Tuesday, November 30, 2010
The Alberta Hotel came down in the 80's to make way for Canada Place, and Gene Dub is building a new hotel using pieces of the original. The site is just west of its original location on 98 St and Jasper Ave.
Read the Journal and Gazette for the full story.
Too bad we didn't have a Reuse Centre back in the 70's, so more of the old buildings could have been dropped off for reuse. I imagine Renée would direct them to Fort Edmonton Park (as long as weren't dropped off before opening, then Karen would have to load it in and weigh it, etc.). Still, you never know what you will find in the Odds 'N Ends section.
thanks to Craig S-A for passing this on.
Monday, November 29, 2010
This is the best video I could find to highlight concerns around W2E - unfortunately the last minutes are lost. There is a lot more information out there if you want to explore.
So, I hope that while you were watching that video you picked up on the main difference between London and Edmonton - we have addressed Recycling (Blue Box, then Blue Bags and Depots, then MF Blue Bins), Reduce (MC/R Program and home Composting), and now Reuse (Garbage Fairs, Reuse Centre, etc.) FIRST!
Edmontonians have grown into a system where W2E is a logical end to material that gets past our 3R based waste system. Hopefully, in time we will stop producing materials that are not completely recyclable (but that is another issue).
Aside from that, I still have a few things to learn about our new facility. I believe that high temperatures without the addition of oxygen for combustion results in a cleaner process. Folks down wind can rest assured that we have a top-of-the-line facility planned, and it is NOT an incinerator.
Friday, November 26, 2010
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
The panel discussion and networking will take place from 10:30AM – 1:00PM in Conference Rooms AB – 6th Floor at the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce and includes light lunch and refreshments.
Theresa Howland, VP Western Region, Bullfrog Power
Vivian Manasc – Principal, Manasc Isaac Architects
Ross McEwan – Managing Director, ION Print Solutions
Lorne Lopatka – Manager of Operations and Sustainability, NorQuest College
Laura Franceschini – Sustainability Consultant, Stantec
If you would like to join us, please note that you have until Monday, November 22 to RSVP.
Event is complimentary
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
thanks to Anna V for passing this on.
Friday, November 19, 2010
Click the white daisy to learn about the animals, and the orange calendula for a video of how they doo it.
Fun for the whole family!
Does Garbage + Compost = Highway??
Are we ready for Solar Highways?
Thursday, November 18, 2010
of course, I was thrilled, but wondered if the parents were happy having their convenience curtailed in this way. When I left the school at recess to get some supplies from my car I spoke to a woman in her SUV outside about idling and she told me it was to keep her infant warm. Fair enough, except when I left the school more than a half hour later she was still sitting there.
MacArthur needs a few of these:
I have already sent in my request for a deposit on large items, like couches, chairs, and especially mattresses.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Greys will sort the material and keep the items made mostly from cotton for its paper manufacturing. Other items will be provided to local charities.
What struck me about the Waste Branch Overview was this comment: "Over the past 20 years, an integrated and sustainable waste management system has been developed. This helped us to extend the life of our low cost Clover Bar Landfill by 10 years to 2009. "
Keeping cost low by devastating the envrionment is no longer an option. Citizen's are becoming waste saavy and are demanding more responsible waste handling; this is demonstrated by resident's high participation in recycling initiatives.
Here are two points from the Overview to keep in mind if asked about 2011 Budget issues:
Our need for a rate increase in 2011 is due to this major shift which will be completed in the next two years. We expect our rate increases will stabilize once this transition is completed and we are diverting 90% of residential waste from landfill.
Remember, we have to open our fist to pat ourselves on the back.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Friday, November 12, 2010
(image from mastercomposter.com)
I steal leaves in both green and brown and, aside from the occasional handful of pet waste, I have enjoyed using my nieghbour's organic waste to create an abundant landscape.
I have learned over the years that compost is very forgiving and can handle a certain amount of weed seed, diseased material, oils, acids, meat and dairy, and yes, even doo-doo. Stealing fresh grass clippings is one way to get a nice, hot pile going and keep the pile working well.
Today, an article came to me from LetsRecycle.com warning about certain chemicals that will persist in compost and manure piles and do some damage to sensitive crops down the road.
The chemicals are clopyralid and aminopyralid, found in some herbicides. Happily, they are not found in the latest trendy lawn treatement - CGM.
This might be a time to mention, if you have not heard, that Good Growing Neighbours may be affected in this round of budget talks. In this post Weed 'N Feed world, I hope the messages are picked up by other programs (indeed, Office of Environment, EPCOR, and many garden centres are doing a great job of spreading the word about healthy lawn practices).
Next summer, when stealing grass clippings for my garden, I will look for a few weeds in the bag, sniff around for a faint cereal smell, and watch a bit more closely for pet waste. A bumper crop of tomatoes means tasty salsa on Mojito night!
I have heard that the currency of the future will not be fresh water, but photosynthesis. In a way I am robbing today's riches and socking it away under my mattess of topsoil. The soil is my bank and I will continue my clandestine deposits for future family feasts!
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Those of you who attended Suzanne Lewis' Anaerobic Composting presentation at Inspire were promised links to the videos referenced during the discussion. The links are below.
For those not familiar with Bokashi, here is an introductory video that just makes me want to go out and buy some stuff and start digging:
As this fellow said, Bokashi is a fermentation process, not a comosting process. "In home composting applications, kitchen waste is placed into a container which can be sealed with an air tight lid. These scraps are then inoculated with a Bokashi EM mix. This usually takes the form of a carrier, such as rice hulls, wheat bran or saw dust, that has been inoculated with composting micro-organisms. The EM are natural lactic acid bacteria, yeast, and phototrophic bacteria that act as a microbe community within the kitchen scraps, fermenting and accelerating breakdown of the organic matter." (from Wikipedia)
Here are the links to other aspects of Bokashi:
Do-it-yourself Bucket system - a great idea for the ReUse crowd!
If you make your own EM, and would be willing to share a bit with other MC/Rs please leave a comment after this post.
A longer video on making, like, totally rad Bokashi, dude.
Check out the many other videos on YouTube - obviously there are a lot of people who swear by this system.
For years, I have wondered what the benefits of this process would be... I would still use my collection pail since I have no room near my kitchen for the buckets and bag of Bokashi. I would only dig it into the soil when I am not growing things (spring and autumn) so would either store it or compost it (go figure).
I found a video titled Bokashi vs. Composting that raised some interesting issues. Since it was delivered by a guy who looks like he is here to pick up the laundry I think I will do some fact checking before abandoning my Earth Machine. By the way, composting is not stinking, back-breaking work like some of these videos suggest. Neither is Bokashi labour free, unless they are willing to come over, make the EM, then make the Bokashi, and then bury the stuff for me, and it is certainly not inexpensive. Sheesh!
So, what do you think???
Monday, November 8, 2010
SunChips, of course, comes to mind as a recent addition to the discussion. For those of you not following this, the packaging has been discontinued in the US, and celebrated in Canada.
I have had little luck with bio-d material in my home compost bin, and it seems others are having similar issues, like the University of Vermont.
Here is a new twist - packaging that can be just washed away. Although after reading this I wonder why we don't simply make all packaging out of chocolate in the first place. Yum!
On top of all that, the August edition of BioCycle magazine contains a bunch more information on the topic.
Leaves my tiny brain hurtin' for the good old days of wicker baskets and milk bottles.
Friday, November 5, 2010
What is World Town Planning Day?
The 20th century transformed Canada from a rural to an urban industrial society. The impact of this change on our community spaces provided great challenges for Canadian planners. Planners integrate the goals of sustainable development, good governance and economic viability to ameliorate the human environment. Their contributions to Canadian society have helped make our country a highly enjoyable place in which to live.
World Town Planning Day focuses on the progress of community planning in Canada. It highlights the valuable contributions that sound planning has made to the quality of the human environment and provides recognition of the ideals of community planning among the profession and the general public worldwide.
World Town Planning Day was initiated in 1949 and is celebrated in many countries on all continents each year on November 8. This year’s theme is “Active Living – the Act of Living” and the Alberta Professional Planners Institute in Edmonton region is celebrating WTPD at Edmonton City Hall – City Room from 10am – 2pm.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
I have to say, this conference has been a blast to prepare. Karen and Cecilia have been wading through 20 years of photos, projects, and stories. Many of us are preparing to present or facilitate sessions. Rena is amazingly organised and keeping things moving smoothly. We are all stoked to give this event to the volunteers, although it does not come close to what you have given us.
Of course, we are still relying on volunteer help to keep us on track of all the details and odd jobs. Our thanks to all our helpers.
Remember that The Way We Green is at City Hall this week!
See you Saturday!