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A Press Democrat Blog

Living Green

Saving time and resources

My Favorite Recycling Center: The Legacy

Whenever I am in south Sebastopol, I take few minutes to see what’s happening at The Legacy. A volunteer based arts and crafts reuse center in the Southpoint Shopping Center near McDonald’s, they accept and resell fabric – by the pound!, as well as sewing notions, yarn, hobby supplies and books. Kid friendly, it is a great way to introduce children to low cost do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. My idea of heaven! It’s also a great spot for presents – for yourself… Read More »

Sonoma County Now Exploring Alternatives To Divestiture

The sale of Sonoma County’s solid waste system is now off the table. The County has 3.5 months to make set of crucial interrelated decisions. It is believed that to reopen the landfill each of the cities must commit their waste stream. A new task force, the Solid Waste Advisory Group (SWAG), is being organized which will provide a highly structured community forum to discuss and plan long-term solid waste management strategies. Led by Supervisor Zane, the group will include Supervisor Carrillo and a representative from each city council, assisted by a large advisory group with members from the business community, environmental groups, the Local Task Force for Solid Waste, city managers and county staff.… Read More »

Event: Landfill Issues and Zero Waste Communities Workshop, March 6, 1-4pm

Zero Waste Sonoma County and the Sonoma County Conservation Council present Turning the Tide on Waste   Landfill Issues and Zero Waste Communities Workshop Saturday, March 6, 2010, 1 – 4pm, $15 in advance, $20 at the door  Sebastopol Veterans’ Auditorium, 282 South High Street, Sebastopol To register, please send a note to lite@sonic.net  (This workshop is followed by the Sonoma County Environmental Awards Dinner, 5:30-9pm, Tickets $40, after 2/21: $50. Reservations: www.envirocentersoco.org/dinner) Decision Makers, Activists and Concerned Citizens: Are you interested… Read More »

Let’s Not Rush The Waste Contracting Process

Dear Santa Rosa City Council, Please consider slowing the waste contracting process down, do an inventory of all local discard related activites and then hold a series of town hall meetings where all voices are welcome. Diversion First:  The 2007 Sonoma County Waste Characterization Study reports that 70% of what was still being discarded is Compostable (32%), Divertible (25.4%) or Potentially Divertible (12.3%). This suggests that 90% diversion is within our reach and the long haul impacts of the remainder… Read More »

Event: County Waste Management System Discussion, Jan 6, 5-7pm, Envr Center

The recent Sonoma County landfill divestiture debate brought up lots of questions that weren’t directly answered by the process. Thankfully the Board of Supervisors has embraced a more balanced strategy; one which will involve the whole community and support our sustainability related goals.

Before the next round begins, let’s all get on the same page. This preliminary discussion is designed to introduce relevant terms and concepts – such as flow control and indemnify from liability, diversion mandates and material bans, and green purchasing and zero waste. At the same time, we will be discussing how other municipalities are dealing with these issues, and how Sonoma County could further maximize diversion and reduce costs.
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What Next? Wasteful Ideas Please

Here are a few ideas to get this “What Next” discussion rolling. Though they may not directly help with landfill repair or closure, these suggestions could reduce system costs and free up money for planning.
1) Apply our existing landfill material bans to our trash carts and out-haul vehicles.
2) Implement mandatory recycling 5 years early.
3) Recycle Better – At Home, Work, School And Play.… Read More »

What Next? Landfill and Solid Waste System Sale Defeated!

Thanks to no votes by our two newest supervisors, Shirlee Zane and Efren Carrillo, the sale of our landfill and solid waste system to Republic Services is off the table.  That is great news, but now what? Or as posed by the 10/28 Press Democrat editorial, what next? Here are the links to the most recent editorials, blogs, and articles: Bleys W. Rose, 10/29/09: www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20091027/ARTICLES/910279961/1033/NEWS?Title=Supes-kill-landfill-deal Editorial Team 10/28/09:  http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20091028/OPINION/910289924 Paul Gullixson: http://blog.pressdemocrat.com/insider/2009/10/surprising-vote-but-it-may-not-save-landfill.htm Doug Bosco: http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20091024/OPINION/910239931 Well, there a quite a… Read More »

Important Landfill Sale Vote This Tuesday

Tuesday, October 27, 2009, 11am, Supervisor’s Chambers, Sonoma County Administration Building; Speak up: contact each of the Supervisors; ask your City Council members to speak at the meeting; attend the meeting; invite your friends, neighbors and coworkers to contact their city council and attend the meeting: Post a sign in your yard or on your vehicle or bike; Post a comment here!… Read More »

Landfill Sale Agreement To Be A Consent Item At Next Supervisors Meeting

Yesterday afternoon, the Board of Supervisors held a public hearing on selling the Sonoma County solid waste system to Republic Services of Arizona. After more then 3 hours of very pertinent public testimony, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors unanimously directed staff to address a handful of important wording clarification issues and put the divestiture decision on the next meetings consent calendar. Please educate yourself on this matter, read the related entries and links listed below under Zero Waste, http://livinggreen.blogs.pressdemocrat.com/category/zero-waste/, and contact your supervisor and city councils asap.… Read More »

Many Say Reject Landfill Purchase and Sale Agreement

Climate Protection Campaign, Sierra Club – Redwood Chapter, Leadership Institute for Ecology and the Economy, Sonoma Ecology Center, Sonoma County Conservation Action, Sonoma County GoLocal Cooperative, LITE Initiatives and Accountable Development Coalition recommend that the Board and cities reject the proposed Purchase and Sale Agreement with Republic Services for the Central Landfill because the deal undermines this community’s long term environmental and economic goals. Selling the solid waste system would permanently transfer an irreplaceable asset from public to corporate ownership. The proposed contract could increase costs to residents and thwart this community’s ability to meet its greenhouse gas reduction targets. It would also remove options for the future and diminish this Board’s reputation and legacy.

Many of our reasons to oppose divestiture are aimed at the proposed Agreement’s financial weaknesses because long term economic goals align with a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
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