Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Your Recycling Questions, Answered

 Thanks so much to everyone who looked at and commented on the Rumpke recycling post from last week. I want to get you all the correct infomation, and there were quite a few questions that were generated. I emailed Sue Magness from the Office of Environmental Quality, and she got right back to me with the answers!

1.      What are the options are for people who do NOT have curbside service. Does this announcement mean that even recycling drop off locations now accept all plastics too? If so, they definitely should update the signage to make that clear.  Yes, the drop off are for people who are not eligible for curbside service (basically household who have private trash service dumpsters).  Yes,  the list of items on the drop off containers will be updated, but will take us a few weeks.  HOWEVER it is not all plastics - it is all plastic BOTTLES and JARS #1-7.  It does not include rigid plastic shells, shrink wrap, films, tubs, toys.  JUST stuff that once had a cap or screw on lid.  When recycling your bottles and jars, please remove the caps.  Metal caps can be recycled at area scrap dealers who accept steel.  http://www.hcdoes.org/SWMD/Businesses/IndCommRecy.html#metals
 And plastics caps can be recycled at AVEDA stores.  http://aveda.aveda.com/aboutaveda/caps.asp

2. how about "soft" plastic packaging...like that which is used to package toilet tissue??? No, that is called shrink wrap or film.  There is not a facility that will accept from residents
(NOTE:  The local plastic recyclers currently only accept in bulk from industrial and commercial sources http://www.hcdoes.org/SWMD/Businesses/IndCommRecy.html#plastic)

3. Does this count for those people in Northern Kentucky who also have Rumpke Recycling? I assumed so, but I wanted to be sure.  NO, Rumpke has not expanded to the rest of the service area yet.  Technically, the new sorting facility is still under construction and they are temporarily warehousing the materials.  So Rumpke will expand as new contracts are established ( as  in our case), or after the installation of the “state of the art” equipment is complete.

4. What about the people that have the city pick up there trash?? You can order a recycling bin (or two!) from the City of Cincinnati, and then just set your recycling bin out with your trash on trash day. They will come and take it away for free! Order your bin here

 Thanks again for all the questions and comments. If you're curious about anything else, let me know and I will do my best to find out!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Diary of a DAAP Kid: What is this thing you call... Homecoming?

photo credit University of Cincinnati 

I have been in college for five years, and I have never once attended Homecoming festivities of any capacity, at any college. I vaguely remember something about a football game back in high school, but even then, as an aspiring little hipster, I couldn't be bothered with such mainstream trifles as football.

(I didn't bring my camera, so this crappy phone shot is the only one I got of tailgating festivities. )

However, it's my fifth year at DAAP and I realized that I would forever regret not living out my college experience to the fullest, even if it meant braving the cold, crowds and traffic patterns to truly live out all that is Homecoming. Slacker that I am, I didn't get out to the Homecoming parade in time - I was getting ready to tailgate! I knew it would be a perfect opportunity to use the Front Yard, and to my delight my small group of friends and I were not alone in utilizing the green space between McMillan and Calhoun. We fired up the grill down the way from different tents that had sprung up, as well as a fairly large pee-wee football game dominating the majority of the space. All the while people were cutting cross the grass to get closer to campus and the stadium from their parking spots.

Then of course there was the Game. And what a game it was! I've actually started to get involved with football, learning more about the game and cheering on my teams. UC has obviously been a fun team to watch this year, though I enjoy watching professional football more. I discovered I am MUCH too easily distracted to really appreciate a live game. I kept missing important plays because there were too many interesting people to watch, or the cheerleaders were leading us in cheers (ohhhhhh.... ohhhhhh.... ohhhhh! *clap clap clap clap* UC!), or I wanted to talk to my friends, or there was a balloon in the sky, or... yeah. You get the idea.

So now I feel a little more like a "regular" college kid now. And (don't tell the hipsters)... it was actually pretty fun.

the Bearcat band!

my crazy DAAP friends and I at the game! (note the architecture grad student wearing the pullover and button down shirt... totally appropriate for a football game. Hey... we're in DAAP.)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Recycling in Cincinnati - Just to Clarify

Hey guys, I wanted to do another update just to let you know the rundown for recycling in Cincinnati.

Rumpke is now accepting ALL plastic bottles. Only plastic bottles and jugs (regardless of number) will be accepted in the program. To be classified as a bottle or a jug, the top of the container must be smaller than the bottom. These items include syrup containers, shampoo bottles, a water bottle, etc. Plastics not in the shape of a bottle (such as a butter tub or plastic bag or food tray) are not currently accepted.

So, it's not all plastics, as I said in my last post. I got really excited and must have misheard the announcement, and I feel terrible for garnering so much attention with something that wasn't completely true.

Pizza boxes and multiple bins of recycling are also accepted.

Don't forget, you can also recycle:

*ALL paper - magazines, newspapers, junk mail, post it notes
* cardboard
* aluminum

All the different types of bottles that can now be recycled!!

But, don't get too discouraged. This is a huge step forward for Cincinnati and our recycling system, and it's pretty darn exciting.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Improved Recycling in Cincinnati - Hooray!!

The City of Cincinnati and Rumpke Recycling came together Thursday at the original La Rosa's pizza on Boudinot Avenue in the West Side to make a special announcement about changes to the recycling program in Cincinnati. City Council members Roxanne Qualls and Greg Harris were present, as well as Mayor Mark Mallory, the Rumpke Vice President, the director of the city's Office of Environmental Quality Larry Falkin, and director of recycling Sue Magness to make the announcements.

Rumpke and the City of Cincinnati have come together to offer more recycling options for the citizens of Cincinnati. Starting today, you can now put ALL plastic bottles and jugs (regardless of number) in your bin! To be classified as a bottle or a jug, the top of the container must be smaller than the bottom. These items include syrup containers, shampoo bottles, a water bottle, etc. Plastics not in the shape of a bottle (such as a butter tub or plastic bag or food tray) are not currently accepted.!!

It used to be that only plastics #s 1 and 2 were allowed, but Rumpke has spent 6 million dollars in new sorting technology that allows for all plastic bottles to be included. Here is a rundown of the all the currently accepted materials, from the City of Cincinnati website:

    List of acceptable materials:
  • NOW Accepting all plastic bottles and jugs (no lids)
  • Glass jars and bottles of any color
  • Aluminum, steel and bi-metal cans
  • Empty aerosol cans with lids and tips removed
  • Brown grocery bags
  • Computer paper, and other mixed office paper
  • Corrugated cardboard, broken down to 3' X 3'
  • Envelopes, with or without windows
  • Junk mail
  • Magazines
  • Newspapers with inserts
  • Paperboard, such as cereal boxes
  • Telephone books
  • NOW Accepting pizza boxes (free of food residue) 
       Unacceptable Items:
    • Plastic that are not bottles or jugs, such as whipped topping containers, butter tubs, yogurt cups or food trays
    • Plastic bags
    • Motor oil jugs or other chemical containers
    • Styrofoam
    • Lids/caps - recycle plastic lids at Aveda , recycle metal lids at local scrap dealers who accept steel
    • Window or drinking glass
    • Light bulbs
    • Coat hangers or steel scrap
    • Paint cans
    • Light bulb

      The city actually generates revenue and creates jobs by increasing the amount of material recycled. We save thousands of dollars in tipping fees, and for every 10,000 tons of material recycled, 35 jobs are created as opposed to 2 jobs for every 10,0000 tons of waste.

      It may not come as a surprise, but the reason the conference was held at La Rosa's is that... CLEAN (that is, non-greasy and free of food-stuff) pizza boxes are also now accepted in your green recycling bin! Please make sure that all the items you place in your bin are clean and dry. Not only is it important for the machines to be able to process clean material, but can you imagine being a recycling worker opening a milk jug that hasn't been washed out and has sat for weeks and weeks?? Vomit.

      Anyway, the conference was great, and there was free pizza afterwards (score!) And, in case you're curious, Mayor Mallory divulged his ideal pizza - that is, a small deep dish with bacon, pepperoni, mushrooms, pineapple, and green olives... well done. So if you're looking to get in good with the mayor... now you know a way to his heart!

      So, to sum up:

      ALL Plastic bottles can go in your bins! If it's not a bottle (and not #1, 2), you can't recycle it. (Just rinse them out first - don't be that guy)
      CLEAN Pizza boxes can go in your bins!

      If your little bin is overwhelmed with the amount of new stuff you can recycle, you can now put out 2 or more bins at the curb!! Call 513-591-6000 to order a recycling bin today, or order online here.  I got one for the Tuxedo Shop... I'm pretty sure they now think I am certifiably insane... but, hey. Whatever works!

      Monday, October 19, 2009

      Yard Signs without the Yard...

      In case you didn't know, the house in which I reside used to be a typical Clifton house: front porch, small backyard, stained glass windows. However, my current landlord decided to remove the front porch and instead start up a tuxedo rental shop in the front (the windows and the backyard are gone as well.)

      What this means is that I have no front yard. Front yards are pretty essential for, well, yard signs. However, my lack of yard has not stopped me from shouting to the world my various local political leanings:


      So, yes. Now you know where my bedroom is. I better not get any random stalkers from this (though if you want to stop by for dinner sometime, I am a pretty good cook!)

      Glad to see my little signs have been noticed. Let this be encouragement to you - don't let your lack of yard stop you from sharing your views!

      (thank you, Queen City Discovery for the awesome graphic!!)

      PS... while I was taking pictures of my signs, some jerk driving by rolled down his window and yelled "You don't want to live there!" ... thanks, buddy. 

      Tuesday, October 13, 2009

      Plastic Bag Love: Fashion Edition

      The lowly plastic bag has so many fantastic alternative uses. Today we'll be exploring the phenomenon that is "Trashion," that is, turning trash into fashion. Designers and crafties alike are coming up with innovate (and beautiful!) ways to repurpose everything from my favorite plastic bags to trash found on the street into classy and interesting wearable designs.

      Gary Harvey is a creative director from London who believes in an "ethical fashion revolution." In December of 2007 he created a collection that debuted at the Esthetica Exhibition during London Fashion Week. His dresses used materials like newspaper, chip bags (shown above), as well as iconic pieces of clothing - baseball jackets and even wedding dresses, for example.(all images copyright Gary Harvey)

      Etsy offers plenty of crafters who have worked their magic repurposing items into beautiful work. This Plastic Bag Rain Jacket is one of the coolest plastic bag creations I've found to date. Unfortunately it sold out back in 2007, but I wanted to show you PenFelt's (that is, LeBrie Rich from Portland, OR) work, because it's so whimsy and fun.

      Finally, for a last look at neat-o recycled fashion, I found this website called WearYourMusic.org . This organization collects used/broken guitar strings from popular artists and then makes them into bracelets and sells them to us. The proceeds go to a charity selected by the artist, and you have a fantastic story about a sweet new accessory. Anyone who is looking to get me a Christmas present, feel free to pick me up a bracelet from Jack Johnson, Eric Clapton, or Jason Mraz. The artists range from Moe to Toby Keith, so if there's a music lover in your life... this would be a sweet present.

      PS - if your wallet can't handle the $500 price tag (it's only $75 for the guy from the String Cheese Incident!), they also sell regular guitar string bracelets - no artist attached for only $9.99.

      What's your favorite type of Trashion?

      Friday, October 2, 2009

      Another Com-Post

      If you were intrigued by my Bokashi Com-Post (get it?... yeah, I went there.) but still weren't sure about getting into the whole urban composting thing, there's another chance for you to wrap your brain around it.

      This coming Saturday morning Park + Vine will be hosting another composting class. This time the focus will exclusively be on Bokashi and how it works.

      Check out the Facebook invite here. Today is the last day to sign up for the class. If you live in the city with no backyard (like me) and shed tears every time you dump your organic matter in the trash can (also like me), the Bokashi system is definitely worth a try. I've been using it since April, and it's worked out pretty well.

      My only dilemma is where to put the compost when it's ready to go. I currently have a tub full of all this summer's food scraps. If there are any gardeners out there who need some deliciously organic matter to richen up their soil for next year's garden, PLEASE let me know. My room mates are starting to grumble and well, it's getting awkward.