By Neil Seldman Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR)Washington, DC June 17, 2004 In May, Neil Seldman participated in the Zero Waste: Unachievable or Realistic Target Conference, in Paris, and the Community Recycling Network 15th Annual: Catch the Recycling Bug Conference, in London. The recycling movements in France and the U.K. are vastly different. Yet, due… Continue reading
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by Brenda Platt, Institute for Local Self-Reliance for GAIA (Global Anti-Incinerator Alliance/Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives) Download the Press Release (PDF) Decision-makers in any community considering a waste incinerator will find Resources up in Flames essential reading. Pitfalls such as high capital costs, tonnage shortfalls, expensive pollution control equipment, and hampering least-cost options such as… Continue reading
After three years of debate and a voter referendum that demonstrated strong opposition to sprawling shopping centers, Carbondale, Colorado, has enacted an ordinance that requires the town’s planning staff and Board of Trustees to weigh the community and fiscal impacts of a large-scale retail proposal before deciding whether to approve or deny the project. The ordinance applies to any retail development larger than 15,000 square feet in neighborhood business districts or larger than 30,000 square feet elsewhere. Continue reading
The annual premium a full-time Wal-Mart employee must pay for coverage for her and her spouse is $2,672 (with a $350 deductible), which amounts to about 19 percent of her pre-tax earnings, according to the report. Part-time employees (under 34 hours per week) are only eligible to enroll after two years on the job and even then, coverage is available only for themselves, not their families. Full-time workers are eligible for family coverage after six months. Continue reading
"A new retail feudalism is emerging across Britain as a handful of brands take over our shopping. We are witnessing the slow death of small independent retailers," contends Andrew Simms, policy director for the London-based New Economics Foundation (NEF) and co-author of a new report called "Ghost Town Britain: The threat from economic globalisation to livelihoods, liberty and local economic freedom."
According to the report, between 1995 and 2000, Britain lost one-fifth of its Main Street enterprises.
An internal audit obtained by The New York Times documents thousands of violations of state labor laws at Wal-Mart stores. The audit, performed by the company in 2000, uncovered 1,371 violations of child labor laws, 60,767 cases of missed breaks, and 15,705 instances when employees skipped meals at 128 stores during a one-week period.
As Wal-Mart seeks out locations in central Los Angeles and the city council considers a measure that would ban supercenters from much of the city, a debate is brewing concerning the costs and benefits of supercenters for residents of low-income urban neighborhoods. Two dueling studies examining the impact of supercenters in southern California were recently released.
After months of pressure from a vocal citizens group, the City Council in Stoughton, Wisconsin, adopted an ordinance banning stores over 110,000 square feet.
Stoughton is a community of 12,500 about 20 miles southeast of Madison. Last year, after Wal-Mart announced plans to close its 40,000-square-foot Stoughton outlet to build a 183,000-square-foot supercenter on undeveloped land, a citizens group called Uff-da Wal-Mart formed. Uff-da is a Norwegian expression of disdain.
More than 250 independent businesses in and around the city of Bellingham in northwest Washington have joined together to urge residents to "think local first" when shopping.
Organized by Sustainable Connections, a coalition of locally owned businesses, the campaign aims to build public awareness of the benefits of supporting homegrown enterprises. "People don’t always make the connection between their quality of life and the choices they make through their purchases," said Sustainable Connections director Michelle Long.
A California Superior Court judge has suspended construction of two Wal-Mart supercenters in Bakersfield, California, indefinitely.
Judge Kenneth Twisselman ruled that the city council had not adequately examined the urban blight that could result if existing big box stores close after the new supercenters open. Vacant big box stores, the judge said, have significant environmental impacts that the city is required to consider as part of its environmental review process.