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Recycling Options in Walker County Alabama

December 8, 2014

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo often it’s easy on the internet to think beyond our home area. Add to that, the idea that livestock or things from somewhere else are more valued. There are those who sell rabbits, cattle, horses all over the US but don’t sell many close to home. It makes community programs difficult, and yet we serve those in the community and beyond.

When we think about waste, it’s definitely, it seems, a local problem to put somewhere else. We throw things “away” – where does away go? Those broken pieces of things that aren’t good for anything, the trash that is sent out in bags every week in suburbs across America – it all goes somewhere. There are landfills that bury it, or incinerators burn it. Both have bad points.

It’s hard to imagine, then, not reusing things and keeping as much as possible out of the landfills. Some call it “green” options, others just call it common sense. It’s discouraging that so much is prevented with regulations. Consider this: “Food discards alone make up 6.7 percent of the weight of the entire U.S. municipal solid waste stream. It is also estimated that 4 percent to 10 percent of food is discarded by restaurants before it even reaches diners’ plates.”

Three years ago USA Today said: ““It’s the same waste we were putting in a dumpster,” says Egelston. “It just goes in a different color bin. We’ve reduced our waste stream so dramatically we renegotiated our trash pickup and that offset all of the costs of the compost program. And our customers really appreciate it and that’s good for business. It’s not just this woolly-headed, tree-hugging idea. There’s a practical use to this.”

According to the EPA – “Recycling and composting prevented 86.6 million tons of material away from being disposed in 2012, up from 15 million tons in 1980.”

Here in Walker and Winston counties in Alabama, where restaurants abound and grocery produce is fresh or tossed, the food waste goes “away”. Recycling by farm programs to compost it or feed vegetable waste to chickens or pigs is not an option, citing regulations. Note that USA Today article is from April 2011! Come on Alabama!

It’s easy to blame restaurants for being wasteful, but what about copious amounts of leaves, yard waste and other items that is left on the roadside to be hauled “away”? It could serve a purpose besides the landfill.

Of course many things don’t compost down. We are working on a bucket program to reuse buckets and tubs from the community. Perhaps it has a break in the bottom or side, or there’s nothing wrong with it but it’s in the way? What do you do? Contact SlowMoneyFarm. Between now and spring we’re looking for a quantity of buckets, which we could purchase new from Home Depot if we had about $2,500 to do so, which we don’t as there is many other places the funds is needed badly (and I have seeds to order!). The point here is to keep those out of the landfill by giving them another life.

Many have odd assorted building materials which also can be recycled.

Green isn’t just a color or something for everywhere else to do. There are options here in Walker county, Alabama and I’m hoping some will use them. We’re going beyond the ice bucket challenge to an empty bucket for food campaign. Join us!

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