Tired of Tenants Leaving Furniture on the Street after Move-Out?

abandoned furniture

Unwanted furniture and home items often find their way to the curb when apartment tenants move out. Unless otherwise collected, these materials create an eyesore and typically end up in landfills.  The Greater Lexington Apartment Association’s Green Committee has partnered again this year with Bluegrass Greensource, LFUCG, Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Hippo Crate, and God’s Pantry to develop Move-Out-Madness.  The goal is to collect gently-used items left behind by tenants and make it possible for them to find new homes.

How does Move-Out-Madness work?  Hippo Crate has donated storage crates to be placed at two Lexington apartment communities – Newtown Crossing and Campus Court at Red Mile.  The crates will be placed at each property for one week during their busiest move-out times this summer, allowing tenants to place their unwanted furniture and items inside.  Habitat for Humanity ReStore will pick up the furniture and home items from the crates while God’s Pantry will collect non-perishable food items.  Tenants will be encouraged to take unwanted clothing items to Goodwill, the Hope Center, or Salvation Army.

How can I get involved?  Deliver gently-used, unwanted items to the Hippo Crate at Campus Court at Red Mile from July 16 to July 23, or to Newtown Crossing from July 26 to August 2.  Please contact Lisa Conley with questions or to get your property involved: lisa@bggreensource.org  or 266-1572, ext. 237.


Want to help others be more earth-friendly? Join the Zero Waste Team

As winter approaches, many of us look for ways to contribute to our communities. Whether we serve food at a shelter, donate to our favorite nonprofit, or give time to our community, this time of year has traditionally been one of volunteerism and giving.

My own family has seen the rich rewards that come from volunteering and giving to our community, and we try to instill in our children a love for the intangible benefits that come from giving to others.


Zero-Waste-Recycle-graphicWe at Bluegrass Greensource have been looking for new ways to engage our volunteer base in the betterment of our community, and as a result have developed a new Zero Waste Team to help us make community events a little more environmentally friendly by going zero waste or reduced waste.

So what exactly does zero waste mean? A zero waste event diverts 90 percent or more of its waste material away from landfills by recycling, composting and avoiding disposable materials. This is an especially important goal to achieve because events have the potential to create a lot of waste due to their temporary nature and the use of disposable plates, cups and other similar items. These items end up in landfills, causing a cascade of other problems. It’s not difficult to implement zero waste at public events, but it does require planning ahead, and that’s where our volunteer team comes in to help.

We hope to encourage event planners to go zero or reduced waste by providing the resources and volunteers they may need to reach that goal. For the volunteers, it provides an opportunity to help the community in concrete ways while participating in fun community events.

Our volunteer base is divided into two groups – the Zero Waste Planning Committee and the Zero Waste Event Team. When we get a call requesting support for a zero-waste event, we will send out a call to our volunteers to help. Members of the Zero Waste Planning Committee will work with the event planners to assist with all of the coordination that must be done in advance to support zero-waste events. This includes working with vendors to use recyclable, washable, or compostable goods, procuring the correct containers and bags, strategizing the best way to deploy resources, and promoting the zero-waste goal of the event to patrons through advertising and signage.

On the day of the event, the Zero Waste Event Team will spring into action, setting up containers in the appropriate places, making sure signage is in place, answering questions for patrons and staff, and helping people properly sort their waste.

Not only do our volunteers get the satisfaction of making our community a more sustainable place while participating in fun community events, they will also get “Zero Waste Team” shirts. They’re cooler than they sound, I promise!

One of our first partners is the NoLi CDC’s Night Market. They first approached us about supporting recycling at their event, and we are now working with them to fully support zero-waste at future Night Markets. Now is the time to jump on board and help this great community event and others become more sustainable.

Our goal is to eventually provide zero-waste support for all counties in our service area, but for the moment, this support is limited to Fayette County. In the meantime, we do have resources to help events outside of Fayette County reduce their waste through recycling.

If you are interested in joining our Zero Waste Team or in hosting a zero-waste event, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Pattie Stivender, at pattie@bggreensource.org or give us a call at 859-266-1572.

Schuyler Warren is an outreach specialist for Bluegrass Greensource, focusing on participation in the LiveGreenLexington initiative by businesses in the city core. A native of the Bluegrass Region, he received a master’s in community and regional planning and in landscape architecture from the University of Oregon. He is a board member for Town Branch Trail and Castlewood Neighborhood Association.

This article appeared in KY Forward on November 21, 2013.


Having a Zero Waste Event Just Got Easier

Zero Waste Recycle graphic

Are you planning an event and would like to reduce waste? Bluegrass Greensource can help! We now have a Zero Waste Guide that can help you reduce waste each step of the way, from recycling to composting.  In addition, if you are in Fayette County, you can check out “dual stream” waste containers to place at key locations around your event, and help you find support staff for your zero waste initiative through our newly formed “Zero Waste Team”.  And of course, if you are outside of Fayette County, or just don’t feel prepared to start composting at your event, we are happy to help you with recycling as well.

Are you looking for a fun way to volunteer to help reduce waste from community events? Join our Zero Waste Team listserve.  When we get a request for support for a zero waste initiative at a local event, we’ll send a message out to the listserve to find people who want to help.  It’s a great way to support community events and environmental stewardship while having fun!

To talk about options for your event, please contact Schuyler Warren at schuyler@bggreensource.org.  For volunteer opportunities, please contact Pattie Stivender at pattie@bggreensource.org.


Move toward zero waste means changing the way we look at waste

Lately, there’s been a lot of discussion about the possibility of making Lexington a zero-waste city. But what does that mean? Are we talking about never throwing anything away? Recycling every ounce of material that we use?

Actually, it means neither.

Instead, zero waste is the idea of significantly reducing the amount of waste produced by changing the way we look at waste. It includes rethinking before purchasing, reducing packaging, reusing materials to get the most use from them, looking at the waste we produce as a resource, recycling as much as possible, and composting our food waste and organics; thereby throwing very little material into the landfill.

Read this full article today on KYForward

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