ALEXANDRIA, VA. - The Recycling Advisory Council declined June 29 to endorse or reject a major proposal to stimulate markets nationwide for recyclables. The group decided instead to ask industry leaders what they think about it. The announcement culminates two years of debate among council members on a national market-development policy, which member David Muchnick then turned into a comprehensive proposal.
Muchnick is president of Bronx 2000, a community development organization that has created recycling and other environmental businesses in the South Bronx, one of the poorest areas of New York.
Several members of Alexandria-based RAC, which brings together recycling advocates, industry leaders, environmen-talists and government officials, voiced concern that the document could meet with wholesale rejection from the private sector. The proposal features a recycling fee for producers.
The council wants to secure enough support for a national market-development proposal to gain congressional acceptance. Such an ambitious plan would require federal legislation, and some advocates view it as their best hope for getting recycling back on Congress' agenda.
The earliest such a proposal could be ready for consideration by Congress would be after the 1996 elections.
Muchnick's blueprint is aimed at making supply and demand more predictable in an industry that has labored through wild price swings in its relatively short history.
The proposal would set up a government-chartered, nonprofit corporation whose chairman and board would be appointed by the president. The corporation then would establish advisory boards for at least 15 different recyclable materials.
The boards would be charged with setting recycling goals for the materials under their purview. But their more controversial function would be to determine fees to be charged manufacturers and importers, based on the weight of the specific material they use in their products. These fees would decrease as recycling rates climbed.