It's with great sadness that we note the passing of a longtime leader in California's recycling community. Tania Levy, who spent most of the last 4 decades as an advocate for recycling at the community, state and national level, passed away in San Francisco on September 1, after suffering a heart attack in August.
In the 1970's, Tania authored "Garbage to Energy: the False Panacea"--a piece that helped the environmental community push for waste reduction and recycling as mainstream alternatives to waste-to-energy and landfill disposal. It would be another decade before policy makers in California would recognize the wisdom in Tania's vision.
"Tania demonstrated a life-long commitment to recycling and public service," said CAW Executive Director Mark Murray. "I began working with her in the late 1980's when she went to work for the State Department of Conservation to assist in establishment and implementation of the Bottle Bill. While Tania was a true believer, it was her expertise and thoughtfulness on recycling policy that played a key role in both creating a successful program, and in building a cadre of supporters in state government for what was then an emerging public policy. She will be greatly missed."
Tania had just retired from the City of Berkeley Recycling Program after decades of environmental advocacy and groundbreaking leadership in waste reduction issues. In her retirement she planned to use her years of experience and devote her time to more environmental groups and causes.
Tania was working with CAW and Marin County on its plastic bag ordinance at the time of her death, and had generously offered to do volunteer work for Californians Against Waste.
Tania was a visionary who will be missed greatly.