Solid waste show-and-tell
Encouraging residents to recycle and better manage their solid waste is an ongoing challenge, but Leon County, Fla., tried to make it fun in May by inviting people to see for themselves what happens to their household waste once it leaves the curb. The county organized its first-ever Solid Waste Spectacular, Expo & Open House on May 30 at its Solid Waste Management Facility, giving residents an inside look at Leon County’s waste processing and conservation efforts.
Residents could tour the facility, meet staff, see exhibits and demonstrations, listen to lectures, and enjoy food and entertainment. Each visitor received a game card with a checklist of waste stations, including the Household Hazardous Waste Center, the landfill, the Transfer Station and the Electronics Recycling Center. The card also served as a raffle ticket for an Earth Machine compost bin and as a lunch ticket. Lunch included several dishes made of chicken, which produces 69 percent fewer greenhouse gases to process than red meat, and was served on biodegradable plates, cups and flatware made from U.S.-grown corn.
Vendors attended to showcase their wares, including handbags made from yarn and tires, recycled plastic bags, floor tiles and countertop material made of recycled glass, and water hoses made from recycled tires. Event organizers also encouraged residents to bring their old electronics, Styrofoam, paint, and fluorescent lamps to be recycled, and free mulch was given away. Hundreds of residents attended the three-hour event, which cost under $2,200 to produce.