Advice for getting your town to be more 'green' - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-16-2010, 04:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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As the rest of the country jumps on the 'Green Movement' ....my area has been sorely lacking. Instead of adding to the recycling list, they have been taking off the list. As a matter of fact in the last couple of months they took three things off of the already small list. Basically they have been making it hard to recycling in the area ....therefore causing less people to ACTUALLY recycle. I travel frequently and see other towns that make recycling so easy but then come home to an area that just hasn't jumped on the band wagon. Not only do they have a limited amount of things on the recycling list but they also have limited facilities and VERY limited hours of operation. There needs to be a change and I would like some advice on how to go about doing this. I have some things in the works...such as speaking at a town hall meeting in regards to recycling and I have a couple of ideas.....but I would like to have some outside opinions. The more brain storming the better!
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Old 01-16-2010, 01:55 PM
 
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Our town just gave everyone a mainstream recycling 60 gallon bin to put all our recycle material in. They take 1-7 plastics, fltened cardboard, glass, etc. And, it was a HUGE savings to the town, because they can bring it all to the port and they get paid for it. So, the inital cost was something like 14$ million, but once they start making money it will be beneficial! If that makes any sense!

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Old 01-19-2010, 06:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for your reply and thanks for bringing up the idea that it helps save/make money.
My only concern is how they will impliment it as we do not have just one trash service but many. Although maybe they will do a whole separate recycling service....but that would suprise me (although that would be great).

Doesn't it cost to take things to the transfer station anyway? I think they charge per weight. But it may work different for trash companies. But if it does not then it would be a win win situation because it would cost less than putting it in a land fill and they could possibly make money off of it.
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Old 01-19-2010, 07:13 PM
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well, the first thing is to discover when the town meeting schedule is. if you can go to those meetings, then you'll know what is going on and can speak up about what you want.

another thing is to elect the right officials. our small town had a strong old-boys network, and it took some doing to 'break' that. we have a green party that runs each year, but they haven't won yet. nevertheless, it is progress.

anyway, the GOB network loved to just do what worked out for them and their families. so, for example, the contract to do snow for the municipal buildings was a son or son in law of one of the GOBs. things like that were common. I would always make sure it got into the record (via my statements) that the person chosen was a *relative* of the political official. the green party would then use this information in their campaigns, pointing out that these people were funneling township money to their family and family members.

it has shaken the GOBs up quite a bit.

the other thing that works is forming an organization that wants these sorts of changes. start a green party in your area, or just a club. the club will focus on cool things like going door to door with petitions asking the local government to get more recycling or whatever. then go to the town meetings and get on the record and make sure that there is a record of the petition (that it is legal and appropriately filed).

this does get things done, honestly. we went from less recycling to more, and are still working on getting even more done. snow removal is done by a new cmpany, now saving the township money (because it was the lowest bidder, NOT a relative).

it can improve. but it does take effort.
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Old 01-19-2010, 07:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for your reply
Last week I had called the local environmental gov official to ask about the recycling program. Much to my surprise she actually seemed like she cared about recycling...which is more than what I can say about the people that run the town recycling center. She told me that they are trying to get more things in action and that they were having a town meeting about recycling (which happens to be next week) and she said I would be allowed to speak up about my concerns. So I plan on speaking there.

I would like to petition to get a different manager of the recycling center. As I said she does not really care about recycling...it is just her job. And I think that the only reason why she has it is because she has a handicapped daughter that was part of a volunteer program and she would also come in with her daughter (since she could not drive and such). During that time the recycling center was having trouble keeping people working there. They had already quickly went through 2 managers and so they put her in charge. Oddly enough since then I have not seen her daughter there at all. She also has an attitude issue that has caused me to change recycle centers. She has also been cutting the recycling list. They need someone that ACTUALLY cares about recycling.
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Old 01-19-2010, 07:54 PM
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sweet! getting involved in government really feels proactive and like a democracy--even when you don't win.
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Old 02-27-2010, 07:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Things are going great! I have gone to two of the town hall meetings and they were both very productive. I have been working with the local Environmental Specialists about improving the area's programs and creating new ones. I will say it has been more work than I expected since there is so much red tape. But it has been a fun experience and definitely a learning experience!
I am currently helping to plan an open house for the recycling center. The open house is to get the word out about the recycling programs of the area.

Any ideas/activities for the open house?


Have any ideas on how to make recycling profit the community? So far what the recycling center brings in supposedly only covers about 20-30 percent of the costs that it takes to run it.
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