Posts Tagged ‘Recycling’

Student ‘Green Team’ Focuses on Recycling, Growth

Friday, March 30th, 2012

Devin worked on a garlic farm for a week

By Marcia E. Gawecki

“It’s not easy being green,” sang Kermit the frog from The Muppets.

Students from the ‘Green Team’ at Idyllwild Arts can identify. The ideas they plan to propose for their school will take time and effort, but the payoff will be well worth it.

Four of them, including Devin, Alex, Michelle and Katherine, recently attended the ‘Green Schools National Conference’ in Denver with faculty member Shannon Jacobs. They wanted to help their school become more eco-friendly.

During their All-School meeting on Friday, March 9, the group presented a 5-minute video they had created about the experience.

Devin, an Interdisciplinary Arts (IM) major, was the one who interviewed many attendees on camera. They didn’t just interview students, but families and older people as well.

“Why is the environment important to you?” Devin asked.

“Because we live in it,” one student said.

“It’s the only thing that we have left,” quipped another.

An older woman said that it was an important for her to hand over the earth in a good state to her children.

“We need to give a beautiful gift to them,” she said.

The video also showed B-roll of the breakout sessions, lectures, and some new environmental products.

“They also shot about five minutes of Michelle eating french fries,” teased Isaac, a friend of Michelle’s, a dance major.

She said that she enjoyed the conference because of all of the ideas presented there. The Green Team is currently looking over many of them, including growing a garden.

The Green Team hopes to grow garlic and sell to local merchants, such as Cafe Aroma

Devin said they’re considering growing garlic, and maybe selling it to Idyllwild merchants, such as Cafe Aroma at a reduced price.

“I worked on a garlic farm for a week, and its surprisingly easy to grow,” Devin said.

The Green Team is also looking into hosting a guest lecture series to learn more about recycling and the environment. They’ve heard there are groups in town, such as Sustainable Idyllwild, that perhaps they can collaborate with.

Although most of these ideas are still in the planning stages, the Green Team actively searches out new ideas from other students and the faculty. Brian D. Cohen, the school’s headmaster, is a strong proponent of recycling and saving energy.

Just this year, the academy’s cafeteria saw a big change. Signs went up about food waste, and they even weighed the garbage cans to prove it.

Then there was an effort to help save water and energy by not using food trays, but carrying your dishes to the table. Once finished, everyone was encouraged to scrape their plates and separate them into bins.

Just the act of standing over a trash can and scraping away your leftovers made students aware of what was being wasted.

“I started gaining more weight because I didn’t want to throw any food away,” said one van driver.

Everyone is encouraged to ask for less portions, and those who want more must go through the line a second time.

Besides the cafeteria, the offices got a change with energy efficient lighting. They’re the kind of lights that come on automatically, and shut off after you leave. That way, no one is walking into a dark bathroom or hallway.

(from L) Michelle, who attended the Denver conference, and her friend, Becky

“They detect motion, so they’re not going to shut off after a few minutes,” explained Angela, the school’s receptionist.

She said she likes the new improvements, and its nice to know they’re saving energy.

Another idea the Green Team are considering is healthy vending, which means healthy alternatives in the vending machines and in the school’s bookstore.

He encouraged everyone to check out their Facebook page called, “Idyllwild Greenies.”

Copyright 2012 Idyllwild Me. All rights reserved.

 

 

New CRV Policy for Recycling Center

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

Andrew from Earthwize had to announce the company's new policy on milk jugs

By Marcia E. Gawecki

On Monday, Jan. 16, Earthwize, the recycling center near the Stater Bros. in Hemet, announced a new policy.

They are no longer taking non-CA CRV plastic milk jugs or 100% juice containers.

“We just got an email this morning saying that it’s our new policy,” said Andrew, who has worked at Earthwize for four months. “It’s got to say ‘California CRV’ on it, or we can’t take it.”

Before Monday, Earthwize would allow recyclers to intermingle their non-CRV milk and juice jugs with their other CA-CRV plastic bottles. For example, empty milk jugs would be mixed and weighed with Coke and Pepsi containers.

You can tell what is recyclable and what isn’t by looking for the ‘CA CRV’ redemption symbol printed on the bottles.

“The milk jugs would add more weight and give them a little bit more, but not much,” said Andrew.

According to Earthwize’s overhead sign, the company would pay $1.43 a pound for mixed plastic bottles (including CA CRV and non-CRV) or $1.54 a pound for pure CA CRV plastic containers. That is, until Monday.

Taking these recyclables without California CRV was more of a courtesy for our company, Andrew said. He would just store them in a separate container the back and someone would pick them up and dispose of them.

Andrew explains the new policy to a customer

“We’d get about 100 of those plastic jugs a day,” he said. “They were taking up a lot of space.”

Andrew thinks the new policy may be a space saver for the company, but more than likely, it was the State of California that determined the new recycling policy.

“The state evaluates all of the recycling centers, from time to time,” Andrew explained. “Then they take into account all that is recyclable and what isn’t.”

The State of California sets the policy, our company doesn’t, he added.

The state must’ve determined that penny glass (wine bottles) weren’t cost-effective either. Most recycling places won’t take them now, but the Transfer Station in Idyllwild will.

Each person who came up to the Earthwize recycling center in Hemet that morning got the verbal announcement about the new policy from Andrew. Most of them took it in stride, but one guy got angry.

“What am I supposed to do with all of them now?” he asked Andrew.

“They are supposed to take them back with them, but a few people dropped them into my trash bins when I wasn’t looking,” Andrew said.

Hopefully, Earthwize will revise their sign soon, so Andrew won’t have to make their new policy announcement 100 times a day.

Andrew points to the former Earthwize price for mixed plastic bottles

He didn’t seem to mind, however.

For more information about Earthwize and their recycling policies, call (909) 605-5770 or visit www.earthwizerecycling.com.

Earthwize is based out of Ontario, California, but has recycling centers all over the state. The closest one to Idyllwild is at the bottom of the hill, next to the Stater Bros.

Copyright 2012 Idyllwild Me. All rights reserved.

When Recycling Isn’t

Monday, February 1st, 2010

By Marcia E. Gawecki

By all appearances, Idyllwild has the perfect set-up for recycling. Just down the street on Saunders Meadow, our transfer station offers recycling of bottles, cans, glass and even organic materials, such as leaves, twigs and branches. All you have to do is follow the signs and dump the organic recycling in the back. Yet, one local artist and activist recently discovered that not everything is recyclable.

“I called Waste Management, the company that runs our transfer station, and they told me that they’re not recycling our organic waste,” said Jessica Shiffman, an illustrator and activist living in Idyllwild. Originally, she had called to find out if she could use some of the organic material to help grow her own vegetables. Like other residents, she assumed it would be broken down, as compost, and returned to the earth, perhaps as mulch. The Waste Management representative told her that the organic materials are just dumped into the landfill along with rubber tires and everything else.

“So why have the appearances of a separate organic dumpsite in the back?” she asked them. “People think something is being done about that, being turned into compost or fertilizer or chipping material. It’s a real shame.”

That’s not the only local recycling disappointment. Jessica also found out that the Idyllwild Post Office doesn’t recycle papers that are put into the bins by residents.

“They can’t recycle letters and other mail because there’s legal and personal information on it,” she said. “To recycle it, they’d have to shred all the paper first. They don’t have the manpower or time for all that.”

So for those resident who stand in front of the bins at the post office every day to sort and toss mail, know that all that stuff is not being recycled. It will be thrown into the trash along with everything else.

“If people prefer to have their mail and other personal papers recycled, they should take it to the transfer station themselves,” Jessica suggested. “It’s up to them if they want to shred it first.”

On the upside, Jessica found out that certain plastic recycling, like those wrappers that cover meats and cheeses, are recyclable. “They told me that it doesn’t matter much if there’s a little foodstuff left on it,” Jessica said. “They prefer everything to be clean, but it’s OK to have a little residue on the plastic wrappers.”

Another surprise was that the black plastic containers that contain plants and trees are not recyclable. “It’s a different kind of plastic,” she said. “Apparently, it’s the wrong kind, and Waste Management said they can’t recycle it.”

Copyright 2010 Idyllwild Me. All rights reserved.