. It is probable that change will occur on local and regional levels, before it reaches the higher levels of organization. If change is a result first of all of dissatisfaction, or dis-ease, then it seems that the growing awareness of global deterioration which is occurring due to human action has begun that process.  The second necessary stage for change to occur  involves h o l d i n g a vision, an overriding belief that there are other ways to organize the world, and they are possible. The last stage necessary to incorporate change is taking basic, practical first steps. It is hoped that the framework presented in this work represents one practical first step.  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"Household Batteries in the Municipal Solid Waste  Sream", G V R D M e m o r a n d u m written to Len Hayton, File # 95.25.04, February 2,1990. Suzuki, D a v i d . "It's A Matter O f Survival."  Program # 5 of a five part  radio documentary, presented on the Candian Broadcasting Corporation, July and August, 1989. Swedish Government. "Official Government Paper 1986/87: 157 on Waste management, etc.," minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 7 M a y 1987, as presented to the Swedish Parliament. Swedish Government.  "Order Re: Batteries Dangerous to the  Environment," Swedish L a w SFS 1986:  1236, Issued the 11  December 1986 and released by the printers on the 22 December 1986. V a n der R y n , S. and Calthorpe, P. Sustainable Communities: A new Design Synthesis for Cities, Suburbs, Towns. San Francisco: Sierra C l u b Books, 1986. Victor, Peter A . "Economics and the Challenge of Environmental Issues" in Economics, Ecology, Ethics: Essays Toward a Steady-State Economy. Edited by Herman E . Daly, San Francisco, 1973,194 - 214. Waring, Marilyn.  If Women Counted: A N e w Feminist Economics.  N e w York: Harper & Row, 1988. Weinberg, Bill.  "Imagine There's N o Exxon...," The N e w Catalyst,  Number 16, Winter 1989/90, 8 - 9. W o r l d Commission on Environment and Development. Future. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987.  Our Common  APPENDIX A Existing initiatives in the industrial and commercial sector: "Environmental Guidelines for W o r l d Industry" Published by the International Chamber of Commerce  145  Agreement on the initial ICC Environmental Guidelines for World Industry in 1974 was hailed as a milestone in international business cooperation and acceptance of social responsibility. This booklet gives the full text of the 2nd revision approved in 1986, following : careful revision to take due account of the evolution in attitudes and techniques. These Guidelines remain the only project of this nature with universal validity, applicable to industrial and other business activity in all countries and sectors. They should be read and kept for reference by everybody with environmental responsibilities or interests in business, government, scientific and academic, institutions, and,the general public;.,^, .,  International Chamber of Commerce  Environmental Guidelines for World Industry  The Guidelines are also available in other . principalianguages, including French, German and Spanish. • . ••' •-. '  The world business organization 38, Cours Albert 1 '. 75008 Pans e  "[..'cohort; '1'. 45 CC " ' ">£ . ' . TE ex ". •'• •' ' .  Tf'e'ax ('. ^ •'. t i f ^ • "ra'e-:fd.T.s I h C O V E R C PARIS ;  N° 435  ., •"  . ".  EUROPEAN YEAR OF THE ENVIRONMENT  146  Introduction T h e International C h a m b e r of C o m m e r c e h a s p l a y e d for m a n y y e a r s a major a n d p i o n e e r i n g role in setting forth international self-regulatory rules in m a n y b u s i n e s s s e c t o r s . In the field of e n v i r o n m e n t the I C C initially p u b l i s h e d the E n v i r o n m e n t a l G u i d e l i n e s for W o r l d Industry in 1.974, a n d i s s u e d a n u p d a t e d v e r s i o n in 1 9 8 1 . H o w e v e r , w o r l d industry is c o n s c i o u s of the evolution a n d c h a n g e s in the situation a n d in the p r o b l e m s r e g a r d i n g e n v i r o n m e n t a l matters w h i c h h a v e o c c u r r e d , a n d r e c o g n i z e s the important role it h a s to p l a y in the light of s u c h evolution. This is e v i d e n c e d for e x a m p l e in the W o r l d Industry C o n f e r e n c e on E n v i r o n m e n t a l M a n a g e m e n t ( W l C E M ) h e l d in N o v e m b e r 1 9 8 4 . T h e C o n f e r e n c e D e c l a r a t i o n r e c o g n i z e d the c o n t r i b u t i o n s m a d e b y i n d u s t r y t o w a r d s c r e a t i n g a better e n v i r o n m e n t a c h i e v e d in part t h r o u g h i n c r e a s e d c o o p e r a t i o n with g o v e r n m e n t s , g o v e r n m e n t a l a n d n o n - g o v e r n m e n t a l o r g a n i z a t i o n s , a n d the g e n e r a l public. T h e I C C h a s p r e p a r e d the following r e v i s e d E n v i r o n m e n t a l G u i d e l i n e s , a n d p r e s e n t s t h e m to g o v e r n m e n t s a n d c o m p a n i e s for i m p l e m e n t a t i o n a n d to the p u b l i c for information. Industry's c o m mitment to the o b j e c t i v e s a d o p t e d b y the w o r l d c o m m u n i t y of n a t i o n s in r e g a r d to the p r o t e c t i o n a n d p r o g r e s s i v e i m p r o v e m e n t of the h u m a n e n v i r o n m e n t is a s s t r o n g a s ever. R e a l i z i n g t h e s e o b j e c t i v e s r e q u i r e s c o n c e r t e d effort b y all parts of s o c i e t y a n d a l s o c a l l s for r e a l i s m in p o l i c i e s , in the c h o i c e of priorities a n d of time s c a l e , a n d in the a s s e s s m e n t of e c o n o m i c a n d other c o s t s in reaching specific environmental objectives. S i n c e the p u b l i c a t i o n of the first edition of its G u i d e l i n e s in 1 9 7 4 , industry h a s a c c o m p l i s h e d important i m p r o v e m e n t s in its o p e r a t i o n s to a b a t e a n d prevent a d v e r s e environmental effects. N e v e r t h e l e s s industry r e a l i z e s that its o p e r a t i o n s  Published by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) 38, Cours Albert 1«. 75008 Paris July 1986 Copyright © by the International Chamber of Commerce. Publication N° 435  c o n t i n u e to h a v e a substantial t h o u g h b y n o m e a n s e x c l u s i v e influence on the quality of e n v i ronment. At the s a m e time, it s h o u l d b e r e c o g n i z e d that industry m a k e s a major c o n t r i b u t i o n to the quality of life b y p r o v i d i n g a r e g u l a r flow of goods and services. T h e s e G u i d e l i n e s c a l l for a high s t a n d a r d of c o m mitment to e n v i r o n m e n t a l r e q u i r e m e n t s o n the part of industry, but a l s o m a k e it c l e a r that a c o n s t r u c t i v e contribution from industry d e p e n d s to a l a r g e extent u p o n a p p r o p r i a t e r e g u l a t i o n s and governmental policies and indeed upon a parallel contribution from all s e c t o r s of the c o m munity. For e x a m p l e , the d e v e l o p m e n t of a l t e r n a tive s o u r c e s of e n e r g y a n d the inherent c o n s e q u e n c e s for the e n v i r o n m e n t is o n e of the i s s u e s w h i c h will c a l l i n c r e a s i n g l y for c o n s u l t a t i o n b e t w e e n g o v e r n m e n t a n d industry. T h e G u i d e l i n e s are b r o a d in their s c o p e a n d o b v i o u s l y c a n n o t c o v e r e v e r y situation w h i c h m a y a r i s e . T h e y h a v e b e e n f r a m e d in a w a y that m a k e s t h e m a p p l i c a b l e to industry in d e v e l o p i n g c o u n t r i e s a s well a s to industry in the m o s t i n d u s trialized a r e a s of the w o r l d , to both private a n d state o w n e d e n t e r p r i s e s a n d to multinational a s well a s national ( d o m e s t i c ) e n t e r p r i s e s . " I n d u s try", to w h i c h the G u i d e l i n e s are a d d r e s s e d is b y no m e a n s m a n u f a c t u r i n g industry a l o n e . T h e G u i d e l i n e s a r e e q u a l l y a p p l i c a b l e to the o p e r a tions for e x a m p l e of the transport industry, the tourist industry, p u b l i c utilities or a g r i c u l t u r e . T h e r e are m a n y r e f e r e n c e s in the G u i d e l i n e s to pollution a n d h e r e a g a i n a w i d e interpretation s h o u l d b e g i v e n w h e n e v e r the context p e r m i t s ; n o i s e , o d o u r a n d v i s u a l pollution a n d other e n v i r o n m e n t a l n u i s a n c e s a r e all a m o n g the f o r m s of pollution w h i c h industry a n d the w h o l e c o m m u nity m u s t s e e k to prevent a n d a b a t e in their c o n c e r t e d effort to e n s u r e a s a t i s f a c t o r y e n v i r o n ment. S i n c e the first edition of the G u i d e l i n e s , o c c u p a tional a s p e c t s h a v e b e c o m e part of the' b r o a d e r e n v i r o n m e n t a l i s s u e . A l t h o u g h the G u i d e l i n e s are not d e s i g n e d to d e a l with t h e s e a s p e c t s , industry n e v e r t h e l e s s r e c o g n i z e s their i m p o r t a n c e .  147  General Principles  4. In the field of e n v i r o n m e n t a l p r o t e c t i o n , i n d u s try h a s both e c o n o m i c a n d s o c i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s .  1. Virtually all h u m a n activities, both industrial a n d n o n - i n d u s t r i a l , affect the e n v i r o n m e n t , m a y l e a d to pollution, a n d m a y h a v e a n i m p a c t o n h u m a n health a n d well-being.  5. While s o c i a l a n d e n v i r o n m e n t a l c o n s i d e r ations are of great i m p o r t a n c e , e c o n o m i c c o n straints will a l w a y s exist, a n d the a i m must b e to arrive at a p r o p e r b a l a n c e b e t w e e n t h e s e f a c t o r s . I n d e e d , industry will c o n d u c t its o p e r a t i o n s in a n environmentally s o u n d m a n n e r , while fulfilling the imperative n e e d for e c o n o m i c g r o w t h .  T h e u n i v e r s a l q u e s t for h i g h e r living s t a n d a r d s , t o g e t h e r with the r a p i d g r o w t h a n d u r b a n i z a t i o n of w o r l d p o p u l a t i o n a n d the c o n s e q u e n t g r e a t e r d e p e n d e n c e on m o d e r n industry, r e q u i r e s that c o n t i n u i n g attention b e g i v e n to the c o n s e q u e n c e s of m a n ' s activities o n the e n v i r o n m e n t . 2. T h e m a i n t e n a n c e a n d i m p r o v e m e n t of e n v i r o n m e n t quality to the extent c o n s i s t e n t with the fulfillment of other h u m a n n e e d s , is b o t h e s s e n t i a l a n d f e a s i b l e ; while it entails c h a l l e n g e s a n d often b u r d e n s o n m a n y e l e m e n t s of s o c i e t y , it will b r i n g b e n e f i t s to s o c i e t y a s a w h o l e . 3. In d e v i s i n g e n v i r o n m e n t a l p r o t e c t i o n m e a s u r e s full a c c o u n t s h o u l d b e t a k e n of the following important factors : a) the i m p o r t a n c e of p r o t e c t i n g h u m a n h e a l t h ; b) the n e e d to maintain s p e c i e s diversity a n d the b a l a n c e of e c o l o g i c a l s y s t e m s , w h e r e l a n d , w a t e r a n d air are c o n c e r n e d ; c) the n e e d to d e v e l o p renewable resources;  alternatives  to  non-  d) the c u m u l a t i v e effects on the e n v i r o n m e n t of h a r m f u l w a s t e s a n d other n u i s a n c e s p r o d u c e d b y the v a r i o u s industrial o p e r a t i o n s ; e) the potential e f f e c t s of p r o d u c t s o n the e n v i ronment; f)  the e x i s t e n c e a n d i m p a c t of pollution;  transboundary  g) the l a w of d i m i n i s h i n g returns, i.e. inevitably a point will b e r e a c h e d w h e r e the i n c r e m e n t a l benefit d e r i v e d will b e l e s s t h a n a g i v e n i n c r e m e n t of r e s o u r c e e x p e n d e d ; h) the n e e d to m i n i m i z e risks to the e n v i r o n m e n t a r i s i n g out of industrial activities, b e a r i n g in m i n d that m a n is a l w a y s e x p o s e d to s o m e d e g r e e of risk, w h e t h e r the activity in w h i c h h e is i n v o l v e d is industrial, leisure, d o m e s t i c or other.  6. I m p r o v e m e n t s in the protection of the e n v i r o n ment are best a c h i e v e d b y a p p l y i n g s o u n d e n v i ronmental m a n a g e m e n t p r a c t i c e s a n d the a p p r o priate i m p r o v e d a n d t e s t e d t e c h n o l o g y . I n d e e d , to a l a r g e extent it will b e t h r o u g h n e w a n d c l e a ner t e c h n o l o g y , b a l a n c e d with natural r e g e n e r a tive f o r c e s , that e n v i r o n m e n t a l p r o t e c t i o n will b e achieved. 7. In o r d e r to attain worthwhile results within a r e a s o n a b l e t i m e - f r a m e a n d at a c c e p t a b l e c o s t priority s h o u l d b e g i v e n to m e a s u r e s for the p r o tection or i m p r o v e m e n t of the e n v i r o n m e n t that h a v e the h i g h e s t ratio of c o m m u n i t y benefit to cost. All e n v i r o n m e n t a l p o l i c i e s a n d r e g u l a t i o n s require c o n s i d e r a t i o n of s u c h c o s t / b e n e f i t a n a l y sis, in a c c o r d a n c e with the r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s i s s u e d b y the I C C in 1980 ( P u b l i c a t i o n N ° 3 6 1 , " C o s t - b e n e f i t a n a l y s i s of e n v i r o n m e n t a l p r o t e c tion m e a s u r e s " ) .  148  Guidelines for Industrial Operations 8. In the e n v i r o n m e n t a l context a s in others, industry, b e i n g a n integral part of the c o m m u n i t y , s h o u l d a l w a y s s e e k to o p e r a t e r e s p o n s i b l y , t a k i n g all r e a s o n a b l e p r e c a u t i o n s o that its o p e r a tions a n d p r o d u c t s are c o n s i s t e n t with c o n s i d e r a tions of h u m a n health, property, amenities a n d e n v i r o n m e n t . In the a b s e n c e of legislation, i n d u s try s h o u l d t a k e i n d e p e n d e n t a n d r e s p o n s i b l e a c t i o n b a s e d o n its k n o w - h o w a n d t e c h n o l o g y to a c h i e v e e n v i r o n m e n t a l protection within r e a s o n able e c o n o m i c bounds.  in the future, a n d that the a p p r o p r i a t e s t e p s are taken to protect the e n v i r o n m e n t in the p r o c e s s of extraction a n d to r e n e w t h e s e r e s o u r c e s whenever possible.  •j  j  9. Industry h a s its particular e n v i r o n m e n t a l resp o n s i b i l i t i e s in terms of s u c h factors a s plant l o c a t i o n a n d d e s i g n , p r o c e s s s e l e c t i o n a n d prod u c t d e s i g n , e n v i r o n m e n t a l pollution, harmful radiation, vibration a n d noise controls, w a s t e d i s p o s a l , o c c u p a t i o n a l health a n d safety a s p e c t s and long-range planning.  -  m i n i m i z e the possibilities of pollution; a p p l y the m o s t a p p r o p r i a t e pollution p r e v e n tion a n d / o r a b a t e m e n t t e c h n i q u e s ; conserve non-renewable resources, including energy; d e v e l o p alternatives to m a x i m i z e the r e c y c l i n g or r e - u s e of its w a s t e s ; d e v e l o p a n d utilize c l e a n e r t e c h n o l o g i e s ; e n s u r e that e v e r y effort is b e i n g m a i n t a i n e d to c o n s e r v e w a t e r e s p e c i a l l y in a r e a s s u b j e c t to d r o u g h t or critical b a l a n c e of s u p p l i e s .  A n y m e a s u r e s e n v i s a g e d must of c o u r s e a l s o b e technically feasible, economically acceptable a n d c o n s i s t e n t with national a n d / o r r e g i o n a l r e q u i r e m e n t s . Industry s h o u l d c o n s u l t with the s u p p l i e r s of its b a s i c raw materials to e n s u r e that, a s far a s c a n b e f o r e s e e n , t h e s e will b e a v a i l a b l e  12. In the d e s i g n a n d d e v e l o p m e n t of new prod u c t s , industry s h o u l d a s s e s s potential a d v e r s e e n v i r o n m e n t a l effects of t h e s e p r o d u c t s w h e n u s e d for those p u r p o s e s for w h i c h the p r o d u c t is s u p p l i e d either by a c o n s u m e r directly or w h e n c o n v e r t e d or i n c o r p o r a t e d by other industries into different p r o d u c t s . R e s p o n s i b l e efforts s h o u l d b e m a d e to m i n i m i s e a n y s u c h effects. 13. Industry s h o u l d p r o v i d e a d v i c e to its c u s t o m e r s on c o n s e r v a t i o n r e - u s e a n d r e c y c l i n g , h a n d ling, transporting, u s i n g a n d d i s p o s i n g of its prod u c t s . This s h o u l d e n c o u r a g e the c o n s u m e r to e x e r c i s e his r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s o n c e he takes p o s s e s s i o n of the p r o d u c t , in full c o g n i z a n c e of its potential i m p a c t on the e n v i r o n m e n t a n d h u m a n health.  10. In the p l a n n i n g a n d m a n a g e m e n t of its o p e r a t i o n s industry s h o u l d , in a d d i t i o n to the u s u a l e l e m e n t s , t a k e into a c c o u n t the i m p a c t on the h u m a n e n v i r o n m e n t , the vulnerability of natural e c o l o g i c a l s y s t e m s , a n d the c h a l l e n g e c r e a t e d by the finite c h a r a c t e r of the earth's n o n - r e n e w a b l e r e s o u r c e s . Industry s h o u l d therefore r e g u larly r e v i e w its p r o d u c t i o n o p e r a t i o n s , p r o d u c t s , w a s t e s a n d p r o c e d u r e s for the handling of materials in o r d e r to : -  11. In the d e s i g n of its installations, in the h a n d ling of raw materials a n d p r o d u c t s , a n d in the o p e r a t i o n of its p r o c e s s e s , industry s h o u l d a l s o p a y full attention to health a n d safety matters within the w o r k i n g e n v i r o n m e n t .  14. E a c h c o m p a n y ' s m a n a g e m e n t s h o u l d promote a m o n g its e m p l o y e e s at all l e v e l s an individ u a l s e n s e of e n v i r o n m e n t a l responsibility a n d s h o u l d e d u c a t e a n d e n c o u r a g e t h e m to b e alert to potential s o u r c e s of pollution a n d to s o u n d r e s o u r c e c o n s e r v a t i o n m e a s u r e s within their o p erations.  «, J -i J  15. Industry h a s a r e s p o n s i b i l i t y through its a s s o c i a t i o n c h a n n e l s a n d at c o m p a n y level to s u p p o r t r e s e a r c h into the p r e v e n t i o n of a d v e r s e e n v i r o n m e n t a l effects a n d into the c a u s e s a n d effects of d i s c h a r g e s on e c o l o g i c a l s y s t e m s a n d on p u b l i c health, both nationally a n d internationally. 16. Industry s h o u l d d e v e l o p , t h r o u g h its a s s o c i a tion c h a n n e l s a n d a m o n g i n d i v i d u a l c o m p a n i e s , the e x c h a n g e of t e c h n i c a l information on p o l l u tion a b a t e m e n t a n d c o n s e r v a t i o n m e t h o d s , s u b ject to c o m m e r c i a l confidentiality, proprietary rights a n d patent p r o t e c t i o n considerations, where applicable.  149  Guidelines for Relationships between Industry and Public Authorities 17. T h e w i d e r a n g e a n d c o m p l e x i t y of p r o b l e m s r a i s e d by. e n v i r o n m e n t a l p r o t e c t i o n m e a s u r e s c a l l s for c l o s e a n d m e a n i n g f u l c o n t a c t a n d c o n s u l t a t i o n b e t w e e n industry a n d g o v e r n m e n t locally, nationally, a n d internationally - in the s e a r c h for the m o s t a p p r o p r i a t e solutions. This c o n s u l t a t i o n s h o u l d i n c l u d e r e v i e w of the l e g i s l a tive a n d regulatory frameworks, and their content, for a c h i e v i n g this g o a l . 18. Industry s u p p o r t s legislation to a c h i e v e envir o n m e n t a l i m p r o v e m e n t w h i c h t a k e s into a c c o u n t the r e g e n e r a t i v e c a p a c i t y of the environment, relevant s o c i o - e c o n o m i c factors a n d local requir e m e n t s , a n d w h i c h is b a s e d on a s o u n d a p p r e ciation of t e c h n o l o g i c a l p o s s i b i l i t i e s . 19. Industry h a s a r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to p r o v i d e p u b l i c authorities with a v a i l a b l e relevant information a b o u t e m i s s i o n s , effluents, w a s t e s a n d other environmental nuisances, including potential a d v e r s e health a n d e n v i r o n m e n t a l i m p a c t s . 20. with with and into  Industry s h o u l d p r o v i d e p u b l i c authorities relevant scientific information a n d c o o p e r a t e t h e m to e s t a b l i s h e n v i r o n m e n t a l s t a n d a r d s o b j e c t i v e s o n a s o u n d scientific b a s i s , taking a c c o u n t confidentiality c o n s i d e r a t i o n s .  21. E n v i r o n m e n t a l l e g i s l a t i o n / r e g u l a t i o n s s h o u l d b e s o d e v i s e d a s not to distort international trade r e l a t i o n s h i p s a n d not to c r e a t e n o n tariff barriers. P r o v i s i o n s s h o u l d b e m a d e within existing m e c h a n i s m s for international c o n s u l t a t i o n s at i n t e r g o v e r n m e n t a l level a n d b e t w e e n g o v e r n m e n t s a n d industry to d e a l with a n y trade distortions a s s o c i a t e d with e n v i r o n m e n t a l m e a s u r e s . International h a r m o n i z a t i o n of e n v i r o n m e n t a l prog r a m m e s to a d d r e s s g l o b a l i s s u e s ( s u c h a s the g r e e n h o u s e effect, o z o n e layer, etc) s h o u l d b e p u r s u e d . R e g i o n a l p r o b l e m s m a y in certain circ u m s t a n c e s r e q u i r e further c l o s e c o - o r d i n a t i o n ( i n c l u d i n g h a r m o n i z a t i o n of r e q u i r e m e n t s ) e g . for t r a n s b o u n d a r y pollution a v o i d a n c e a n d a n y other m e a s u r e s n e c e s s a r y for the p r o t e c t i o n of health a n d the e n v i r o n m e n t .  22. A n y regulatory a p p r o a c h s h o u l d b e b a s e d on the e s t a b l i s h m e n t of a clearly d e f i n e d l e g i s l a tive f r a m e w o r k w h i c h permits flexibility in r e a c h i n g the d e s i r e d g o a l , rather than on the s p e cification of t e c h n o l o g i e s a n d the c o m p o s i t i o n of m a t e r i a l s to u s e d , i.e. incorporation of perform a n c e o b j e c t i v e s rather than d e s i g n s p e c i f i c a tions. E n v i r o n m e n t a l regulations a n d s t a n d a r d s s h o u l d a l s o b e a s s e s s e d periodically to d e t e r m i n e w h e t h e r they are h a v i n g the a n t i c i p a t e d d e s i r e d effect on the e n v i r o n m e n t . 23. Industry s h o u l d b e g i v e n a d e q u a t e notice of, a n d a n opportunity to participate in, i n t e n d e d c h a n g e s in e n v i r o n m e n t a l p o l i c i e s , o b j e c t i v e s or r e g u l a t i o n s w h i c h might affect its o p e r a t i o n s . W h e r e c h a n g e s are a d o p t e d industry must b e g i v e n a r e a s o n a b l e p e r i o d of time to a d a p t to them. 24. W h e n siting a n d d e s i g n i n g its installations, industry s h o u l d b e p r e p a r e d to p r o v i d e information o n s t e p s it is taking to protect the l o c a l e n v i r o n m e n t a n d m e e t safety requirements. In any p u b l i c d e b a t e o n i s s u e s s u c h a s siting, industry s h o u l d b e g i v e n a n a d e q u a t e opportunity to state its c a s e . T h e a i m must b e to r e a c h s o l u t i o n s mutually a c c e p t a b l e to industry, the relevant authorities a n d the c o m m u n i t y . 25. Industry a n d p u b l i c authorities s h o u l d jointly work out c o n t i n g e n c y p l a n s to d e a l with pollution e m e r g e n c i e s a n d a c c i d e n t s . In this r e g a r d , industry s h o u l d inform the relevant authorities a b o u t the k n o w n a n d significant h a z a r d s of its o p e r a t i o n s , s o . a s to e n a b l e them to act q u i c k l y and properly.  150  Guidelines for Industry/Society Relationships 26. Industry s h o u l d p r o v i d e input to b a l a n c e d a n d i n f o r m e d p u b l i c d i s c u s s i o n of e n v i r o n m e n t a l p r o b l e m s a n d s h o u l d s u p p o r t efforts to p l a c e in p r o p e r p e r s p e c t i v e the c o m p a r a t i v e s i g n i f i c a n c e of i n d u s t r i a l a n d n o n - i n d u s t r i a l s o u r c e s of p o l l u tion.  27. W h e n d e v e l o p i n g a n d i m p l e m e n t i n g e n v i r o n mental protection p r o g r a m m e s , industry s h o u l d t a k e into a c c o u n t the o p i n i o n s of the g e n e r a l p u b l i c , s c i e n t i f i c b o d i e s , a n d other c o n c e r n e d o r g a n i z a t i o n s a n d , w h e r e a p p r o p r i a t e , t a k e the l e a d in r a i s i n g the level of a w a r e n e s s a n d u n d e r s t a n d i n g of t h e s e p r o g r a m m e s .  28. Industry s h o u l d b e p r e p a r e d to s u p p l y inform a t i o n a b o u t the p o s s i b l e e n v i r o n m e n t a l c o n s e q u e n c e s of its o p e r a t i o n s , p r o d u c t s a n d n e w d e v e l o p m e n t s , including s o c i o - e c o n o m i c implications. 29. Industry s h o u l d c o n t i n u e to t a k e e n e r g e t i c s t e p s to e n s u r e that its very s u b s t a n t i a l a c h i e v e m e n t s in m a t t e r s of the e n v i r o n m e n t a r e b r o u g h t to the n o t i c e of the p u b l i c in g e n e r a l .  Serving world business The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) is the world business organization. It acts to promote the greater freedom of world trade, to harmonize and facilitate business and trade practices, and to represent the business community at international levels. Paris based, the ICC is represented by National Committees in 58 countries and also has members in nearly 50 others. Environment Commission The ICC Commission on Environment was responsible for preparing the Environmental Guidelines for World Industry. Founded in 1972, its membership in 1986 comprised some 55 business leaders and experts from 26 countries. The Commission meets twice every year. It has particular responsibility for determining ICC policy on environmental questions, notably as regards initiatives and projects undertaken by intergovernmental organizations. International Environment Bureau (IEB) The IEB was established by the ICC in 1986 as an international trans-industry clearing house on environmental management information. It operates as an ICC specialized division equivalent to the International Bureau (1MB) which combats the maritime fraud problem, and the Counterfeiting Intelligence Bureau. Membership of the IEB is distinct from that of the ICC itself. All requests for information should be addressed to : the Director, IEB. 61 Route de Chene, CH-1208 Geneva' ICC Publications Through its affiliate ICC Publishing S.A., the ICC provides a broad range of publications on both policy and practical/technical questions. A key publication in the environmental area is : The Spirit of Versailles : the Business of Environmental Management The first World Industry Conference on Environmental Management (WICEM) held in November 1984 in Versailles, France, has been called the most significant landmark among international gatherings in this area since the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment (Stockholm, June 1972). WICEM provided a forum for more than 500 leaders of industry, government and other environmental groups from 72 countries to seek cooperation in improving environmental quality management while at the same time pursuing economic growth and development. WICEM was sponsored by world industry and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in cooperation with the ICC. This 400-page book is both a comprehensive record of the unique event and a report on present environmental management practices and challenges. It includes over 600 names and addresses of organization/individuals directly concerned with environmental issues. ICC Publication 425.  10  11  151  APPENDIX B Existing initiatives in the industrial and commercial sector: "Codes of Practice Commitment Package: Research and Development Code of Practice," excerpts from Chemical Producers' Association Statement of Policy on Responsible Care  arm  Responsible Care: A Total Commitment  CANADIAN  CHEMICAL  PRODUCERS'  ASSOCIATION  CODES  OF  COMMITMENT  C a n a d i a n C h e m i c a l Producers' Association  PRACTICE  PACKAGE  Suite 805. 350 Sparks Street. Ottawa. Ontario KIR 7S8  CANADIAN CHEMICAL PRODUCERS' ASSOCIATION STATEMENT OF POLICY ON RESPONSIBLE C A R E PREAMBLE Canadian chemical producers encourage the responsible development, introduction, manufacture, transportation, storage, handling, distribution, use and ultimate disposal of chemicals and chemical products so as to minimize adverse effects on human health and well-being and on the environment; i.e., Canadian chemical producers encourage "Responsible Care".  STATEMENT OF COMMITMENT The Canadian chemical industry is committed to taking every practical precaution towards ensuring products do not present an unacceptable level of risk to its employees, customers, the public or the environment. The chief executive officers of all member companies of the Canadian Chemical Producers' Association have formally accepted these principles and endorsement is now a condition of membership.  STRATEGY The chemical industry recognizes that a degree of government regulation in combination with the selfinitiated actions of industry is required to ensure a sufficiently comprehensive, timely and orderly advance toward the goal of protecting the health and well-being of Canadians and their environment. It supports the development of equitable and attainable standards. Within this framework, industry believes that the best way to achieve this goal is to: a)  ensure that guidelines and regulations established by government with respect to the potential hazards of chemicals are based on scientifically supported data and/or expert opinion;  b)  ensure that guidelines and considerations: and  c)  ensure that the justified confidentiality of information, particularly that affecting the competitiveness of companies, is appropriately preserved.  regulations  are  realistic  in terms of societal  cost/benefit  Canadian chemical producers are committed to develop and implement plans, programs and communications within industry and in conjunction with governments, regulatory agencies, other resource groups and affected parties to promote the principle of "Responsible Care".  G U I D I N G PRINCIPLES The following list of guiding principles is subscribed to by member companies of the Canadian Chemical Producers' Association. •  ensure that its operations do not present an unacceptable level of risk to its employees, customers, the public or the environment.  •  provide relevant information on the hazards of chemicals to its customers, urging them to use and dispose of products in a safe manner and make such information available to the public on request.  •  make responsible care an early and integral part of the planning process leading to new products, processes or plants.  •  increase the emphasis on the understanding of existing products and their uses and ensure that a high level of understanding of new products and their potential hazards is achieved prior to and throughout commercial development.  •  comply with all legal requirements which affect its operations and products.  •  be responsive and sensitive to legitimate community concerns.  •  work actively with and assist governments and selected organizations to foster and encourage equitable and attainable standards.  154  HAZARDOUS WASTE MANAGEMENT POLICY  Members of the Canadian Chemical Producers' Association (CCPA) are committed to the responsible management of hazardous wastes i n Canada in a way which must be environmentally acceptable. CCPA advocates waste reduction at source, followed by r e c y c l i n g , recovery, or re-use, as preferred options to disposal. Where t h i s i s not feasible destruction or treatment to render the material non-hazardous i s recommended. Where the hazard cannot be eliminated, the waste must be contained in a secure manner, and monitored, to ensure that i t i s not endangering the environment. Members of the CCPA w i l l , at a l l times, cooperate with the appropriate government agencies to identify and resolve problems associated with waste s i t e s to which they have contributed.  Responsible Care: A Total Commitment  


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