Elisa Pokral

November 15, 2009

The Monroe County Solid Waste Management District (District) is expanding its plastic collection to collect plastics Nos. 1 through 7. Through a new contract with Hoosier Disposal & Recycling, the District is now able to offer expanded plastic collection to the public. The old contract only allowed the District to collect plastic bottles Nos. 1 and 2. Expanded collection at the District’s Central Recycling & Reuse and the four rural sites will begin Nov. 14.

Plastics that can be recycled in Monroe County can be identified by looking at the bottom of the container. In most cases, the bottom will have the recycling symbol with the three arrows and inside the symbol is the number. The District reminds the public that all plastic containers must be cleaned in order to avoid contaminating the recyclable material. Caps or lids need to be rinsed and thrown in the District plastic collection bin separately. The District does NOT accept contaminated plastic like motor oil or antifreeze containers (even if marked #1 or #2).

October 18, 2009

For me, fall is a time to pick apples and pumpkins and summer a time to pick blackberries, strawberries and cherries. Picking or harvesting your own food enables you to see how food is grown, and it helps teach others.

When a sixth grader in an urban school is asked, "Where do eggs come from?" and answers they come from cows because they are in the dairy section of the grocery store, you know our country has challenges. When kids and adults don't understand that everything they eat comes from a farm field, it means humans don't know where their food comes from.

There is a disconnect between farm, food and the consumer. It's not so different from the disconnect between purchasing products and not knowing that natural resources like oil creates plastic, sand creates glass, minerals create metals, and trees create paper and 5,000 other things, and overusing and abusing resources creates nothing. We don't tend to think about it, we just purchase things.

September 20, 2009

On Oct. 1, large orange bags used for waste disposal in Monroe County will cost more. The Monroe County Solid Waste Management District (District) is increasing the price of a roll of the large 33-gallon bags to $12.50. There are ten bags in a role. However, the price of small orange bags will remain the same.

The District encourages the public to reduce trash by recycling more and suggests disposing of trash yourself to reduce disposal costs (if you don’t have city curbside pick up like Bloomington residents).

September 6, 2009

Is your recreation green? In Indiana, sailing is a green recreation that can be enjoyed from April through October. I'm a fair weather sailor myself, but there are still some warm sailing days ahead before the days become frosty. Over the summer my son took his second year of summer sailing lessons at the Lake Monroe Sailing Association Camp. It was fun to watch kids as young as 8 take the boats out to harness the wind.

While observing, I contemplated the sound of the breeze in trees, the waves, the birds soaring above, chattering in the trees and the clanking of halyards on the sailboats -- the same sounds that I remembered from sailing. It all comes together -- the health and economic benefits of nature and living "green" or being earth-friendly.

The sailing experience makes me think of how green has to be not only in home and work routines but in relationships as well.

August 9, 2009

If you have any bulky items that need to be disposed of, drop them off free of charge at the Monroe County Fairgrounds on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 28 and 29, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Event sponsors are the Monroe County Solid Waste Management District (District), Hoosier Disposal & Recycling Services, the Monroe County Fair Board, Monroe County Highway Department and the Citizen's Advisory Committee. Citizens can bring unusable furniture, appliances, etc., to the Monroe County Fairgrounds, Gate #3, off Airport Road.

Usable furniture and working appliances don't belong in the trash. However, to ensure that any usable bulky items do not end up in the landfill, the District's Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) will have some reuse agencies there to divert the usable material as they did last year. This additional service on Bulky Item Days, added last fall, was very successful at diverting usable materials from the landfill.

July 24, 2009

A new drop-off system for glass will affect rural customers of the Monroe County Solid Waste Management District (District). For years the District has collected mixed colored glass in one bin. However, to improve its revenue stream and economize, the District is now having customers place clear glass bottles in one half of the bin and colored glass (brown, green, and blue) bottles in the other half. Signs are prominently posted.

The sorting change only affects rural sites: Oard Road, Dillman Road, New Unionville and Ellettsville. Central Recycling already has a sorting system in place. The District is asking the assistance of customers to implement this change successfully and reminds them to rinse and clean the containers.

June 28, 2009

Patriotism and Recycling? Do they go together? The Monroe County Solid Waste Management District (District) says they do. In the summer we are outside more, picnicking, boating, fishing, hiking, swimming or just enjoying our yards. However, summer is also a time when, in addition to the 4th of July holiday, we think about what patriotism means.

Are you patriotic? Do you show love and loyal support of the United States or whatever country you are from by taking care of the earth? Proper earth care is part of being patriotic, and it is part of being a good citizen. However, being patriotic goes beyond voting and flying a flag on your home or car. The District can help you put patriotism into action by helping you reduce waste.

There are simple, practical ways to reduce waste and global warming emissions by knowing what's in your trash. Know that if you don't take that extra moment to examine what you are really purchasing, take the extra time to put the right things in your trash, the trash all comes back to you.

May 27, 2009

It's graduation time, and students from colleges and universities around the world are pledging to make a living while making a difference in helping our world be green and sustainable. Nearly 150 colleges and universities around the world are participating in the Graduation Pledge Alliance (GPA), which is a pledge of social and environmental responsibility that originated at Humboldt State University in California.

The Monroe County Solid Waste Management District (District) is talking with Indiana University (IU) to see if IU will adopt the pledge. The challenge for graduates is to not just get a job but to get one that makes a difference. Today, there are jobs that fit the Pledge that our parents never heard of. One can be a carbon trader, an urban forester, or a sustainability director. New industries and occupations are emerging because of new opportunities, tools, needs, scope and markets/populations.

The following are job tips for a green world so that people of all ages can affirm the Pledge.

May 3, 2009

The weather's just right, nature is watering everything, and it's a great time to plant trees! The Monroe County Solid Waste Management District (District) this year distributed around 250 seedlings from 16 tree species to Monroe County residents in honor of Earth Day and Arbor Day.

The free Tree Seedling distribution is sponsored every year by the District in collaboration with the Indiana Division of Forestry. The event not only beautifies Monroe County but reminds the public to plant trees and protect natural resources like trees by reusing and recycling paper. Some who received tree seedlings didn't have many trees around their houses, others had forests, but it seemed that the majority believed you can never have too many trees.

Many had tree stories to tell, and if trees could talk, they would have a lot to tell as well!

April 12, 2009

Earth Day every day!

Celebrate Earth Day April 22, Arbor Day April 24, and every day, by thinking earth every day. Sustain the world by taking green actions such as reducing waste, reusing what you can, and recycling.

Those who Stop by April 22 at the Central Recycling and Reuse Facility of the Monroe County Solid Waste Management District (District) will receive a free tree seedling and some colorful advice along the way! The seedlings will be available starting on the 21, while supplies last.

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