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Grand Old Fourth refuse composted | Letters | July 16
After the crowds headed home from another successful Grand Old Fourth, some of the waste left behind took a different route out of town this year. Normally, nonrecyclable refuse is carted off for burial in an eastern Oregon landfill; instead, much of the garbage was trucked to local operations for decomposition into garden-enriching soil.
Thanks go to over 45 volunteers, who rallied around Zero Waste of Sustainable Bainbridge to help give our party disposables a second life by monitoring compost/recycling/trash stations and checking on paired-up recycling receptacles and garbage cans.
Under their watchful care, 14 compost toters became jam-packed with leftover food, plates, trays, cups, forks, and napkins, since many vendors had made the switch to compostable corn, potato and sugar-based food ware, as well as paper goods free of plastic coatings.
As a result, we cut down the amount of trash by more than 125 bags. Not to mention, 17 96-gallon toters were piled high with cans and plastic bottles.
Many hands contributed to this community effort. Members of Earth Service Corps, Zero Waste and the Chamber of Commerce helped set up and educate the public at the various toss points; Bainbridge Disposal donated the toters and hauling services; the Bainbridge High School composter accepted over half of the biodegradable material and the rest was trucked to Emu Topsoil.
And you, the attendees, made the choice to give these resources another go-around. High five, Bainbridge!
If your group is setting up an event and wants to see similar results, check out sustainablebainbridge.org for ideas, or contact Zero Waste at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Diane Landry, Zero Waste coordinator