Importance of Natural Resources

Ecology Action Center: New Initiatives in Zero Waste Events and HHW Collection in Bloomington-Normal

All attendees are in a listen only mode, I want to welcome everyone
to todays seminar. Most of you know me, I’m Nancy Holm
im the assistant director here and seminar organizer, the seminar schedule
for the upcoming seminars is on the side table and we also have that on our
website for those listening today online. I want to ask everyone to turn off their
cellphones please at this time and I also wanted to mention that
we are going to hold questions until the end of the presentation
this just makes it easier and we will also be taking questions
from online listeners at that time. And they can type those into use and
we will read those and mike will answer those for us so we are very pleased today
to have as our speaker Michael Brown he is the executive director of the Ecology
Action Center in Bloomington Normal. Mike has his bachelors
degree in biology from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He has a diverse background here in
environmental work including management of a 320-acre interpretant park for
the park district, he served as a peace corps volunteer in
Bulgaria worked in environmental health with the Peoria city-county
health department. recruitment in premium volunteers
in ecological monitoring for Illinois till watching and he worked
with the restoration of a rare tall grass savanna remnant as a steward of the spring
gale cemetery savanna for Peoria wild. He has also served on the board for
Peoria Wild and then served as president
from 2005 to 2010. Mike was the 2006 recipient of
Peoria’s 40 leaders under 40 award, he acts as the solid waste coordinator for
Mclean county and is a certified sustainable
resource management professional. He currently serves as a chair of
the McLean County Green waste committee on the board of the directors of
the Illinois recycling association and the parkland foundation so
please join me in welcoming Michael Brown. [APPLAUSE]
[INAUDIBLE] [CROSSTALK] [INAUDIBLE] Well thank you for having me here today I appreciate the opportunity to chat with you. Just briefly a little bit of an overview
about Ecology Action Center, were a little bit unique as people often
tell me when they hear about the variety of things we do, we are an environmental
non profit organization working through educational outreach to
increase sustainable practices and behaviors in Bloomington Normal, we work
very closely with local municipalities funded in part through contracts with
the local government agencies but also through private donations
sponsorships and contributions. Our origins lie in a 1971 one time
one day recycling drive, essentially there was a dedicated group
of individuals who saw the need for recycling in Bloomtington Normal
as there was none at that time, they would essentially demonstrate his
feasibility providing services for community, they did so so
successfully that unfortunate for them but fortunately for
us the demands increased and they had to keep repeating the service
on an ongoing basis, so they eventually formalizaed the operation to become
known as operation recycle working under a local nonprofit called midcentral
community action worked with them for a while and then eventually became their
own seperate non profit organization essentially provided recycling services
for residents of Bloominton Normal for a few decades in partnership
with the municipalities. Eventually in the 1990s Bloomington Normal
took over the responsibility for residential recycling, operation recycle
at that time kind of segued to become known as the ecology action center,
they had already been doing education outreach for a while in order to increase
participation in the recycling program so that point turned the full attention
towards education and outreach. We still act as a solid waste agency for
Bloomington Normal and McLean County. Essentially providing solid waste planning
services, promotion of recycling, waste reduction, composting coordination
of household hazardous waste programs and more, we promote recycling through
various means through special events such as American recycles day,
school programs, community presentations, social media newsletters booths at
community events and many more means. Including our content-rich website,
we keep up to date with listings for disposal options for
a wide variety of materials, traditional recyclables with
non-traditional recyclables as well, disposal for household hazardous
waste items and much more. We have an information phone line, people
can call with questions about how to get rid of this that or the other we also
use other strategies to better understand waste practices in our community such as
residential waste audits, surveys and other studies, in addition to solid waste
we also act as a local agency to try and raise awareness around clean water
protection essentially again working with the local government agencies to
help raise awareness of the issue of stormwater runoff pollution and
ways that residents can help reduce this type of pollution. We spread this message
as well through school programs and community presentations storm
drain stenciling efforts. Demonstration rain gardens such
as this one on lake Bloomington, one of two reservoirs in the Bloomington
area providing drinking water for the citizens of the city of Bloomington. Rain gardens help reduce stormwater
pollution in that they help recreate the natural absorption and infiltration processes that were
present in our landscape pre settlement predevelopment that were urbanized
with all the impermeable surfaces. We recently established a new
watershed clearing house website, acting as a resource for
our community on clean water issues, one of the important functions of this
is an online library where all of the studies, watershed plans, reports and
other efforts over the past many decades can be found accessible for
local residents for decision makers, for anybody to go and utilize there is
a showcase of restoration projects. Links to various partners working
on these projects and efforts. Rainbird workshops also how help reduce
stormwater runoff and pollution. Similar to rain gardens but different
in that they don’t help filter out the pollutants but rather rain barrels
help reduce the medium by which stormwater runoff pollution can carry
stormwater itself, our yard smart program promotes sustainable landscape
essentially trying to encourage the use of less synthetic fertilizers
which do contribute to stormwater runoff pollution instead use of alternatives
that are less likely to do so. Another program, Radon Awareness
seeks to increase home testing for radon gas which is the second leading
cause of lung cancer deaths in the nation. Getting get in some energy efficiency
efforts in with residents trying to promote usage of @ and other energy
efficiency technologies to save money, reduce energy consumption,
reduce pollution associated with that energy consumption, our facility,
the 1860 house the oldest house actually in the county of Normal,
an old beautiful building, we actually retrofitted it with
geothermal heating and cooling and weatherized 10 years ago, in order to
help make this a model green home, demonstrating essentially that
if we can make this 150 year old building energy efficient,
then essentially anybody can do it, and then there is our signiture event,
the Illinois Sustainale Living and Wellness Expo every April it brings
together all these issues and much more and tries to promote a health
community and a healthy environment. Which brings us back to issues of waste,
waste management, special events. For 2010 data from the US EPA, municipal solid waste generation
greatly consisted of containers, food waste 44.2 percent according
to this graph, this makes these very obvious targets for waste
reduction especially at special events. Unfortunately the majority of this
is still landfill with only about 34 percent of this recovered in recycling,
locally in McLean County we have other incentives when we look
at the window and capacity of our landfill we have an estimated four
years until the closure of the solar in McLean County Landfill the site provides
well used recycling in our community. Reaching capacity and enclosure among
other things will mean increased cost for tax payers as our waste has to
be transported further away, increased pollution therefore from the
increased fuel that will be utilized to take that trash. This brings us around to
this idea of zero waste, some of you may be familiar with Gray Liss
kind of a Guru on zero waste Gary Liss and associates speaks frequently
on zero waste strategies, much of my information on zero
waste does come from Liss, I had the fortunate opprotunity to
attend a workshop in Indianapolis two years ago on implementing zero
waste strategies in communities, Liss talks about how waste
generation essentially is systematic inefficiencies in the system,
resources lost, waste in unnecessary and it can be avoided, the states that zero
waste is a goal to guide people to change their lifestyles and practices that
emulate sustainable natural cycles, where all discarded materials
as resources for others to use, if we look into nature there is no
waste everything becomes something for something else, whether it is food or
new resources for something else to live. Zero waste is defined as
designing management products and processes to avoid and eliminate
the volume of and toxicity of waste and materials and to recover all resources and
not burn or bury them, he sets priorities for
downstream usage of items in zero waste, you want to ensure the highest and
best use of products, these products and packaging retain
their original form and function and recycle accomplished materials
that cannot be reduced or reused. So why do we need to look at zero waste,
why do these strategies need it landfills are unfortunately one of the largest
sources of greenhouse gases. Methane specifically is much
more potent than carbon dioxide, as of 2007 over 60 percent was
municipal solid waste disposed of in landfills which points out that
there is a significant potential for composting and
recycling of these materials. In addition, according to Liss,
there is about 71 tons of waste generation upstream for every ton of municipal
solid waste that we dispose of, this is through the transportation,
the processing, the manufacturing of materials so
for every plastic water bottle that you throw away there are 71
tons generated upstream so looking at zero waste the potential for
waste reduction is not just that plastic water bottle but it is all the
materials that are released upstream so there is significant potential for
zero waste. There are zero waste programs are among
the most cost effective ways that local governments can contribute
to reducing climate change, promoting local sustainability,
protecting local health and creating local jobs, looking at
Bloomington Normal as an example, Midwest fiber opened up just a few years
ago single steam recycling sorting facility for central illinois quickly
became a go to destination for much of the recycling materials in the
central illinois area, they are creating jobs in the process and already they had
to increase the size of the facility, youre going to increase demand so
youre going on creating more jobs. We have also had an establishment for out first construction demolition
facility this at about the same time our landfill was put to closure so
actually, a loss of jobs. Why should businesses be interested in
zero waste according to this eighty percent of any service cost is in
the home, thats why reductions and zero waste saves the most money and
resources and if you avoid the material that needs to be hauled then you
avoid that huge expense of the hall. You can also look at reduced liability. Given that post-closure
landfills is at 30 years, if leaching occurs in the future
beyond that 30-year date there is potential for lawsuits and
generators of the waste so avoiding the generation avoiding
the disposal of that waste reduces liable. Zero waste is attainable for businesses
there are some that have significantly reduced the waste generation. In doing they reduce their liability and
increase their efficiency reduced emissions recieved a marketing
edge they have done the right thing, our community in Bloomington Normal
an outstanding example is Jewel Osco that in the past year
achieved a 97 percent diversion rate, they are sticking to Gary Liss’s extreamly
strict standards of no incineration and such but yet 97 percent means it
is still soothing knowing that they have done it largely from
food scrap composting and recycling so Jewel Osco,
Walmart is another outstanding example that is reaching a very smooth in
waste recycling and diversion, while they both should be commended
on their efforts we need to look as well that the environmental
sustainability was not necessarily their motivation but
rather the bottom line this saves.The saves Shara looking at zero waste or
observance just them in contrast to our Earth system in
terms of a period linear system. It’s creation and we’ve left asserting
our strategy of natural resource its trees are precious metals and Troy and
the manufacture of these items up and leading up to least the accidents and
UPS their designs but all if you didn’t want on each
that we distributed signs up and shipping them want distance it’s
manufacturing sales and the consumer has some options of a sort of unusual
sometimes to choose from may or may not understand the impact
it’s incisions that will go on bios you some distant
already booked you will lie. Or it put an incinerator either way
destroying the value of these resources when we need to products we just head back
to the beginning of this linear pathway. Back to the natural resources,
creating new products as if they were infinite in supply, we need to
intervene in this linear system and look at more of a closed loop system
which again our end products should become materials for
our next products that we need. So how is this implemented in real life,
so we took zero waste by holding our first
zero waste special event as I mentioned earlier our signature event is
the Illinois Sustainability Living and Wellness expo draws a few thousand
people every year we have, historically tried to run it as
a green event promoting recycling but yet we realized that there was
potential still in this event, you have large events like this
are ideal to look at zero waste as they usually generate an incredible
amount of waste generally, materials are rarely reusable at
these types of special events. If we look for example at the national
average of about four and a half pounds of waste generated per
person per day say we have four thousand people at this event for a whole day,
were looking at about 8000 pounds of potential trash generated from
one event and that doesn’t even look at the upstream generation of waste
71 times the amount of waste per. So our purposes in holding a zero waste
special event was to eliminate and reduce waste but also to demonstrate
a commitment to the environment and model these zero waste
strategies together. The key in doing so
is of course, reducing, reusing, recycling and composting with a very
strong emphasis on the reduce and reuse which are often overlooked so
how do we accomplish this fortunately much of it is simple common sense
analysis planning and communication. The starting point for
improving waste management process is to understand the waste that you have
what is it, where does it come from, where does it go, we need to identify
what types of waste to inspect understand where it is going to end up
need to be sure to follow regulations for recycling and composting,
composting ordinances but then we apply the waste pilot
plan this is not new signs but a special emphasis on avoiding
generation of waste to begin with so our strategy, we sat down and
simply listed all of the waste that we took to generate at this event
we hav been doing it long enough that we know what kind of waste we
generate over at a bigger event you might actually want to do
a waste audit a waste analysis and actually go through and
look at the waste just go through and anticipate all the waste
you generated in the past. Well we always had been recycling or we had been a lot of waste to paper
programs even though, packaging, food containers, food waste, napkins,
refreshments from exhibitors, presentors so there are lots of
ways that we do need to deal with. We then recruited partners to join us in
our efforts to join us in this vision, one of our major partners Midwest fiber
who I mentioned earlier in addition to being the destination for a lot of
recycling in the McClean county area they also offer a food scrap council and
service to businesses they are placing partnership with Illinois State University
composting at their farm. Midwest Fiber is a service provider so
we actually listed them as a sponsor for this event in order to allow us to
take food waste as a way to avoid. We engaged our participants,
our exhibitors, our presenters, with our vision, with our goal,
fortunately, again being a green event, people were on board with us because
they share our values, and so we were able to convey what we wanted to
do, we asked them to voluntarily reduce their waste not bring extraneous
materials, not bring extra handouts, not bring old junky disposable giveaways
reduce packaging, bring reusable items, ask people to collect email addresses
instead of giving out flyers and newsletters send materials electronically. For some of our exhibitors this was
more of a challenge than others but we offered one on one assistance
in order to help them, they had some problematic
materials that they knew, we worked with them to try and
find ways around it or ways to avoid that. We sent frequent reminders in our
communications prior to the event, all of our event participants
about what we were trying to do, what we expected of them and
what we expected our results to be. Waste is not inevitable,
prevention is better than so identifying each waste string and
work backwords to avoid it through use, if that wasnt possible we would find a way
to recycle it even using nontraditional, so looking at our paper program guide
that we offer to our participants we still wanted to offer that
to some people that need it, we decided to offer paperless
versions as well and so visitors entering the event with
smartphones could scan a QR code on convenient signage at all
the entrances to the event a great way to the paperless version where
these is a mobile version of the program ont he website so
they did not need to take a program. This means we were able to reduce
the number of programs that we printed at least by halfand we did
make a special effort to make sure that all the programs that were used that
were not taken home would be recycled. Instead of asking attendees of the event participants of the event
we instead asked them for their email addresses as
they entered the event and send them a feedback form done
electronically to get their feedback so we could have the valuable
information about how the event went. We focused on reuse on reusable signs and
banners reusing the backsides and signage that had been used on previous
years that has information that might not be up to date anymore. We utilized midwest fiber in taking
our foodwaste from our food events, we either looked at the food waste or the food that we would be offering
ourselves and designed the food that we would be serving at the event to
minimize the waste in general. We all know that there are compostable
food servicing service containers out there and the actual compostability of
these You know that there are countless of all food service and service containers
out there the actual possibility of it is. Very much debated this is not something
that Midwest Fiber currently accepts in their composting system we know that
most of the civil service is full of things that are often not recyclable so
we just want to avoid them all together, this is one of the highest priorities
in zero waste for the generation so we turn to reusables so we actually got
reusable plates, reusable utensils and better yet, we got them second hand
from the mission store so we took what might be considered a waste product for
some and we were putting it to use and we reused it on an ongoing basis to make
sure were adhering with the rules and regulations make sure they were all washed
and sanitized for health department code at a certified kitchen to make sure were
looking out for public health as well. We did design and
choose our food served so it could be served using
minimal sets of plates and dishes as opposed to things that would
require a much more complex set. at the event there is a food stand,
a local cook demonstrating cooking with local food, offering samples
to attendees of the event so usually the samples will come on
a little plate with a plastic fork or some other disposable material and
you might need hundreds of these plates if you were looking at reusables so quickly
that becomes a little bit difficult, fortunately the people who set up that
booth were very eager to work with us, they came up with a zero waste solution
in that all the food samples at the food stand came wrapped not in
a disposable material they came wrapped in an edible container so
essentially something that could e eaten by a particpant but if not it
could be compostable in the future. We completely eliminated all
single-use cups for coffee, eliminated plastic water bottles,
encouraging all vendors and presenters to bring their
own reusable bottle. encouraging them to bring their
own coffee cup, we incentivized this by offering them free coffee,
completely free coffee if you have a cup, if you dont have a cup you buy a reusable
cup and then you get free coffee. So ultimately, going zero waste can make
your operation much more cost-effective. We actually found that this
did not cost us any more. SO then communicating to actual
event visitors It’s never going to get him to actually get
that visitors what we decide, clear labeling, signage on all
of the waste containers we did have a wide variety of them as we were
looking at multiple streams of waste, forced traditional recycling
containers and TerraCycle, some of you may be familiar with
TerraCycle it is a non traditional recycling program checking a lot of
unique items for repurposing and upcycling in some cases so
we utilize TerraCycle for recycling. Food waste, food scrap composting, and
we had one sole trash container for the entire event, very well labeled
clearly marked as to what can and should go in there but
also what the ramifications of this are, as opposed to all these other convenient
options which are going to cure up the event, this one was the one that
went to the landfill in perpetuity, I wanted to make that point clear. We also stationed these waste
stations near our food stand our food stand attendees then being
potentially attendants that help guide the event attendees on usage of these, were getting frequent announcements
throughout the course of the event reminding people that we are trying to
avoid and reduce wasteappropriately. At the end of the event there was a little
bit of post sorting from things that were in the wrong containers, unfortunately,
some things were already contaminated and therefore could not be properly recycled. But even with that minimal
amount of sorting, it looks like all in
all people cooperated. So in the end it was a great success for
us with a record of 4000 attendees at the event we
generated half a bag of trash, looking at that previous number of
potentially up to 18000 pounds, I know that is over the course of
a day but still this is a significant accomplishment so of course,
we wanted to brag about it and spread on our social media channels we got
some good coverage in the local paper and local media, were now working
on developing a brochure so the program can encourage other
special event coordinators to adopt similar practices if not going to the full
extent of zero waste at least seeing how easy that is and then relatively how
easy recycling is in comparison. However, that was all a little too easy, that was an easy event one that
we have been doing for years and it all actually went off without a hitch
so were looking for a bigger challenge so last year we did our first ever running
event as a fundraiser the Twin Cities half marathon and as usual we tried to provide
the usual amenities of recycling. And inducing waste reduction where we
could but now with the success of the zero waste fund we turn our attention to
the marathon and what can we do to try and make this zero waste too, there are some
kind of unique ways to shape this because any kind of event will have
a different type of waste stream. There is always a huge line of
disposable paper cups along the event, a large number of plastic water bottles,
snack wrappers and then there are the junky
awards at the end. So we need solutions to these problems,
we have identified that there is a product called the hydro pouch which is actually
a reusable water cup made of silicon and it turns out in addition to having
some environmental benefits that runners actually prefer them because
they are actually faster and work better than traditional paper cups so
it is kind of a win win, looking at portable drinking
fountains at the end of the finish line instead of all of these
disposable water bottles. Looking at teracycle to see if
they might be able to accept some of the various food packaging
all the various snacks and energy gels we would like to make some
awards made from recycled materials and as a bonus were going
to offer recyclable so we will see how this all goes this
is kind of a work in progress so we will see how it goes and
maybe we will report back. Moving on to another waste issue that
is of importance to our community actually most communities across
Illinois if not the nation, household hazardous waste,
we like many others have been left without the traditional funding that we depend
on for many years to provide for safe disposal of household hazardous
waste through the state budget cuts, the household hazardous waste that were
talking about are things like oil paints, household chemicals, automotive fluids,
other toxic, corrosive, famable or explosive items that
should not go into the landfill, well there is technically
an exemption from the federal law for household hazardous waste meaning
they are not treated as hazardous waste they still actually remain
hazardous and so we dont have to put them into landfills as eventually these
things being corrosive, flamable or explosive can leach out through the liners
and get into out grounwater supply, the other issue with water contamination
is when you leverage off to storm sewer drains which leads to a
contamination of the surface water supply, either case we are contaminating our
precious, finite, drinking water so we want to off proper disposal options for
our community. So with the lack of traditional
state funding, we were fortunate for five years in a row to have actually
recieved funding from the illinois EPA for hazardous waste collection in 2007,
after that there was a gap and no funding was available so
in 2007 actually 2011 we decided to take this on ourselves and
that we were going to make this happen. So using our 501C3 nonprofit
status we are able to fundraise, were able to provide tax incentives,
tax benefits to donors and sponsors who help us out
through donations, so we started what we call the Mclean
County Household Hazordous Waste Fund tructing help from the community to
provide for this community need, our local government partners
were very early supporters also providing nearly half of
the funding needed to pay for this fall 2012 Household
Hazardous Waste Collection event, private donations made up the other
half resulting in 143,000 dollars raised in the end in addition to
contributions from local radio stations, newspaper, media supporters
helping us get out the word, raising awareness at
both the event itself but also the funding which ultimately
made it very successful, the response from the community was huge
in addition to all of the individual and family contributions the commercial
support from businesses was tramendous these buinesses saw this
as an urgent and critical need for our community and stepped up to help out, the event ultimately was the biggest
in our communities history. collecting 162,000 pounds of
household hazardous waste materials serving approximately 3000 households
despite careful timing and anticipating large turnout,
the actual turnout did exceed the capacity of the event facility so
unfortunately, we did have long waits, we did have a back up of traffic
to a mile down the road. But yet it was successful I
personally call it an overwhelming successful event,
which is clearly demonstrated a need for more household hazardous waste
function reach dedicated. While this strategy is not sustainable
on an annual basis to do this level of fundraising it did help us
meet the pent up demand for working on other strategies and community
needs and state funding does not return. Of special interest to us to
look at even greater down And Atsushi since materials which
are three different categories in the oil based paints you
can’t paint when we break it’s. The search we’ve got strengths
officially we don’t accept as just one says it’s a hazardous interest
you do schools if you can you know how I work something else looking
once you want farms come in so they have to dispose of that as well but
looking at those three months we’re looking at thirty nine percent of
the old school costs just the smallest or joint there isn’t current legislation
and look at them is now on for eight It’s stewardship program or it slows
the season similar to the first fence or even just recycle gram into effect it
is little or no money which provides all now factions on the system
will dispose of all. It’s all this legislation that all serious
released during a mobile sources and stately sources so that we’re able
to better focus these new media and solutions to other councils as it’s so we’re working on an ongoing
basis conclude on it’s increase is very second it’s
better serve the needs for community. Doing so I’m looking where
the resources to aid them. [APPLAUSE] [INAUDIBLE question asked off mic] modified to provide more support~. So the question is about effectiveness
of the solid waste management act and if that needs to be improved. in my direct experience as
a solid waste coordinator for a community it does require that we
provide some solid waste planning and update that plan and try and
reach goals that were set I think it does provide a good framework there to
encourage and promote recycling and waste reduction efforts but
given that we are in a new era that maybe the stakes are higher perhaps
there is room for improvement and restructure that could help
further incentivize efforts such as zero waste better programs for
household hazardous waste. [INAUDIBLE question asked off mic] and
the follow up would be whether or not there would be interest and
discussion on that and I think yes very much so
I serve on the board of directors of the Illinois Recycling Association
as well and participate somewhat in some of the other
solid waste state wide agencies and yes. What is EAC’s position on
the Flint hazardous waste landfill there that is under
discussion right now aquifer and number two would you say
something about the capilations 71 tons of municipal solid
waste I knew there was a but 71 tons is a little bigger than
I thought the first question about the Mahomet Aquifer and
the potential PCBS and the sole source designation
officially EAC’s has not taken a stance as a 501C3 we
tend to remain apolitical on most things however I
can say it is a concern. As a good percentage of our residents
do drink water from the Mahomet Aquifer anything that might jeopardize
the saftey of it both now and in future generations needs
to be of our concern, as far as the follow up I cant really
speak to the math in Gary Liss’s calculations with regard to 71 but
I think he does definitely have resources on his website he
might have some further information on that 71 tons upstream waste for
one ton of downstream waste. Is there any interaction
between the county, the city and the university. Let me repeat the question, is there
collaboration between the city, county, and the university and McClean county
definitely ISU is a major partner in a lot of these efforts specifically they
do host the food composting program and provide the composting service
at their farm in Lexington so yes we have had significant
increases in our recycling rates for 2012 that was just recently calculated the
food scrap composting numbers have jumped significantly and that is largely
to their providing that service and Midwest Fiber stepping up as
the food waste scarp hauler for that and so yes ISU is a partner there but also in other efforts there is
definitely ongoing partnerships. [INAUDIBLE question
asked off mic] every ton of waste that is recycled how
many tons of upstream waste, for every ton of waste
that is recycled how many tons of upstream waste
are therefore recyclable. I think I understand where youre
getting at as far as Gary Liss’s numbers on that upstream waste
generation associated with what were throwing away on our end,
im not sure if there would be a direct correlation there
are not that is, unfortunately, beyond my knowledge [INAUDIBLE question asked off mic] First question do we inform the public on our recycling programs strategies, essentially by any means we can. We try and be visable at community
events we are creating opprotunities for public interest stories in the news paper
to draw attention to these isssues, were in newsletters and social media where people are a lot now so
were there as well and trying to get our message out there
using traditional media like radio, newspaper ads, holding events in
diverse parts of the community, were actually holding in just a couple
weeks holding out second annual west side recycle fest which is
specifically targeting the west side of Bloomington where there
is a lower participation rate in the recycling programs and so were
specifically throwing a fun festival and trying to get more residents in
those neighborhoods to sign up for the recycling service event so on
an ongoing basis trying to be creative and come up with new outreach strategies and
essentially go where the people are. [INAUDIBLE question asked off
mic] the question is how do we work with manufacturers and
companies to get these programs and strategies we dont necessarily have
a lot of direct reach to manufactures some are local businesses like
Mitsubishi Motor Works and some of those which we know have some weight in
the waste reduction programs in plase and dont necessarily even need our assistance
they are leading the way in some ways but when where looking at other industries
that need a push in order to for example institute some of these
product stewardship programs that is higher up on a legislative
level that we do depend on for our state and federal representives
to help push some of that. [INAUDIBLE question asked off mic]
actually to repeat the question, is there any effort to capture
methane from the landfill or other waste to energy generation there
is a proposal in our community for a municipal solid waste to jet
fuel gasification facility which would be what I understand
to be the first commercial scale facility in the nation and
so this is being discussed and proposed, the company that
looking at this has been talking with city of Bloomington Normal and
Mcclean county about this and so it is my understanding that they
To normal kind County about this and so it’s my understanding
that they may be submitting an application soon to
look into permitting. Question: composting programs
in Bloomington or Normal and which of them run by
the municipality versus private and why are they what they are? An overview of the existing recycling and
waste hauling programs in our community, Bloomington Normal in Twin Cities
each have their own separate programs they are actually similar at this point
in the past year both Bloomington Normal moved to a single stream part
based automated recycling program. This was a big jump for Normal, Normal for
the past couple decades has provided a drop off system for recycling for Normal
residents but actually has drop offs in the city of Bloomington as well, they
traded around the community as well for anyone to take advantage of, including
residents outside of Bloomington Normal, county residents who perhaps did not have
easy recycling in their communities. Those drop offs have been redused as
Normal has put their lease ordinances instead made a part based system. Bloominton did have the curb side system
but it was with the small bins, but now they have moved to automated and
labor from doing that. So those programs are fairly good in that
they collect a wide range of materials, were looking at most plastics
from 1 to 5 and 7 with exception of course your PLA plastics exception
of some of the disposable items and of course number 6 is
excluded because polystyrene, In addition that virtually
all paper products, cardboard paperboard, office paper,
newspaper, magazines, junk mail all that, all colors of glass,
all metal containers and so it’s it is a pretty inclusive system
that is run specifically in each case by bloomington normal by
the municipality not by a private vender, all the materials do go to make fiber and
he is there in town now and he provides a pretty cost effeictve
service for the community. Waste hauling is similar it is provided
directly by the municipalities not by a private hauler I cant speak to
the history of these I think this is just how these
programs have evolved and as the recycling went actually from the
predecessor of the Ecology Action Center at the operation recycle municipalities
just went directly from the non profit to the municipal is my understanding I
don’t know if private was ever considered there is an effort right now
in the city of Bloomington. Just looking at all the services
across the board as far as costs and if there is any benefits for any of their
services to possibly contract out and so waste home might be looked at but
I dont know specifically that it is. there is currently no
residential composting service, we as a cell based agency promote
your own backyard composting, vermicomposting but
there is no service utilzed, we do have a good number of non
traditional recycling programs as well in the community those are all
drop off type of programs so electronics we have nearly
ten different drop-offs for household electronics in the community
TFLs we have probably five different drop offs household
batteries we have two different drop offs we have a plastic garden
pot recycling program that has been very successful the mission
provides clothing and textile recycling so
we do have a good variety of programs. [INAUDIBLE question asked off mic]. As far as actual waste generation and
recycling rates [INAUDIBLE]. [INAUDIBLE question asked off mic]. the question is what is the position
of the Ecology Action Center on the proposed municipal solid
waste jet fuel facility and how is the community
reacting to that as well, the ecology action center has
not taken a postition on this we will have somewhat of a regulatory
role as a coordinator for the communtiy that does participate in the
local sighting permit approval process and so we will probably oficially
remain neutral on this it is a very interesting proposal in that it is
a new and unique solution it is trying to be essentially kind of a one-stop
solution looking at a dirty MRF that would accept essentially
all waste at the curbside. maybe excluding household waste but
all municipal solid waste and that would be sorted at the MRF,
recyclables still recycled the rest materials
go into the operation and so it is interesting as far
as the potential however, what the potential ramifications
would be otherwise as well are kind of hard to
speculate with being th first commercial scale facility
that is successful it leaves a lot of unknowns and so
I think that community as well there are people that
are interested there are people who are concerned that this
might mean increased air pollution this technology
with incineration and so there is not a very
strong reaction yet. So the question is about
how the construction demolition recycling
operation got started and if they accept shingles so
this is disposal, a local company that has accepting
demolition of buildings for a while and
why it is actually doing some recycling of some materials and
I think they say the potential, saw the mean as they were
demolishing buildings and hauling away large roll offs of waste
that a lot of it could be recycled. So I think they got into
the business to see the potential to recover materials and
profit there and so they so accept a good number of
materials right now they do accpet asphalt shingles
they accept aggregate materials dry wall,
wood metals, so it is good.

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