is the recycling of all materials back into nature or the marketplace in a manner that protects human health and the environment.



"We are living in a false economy where the price of goods and services does not include the cost of waste and pollution," Lynn Landes, Founder and Director of Zero Waste America.

In 1997, Franklin Associates estimated that the average household spends approximately $100/ton to dispose of 'municipal waste'.*  In 1999, we disposed of approximately 274 million tons of most 'municipal' waste (according to Biocycle magazine) at an approximate cost of $27 billion. That may be only 2% of total waste disposed, according to a 1988 EPA report to Congress. In addition, industries that compete directly with recycling (mining, logging, etc.), received 15 federal tax and spending subsidies totaling $13 billion from 1992 to 1997, according to a report from The Grassroots Recycling Network. For more data information See: Statistics

* Source: "Solid Waste Management at the Crossroads," Chapter 3, (1997) Franklin Associates (913) 649-2225.

NEW! Gold and Green in 2000 States with the highest environmental standards also boast the best economic performance, finds Gold & Green 2000, a new report from the Institute for Southern Studies.

 For every one job waste disposal creates, recycling creates 5-10 jobs. See: GRRN


  • REPORT! 4/8/99 END WELFARE FOR WASTE: How Federal Taxpayer Subsidies Waste Resources and Discourage Recycling is a groundbreaking report that identifies 15 tax and spending subsidies pouring $13 billion over 5 years into industries that compete directly with recycling. The report is a joint project of Taxpayers for Common Sense, the GrassRoots Recycling Network, the Materials Efficiency Project, and Friends of the Earth.
  • Corporate Welfare, Time Magazine, SPECIAL REPORT/ NOVEMBER 9, 1998 VOL. 152 NO. 19, Plus "corporate welfare" links and information


Check-out: ZWA's Sustainable ZWA's Sustainable Development page

Money and Environmental Politics:



  • The Natural Wealth of Nations: Harnessing the Market for Environment (ENN, Sept. 21, 1998), proposes that ending $650 billion in subsidies for activities like clearcutting and overfishing, and levying taxes on resource depletion and pollutants like greenhouse gases, could provide $1.5 trillion a year for income tax cuts. Under this proposal, a U.S. family of four would get a net tax cut of $2,000, according to Worldwatch.
  • ENN - Purchases of recycled paper, plastics wane-Sept.18, 1998.
  • MINING BIRTHDAY:  Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt joined Sen. Dale Bumpers (D-AR) in a dubious "celebration" of the 125th birthday of the antiquated 1872 Mining Law, according to a Mineral Policy Center press release.  Under the law signed by Pres. Ulysses Grant, multinational mining corporations pay under $5 per acre for valuable mineral-rich lands.  Mining companies have purchased lands containing $15 billion worth of minerals for only $23,601 since 1994.  "The framers of the law could not have imagined the scale of environmental damage that takes place at today's mine sites," said Mineral Policy Center President Phil Hocker.  "This is no longer a pick-and-shovel affair, and there's no mule in sight."  GREENLines, Tues., May 13, 1997 from GREEN, the Grassroots Environmental Effectiveness Network, A project of Defenders of Wildlife.  (202)789-2844x290 or email

BOOKS: Search Amazon for "environmental economics", "environment and economic development", "sustainable development and economy."


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