In late 2016, members of Sustainable Rossmoor formed the Trash Talk Committee. Its mission is to improve basic recycling and facilitate introducing composting (organic recycling) in Rossmoor.
Recycling: Collaborative Effort
Thus began a collaboration with Republic Services, RecycleSmart and Rossmoor. The resulting dialogue included mutual directors, the Mutual Operations Department and residents. The Committee also spearheaded a multi-pronged educational campaign. The campaign included community-wide presentations, talks at mutual and entry gatherings, door-to-door outreach and Rossmoor News and Channel 28 articles.
Committee members screened educational and inspirational films. Additionally, they created demonstration tables, handouts, newspaper articles, put laminated posters in trash enclosures and developed phone book inserts. Many have contributed to these efforts. Our heroes have been Jency James (Republic Services), Bart Carr (RecycleSmart), Mary Ann Gannon-McCooey (MOD), Kathleen Epperson (resident graphic designer and editor). Many key mutual directors also took the lead.
Members learned to audit trash containers on evenings before pickup. They looked for incorrectly sorted waste and determined how full each type of bin or cart was. The data enabled mutual directors to “rightsize” the bins in trash enclosures. Rightsizing provides the correct size receptacles for the amount and type of waste in each neighborhood. Rossmoor mutuals pay by the size and numbers of landfill containers. As a result of appropriately sizing bins and carts in trash enclosures, Rossmoor now saves over $300,000 annually.
Composing Arrives in Rossmoor
Organic recycling (composting) came to all of Rossmoor (with shared trash enclosures) on Earth Day, April 22, 2019. The program diverts an estimated 2.5 tons of organic waste from the landfill every week.
Sustainable Contra Costa (SCC) recognized the Trash Talk Committee’s achievements in the summer of 2019. The Committee was a finalist for SCC’s Leadership in Sustainability Award.
Today, the committee’s mission has expanded to promote a “Refuse-Reduce-Reuse” campaign and to discourage single-use plastic, and plastic in general. Plastic, a fossil fuel product, requires a huge amount of energy to process.
If you’re like many Rossmoor residents, you want to put trash in correct containers but, at times, you are unclear about what goes where. There is also information…Recycle, Organic, and Landfill posters, etc., in the latest 2018-2019 Rossmoor phonebook, pages 18-22. Check out the SR website post on Rossmoor’s Dumpster Diva. Additionally, you can download (as a PDF file) her complete 38-slide PowerPoint presentation by clicking on this link: Adventures of a Recycle Dumpster Diva.
The attached resources include:
- an alphabetized what-goes-where sorting guide,
- an Alert about hauling away waste left over from moving in or out or remodeling,
- tips on how to prevent maggots,
- printable posters about: Landfill Guide…Recycling Guide…and…Composting Guide
Trash Talk committee meetings are on the 3rd Wed — Gateway MPR#3. Anyone who is interested in improving trash handling in Rossmoor, recycling, composting, or landfill diversion is very welcome to attend. For more information, please contact Carol Weed at (510) 409-4055 or email her at carol4ofa@gmail