Looking Back & Looking Ahead
On Thursday, October 2 the SLWRP network met at the Davis St. Transfer Station in San Leandro to kick off the 2014-2015 program year. The agenda featured time for networking, a tour of the transfer station, an overview of the history of waste management, information about the Ready Set Recycle schools challenge and context for thinking about how ideas spread within a population.
At this point in the school year, schools should be finalizing their SLWRP teams, working the bugs out of existing recycling and waste reduction systems, and setting new goals for diversion efforts.
EarthTeam, Strategic Energy Initiatives, and the Alameda Green Schools Challenge met with teachers and shared information about programming this year.
Transfer Station Tour
StopWaste’s Roberta Miller provided a tour of the transfer station highlighting many of its new facilities designed to help Alameda County meet its waste reduction goals.
Videos highlighting aspects of the transfer station’s operation are available on the SLWRP website. They are only a couple of years old and provide a good overview of the facility, but there are a number of recent facilities upgrades that are not featured in the videos: http://schools.stopwaste.org/teach/transfer-station-videos
To sign up for a FREE transfer station field trip for a classroom sized group of students, click here: https://www.regpacks.com/reg/templates/build/?g_id=10614
History of Waste Management
Tom Padia, StopWaste’s Source Reduction and Recycling Director, provided historical context to help understand today’s waste reduction efforts and challenges. Padia traced the origins of waste collection as a public health concern in cities to the recent developments of environmental regulations on landfills and increased emphasis on diversion efforts. Padia highlighted studies conducted in Alameda County that showed an interesting challenge: although we have one of the nation’s most robust recycling and food scrap diversion programs, as recently as 2008, we see that 60% of the material in the trash could have easily been recycled or composted using existing systems. The countywide goal is to reduce the amount of “good stuff” in the trash to “under 10% by 2020.”
- Listen to audio of Tom's Presentation8.89 MB
- For more on the history of the waste industry in the United States, consider the book Garbology, reviewed here by SLWRP teacher Jeannette Frechou.
Ready Set Recycle
Angelina Vergara presented an overview of StopWaste’s Ready Set Recycle Challenge and introduced SLWRP to a number of new tools including an online sorting game and recycling sign maker. Schools in SLWRP are encouraged to set measurable goals to reduce waste in clearly defined areas of campus. Again, the goal is to get to “Under 10% by 2020.” Schools that are interested in focusing on cafeteria food scrap diversion efforts to meet this challenge can receive extra support and technical assistance from StopWaste this year.
Upcoming events and opportunities: