Monday, March 13, 2017

March recycling tips for Scofield Ridge neighbors

Happy spring everyone! I saw this cute recycling set up from New Zealand, and thought I would share it with you to get you thinking about everything that leaves your house as "waste". Often we focus only on recycling plastic, glass, cans and paper. But with Austin's Zero Waste goal, there is a lot more we can do to keep our "rubbish" to a minimum and our landfill from filling up! Here are some other ideas:

  • Take clothes and other small household items (that are not electronic) to your favorite charity OR put them into a Simple Recycling green bag and put them on the curb with your recycling bin this week. If you need a green bag or two, please reply to this email and let me know where to drop it off! No fabric or toy or knick-knack should have to end up in the landfill! Give it a second life!
  • Start composting your plant-based food scraps (coffee grounds and egg shells are also compostable!). Austin Resource Recovery offers free composting classes (see "upcoming events" on the right hand side of the page), and will give you a rebate on a composting system if you take one.
  • E-cycle your old cell phones, computers, TVs and other electronic items at UT's annual E-Cycling Drive next Friday and Saturday. Click here to get all the details on what will be accepted, and where to take it. And make sure to give a friendly smile to the student volunteers while you're there!
  • Save up styrofoam take-out containers for delivery to the Recycle and Reuse Drop-off Center in S. Austin. If there is sufficient interest, I would be willing to collect and deliver items to the drop-off center twice per year. Please email me if you have items you are collecting!

Update on the Simple Recycling green bag system

As many of you may know, the Austin City Council recently heard a request from a few charities to suspend the city's two year contract with the family-owned Simple Recycling because they believe the curbside program has reduced the number of donations they have received. While it is true that Simple Recycling and charities such as Goodwill and others accept many of the same types of items, the goal if the Simple Recycling program is not to compete with these charities. It is simply to keep these reusable and recyclable items from ending up in the landfill.

If you like to give your items to charity, PLEASE continue to do so, and encourage others to do the same. If you are more likely to throw an item away than to drive it to your charity of choice, then PLEASE put it into a green bag and leave it on your curb on your recycling day instead. 

Currently the city council is studying the actual impact of Simple Recycling on charity donations for six months. If they choose to suspend the program, no other curbside collection program can be put in place until the two years of Simple Recycling's contract have expired. 

I'll keep you posted on the results. In the meantime, please keep your trash can as empty as possible, and let me know how I can help you do that!

- Casey Arendt
Your Scofield Ridge Zero Waste Block Leader on Kinder Pass