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The World

Trashing Planet While Saving It

September 01, 2002|From Associated Press

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — While the 45,000 delegates attending the World Summit on Sustainable Development wrangled over how best to save the planet's rapidly dwindling resources, they gave scant indication of leading by example.

The 10-day summit, which runs through Wednesday, is expected to generate between 300 and 400 tons of trash, and so far, just 20% of it is being recycled.

"We never had any illusions this would be a green summit," Mary Metcalfe, the environment minister of Gauteng province, which includes Johannesburg, said Friday.

Conference toilets have been fitted with flushing systems to minimize water use, and two venues staging summit fringe events are running on renewable energy sources. However, recycling bins placed in conference halls have ended up as replacement garbage cans, filled with all sorts of non-recyclable waste.

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