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Home » Archives » July 2010 » Trash Monitors Wanted

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07/16/2010: "Trash Monitors Wanted"


The recycling rate for the 2009 County Fair was 11.2%. Could we do even better this year to pump up that recycling rate? Public Works is looking for some bold and adventurous volunteers to be “Trash Monitors.”

These good folks (young and old) will be stationed at major trash collection areas at the Fair (for 1 to 2 hour shifts) to help Fairgoers decide on just what can be recycled; we’ll also provide instruction about eliminating contamination, like liquids and food, in the recycling bins. Please, call the county’s waste hotline at 370-0503 to sign up early for the Trash Monitoring team …to get your shift of choice.

With all the fun, food, and festivities at the Fair comes the typically unsavory by-product of trash…TONS of it! The 2006 County Fair generated 8.8 tons of garbage; 5.51 tons of 2009 Fair trash went to the dump (i.e. landfill in eastern Oregon). This waste reduction by Fair-going island residents and visitors was mostly due to better-than-“fair” recycling at the Fairgrounds. The effort saved on transportation to the mainland, landfill space, AND saved the Fair $$$$!

A re-energized community focus on waste reduction seems particularly on target this year since this will be the lst polystyrene-free San Juan County Fair! All Fair vendors have been advised of the county-wide ban on food containers made from polystyrene (most commonly known as Styrofoam) that went into effect this past April.

Speaking of waste reduction, don’t forget to start making your TRASHION FASHION outfit contrived of items that would usually become garbage without your excellent imagination and creativity.

Exhibitors, could you find some reuse value in all of those cardboard boxes generated at the Fair? Sure, they can easily be recycled but reusing them 3, 4, 5 times saves a lot more energy than recycling them. You can also save money by reusing excellent quality white paper, in large format or not, that’s been printed on one side; call 370-0503 to get yours.

How about BYOB’s…bringing your own (shopping) bags…this year? You could even put together a kit with your own washable/reusable plates, cups and utensils before hitting the Food Court. Reusable steel water bottles would save on a mountain of used-once plastic bottles that need to be trucked to the mainland recycler. After you’ve read those informational fliers that get handed out, please save them as a resource or share them with others…recycling them is a last resort.

You get the picture. Reducing waste begins with thinking ahead about new ways to PREVENT waste. Let’s keep the good stuff here by reusing as much as possible, littering less, recycling all that we can, and diverting more from landfill burial than ever!

Helen Venada
SJC Waste Reduction and Hazardous Waste Coordinator
370-0503

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