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2014-2015 SLWRP Kick-Off


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.

Key Links:

Networking

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

SLWRPZero

StopWaste’s Mark Spencer provided an overview of R0- known as “the reproductive number” – a tool in math for measuring the spread of disease. In addition to helping us understand how Ebola compares to other historical epidemics, R0 also provides a metaphor for understanding how ideas and behavior can spread. Teachers can have an amazing impact by transmitting sustainability knowledge and practice to students. The bigger impact occurs when students themselves are empowered as carriers of sustainability ideas that the can spread among their peers and community, creating an exponential impact. Mark also created an excel spreadsheet to help teachers visualize the exponential impact of their environmental education efforts. Mark will be happy to help any of you and your students develop a more accurate estimate for the SLWRPZero Effect at your school.  Just shoot him an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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.”

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: