Archive for June, 2009

Stay with Native Plants

BradfordPear_1580My neighborhood is around fifteen years old. When the builder (Fox Ridge) landscaped the homes, they planted Bradford Pear trees, which are not native to this area. Our Bradford Pear died within the first month we lived here. I asked the builder to replace it with a native tree, and I was told that I had to replace it with another Bradford Pear. I planted a maple tree.

For the past couple of years, the Bradford Pear trees have been splitting during wind storms. A few trees have split during calm moments. This one split across the street from us on Monday night during a storm. Now, the homeowners association is recommending native trees. Go figure.

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Stay Hydrated, but Do Not Litter

PlasticBottle_1013I first noticed it last summer during my daily walks: more plastic water bottles and soda cans on the residential streets in my suburban subdivision. These are not drive-by litter. I assume that the bottles and cans are being tossed in the street by out of school youth playing in the summer heat.

Growing up during the late 50s and 60s, I had to come inside for Kool-Aid or water from a glass. When I bought a soda from a gas station cooler, it was glass and returned for a deposit. I do not long for those days, but I am tired of picking up discarded water and soda bottles/cans in my neighborhood. Recycle them. Reuse them.

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Not Again: Storm Drains are not Trash Cans

During my after dinner walk last night, I found dumped charcoal briquettes in a storm drain on Settlers’ Way in my subdivision. I turned in the location to the president of the board of the homeowners association.

I do not like ice cubes in my water. Why would I want charcoal briquettes in it?

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Rick Perry Rejects TV Recycling Legislation

I guess discarded televisions from Texas will go to Chinese dumps.

Colleen McCain Nelson/Editorial Writer   

Environmental advocates notched few victories this legislative session. Sadly, their short list of successes got even shorter Friday when Gov. Rick Perry vetoed legislation that would have required television manufacturers to provide free recycling for discarded TVs.

The bill seemed innocuous enough. After all, older televisions are laden with lead. Recycling the TVs keeps the toxic chemicals from making their way into our soil and water.

The bill’s Senate sponsor, Kirk Watson, said that both environmental and industry groups were involved in crafting the compromise legislation.

But that wasn’t enough for Perry, who deemed the mandate onerous and opted once again to side with industry over environmental protections.

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News from Bellevue Curbside Recycling Program

FIVE MONDAYS—You may have noticed on your calendar that June has five Mondays.  That means there will be an extra week between your last collection in June and the next one in July.  Once a quarter, there will be one month that has five Mondays.  When in doubt about your schedule, login to your online account to see your next scheduled collection date.

OVERFLOW COLLECTION—Beginning in July we are offering a new service.  Until now we have not been collecting overflow – that is, materials left outside of your recycling container.  Beginning in July we WILL collect overflow for a $5 fee.  Here’s how it will work:
We will collect materials left outside your container
Place your overflow in a bag or cardboard box and set it out by your cart
The driver will leave a note that your account will be charged $5 for the extra materials
The $5 extra will be added to your next automatic charge (e.g., If your quarterly charge is normally $30, the charge for the next quarter would be $30 + $5 for each time we collect items outside your cart)

LEAVE YOUR CART OUT—Curbside customers please make sure your container is at the curb by 7am, and please give us until 8pm to collect.  Our routes are full, and we routinely run into the evening hours.    And the order of stops is constantly changing, so we could come to your house at any time within that window.

Thank you for your cooperation and patience as our curbside recycling service has expanded very quickly in Bellevue and other parts of Nashville.  Thank you for setting the example for your community to reduce, reuse, and recycle.

Patrick Rickelton
Curbside Recycling Coordinator
EarthSavers, LLC

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Eco-friendly claims go unchecked

By Traci Watson • USA TODAY • June 22, 2009

WASHINGTON — The federal watchdog that’s supposed to crack down on product labels that make false environmental claims has taken almost no enforcement action over the last decade, even as “green” marketing claims have exploded, agency records show.

Companies touting eco-friendly products or biodegradable packaging are supposed to abide by guidelines issued by the Federal Trade Commission in 1992. The FTC can take companies that ignore the so-called “Green Guides” to court and seek fines to reimburse consumers.

Since May 2000, the FTC has taken legal action against only three companies for violating the guidelines. All three complaints were announced June 9, the day of a congressional hearing about environmental marketing.

“There has been little to no enforcement of the 1992 guides,” says environmental consultant Kevin Tuerff, whose company started a Web site aimed at exposing ads with questionable environmental claims. “They need to pick up the pace.”

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Cigarette Litter Prevention Program

CigButts_1327Since becoming involved with Keep America Beautiful, I have started a Cigarette Litter Prevention Program in Hillsboro Village. Today, I did the preliminary scan walking from the post office on Acklen to 21st to Belcourt and back to the post office on Acklen. I counted 400 plus cigarette butts on the sidewalks. Most were in front of Fido’s and Jackson’s. Fido’s has a cigarette ash receptacle in front of their coffee shop, but it was overflowing.

When I initially walked the area two weeks ago, I noticed that the cigarette ash receptacle was full.

My next step will be to talk with the restaurant and bar owners in the village to see if they will distribute portable cigarette ashtrays.

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