In late 2016, members of Sustainable Rossmoor formed the Trash Talk Committee. Its mission is to improve basic recycling and facilitate the introduction of composting (organic recycling) in Rossmoor.
What’s the latest dirt?
On Monday, June 29, 2020, Trash Talkers will sponsor a zoom discussion entitled Reduce Food Waste and Packaging. The time is 11 am to noon. The goals of Refuse, Reduce, and Reuse have became more challenging during this shelter-in-place. There will be time to ask questions and brainstorm. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for a Zoom Link.
With Plastic Free July just around the corner, it is a good time to check out the https://www.plasticfreejuly.org/ website. Taking an inventory of what is in your household trash can and your recycle tote is one place to start. Examine possible changes in your purchasing in order to reduce plastic waste.
On April 25, 2020 at an Earth Day event sponsored by SCOCO, Kimberley Lam of Republic Services spoke on the topic of Reducing Food and Plastic Waste. If you missed this event, please check out the video.
Recycling: A 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 (SCoCo) recognized the Trash Talk Committee’s achievements in the summer of 2019. The Committee was a finalist for SCoCo’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 are 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 2019-2020 Rossmoor phonebook, pages 18-24. 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:
- most recent Recycling Guide, Feb 2020
- 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