Recycle group plans trash audit

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The Recycling Coalition of Colorado Springs wants to conduct an audit of residential waste in the region.

Goals of the audit are to raise awareness of the recycling opportunities that already exist in the region and to gather data on how much could be recycled. The group hopes to kick off the audit during the Pikes Peak EcoFestival on Aug. 28.

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The group plans a meeting with waste haulers from noon to 2 p.m. tomorrow at the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments' office, 15 S. Seventh St, to discuss the idea and develop a strategic plan. If you go, please bring a lunch; the group will provide drinks and cookies.

If you have questions, contact Alicia Archibald or Jane Ard-Smith.

Here's a report from a recent meeting:

The Recycling Coalition of Colorado Springs and friends are proposing to conduct a residential waste audit over the next year. The goal is two-fold. First, we'd like to use the audit as an opportunity to educate folks on recycling opportunities in El Paso County. Second, the audit will provide data that can help justify a regional MRF. Our goal is to involve all of the waste haulers that currently provide recycling opportunities: Bestway Disposal, Waste Management, Springs Disposal, and Waste Connections.

We discussed the possibility of doing a kickoff audit at the EcoFestival on August 28, 2010. Dianne Bertini, producer of the event, was amenable to the idea and agreed to help facilitate getting the necessary permissions from Andy Morris of Rock Ledge Ranch. She told us that Bestway Disposal is a sponsor of the EcoFestival and is already providing a gable top for single-stream recycling, as well as a trash roll-off. Although we would like to include all of the haulers in the audit process, we agreed that it made the most sense to focus on Bestway Disposal at the EcoFestival because of their sponsorship of the event.

We discussed the logistics of the demonstration audit. Our preference is to position the audit so that it is visible to attendees as they enter the Ecofestival. Dianne thought that we might be able to use the parking lot right near the entrance. Some other logistical considerations:

We need to manage for the wind and safety (which could be accomplished with roll-off positioning and orange fencing).
—Tarps on the ground to protect against leakage
—Timing - if possible, we'd like to have an uncompacted trash truck dump its load early in the day, sometime prior to the 10 AM start time, so that folks could see our progress over the course of the day.
Equipment needs: gloves, safety glasses, recycling tubs, waiver, dress requirements for volunteers (do we provide protective clothing?), tent
—Static display board and signs for educational purposes
—Title for the Event - Alicia suggested Talking Trash 2010 (noting that this was the 10-year anniversary of the Clean Air Campaign meeting that led to the formation of the Recycling Coalition). We need to create a blurb: “Talking Trash 2010 — Come on over and help us sort it out! The Recycling Coalition of Colorado Springs is celebrating their 10th anniversary by dumpster diving at the Pikes Peak Eco Festival.”

Next Steps/Action Items:

Meet with the waste haulers ASAP (next week at the latest) to discuss the proposal. Alicia will contact the haulers and invite them to a meeting - preferably next Wednesday or late Thursday. She will also contact Sarah White at PPACG for meeting space.

Develop the plan for the audit - Jordan (intern with City of Colorado Springs) was researching how other communities had conducted waste audits. Jane will contact Carrie McCausland to follow up.
Develop a media strategy and identify a media coordinator - Alicia Archibald has agreed to be the media contact. Our thought is to develop a strategy that acts in tandem with the media outreach for the EcoFestival. Dianne told us that the media sponsors for the EcoFestival include The Gazette, and two clear channel radio stations (106.3 and 96.9). 106.3 will be doing a live remote from the festival. We brainstormed some possible television stations - 5/30 seemed the best bet. We'd also like to get on a television morning show. We need to develop PSAs. This will be one of the topics for the next meeting.

Facebook page— Jane, with the help of Peter Schulman - will set up.Identify neighborhoods throughout the community
Coordination with neighborhoods. Once we have a plan in place, we need to coordinate with the neighborhood associations for support - need to contact Dave Munger @ CONO.

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