Category Archives: Earth Day April 21st

RecycleSmart will be at Rossmoor’s Earth Day April 21

Sustainable Rossmoor is proud to welcome RecyleSmart (Central Contra Costa Solid Waste Authority) as major sponsor of Earth Day on Friday, April 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in and around the Fireside Room at Gateway Clubhouse and plaza area.

RecycleSmart is the solidwaste authority that services Rossmoor. Its service area also includes Orinda, Moraga, Lafayette, Walnut Creek, Danville and large areas of Contra Costa County adjacent to those municipalities.

RecycleSmart contracts with Republic Services to pick up and handle Rossmoor’s trash. There are three categories of trash– what goes to the landfill (black containers), what can be recycled (blue containers) and what is organic and can be composted (green containers). Currently, Rossmoor does not have pick up for composting. Everything that could be going into green containers for composting is put into the black landfill containers.

RecycleSmart provides colorful placards that can be placed in trash enclosures. The placards graphically indicate what goes into which container. Many trash enclosures in Rossmoor don’t have these useful placards. If residents find that the enclosures near them don’t have placards, they can contact their Mutual directors to request them. Mutual directors can also be contacted about having a composting pick up in Rossmoor.

Outreach programs

RecycleSmart does much more than just pick up trash. It has many outreach programs for recycling and composting. Its composting program recently received the 2016 Composting Program of the Year award by the U.S. Composting Council. RecycleSmart conducts multiple free composting workshops in many locations throughout their service area and offers various size composting bins for sale.

School outreach programs are very important to RecycleSmart. As its website states, “Our team provides free technical assistance to public and private schools, school districts and custodial and food services staff, including on-site training. We also provide free recycling and organics containers, free signs and stickers, lesson plans, school assemblies and field trips and other resources. Plus, we recognize schools that significantly reduce waste with awards of up to $1,500.”

Every year some lucky high school seniors are awarded scholarships of up to $4,000 by RecycleSmart in partnership with Mt. Diablo Recycling, the Pittsburg company that handles that city’s recycling. Students submit an application describing how they have implemented a waste reduction program or made significant contributions to reducing waste at their school.

RecycleSmart also rewards businesses for their recycling efforts. In 2016, 12 local businesses received awards including Whole Foods and Lunardi’s in Walnut Creek. Two Walnut Creek restaurants also received awards – Mona’s Burgers & Shakes and Walnut Creek Yacht Club.

For information, visit the RecyleSmart website at <www.>. Be sure to stop by the RecycleSmart exhibit in the Fireside Room on Earth Day and hear the talk “What Goes In Your Recycle Bin?” in Multipurpose Room 1. Earth Day will be a well-attended event and parking fills up quickly, so busing, carpooling, biking and walking are encouraged. Visit the Sustainable Rossmoor website at <>.

By Barbara Coenen, Earth Day correspondent

Article reprinted from Rossmoor News, vol 51, No. 1 – 15MAR2017

River Otter Ecology Project is Earth Day Exhibit

Sustainable Rossmoor is honored and excited to welcome back the River Otter Ecology Project as an exhibitor at the Rossmoor Earth Day event on Friday, April 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Fireside Room and adjacent patio at Gateway.

The River Otter Ecology Project is an organization whose mission is to “illustrate the linkages between the recovery of local river otter populations and healthy watersheds, and foster public and organizational participation in restoration and conservation.” The project is the first in Central and Northern California to investigate these linkages.

At one time, river otters had just about been eradicated from Central and Northern California, but they are now making a comeback. These charismatic animals use every part of a watershed, from headwaters to the ocean, so their return due to healthier watersheds is very encouraging. Very little is known about the ecology and current status of river otters.

The River Otter Ecology Project studies the status, range, reproduction, diet and general ecology of the species in coastal watersheds of the San Francisco Bay Area. The project has quite a few important organizations assisting it with this endeavor, including the U.S. National Park Service (Golden Gate National Recreation Area and Point Reyes National Seashore), California State Parks, Mt. View Sanitary District, Marin Municipal Water District and The Marine Mammal Center. Some of the investigative research for the project is done by volunteer otter spotters who observe river otters in neighborhood streams and rivers and submit information to the ecology project.

Rossmoor happens to have its own river otter, Stanley. He was spotted quite often last year in the pond on Stanley Dollar Drive (hence, the name). He hasn’t been spotted this year yet so keep a lookout for him, his relatives and friends so you can report it to the River Otter Ecology Project.

Here are a few fun otter facts: • River otter or sea otter? You can encounter both otters in salt water. • How do you tell them apart? Sea otters float on their backs, river otters don’t. • In the water, river otters are always active and moving quickly. • Sea otters are clumsy on land and rarely seen on shore. • River otters are agile both in and out of the water.

Look for the River Otter Ecology Project exhibit at Sustainable Rossmoor’s Earth Day 2017 on Friday, April 21, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. in the Fireside Room and patio at Gateway Clubhouse. This is a very well attended event so carpooling, biking and walking is encouraged.

This article was originally published in the Rossmoor News, March 1, 2017, author Barb Coenen.