08/19/2011: "County Fair Recycling Update:"
By Helen Venada
One can always learn: It has been a lesson learned that if recycling containers are available next to each trash container THEN we will recycle more than not.!
And, people seem to want to talk trash...more than ever! Thank you to all of you who are speaking your minds and sharing your good ideas with me. More open communication can only help improve the system.
Thanks to Doris Estabrooks there is NO Styrofoam in the waste stream at the Fair.
I'm learning that the Fair is dynamic; it unfolds over the four days as people contribute their ideas and suggestions to improve and upgrade the experience for our community and our guests. Flexibility and patience, active listening, commitment all are important “tools” we bring to make the event even more of a success.
Most intriguing piece of litter picked up so far: a FAKE lit cigarette (fooled me)! The litter pick-up volunteers are to be commended for their service to the Fair and community. Ever notice how much of the littering is done by “grown ups?” How about storing that scrap or cigarette butt in your pocket until you find a trash can? Much of the litter seems to be small pieces of plastic do-dads that'll never decompose and would continue to be a blight on the landscape unless someone makes the effort to pick it up. We're all lucky to have volunteers (like David Hoopes) who are (literally) doing a great job!
Thanks to Fair Board members, Liz Illg and Sandy Wyllie-Echeverria, who actively helped this morning to reduce waste going to the landfill by setting out containers and signs. How about those fairgoers who bring their own refillable drink containers to the Fair.?..their numbers are definitely growing.
• Plastic cups are garbage. They're recyclable in some places...but not here.
• Plastic cup domes and straws are garbage. Do you really need them? Just say “no.”
• All take-out containers are garbage here.
• All plastic bags are garbage.
• Remember, plastic comes from oil...use as little as possible!!!!
• NO liquids in the trash or recycling, please! Please dump out any remaining water on the ground or find a thirsty garden area to water. All other liquids should NOT go on the ground...they might attract yellow jackets! Drink it up or pour down the drain.
• RECYCLE: all empty bottles and cans; all clean paper.
Did you check out the Friends of the Westside Free Pile? You can take away free stuff or drop off stuff that someone else might find useful. An unmeasurable amount of material gets reused this way.
Keep on recycling and reusing stuff until it's truly garbage. Don't feed the landfill with resources that can be recycled back into useful materials. Recycle more so we can beat last year's 5% recycling rate.
(Eternally optimistic Helen Venada is the SJC Waste Reduction Coordinator)