Thursday, January 21, 2010

Explore The Cycle Video

A friend recently sent me this link to Explore the Cycle. Check it out!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Yi Visits: PDX, Far West Fibers, Free Geek

A few months ago, I got an email from a Wellesley student, Yi, who was applying for a fellowship to study zero waste around the world (like mine, only a Watson). Since then, we've kept in touch. Yi took advantage of the holiday break to come visit Portland for a few days.

DAY 1: I picked Yi up from the train station...on our tandem. The trailer had a flat tire. Luckily, Yi was traveling light with one little shoulder bag. There is no better way to experience Portland than by bike. We pedaled through the neighborhoods. (I was secretly proud of using the 15mm wrench to change out the pedals, and using the other tool to change the seat heights. I don't usually deal with this stuff, but Gene is in Antarctica, and it was a crisp, clear day. Forget girl power; we wanted gear power!)

DAY 2 (morning): We toured Portland International Airport's Waste Minimization and Recycling Program with Stan and Mitch. The established programs are humming: pre- and post-consumer food waste diversion; recycling of glass, cardboard, paper, metal, plastic; liquid collection station; spring and fall cleanups; the list goes on.

In addition, the recycling team expanded the "Save Our Supplies" program in anticipation of an office move. Through diligence and hard work, the Port of Portland is reusing tons of paper clips, binders, notepads, and office supplies.

Finally, on our way out of the parking lot, we saw the new recycling bins in the bus shelters. This was particularly exciting for me because I did some research and evaluation on recycling at PDX bus shelters in September 2009. My recommendations in fruition: PDX retro-fitted Clearstream containers with strong signage and stapled them into the concrete. They looked great.

DAY 2 (afternoon): We dropped off plastic clam shells at the Far West Fibers in SE Portland. I dug (not literally) the vermicomposting bin. It must have been too cold for the worms, because I didn't see a single wriggler.

DAY 3 (morning): We toured Free Geek, an organization with a mission "to recycle technology and provide access to computers, the internet, education and job skills in exchange for community service." Through the program at Free Geek, folks can volunteer for 24 hours in exchange for a computer. It seemed really well organized; I was impressed.

DAY 3 (afternoon): I drop Yi off at the train station (via car).

Thanks for the visit, Yi! It's always fun to exchange ideas and information with other solid waste enthusiasts.