Recyclables Don’t Even Go Here!

Hey guys!

I think I would start at the basics today and ask, “Where does my trash go after it’s put on my curbside?”.

First things first, if you don’t have a “curby” you can look up your address here and get recycle, trash and brush pick up for free. Just this week I ordered another recycling toter because we were filling ours up too quickly – again, for free! I also recently found out that the stickers on the underside of my toter are outdated and every toter accepts normal plastic! I am so happy, and so glad this was changed because I was having a hard time wrapping my brain around why plastics were excluded. (If you are wanting to recycle your plastic grocery bags, just click here and put in your zip code. So helpfuL!)

Now that you definitely have a curby, and you have put it out on your specified day – what happens?

The garbage truck picks them up, dumps them in it’s back end and drives away, off to the dump – right? Wrong. Davidson county doesn’t have a dump/landfill. Once your garbage truck is full, it goes through a process where it’s delivered to BFI Middle Point Landfill in Rutherford county. I talked to the environmental guy in charge, Mike, about what happens next.

There is no sorting process once it gets to¬†BFI. So if you put a plastic bottle or tuna can or what have you, in your trash, it’s going in the ground. Mike said they do sort for hazardous materials, like paint cans for example, to protect the ground as much as they can. But as I talked about in my previous post, plastic can’t decompose – it just breaks down to teensy weensy plastics that look like goop. How ’bout NO! Gross.

From there it is put into the giant hole in the ground and covered. That’s it. It just sits there, incubating. We should do better, and we can do better – with The Bottle Bill! ūüôā

Hope you found this as interesting as I did. I think it’s so important to realize that no one can help you out, but yourself. No matter if you believe in global warming or want to do the same thing you’ve always done because that how it’s always been done – you’re still living on this planet. I’m not asking you to start making your own clothes or to spend some personal time with a tree – I’m asking you to take a minute and recognize that recycling is a necessity to remain on this planet like we always have. We can’t keep putting plastics and other chemicals into the ground and¬†think everything is fine.

In closing, please, please, please – just throw that beer glass¬†or soda can or water bottle into a different bin and I’ll be happy and love you forever.

xxox

Audrey

That is the Ugliest Effing Garbage Patch I’ve Ever Seen

Hey Guys!

So I found¬†this Nat Geo article¬†that was very informative and explains more as to why we have floating trash islands. The one closest to home is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. As you’ll read in the article, it’s between Hawaii and California and is so huge and dense, it’s immeasurable.

Since most people agree it’s virtually impossible to clean up, the only way to help this situation is to not make it worse. The only way to do that, is make sure all plastics are recycled and not throw away into the ocean. This is why I am fighting to get the Bottle Bill passed here in Tennessee. It is so important that we don’t pollute our planet and leave future generations to clean up an avoidable mess.

The best way to urge people to recycle is through the Bottle Bill because who doesn’t want to get paid for recycling!? I think people will be much more inclined to make recycling become a part of their daily habit – if they’re being paid to do it. So let’s all recycle and not harm baby turtles!

Hope y’all are having a great week!

xxox
Audrey

Get In Loser, We’re Going Recycling

So I finally got to meet my new BFF, Marge today! Marge has spearheaded the bottle bill movement for years and I am so excited to work with her. Today we talked about why the bottle bill hasn’t passed, what we can do to help, and what you can do to help.

Most important thing I learned today is that the public does matter. Since this bill is voted on by committee, I assumed local opinions had no input. Although we can’t vote on it or campaign in the obvious sense of the word – we can influence. If the majority of the residents are for a bill, the committee is so much more likely to stick their necks out and vote for the bill all in the effort to keep their districts happy. So in that vein, I am so excited to start a conversation with too many strangers to get the word out that it’s not weird to want to get paid for drinking beer and soda.

I’m also happy that she explained how a bill gets passed. No offense to Schoolhouse Rock – but I needed a more detailed explanation, more focused on this exact issue. So for those of you who were like me and can’t understand why in the world people would vote no on recycling, here’s how and why.

First, the general assembly (cool kids voting on this bill) only meets once a year, for only five months or so. So you have to have your bill ready and all your ducks in a row because once those few months happen, they happen quickly. Next you have to find a superhero to file the bill. Our superhero is Jim Coley, shout out to Jim and his badassness. Once Jim files the bill, it gets assigned to a committee. Our bottle bill is assigned to the Agricultural and Natural Resources Committee.

Now you need to legally lobby all the members of the committee together and make them see why the bottle bill is super awesome. You get a fiscal note and prove that the bottle bill not only saves the state money, but creates jobs and actually makes the state money, rather than paying to have trash put in a pile. Then badass Jim Coley puts our bill on the calendar so we can schedule a hearing. But you only want to schedule a hearing if you have already taken your own tally of the committee votes. Because once in the hearing, you don’t want your ass to be handed to you. No one wants a reenactment of that time you forgot the words to Smash Mouth’s “Allstar” and the 5th grade talent show. You need to know what you’re doing.

Since there are two chambers of the Legislative branch of government, House and Senate, there are two committees you have to have a hearing with. So you pick whichever one you have the most alliances with. In order to even vote on the bill, Jim has to find the Robin to his Batman to second his motion. So once the hearing date happens, you cross your fingers they have enough time to get to it, have Batman propose the bill to the docket, have Robin second the motion – THEN you can actually vote on it. Once it passes in one committee is then handed over to either the House or Senate committee. (Whichever one you haven’t had a hearing with yet.)

After that, you’re pretty much golden, Ponyboy. Most people agree once the bottle bill gets past the committee stage, it will go all the way. Just like Regina and Shane Oman. Now that I have a bit of knowledge, my new bestie Marge, and the understanding that the public¬†can make a difference – I’m going ahead full steam. So get in loser, we’re going shopping! (clearly for like,¬†organic veggies and some Jackalope Thunder Ann, and then obviously throwing those cans in our blue recycle bin that only gets picked up once a month.)

xxox

Audrey