Tuesday, August 31, 2010
If Edmontonians could cut their waste to that degree, I guess the EWMB would only drive trucks one week per year! The closest I’ve seen to this was a 2009 Edmonton Journal clipping (that I saved for my Simplicity Circles) about a family trying a “garbage challenge” -- to get through a week without making more than one bag of garbage. I managed to find a link:
Note from Mark,
Thanks Maria! It is interesting to compare these stories. I am a bit miffed about how much the Edmontonian thinks can't be composted, and could scream when she uses the toilet as a garbage can. However her honest and accessible article has probably caused many residents to reflect on the issues and has had far-reaching effects. Maybe we could make her an honourary MC/R!
Our Reuse Directory doesn't recognise 'snake' as a keyword, but did bring up a variety of outlets for 'boa', none of which were costume shops.
Could this be called Eee!-waste?
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
It was a particular interest to see the various composting systems that were being used by each garden. Many Master Composters team up with a local community garden to mentor and maintain the compost bins, so perhaps this will strike your interest and get you out to the community garden in your neighbourhood!
Peace Garden Park
The first garden we toured was in Oliver, called Peace Garden Park. It is a very new garden (opened July 2009) and so it does not have a compost bin set up yet. A community member designed this one for Peace Garden Park, which they plan on building this September:
I'm not quite sure why there are two separate bins but presumably the bins would all line up and the two outer bins could be holding units, while the two inner bins have a mix of greens and browns. I guess we'll have to wait and see!
The Queen Community Garden, www.thequeen.shorturl.com/
After a short bike ride north, we arrived at the Queen Mary neighbourhood garden. Also a new garden, they have a rather small compost bin for the volume of organic waste that they probably make. They, too, are planning on building a larger bin system.
Boyle Street Community Garden
A few blocks east and we arrive at the huge garden beside the firehall on 103A Ave and 96 St. The Boyle Street garden is one of the oldest gardens in the city, starting up in 1984! Our tour host, Bill, mentioned that there has been a decline in composting enthusiasm at the garden and the bins have been inactive for this year. He said that they would be good to start a composting committee which would actively turn and water the compost material as required.
The Boyle Street garden is in its final year of harvest at this location. With a redevelopment plan known as the Boyle Renaissance, the city is going to build a new community hall and apartments on the land where the garden currently sits. The garden will be relocated one block north to land that is currently a gravel parking lot. I was pretty sad to hear this since the Boyle Street garden has worked for so many years to make the soil healthy and alive! I suppose they will need a lot of compost at their future site.
Our Urban Eden
We biked south from Boyle Street, down into Louise McKinney Park, and west to the bottom of Bellamy Hill Road. Our Urban Eden is another established community garden. Due to high pedestrian traffic and almost daily cases of illegal dumping, they decided to remove their compost bins. Too many improper materials were being put in the bins, despite very clear
signage and education efforts. Maybe they'll try again some day...
After crossing the High Level Bridge to the south side of the river, we followed Saskatchewan Drive east for a bit then dipped south to the the street car tracks on 105 St. The Strathcona Rail community garden officially started in 2009, but had been a garden site for some 7 or 8 private lease holders since the early 1980s. With lots of old wood lying around, the gardeners had supplies to build a few different compost bins.
The site is very large and the gardeners seem keen to capture all the organic waste and put it to good use. They have a composting committee which seems to help them keep up with their composting duties.
U of A ECOS Community Garden,
This garden is open to the community but organized by a summer staff of the Environmental Coordination Office of Students (ECOS). This garden has a mix of new and experienced gardeners and composters. In fall of 2008, they received materials from the Strathcona Home Depot to build a fine 4 bin composting system as well as a holding area for browns.
All bins are open to the public and garden encourages nearby residents to bring their organic waste to the community garden for composting. The signage has been essential for keeping unwanted materials out of the bins. They didn't report any problems with the compost bins so far, and they really like the browns storage bin! What a great idea.
University Farm Organic Growers, http://www.ufog.ca/
The biggest and best composting system of the cycling tour was at the University farm. There are two community gardens that operate at the University farm: UFOG and the Green & Gold community garden. I wasn't quite clear whether these two gardens send their compost to theUniversity Farm composting facility (which mostly processes animal manure from the various farm facilities) or if they compost it on site. I din't see compost bins at the gardens, so I assume they send it to the facility. We biked by the University composting facility.
I learned that the University main campus does not send its organic waste to this little composting facility, but rather sends all the food waste from all the kitchens on campus, paper towel from the washrooms, and yard waste from the University landscaping crews at the Edmonton Waste Management Centre composting facility. More info here.
Some ideas from the tour about how Master Composters could help a community garden:
- There are many new gardens that have yet to build their composting system. Contact the garden coordinator to see if they would like a composting workshop to start them off on the right foot.
- Provide new gardens with the construction plans for a compost bin that will suit the volume of organic waste that they will have.
- Offer to have weekly or monthly compost 'check up' nights where you can offer some solutions to the gardeners' questions. Do this for one full season so that you are able to talk to many gardeners over the course of the growing season.
- Recommend that gardens have a committee for maintaining the compost bin: turning it and watering it as needed. This does not generally get done if it is left to 'everyone' to do it.
- Engage the nearby residents and possibly some local cafes or restaurants. Teach them how to add their organic waste to the community garden bin.
- Have a Compost Party in the fall and spread the new compost on the plots! Get kids invovled by having them do some screening or making small packets of compost for compost tea.
Friday, August 20, 2010
Saturday is the exciting Canadian Derby at Northlands Park, which includes the second annual Edmonton Mascot Race. You guessed right, we will be a part of it!
Michael Recycle will be running to be the fastest mascot in Edmonton! Michael and Laura would love to have some 3R fans in the crowd to wave our flags and cheer them on.
If you have never been to the Derby, it is an exciting day full of fashion, fun, and excitement! Admission and parking are free. There is a $2 breakfast, a fancy hat parade, a kids tent, prizes, and of course the derby, all happening Saturday, August 21, 2010 from 12:30-2:00pm.
See you there!
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Friday, August 13, 2010
two tickets to lunch with
You get lunch at the Westin, Yum.
You get to listen to a Nobel Peace Prize nominee speak about the challenges of climate change and its impacts on her home in Canada's North.
You get to take a friend.
How great is that?
Four years ago on National Public Radio, Ms. Watt-Cloutier said:
Thursday, August 12, 2010
"We hope you will join us on August 15th at the Richfield Community Garden from 2:00pm – 3:00pm. We anticipate attendance will be about 20 people; providing a wonderful opportunity to have an informal conversation with Ron, acknowledge his contributions, and hear his thoughts about the future for Edmonton."
If you wish to make a donation in honour of Ron, you may do so on line at http://www.city-farm.org and click on CanadaHelps. Your donation will support their growing initiatives.
Please rsvp by August 10th. For those of you who purchased event tickets, you will be reimbursed. Cheques will be mailed in early September.
Thank you for your support.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
WHICH RESTAURANTS IN EDMONTON ARE RECYCLING CHAMPIONS? Please tell us your favourites in the comments section. All comments in August are entered to win a prize, which will be announced on Friday. Value $100!
Friday, August 6, 2010
Save the date! You will certainly want to be a part of all the fun.
Here are some memories from the June event...
WOW! What a great day! Thanks to all of you who came out and helped educate, entertain, and enlighten over one thousand guests.
With a lot of energy and enthusiasm from a great group of people who gave up their Saturday for us, we had most shifts covered and everything went off smoothly.
For many staff, it was their first opportunity to work along side the volunteers, and they were impressed by your knowledge, goodwill, and caring attention.
Waste Branch Volunteers are the Best in the City!
Enjoy these images from our Open House...
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Luncheon & Presentation
“Everything is Connected”
Noon – 1:30 p.m. at The Westin Edmonton
10135 - 100 Street (Doors open at 11:30 a.m.)
With a focus on solutions, Watt-Cloutier brings us to the realities of the Arctic, where Inuit today face profound challenges to their environment, their economy, their health and their cultural well-being. The challenges they face are clearly connected to the industries we support, the disposable world we have become, and the non-sustaining policies we create.
Because her Inuit culture faces the most extreme challenges of globalization, Watt-Cloutier speaks from firsthand experience -- and couples that with her extensive experiences as a global leader.
Available at TIX on the Square:
780-420-1757 or at: www.tixonthesquare.ca