This program - limited to 53 homes in our township - provided each homeowner with a 95-gallon wheeled cart for recyclables. Here's the kicker... This program accepted ALL plastics, even #3 through #7. My god, it does exist! A recycling program like this in our area is like spotting Big Foot! Of course, this was only a pilot program, running for 90 days to measure the materials collected and the consumer's response. However, the response was overwhelming. Here are the facts, by the numbers:
Allied Waste posted a 179% increase in total pounds of recyclables collected - diverting 16,190 pounds of recycling from the landfill. Amazing, considering only 53 homes participated! But, all good things must come to an end. The pilot program ended and, despite the enthusiastic response from the consumer and the satisfaction of Allied Waste, we are waiting on bids, approvals, financials and legal mumbo-jumbo from the township. And, this doesn't even mean that it will actually get approved.
Normally, I would have read the article and thought, what a great program, how sad we can't have it. However, lately every where I turn, I find inspiring political and community activism. Crunchy got me to write to congress about the Farm Bill. And then, after that, she got me to write congress again about drilling for off shore oil. Green Bean works on her city's green task force and is planning a green social movement. I signed the Take Back the Filter petition and wrote 4 letters to Clorox for Fake Plastic Fish and I have a paper envelope (no plastic for Beth!) holding used Brita filters to send her way.
After reading the article in my local paper, I decided it was time for a little activism of my own. Rather than sit idly by waiting for someone else to start a letter writing campaign or petition, I started one of my own. Every single member of the township board, every trustee and all members of the Environmental Department received a letter from yours truly today, requesting the implementation of this recycling program.
I also offered my services to speak at the township and to work as a liaison with the waste company. Earlier this year, I started a similar program for our Little League. Though, on a much, much smaller scale. 15 carts with die cut lids at a baseball park can't compare to 200,000 recycling carts delivered to each and every doorstep. But, I am the Trash Lady, and I can so make this happen. Local activism, I am doing my part for my community!
Update: I have received one response so far, not a committment to the program, but an acknowledgment none the less: "Hello
, I appreciate your very thoughtful letter. I, too, am looking forward to full scale implementation of a significantly expanded recycling initiative. Thanks for sharing your enthusiasm".