Waste Reduction

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Gregory Butler, Action Team Lead

Meetings first Tuesday of each month, 6:00-7:30pm

Notes from previous meetings

4/1/21

  • Tracy’s students submitted their single-use plastics project last night
  • Council Member LeGris tackling city-wide backyard composting
    • Joining next month?
  • High schools are encouraging students to compost
    • Soil to Salsa to Soil
    • Held at BCTC Newtown Campus
    • Can we piggyback for publicity?
  • Social media contest with compost piles
    • Weirdest thing growing from your pile?
    • Most creative pile?
    • “Can I eat this?”
    • Use BGGS Facebook page
    • Get local, city government officials involved?
  • Single-use plastics
    • Bags are a big problem
    • Encourage people to take them back to the store?
    • What happens after they are put into recycling bins at the store?
      • Find out from processors and work backwards
    • Encourage the use of reusable bags
    • What can Lexington do to set an example?
  • Composting needs
    • Written instructions–have, from Arin
    • Info-graph
    • Social media campaign with city involvement and contests
    • Pressure City Council

3/4/2021

  • Environmental Commission is on the schedule for May to present to the Council Environmental Committee via Zoom
  • Arin’s compost bin has had some wear and tear from the ice storm
  • LeGris next month?
  • Arin writing step-by-step instructions for composting to tide Lexington over until LFUCG gets a city-wide composting program
    • Joanne: once people start composting they realize how much they waste and so their food waste tends to go down
    • NYC tested giving everyone compost buckets and their food waste went down as a result
    • Eventually you end up with a surplus of compost
  • Need the city to have a dedicated sustainability team/coordinator who can lead initiatives
  • Wish-cycling: putting non-recyclable items in recycling, hoping that they will/can be recycled
  • Incentives for composting and recycling
    • Make composting mandatory
      • Examples on West Coast
      • Framed as reducing our carbon (methane)
      • In KY, it’s already illegal to put green waste in landfill
    • Recycling: monetary incentives?
    • City needs to lead
  • Backyard composting campaign/how to
    • Partner with Live Green Lex?
    • Break it down into a small number of steps; make it easy and simple to do
    • How to start
      • Start with 3 items & a container
        • Paper towels, banana peels, and coffee grounds (for example)
      • People are more likely to do it if it’s easy
      • Arin is going to write a simple step-by-step for BGGS
      • Need to get past stigma of composting and disprove some myths
    • Maybe a visual guide?
      • Tracy’s class could make a composting infographic
      • General how-to
      • Myths debunked
      • Things your compost pile will love
      • Uses; what to do when your compost is done
  • Seedleaf tried to teach the community how to compost and get restaurants to compost
    • People lost interest
    • Lack of city support
  • Some city council members are interested in composting because of yard waste problem
  • Colorado grinds their glass very fine and puts it in their compost (could solve Lexington’s glass recycling problem!)
    • Transferring glass to recycling is prohibited in Colorado
  • Resource Map
    • Get started 🙂
    • Make excel sheet and send to group

2/4/2021

  • Lois–sat in on Environmental Commission meeting on 1/11; Commission has 2 objectives, including reducing use of single-use plastics; Paul says timeline around March/April for proposal/publication (not a ban); Surfrider Foundation’s Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act (BFFPP) in Congress–one part is put onus of recycling on producers instead of consumers–Health Bill 5842 Senate Bill 6243; no KY representatives have supported
  • Plastic bans in other cities
    • Tracy’s class can research how other cities have implemented single-use plastic bans
  • Environmental Commission’s plan: to have city implement plastics reduction and to educate council and general public on the issues; not a ban; council is receptive on what city could do to start reducing use of single use plastic
  • Arin: what about styrofoam?
    • Cheap to make and efficient
    • Gasoline byproduct, not oil
    • Assisted living and retirement homes have tried to reduce styrofoam use with their residents through education
    • Styrofoam has been gradually losing popularity due to international bans for packaging (shipping)
    • Currently an increase in use for food due to pandemic and increase in takeout
  • Tracy: is this a good time because of so many people ordering food out?
    • Encourage restaurants to ask customers if they want disposable plasticware
  • Arin, composting: Councilmember LeGris is coming to our next meeting to talk about backyard composting; doing container composting
    • Paul: city is in process of trying to put out information/plan for improving yard waste handling; including composting increases quality of final product
    • Education is important
    • Digesters are super expensive and need a steady stream of compost once you install one; yard and food waste would go into the same processor
      • Yard waste is chopped up as opposed to food waste and food waste can gum up the yard waste processing machines
  • Andrea: promotion and recruitment
    • Lightening lecture or lunch and learn about what the team’s been working on
    • Current focuses are on single-use plastics and composting; would be the most appealing to the general public?
    • Lois: fact sheets; everyone follow the same format; an action item for general public to do to help team
    • Arin: each team have their own FB page would make it easier to recruit
    • Need for Sustainability Coordinator or Team at LFUCG
      • Could save money for city’s government
      • Good collaboration opportunity for all four teams
    • Another collaboration opportunity: resource map
      • City drop offs for recycling and landfills
        • Plastic bag recycling
        • Electronic recycling
        • Start from basics and add on
        • Treehouse Composting
      • How far down the rabbit hole do we go?

1/7/2021

  • The group has been focusing on a single-use plastic ban.
  • Everyone in attendance was encouraged to listen in to the Environmental Commission meetings which occur once/month. They’re open to the public and are listed on the Lexington City website.

10/15/2020

  • Arin has started a plastic bin compost
    • will turn it into “blog”-style composting tutorial
    • wants to do how-to for apartment composting
      • Giulia collaborating
    • share on KLB and BGGS social media
  • Newsletter
    • Lois will send Giulia article for newsletter
  • New Director of Sustainability for Lexington?
    • a group member is reaching out to Julie Donna of Louisville
  • Reach out to government to affect legislation
    • tax on single-use plastics versus ban
    • Judith is starting research to address single-use plastics in 2021
  • Future collaboration with Zero-Waste Team of the Sierra Club
  • Also, work with Treehouse Compost (Arin is working on this)–potential to work on a grant

8/27/2020

Glass

  • Push its use in concrete
    • Can use as sand
    • Benefits but may be a challenge to convince city to do it
    • Need a buyer
      • Ale8? How does their glass recycling system work?
    • Separated by color=more profitable/valuable
    • Is separating bottles easier than grinding them down?
    • Drop-off locations for glass w/separation
    • Canopy in Louisville organization

Plastics

  • Loop Products as alternative
  • We’re currently so reliant on single-use plastics because of pandemic that this may need to be tabled for now
  • Need easy, free solutions

Composting

Newsletter

  • Resources and info from research that team members have gathered

6/25/2020

  • Glass recycling
    • Rumpke
    • Bourbon industry
    • Contamination
    • Glass plant in Harrodsburg
      • Make glass locally
      • Reach out to them?
      • Recycle glass locally
  • Textiles
    • Simple Recycling: turns textiles into insulation
  • Grant opportunity
    • Use to build a rain garden?
    • Backyard composting program
      • Possibly collaborate with the Food Team?
    • Goal should reflect the community
    • Prioritize our 4 focuses–homework
    • Make a goal, then find the funding?
  • Prioritizing our goals
    • Lexington waste is mostly food, then textiles (apart from actual garbage)
    • Tackle the easiest first?
    • Assign tasks to team members–Action Items
    • Share what we know and what we don’t know

6/4/2020

  • 4 target areas
    • Single-use plastics
    • Recycling glass and paper
    • Textiles
    • Backyard composting
  • Multiple options with glass recycling
    • Where does our glass go after MRF? Atlanta
    • We are not separating glass at MRF
    • Facility in OH requires separation by color
    • Lexington is paying for transportation of the glass
    •  Costs more to recycle glass than to just throw away right now
    • Rumpke recycles their own glass in their own facility
    • Purple trailers/dumpsters for glass to help Lexington organize it
  • Composting
    • USDA grants for local governments for composting/food waste 
    • Cruch(?)–resource?
    • Grass clippings? Where do they go from curbside?
    • Keeneland waste goes to landfill, not compost facility for city; same with KY Horse Farm
  • Single-use plastics
    • 1 thing we can champion?

4/23/2020

  • Need to address “organics”
    • Define; re: yard waste vs. food waste
    • Food waste does not equal composting
    • A virtual composting workshop exists for Franklin County
      • Facebook
      • Common misconceptions about composting
      • DIYs–make your own compost for cheap
      • 75-100 people reached per post
      • Common issues people have
      • Include yard waste
  • Single-use plastics
    • Bag bans: deposit every time you use a plastic bag
      • WIC and EBT exempt
      • City may appreciate revenue from a bag ban?
    • Which single-use plastics do we want to focus on?
    • Voluntary programs first before mandated
  • Glass recycling
    • Purple bins in the future?
    • Needs to be separate from rest of recycling
    • Would be something we’d need to advocate for
    • We don’t use as much glass as as we used to so may not be feasible
    • Gpi.org (?) may help set up purple bins
    • Serdc.org may be helpful too
    • Difference between contaminated glass vs. other
  • A Team Member’s students at BCTC researched sustainability programs in 
    • Ann Arbor
    • Cincinnati
    • Durham
    • Ft. Collins
    • Indianapolis
    • Louisville
    • Madison
  • Textile recycling
    • Through Goodwill
    • Can be ground up & reused
    • Can be sent overseas
  • New goals/focuses
    • Composting at home
    • Textile recycling
    • Glass recycling
    • Single-use plastics

3/26/2020

  • Books for researching advocacy
    • Community Toolbox, chapter 30
    • Psychologist’s Toolbox for Social Advocacy
  • Don’t forget goals need to be S.M.A.R.T. goals
    • Specific
    • Measurable
    • Attainable
    • Relevant
    • Time-based
  • Two team members will spearhead research about what other cities are doing
    • BCTC students are doing project on it
    • Cities discussed to be researched:
      • Durham
      • Madison
      • Lincoln
      • Fort Collins
      • Eugene
      • Ann Arbor
      • Montréal
      • San Jose
      • Minneapolis
      • Louisville
      • Cincinnati
      • Indianapolis
  • A team member will take over researching information gaps

2/27/2020

  • Ground rules: respect time and opinions
  • Goals of Action Team
    • Small actions
    • Don’t want to be duplicative
    • Educate
      • City already does good job communicating & educating
    • Build trust between civilians and recycling organizations
      • What is actually happening to the recycling?
    • Brainstorming session:
      • Video of where recycling goes from bin to plant
        • Kroger bags? Share video on Trash Talk page on Facebook?
      • Compost & restaurants
      • Collect & share information
        • Trash Talk on Facebook
        • Kroger—be a Zero Hero
        • Whole Foods
      • Refuse, reuse, reduce, recycle—educate
      • Compile list of waste resources
      • Citizen Environmental Academy
      • Borrow ideas from other cities
      • Sustainability plan—put out in 2012
        • Empower Lexington
      • Environmental Commission—meeting early March
      • Choose to Refuse Lexington
      • Changing the culture
      • Go to businesses most impacted by single-use ban
        • Get them on board
        • Educate them about what the public is expecting
        • Recognition
  • What do we want to occur from the actions of our team?
    • Bring back brainstorms for next meeting:
      • What other cities are doing
      • What we know/think of
    • Review gaps/repositories
      • “Welcome to Lexington” packet include recycling information?
      • Improve repositories/mass knowledge
    • Advocacy
    •  

Notes from previous meetings

3/4/2021

  • Environmental Commission is on the schedule for May to present to the Council Environmental Committee via Zoom
  • Arin’s compost bin has had some wear and tear from the ice storm
  • LeGris next month?
  • Arin writing step-by-step instructions for composting to tide Lexington over until LFUCG gets a city-wide composting program
    • Joanne: once people start composting they realize how much they waste and so their food waste tends to go down
    • NYC tested giving everyone compost buckets and their food waste went down as a result
    • Eventually you end up with a surplus of compost
  • Need the city to have a dedicated sustainability team/coordinator who can lead initiatives
  • Wish-cycling: putting non-recyclable items in recycling, hoping that they will/can be recycled
  • Incentives for composting and recycling
    • Make composting mandatory
      • Examples on West Coast
      • Framed as reducing our carbon (methane)
      • In KY, it’s already illegal to put green waste in landfill
    • Recycling: monetary incentives?
    • City needs to lead
  • Backyard composting campaign/how to
    • Partner with Live Green Lex?
    • Break it down into a small number of steps; make it easy and simple to do
    • How to start
      • Start with 3 items & a container
        • Paper towels, banana peels, and coffee grounds (for example)
      • People are more likely to do it if it’s easy
      • Arin is going to write a simple step-by-step for BGGS
      • Need to get past stigma of composting and disprove some myths
    • Maybe a visual guide?
      • Tracy’s class could make a composting infographic
      • General how-to
      • Myths debunked
      • Things your compost pile will love
      • Uses; what to do when your compost is done
  • Seedleaf tried to teach the community how to compost and get restaurants to compost
    • People lost interest
    • Lack of city support
  • Some city council members are interested in composting because of yard waste problem
  • Colorado grinds their glass very fine and puts it in their compost (could solve Lexington’s glass recycling problem!)
    • Transferring glass to recycling is prohibited in Colorado
  • Resource Map
    • Get started 🙂
    • Make excel sheet and send to group

2/4/2021

  • Lois–sat in on Environmental Commission meeting on 1/11; Commission has 2 objectives, including reducing use of single-use plastics; Paul says timeline around March/April for proposal/publication (not a ban); Surfrider Foundation’s Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act (BFFPP) in Congress–one part is put onus of recycling on producers instead of consumers–Health Bill 5842 Senate Bill 6243; no KY representatives have supported
  • Plastic bans in other cities
    • Tracy’s class can research how other cities have implemented single-use plastic bans
  • Environmental Commission’s plan: to have city implement plastics reduction and to educate council and general public on the issues; not a ban; council is receptive on what city could do to start reducing use of single use plastic
  • Arin: what about styrofoam?
    • Cheap to make and efficient
    • Gasoline byproduct, not oil
    • Assisted living and retirement homes have tried to reduce styrofoam use with their residents through education
    • Styrofoam has been gradually losing popularity due to international bans for packaging (shipping)
    • Currently an increase in use for food due to pandemic and increase in takeout
  • Tracy: is this a good time because of so many people ordering food out?
    • Encourage restaurants to ask customers if they want disposable plasticware
  • Arin, composting: Councilmember LeGris is coming to our next meeting to talk about backyard composting; doing container composting
    • Paul: city is in process of trying to put out information/plan for improving yard waste handling; including composting increases quality of final product
    • Education is important
    • Digesters are super expensive and need a steady stream of compost once you install one; yard and food waste would go into the same processor
      • Yard waste is chopped up as opposed to food waste and food waste can gum up the yard waste processing machines
  • Andrea: promotion and recruitment
    • Lightening lecture or lunch and learn about what the team’s been working on
    • Current focuses are on single-use plastics and composting; would be the most appealing to the general public?
    • Lois: fact sheets; everyone follow the same format; an action item for general public to do to help team
    • Arin: each team have their own FB page would make it easier to recruit
    • Need for Sustainability Coordinator or Team at LFUCG
      • Could save money for city’s government
      • Good collaboration opportunity for all four teams
    • Another collaboration opportunity: resource map
      • City drop offs for recycling and landfills
        • Plastic bag recycling
        • Electronic recycling
        • Start from basics and add on
        • Treehouse Composting
      • How far down the rabbit hole do we go?

1/7/2021

  • The group has been focusing on a single-use plastic ban.
  • Everyone in attendance was encouraged to listen in to the Environmental Commission meetings which occur once/month. They’re open to the public and are listed on the Lexington City website.

10/15/2020

  • Arin has started a plastic bin compost
    • will turn it into “blog”-style composting tutorial
    • wants to do how-to for apartment composting
      • Giulia collaborating
    • share on KLB and BGGS social media
  • Newsletter
    • Lois will send Giulia article for newsletter
  • New Director of Sustainability for Lexington?
    • a group member is reaching out to Julie Donna of Louisville
  • Reach out to government to affect legislation
    • tax on single-use plastics versus ban
    • Judith is starting research to address single-use plastics in 2021
  • Future collaboration with Zero-Waste Team of the Sierra Club
  • Also, work with Treehouse Compost (Arin is working on this)–potential to work on a grant

8/27/2020

Glass

  • Push its use in concrete
    • Can use as sand
    • Benefits but may be a challenge to convince city to do it
    • Need a buyer
      • Ale8? How does their glass recycling system work?
    • Separated by color=more profitable/valuable
    • Is separating bottles easier than grinding them down?
    • Drop-off locations for glass w/separation
    • Canopy in Louisville organization

Plastics

  • Loop Products as alternative
  • We’re currently so reliant on single-use plastics because of pandemic that this may need to be tabled for now
  • Need easy, free solutions

Composting

Newsletter

  • Resources and info from research that team members have gathered

6/25/2020

  • Glass recycling
    • Rumpke
    • Bourbon industry
    • Contamination
    • Glass plant in Harrodsburg
      • Make glass locally
      • Reach out to them?
      • Recycle glass locally
  • Textiles
    • Simple Recycling: turns textiles into insulation
  • Grant opportunity
    • Use to build a rain garden?
    • Backyard composting program
      • Possibly collaborate with the Food Team?
    • Goal should reflect the community
    • Prioritize our 4 focuses–homework
    • Make a goal, then find the funding?
  • Prioritizing our goals
    • Lexington waste is mostly food, then textiles (apart from actual garbage)
    • Tackle the easiest first?
    • Assign tasks to team members–Action Items
    • Share what we know and what we don’t know

6/4/2020

  • 4 target areas
    • Single-use plastics
    • Recycling glass and paper
    • Textiles
    • Backyard composting
  • Multiple options with glass recycling
    • Where does our glass go after MRF? Atlanta
    • We are not separating glass at MRF
    • Facility in OH requires separation by color
    • Lexington is paying for transportation of the glass
    •  Costs more to recycle glass than to just throw away right now
    • Rumpke recycles their own glass in their own facility
    • Purple trailers/dumpsters for glass to help Lexington organize it
  • Composting
    • USDA grants for local governments for composting/food waste 
    • Cruch(?)–resource?
    • Grass clippings? Where do they go from curbside?
    • Keeneland waste goes to landfill, not compost facility for city; same with KY Horse Farm
  • Single-use plastics
    • 1 thing we can champion?

4/23/2020

  • Need to address “organics”
    • Define; re: yard waste vs. food waste
    • Food waste does not equal composting
    • A virtual composting workshop exists for Franklin County
      • Facebook
      • Common misconceptions about composting
      • DIYs–make your own compost for cheap
      • 75-100 people reached per post
      • Common issues people have
      • Include yard waste
  • Single-use plastics
    • Bag bans: deposit every time you use a plastic bag
      • WIC and EBT exempt
      • City may appreciate revenue from a bag ban?
    • Which single-use plastics do we want to focus on?
    • Voluntary programs first before mandated
  • Glass recycling
    • Purple bins in the future?
    • Needs to be separate from rest of recycling
    • Would be something we’d need to advocate for
    • We don’t use as much glass as as we used to so may not be feasible
    • Gpi.org (?) may help set up purple bins
    • Serdc.org may be helpful too
    • Difference between contaminated glass vs. other
  • A Team Member’s students at BCTC researched sustainability programs in 
    • Ann Arbor
    • Cincinnati
    • Durham
    • Ft. Collins
    • Indianapolis
    • Louisville
    • Madison
  • Textile recycling
    • Through Goodwill
    • Can be ground up & reused
    • Can be sent overseas
  • New goals/focuses
    • Composting at home
    • Textile recycling
    • Glass recycling
    • Single-use plastics

3/26/2020

  • Books for researching advocacy
    • Community Toolbox, chapter 30
    • Psychologist’s Toolbox for Social Advocacy
  • Don’t forget goals need to be S.M.A.R.T. goals
    • Specific
    • Measurable
    • Attainable
    • Relevant
    • Time-based
  • Two team members will spearhead research about what other cities are doing
    • BCTC students are doing project on it
    • Cities discussed to be researched:
      • Durham
      • Madison
      • Lincoln
      • Fort Collins
      • Eugene
      • Ann Arbor
      • Montréal
      • San Jose
      • Minneapolis
      • Louisville
      • Cincinnati
      • Indianapolis
  • A team member will take over researching information gaps

2/27/2020

  • Ground rules: respect time and opinions
  • Goals of Action Team
    • Small actions
    • Don’t want to be duplicative
    • Educate
      • City already does good job communicating & educating
    • Build trust between civilians and recycling organizations
      • What is actually happening to the recycling?
    • Brainstorming session:
      • Video of where recycling goes from bin to plant
        • Kroger bags? Share video on Trash Talk page on Facebook?
      • Compost & restaurants
      • Collect & share information
        • Trash Talk on Facebook
        • Kroger—be a Zero Hero
        • Whole Foods
      • Refuse, reuse, reduce, recycle—educate
      • Compile list of waste resources
      • Citizen Environmental Academy
      • Borrow ideas from other cities
      • Sustainability plan—put out in 2012
        • Empower Lexington
      • Environmental Commission—meeting early March
      • Choose to Refuse Lexington
      • Changing the culture
      • Go to businesses most impacted by single-use ban
        • Get them on board
        • Educate them about what the public is expecting
        • Recognition
  • What do we want to occur from the actions of our team?
    • Bring back brainstorms for next meeting:
      • What other cities are doing
      • What we know/think of
    • Review gaps/repositories
      • “Welcome to Lexington” packet include recycling information?
      • Improve repositories/mass knowledge
    • Advocacy
    •