SANTA CLARITA — If you had to pay the cost of throwing out the packaging of the products you use, chances are you'd buy more recyclable goods, says Allen Hershkowitz, the featured speaker at a landfill alternatives conference to be held in October.
As it is, when a person buys, say, a toy, they pay for the product and the packaging, which later makes its way into the city dump. Hershkowitz, senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council, would have consumers pay for not only the toy and the box it comes in, but the cost of disposing them after they've been used.
That, he argues, would encourage manufacturers to reduce wasteful packaging and consumers to buy more recyclable and reusable goods, reducing the amount thrown away and reducing the $30 billion the U.S. spends annually on garbage disposal.
Hershkowitz will be the keynote speaker at the conference sponsored by the cities of Santa Clarita and Pasadena and a Santa Clarita-based environmental group.
Organized by many of the same people who oppose the proposed Elsmere Canyon landfill, the Landfill Alternatives Save Environmental Resources conference will focus on issues such as recycling, composting, rail haul and environmental law.
Santa Clarita is engaged in a battle to prevent the construction of the Elsmere Canyon landfill, which would be built along the southeast edge of the city and take in 190 million tons of garbage over 50 years.
Officials from Pasadena said landfill alternatives will become more important since state laws require cities to reduce trash output by 25% by 1995 and 50% by the year 2000.