Category Archives: Prevention

Educational & Informational Presentations


The Recycling Program staff of the City of Fresno is pleased to offer the opportunity to schedule a presentation or participate in a community outreach event, located within the city of Fresno, for your students or members of your service organization. To make arrangements, please click here or call the Recycling Hotline at 621-1111. Click the image to the left to visit our “Grow up Green” website where you can see a short video of a recycling presentation.

 

Schools

Recycling presentations are available to pre-k, elementary, middle schools, high schools and colleges, within the City of Fresno. Interactive and entertaining presentations cover information on recycling, resource conservation, and protection of the environment. Students will learn about the importance of recycling programs available to them in Fresno. Our staff is happy to work with you to relate the information and materials covered in your curriculum.

Each presentation takes between 45 minutes to an hour or can be tailored to meet your needs. Handouts, videos and visual aides reinforce the information. There is no fee and all handouts are free.

The program is funded by the City of Fresno and various state grants and focuses on the following areas of recycling:

Community Service Organizations

Recycling Program staff are available to make presentations to community service organizations within the city of Fresno. Topics include recycling, resources conservation, and protection of the environment. To schedule a presentation, please click here or call the Recycling Hotline at 621-1111.

Community and School Events

As part of our goal to educate the residents of the City of Fresno about recycling and protecting our natural resources, Recycling Program staff are available to participate in events, within the city of Fresno, that promote environmental awareness. They are also available to attend community-wide school events such as science fairs, career days and Earth Day events located within the city of Fresno. For more information, or to schedule a presentation or event, please click here or call the Recycling Hotline at 621-1111.

Additional Resources and Supplemental Materials

Educational Packets – includes information on Solid Waste and Recycling services and opportunities throughout the City of Fresno.

“Closing the Loop” Curriculum (grades K – 6) – provides current and accurate waste management information. Enables students to get involved with hands-on action-oriented projects. (Available online at www.CalRecycle.gov).

“A Child’s Place in the Environment” Curriculum (grades 1 – 6) – provides teachers with an environmental education program that encourages students to become environmentally aware and active. (Available online at www.ACPE.Lake.K12.ca.us)

“Teens for Planet Earth” Website (grades 9 – 12) – provides teens and adults who work with with teens, resources to carry out environmental service-learning projects in their community. (Available online at: www.teens4planetearth.com)

For more recycling information and links to games, click here to go to our “Kid’s Pages

To contact the City of Fresno Recycling Program, please click here or call 621-1111.

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Earth Day – April 22, 2013

What do people do

The April 22 Earth Day is usually celebrated with outdoor performances, where individuals or groups perform acts of service to earth. Typical ways of observing Earth Day include planting trees, picking up roadside trash, conducting various programs for recycling and conservation, using recyclable containers for snacks and lunches. Some people are encouraged to sign petitions to governments, calling for stronger or immediate action to stop global warming and to reverse environmental destruction.  Television stations frequently air programs dealing with environmental issues.

earthday

Public Life

Earth Day is not a public holiday and public life, with regard to transport schedules and opening hours for schools and businesses, is not affected.

Background

The April 22 Earth Day, founded by Senator Gaylord Nelson, was first organized in 1970 to promote ecology and respect for life on the planet as well as to encourage awareness of the growing problems of air, water and soil pollution.

Some people prefer to observe Earth Day around the time of the March equinox. In 1978, American anthropologist Margaret Mead added her support for the equinox Earth Day, founded by John McConnell. She stated that the selection of the March Equinox for Earth Day made planetary observance of a shared event possible.

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Symbols

Symbols used by people to describe Earth Day include: an image or drawing of planet earth; a tree, a flower or leaves depicting growth; or the recycling symbol. Colors used for Earth Day include natural colors such as green, brown or blue.

The “Earth Flag”, which was designed by John McConnell, has been described as a “flag for all people”. It features a two-sided dye printed image of the Earth from space on a dark blue field, made from recyclable, weather-resistant polyester. Margaret Mead believed that a flag that showed the earth as seen from space was appropriate.

 

 

Try Grasscycling or Composting

What is Grasscycling?
Grasscycling is the natural recycling of grass by leaving the clippings on the lawn when mowing. Grass clippings decompose quickly and release valuable nutrients back into your lawn. It’s simple, and it works! Grass clippings make up a big part of California’s waste during the growing season. To keep these out of the waste stream, try grasscycling!
Grasscycling provides free fertilizer and helps make lawns greener and healthier. Grasscycling reduces turf grass fertilizer and water requirements, which can reduce the toxic runoff that enters storm drains and pollutes creeks and rivers. Grasscycling reduces mowing time too since it eliminates the need to bag and dispose of clippings.
Grasscycling also reduces the amount of yard waste disposed in landfills. Lawns can generate 300 pounds of grass clippings per 1000 square feet annually. For more information on grasscycling from the California Integrated Waste Management Board, visit www.ciwmb.ca.gov.

grasscycle-pic

Backyard Composting
Backyard composting is nature’s way of recycling. Composting is fun, easy and educational. Decomposed organic material such as leaves, grass clippings, twigs, fruit and vegetables make a great soil conditioner. Compost made from leaves and yard trimmings is great for your landscaping. To learn more about composting, visit www.ciwmb.ca.gov. or the “Master Gardener’s of Fresno County” website.

Information & Fun for Kids


Play the Fresno Recycles Game
from http://www.fresno.govClick on the images below to learn more about recycling.

 

Aluminum

Plastic

Glass

Bi-Metal

Paper

If you want to learn more about recycling, go to these kid friendly pages and play the numerous games available.

Kids Pages
Recycle Rex
Clean Sweep U.S.A
EPA Planet Protector’s Club
EPA Recycle City
Kids Recycle
How is Paper Recycled?
The Imagination Factory’s Trash Matcher– Ways to Reuse Garbage Before Throwing it Away
Eek! Recycling and Beyond
Waste No Words– Crossword Puzzle
Earth 911 Kids

What is Recyclable?

Reduce – Buy wisely and buy less. Reduce the amount of products you buy.
Reuse – Give your recyclable items a second chance. Reuse whatever you can and donate good used items to a church or favorite charity.
Recycle – Buy products that are recycled or that can be recycled. Recycle everything you can.

* All Paper
Including books, junk mail, envelopes, newspaper, inserts, telephone books, magazines, catalogs, flattened paper milk cartons, juice boxes, office paper including computer, copy & ledger paper, construction paper & manila folders, paper bags and packaging.

* All Cardboard

Including flattened cereal & other dry food boxes.
* All Plastic (except Styrofoam)
click here for more info on plastic
Including milk & juice containers, shrink & bubble wrap,
plastic grocery bags, & plastic toys.
“Please empty and remove caps”

* ALL Metal

Including aluminum cans, tin/steel cans,
empty paint & aerosol cans, lawn chair frames, metal frames, all steel items (remember all items must fit loosely in your cart).

* Small Appliances

Including transistor radios, blow-dryers, curling irons,
small microwave ovens, coffee pots, toaster ovens, small power tools (batteries removed).

* Glass (empty)
Including all container glass, jars, and bottles.
“No sheet glass, windows, ceramic glass, or mirrors.”

These items do not go in the recycling area.

* Trash, diapers, rubber hoses, carpets, clothing, styrofoam, soiled paper

* Yard clippings, fruit (place in your green cart)

* Motor oil / filters (please see the Used Motor Oil page for more information on Recycling)

* Tires (see Code Enforcement), auto and household batteries (See Household Hazardous Waste)

* Toxic materials (See Household Hazardous Waste above)

Please visit our 
Contamination page for more information.

 

Check Us Out in Cabin Life!

Whether you own a cabin, cottage, lakehome or lodge, or you just dream of owning one, Cabin Life magazine captures the essence of the vacation-home lifestyle – escape and reconnection.

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Launched in 2001, Cabin Life enjoys rapid growth and strong reader loyalty. Cabin Life is unique because it is both a home and lifestyle publication, and also because it appeals to everyone — young and old, male and female, owners and dreamers.

Trash Knight is currently advertising in Cabin Life.

 

Single people aren’t as good at recycling as couples are

What do you think? Are you single or in a couple…and does it effect your recycling habits?

Grist

Single people often face a stigma: The coupled-up among us just can’t figure out how anyone could live a full and accomplished life without a partner. And in most cases, this stigma is totally ridiculous and unjustified. Apparently not for recycling, though. In Britain, at least, single people just aren’t as good at it.

According to the Guardian, while 79 percent of mixed-sex couples recycle, only 65 percent of single people do. And the worst of the worst were single men, only 58 percent of whom could be bothered with the small task of putting paper, plastic, and metal products in a separate bin from their rotting food. 

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Protecting Wildlife from Trash

 

By Roberta C. Barbalace

Many solid waste companies and municipal landfills have the situation well in hand; do you?

Birds, mammals, and reptiles can be injured or killed by the trash we throw away. The magnitude of the problem is growing every day, especially because some types of litter do not readily disintegrate and therefore remain in the environment as a threat for decades. To help protect wildlife and natural habitats, local cleanup campaigns and recycling plans are now being implemented.

For more information about the Trash Knight system, please visit our website at www.trashknight.com.

The Litter Problem

The amount of litter that ends up spoiling the beauty of the natural environment is not surprising considering the amount of waste we produce. Glass bottles, plastic packaging, tin cans, newspaper, cardboard, and other types of garbage litter urban and rural landscapes everywhere. According to Wildlife Fact File, about 160 million tons of trash is thrown away every year in the U.S. or approximately three and a half pounds per person each day. Paper products alone account for over 40 percent of this garbage. Sometimes the wind blows trash from overloaded garbage cans and litters the environment. Naturally litter can last for a long time depending on the disintegration of the garbage. For example aluminum cans do not disintegrate, and some plastics take decades to break down.

How Litter Threatens Wildlife

Litter can be very harmful to wildlife. Discarded fishing lines can trap the legs, wings, or neck of waterfowl such as swans or moorhens. A fishhook may get stuck in a bird’s throat. Water birds suffer lead poisoning when they accidentally swallow small lead fishing weights. Broken glass can cut the feet of foxes, coyotes, or badgers, and unbroken bottles present a hazard to various small animals. Lizards often crawl inside bottles or cans to bask warm interior, to seek protection or search for food; but they may find it difficult to squeeze out again and can die of overheating. Small mammals in search of food often get their heads caught in the openings of jars. Replacing lids on bottles and jars before discarding can help prevent animals from becoming entrapped. Birds, fish, and mammals may be ensnared by plastic six-pack holders. This can be prevented this by cutting up the plastic rings so that they do not become traps.

Animals That Use Litter

Litter may appear to be helpful to wildlife. At night in some urban areas, foxes look for garbage on the streets. Often they feed on chicken bones, pieces of hamburger, and other leftovers from fast-food meals. During the day pigeons take over from foxes, these birds often flap around a food-laden garbage can of peck crumbs on the pavement. Gulls are well-known scavengers. These birds have greatly increased their number by feeding on thrown-away food. Inland, they gather in flocks over garbage dumps, where they eat even the filthiest scraps.

Human food is not necessarily good for wild animals. Deer, for instance, love bread and sweets. These purified grain products may form gummy masses in the stomachs of ruminants and interfere with digestion. Deer may actually die from ingesting too much food with a flour base. Discarded food can also become contaminated with microorganisms that cause food poisoning. More likely, however, the wild animals will become accustomed to free handouts and be unprepared to hunt for themselves if the source of human food is cut off.

How the Waste Industry is Protecting Animals

There was a time when many animals fell victims to discarded trash in municipal dumps. In addition to the waste itself, wildlife was threatened by heavy equipment workers who did not understand how their actions could threaten a fragile ecosystem. Animals were often struck by trucks or crushed by heavy machinery. Some became entrapped in trenches, open pits or pipes. While dumps still exist in some remote locations, most are being replaced by sanitary landfills.

The evolution of sanitary and secure landfills was accompanied by environmental planning that provided protection for wildlife and guaranteed that the land would be reclaimed for future wildlife inhabitants. Some methods of protection seem to be standard procedures at most landfills and many facilities have some pet project designed to provide for the safety and continued survival of some special creature.

Butterfield Station in Phoenix, Arizona serves as a good example of what precautions are normally taken at Waste Management Inc. (WMI) owned and operated landfills. The landfill is securely fenced to exclude many animals. Strict speed limits are enforced to protect animals from being hit. At the close of every day, all refuse is covered with a six inch covering of soil to keep animals from being injured by the debris. All truck beds and other such containers are covered with tarps to keep animals out. Domestic animals are not permitted in the landfill. Any escaped debris is collected from roadways and along the perimeter of the landfill on an on-going basis. Small waste containers are provided with animal proof lids to keep wild animals from getting to the waste. Many Waste Management facilities provide special roll-off containers for small towns and villages to use during community clean-up events.

It is common for landfills to have pet projects to protect individual species that are of particular concern. Kirby Canyon Recycling and Disposal Facility in Morgan Hill, CA with help from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, City of San Jose, researchers from Stanford University and consulting biologists have embarked upon a conservation plan to increase and maintain the population of the endangered Bay Checkerspot Butterfly. Approximately two hundred and fifty acres have been set aside for the checkerspot, which was nearing extinction in 1985. The Kirby Canyon Conservation Agreement, which celebrated its 10th anniversary in 1996, provides for: the setting aside of land; establishment of a trust fund for studies of the butterfly; management of cattle grazing to ensure appropriate balance of plant resources; habitat restoration and enhancement; and ongoing scientific monitoring of the Bay Checkerspot population. In addition, Kirby Canyon has set aside marshland for the preservation of the endangered Red Legged Frog.

Altamont Landfill and Resource Recovery Facility in Livermore, CA has implemented a special program to protect the endangered San Joaquin Kit Fox. The protection program includes many projects to protect the San Joaquin Kit Fox. Exclusion zones are placed around dens. Limited disturbance of areas adjacent to construction and storage areas must be maintained. Escape ramps are constructed in all holes or trenches greater than 2 feet deep, and sides must have a slope no greater than 45 degrees. Pipes with a diameter of four inches or greater must be inspected for kit foxes before being buried, capped or moved. Vehicles observe a 20 M.P.H. speed limit except on county, state or federal roads. Staff and visitors are instructed not to harass any Kit Fox or other unidentified fox in the vicinity of the landfill. Feeding of wildlife is not permitted. Off road traffic is prohibited. General precautions that are followed at all landfills are observed at Altamont.

The Kettleman Hills Facility in Kettleman City, CA also has protection programs for the San Joaquin Kit Fox, Giant Kangaroo Rat, the Blunt Nosed Leopard Lizard, the San Joaquin Antelope Squirrel, and two state species of concern, the Burrowing Owls and badgers.

Landfills have made great strides in protecting wildlife. But everybody must become involved in protecting wildlife from household waste. Recycling reduces the litter problem. Improvements in package construction can reduce unnecessary waste and make them less harmful to wildlife. Proper disposal methods can help to keep litter that we accumulate from becoming a death trap to wild animals. If people learn to respect the environment and are aware of the threat trash poses to wildlife, they will be less likely to litter.

What You Can Do!

There are many things that your clubs, science classes and families can do to help protect animals from being injured by trash. Below are some ideas.

  1. Look at the products your family uses. Is there a lot of extra packaging that is not needed? Tell the company by letter, phone or e-mail. They have offices set up to handle such concerns. Don’t buy from companies who refuse to reduce unnecessary packaging.
  2. Check the trash that your family discards. Does your trash get placed in an animal proof container? That will help protect animals. It is still wise to check each item that you discard. What packages could injure animals? Cut up or tie plastic bags and six pack holders into knots to prevent injury to small animals. Remove can tops completely. Seal food in leak proof bags. Put lids on bottles and jars, or plug holes before disposing of them.
  3. Get involved with community cleanup projects such as Earth Day
  4. Better yet, make community clean up a routine. If you see trash in a field or along a road, pick it up (wear gloves or some other hand protection).
  5. Teach others about the need for protecting animals from trash.

 

Trash & Wildlife

Trash and Animals

Knowing the potential impact of trash on wildlife can save an animal’s life.  Did you know that …

Bird Paw  An animal can experience a fatal blockage if he swallows packaging material while attempting to eat the residue off of it?

  An animal’s head can get stuck inside certain plastic and glass containers causing suffocation or overheating?  In particular, certain yogurt containers that are narrower at the top and wider at the bottom are especially dangerous for animals.

Bird Paw  Six-pack beverage rings can get stuck around an animal’s nose, mouth and neck, blocking off her means of breathing, eating, drinking and self defense?

  Broken glass and sharp edges on cans can cut an animal’s paws and mouth as he attempts to eat food residue off of them?

To help keep animals safe, the MSPCA encourages you to use the following checklist when putting out trash:

checkmark  Rinse all of your recyclables to remove residue and odors.

checkmark  Put lids back on containers tightly. If the lids have been misplaced, crush the containers.

checkmark  Use a can opener that opens cans beneath the lip of the lids, leaving only smooth edges on the cans and lids.  Make sure to completely separate lids from cans.

checkmark  Cut up all six-pack beverage holders and other similar packaging so that there are no closed rings.

checkmark  Use critter-proof trash containers. Click here to be directed to our Trash Knight resources and links page for ordering information.

checkmark  Recycle all plastic bags at your local grocery store. Don’t put plastic bags in the trash.

checkmark  Cut fishing line up into small pieces or tie it into a secure bundle so that it cannot be unwound.

checkmark  Switch to brands that have less packaging and buy food in bulk to avoid creating excess trash.

checkmark  Spread the word!  Teach your kids, friends, and family to do the same!

TIPS TO ASSIST BUSINESSES IN ELIMINATING LITTER

Trash Knight Containers

  • Place an adequate number of trash containers in parking lots as well as inside and outside of all building entrances.
  • Establish a regular schedule for emptying trash containers. Avoid having trash emptied on an ‘as needed’ basis.
  • This will prevent trash overflows.
  • Replace broken, dirty or damaged containers.
  • Use only covered trash containers to eliminate trash from spilling or blowing out.

Employees

  • Establish the expectation that employees will pick up trash anywhere in or around your place of business. Let them know that it is not acceptable to walk past litter.
  • Removed trapped litter from fence lines on a regularly scheduled basis.
  • Establish smoking areas with appropriate ash receptacles for employees and customers.

Dumpsters

  • Place only tied bags of trash in outdoor dumpsters. This greatly decreases loose trash from blowing out of the dumpster during collection.
  • Call the city’s Solid Waste Department when your dumpster is near to overflowing, or if your current level of service is not sufficient. Change or increase scheduled pickups, if necessary.
  • Enclose dumpsters with fences or walls to minimize the amount of trash that will blow to other areas of your business or onto city streets and rights-of-way. Remove trash from the enclosure area regularly.

Policies

Commit to reducing loose trash from company vehicles by:

  • Requiring tarps on any vehicles transporting materials.
  • Requiring tightly sealed containers to transport materials that are not covered by tarps.
  • Instructing drivers to pick up any materials that have fallen off of their load.
  • Instructing drivers to discard cigarette butts in vehicle ashtrays.
  • Adding trash bags to company vehicles.

From Keep America Beautiful. For more information about eliminating litter, proper litter disposal or to learn more about our Trash Knight garbage system, please visit www.trashknight.com.

 

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