Archive for November, 2009

Chewing Gum

Chiclets_1050We have all stepped in at one time or another. My feet were drawn to it when I was a child – especially if I had on new shoes. Now the Brits have a solution in the fight against chewing gum litter:

Chewing gum litter go down by 87%

Date published: 20/11/2009

A campaign warning chewers of gum they risk a litter fine if they don’t put their used gum in the bin has seen a huge drop in gum litter in the Rochdale borough. Since the campaign’s launch at the start of this October, a Keep Britain Tidy survey has revealed gum litter in the borough has gone down by 87% overall.

As part of a national study being carried out by Keep Britain Tidy’s Chewing Gum Action Group, Rochdale Borough Council selected 10 high-footfall areas across the borough to carry out a survey to measure reductions in gum litter at the end of the campaign at the beginning of November.

Councillor Greg Couzens, cabinet member for finance, enthused: “What a brilliant result! It’s great timing in the run up to Christmas as we welcome people into our town centres to do their Christmas shopping. Cleanliness of shopping centres is such an important factor as people judge an area based on its appearance and cleanliness. Seeing lots of chewing gum on the floor runs places down, so I’m encouraged by these fantastic results.”

Throughout the campaign, council street cleaning teams wore high visibility jackets with the message ‘don’t drop gum, it’s litter’, whilst high profile gum litter adverting across the borough’s town centres, buses and telephone boxes told chewers that irresponsibly disposed of gum is litter and they could be landed with a litter fine if caught dropping it. This follows an earlier Chewing Gum Action Group study which showed many gum chewers simply don’t associate dropping gum as litter.

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Rewards for Recycling

This should not be necessary for doing the right thing, recycling, but here is a great idea from Atlanta, as reported on 11Alive.com:

Beginning this week, the city of Atlanta is testing a recycling program that rewards people for recycling.

“We could sign up on a website to receive reward points for discounts on things that we buy,” said recycling program participant Sarah Hankamer.

This pilot program is called R.E.C.A.R.T.: REwards for Collecting All Recyclables Together.

Residents in selected Atlanta neighborhoods put all their recyclables in special blue bins. City recycling trucks scan the identification button on each bin and weigh the materials. Points are assigned to each participating address based on weight.
Residents log on or call toll free to collect their bonus points.

“They can just sort of shop online or call us toll free,” said Lisa Pomerantz of RecycleBank, “For anything from groceries, pharmacy, movie tickets, restaurants to massages and eco travel.”

Rewards recyclers can also redeem their discount coupons at shops and stores locally.

“More than 40 to 50 percent of the rewards are redemmed locally,” Pomerantz said. “So that means we’re stimulating local economy.”

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Horrible News About Sea Turtles

This came from Earthwatch:

Trash-eating turtles dying in record numbers

Preliminary studies led by Dr. Kathy Townsend from the University of Queensland indicate that more than 35 percent of the sea turtles she has studied in Australia died from eating trash.

“Marine rubbish is having a significant impact on marine life,” Townsend said. “These impacts include ingestion of plastic debris and entanglement in crab pots, synthetic ropes and lines or drift nets, all of which can lead to death of turtles, sea birds and marine mammals.”

This first-ever fellowship, presented recently by Earthwatch at its office in Australia, will provide Townsend with $205,000 in funding to continue her research over the next three years. The fellowship is supported by the US-based Goldring Family Foundation.

Townsend will use the award to continue to expand the study area, raise awareness of the problem, and investigate why turtles eat the trash in the first place – and she’s garnering the help of Earthwatch volunteers to gather the data.

“Turtles in Trouble” is a new kind of research project for Earthwatch where up to eight volunteers become “scientists for a day,” spending a full day with Townsend learning about marine debris ingestion by turtles found around North Stradbroke Island, off the coast of Queensland. More than 100 turtles (including the following species: green turtles, hawksbills, and loggerheads) have washed ashore in this local area since 2005, according to Townsend, but she is sure there were plenty of others that were not reported.

In addition to performing turtle “necropsies” (autopsies for animals) and quantifying the amount of debris found on the local beaches, Townsend also takes volunteers out in a boat to release any turtles that have been rehabilitated.

The Goldring Emerging Marine Scientist Fellowship, presented by Earthwatch, supports promising early-career researchers and professionals who are committed to the creation of a sustainable environment through science, public education, and collaborative partnerships.

“Marine debris – including balloons, plastic ties and bags, milk bottle tops and more – is choking the life out of sea turtles all over the world, not just in Australia,” said Ed Wilson, CEO and president of Earthwatch. “Support from the Goldring Fellowship will enable Kathy and an arsenal of Earthwatch volunteers to collect the data needed much quicker than was possible before – greatly expanding the reach and impact of this critical research.”

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News from the City of Franklin (TN)

On Nov. 21st from 8 am-2 pm, Century Court will be a busy location, holding events that will help residents properly disposal of several items. The City of Franklin will be holding a BOPAE collection (Batteries, Oil, Paint, Anti-freeze and Electronics), KWB will hold a Shred Day, and there will also be a Medicine Collection by Williamson County Sheriff Dept. Please visit http://www.keepwilliamsonbeautiful.org/ for details about these collections.

These are all wastes to keep out of landfills and our water supply. If you live in the area, stop by.

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Is This Worth 50¢?

TornDollar_1901I have always spotted money in the street. Unfortunately, I only found this half dollar bill. And no, it is not worth 50¢.

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I Took a Second Look

Weiner_1903before I realized what this item was on the side of the road. If my late dog Neyland had been walking with me, I never would have noticed the hot dog. I would have only seen Neyland swallowing, then licking his lips.

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Just Call Me the Butt Czar

I’m quoted in this story in The Tennessean about cigarette litter.

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