New recycling bins with tracking chips

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/local/New-recycling-bins-with-tracking-chips-coming-to-Alexandria-92880219.html

New recycling bins with tracking chips coming to Alexandria

By: Markham Heid
Examiner Staff Writer
May 6, 2010

Alexandria residents soon will have to pay for larger home recycling bins featuring built-in monitoring devices.

The City Council added a mandatory $9 charge to its residents’ annual waste collection fee.

That cash — roughly $180,000 collected from 19,000 residents– will pay for new larger recycling carts equipped with computer microchips, which will allow the city to keep tabs on its bins and track resident participation in the city’s recycling program.

“If you know who’s participating in the programs, you can focus your education and outreach to those who are not participating,” said Stacy Herring, Alexandria’s recycling coordinator.

Rich Baier, Alexandria’s environmental services program director, said the city will use direct mailing campaigns and public presentations to target neighborhoods — not individuals — that lag when it comes to recycling.

“We’re just trying to get the biggest bang where we need it for the buck,” Baier said. “We don’t want to get into exactly what people are recycling.”

The new carts will come in sizes ranging form 25 to 65 gallons, and will sport wheels and lids. While the $9 charge is mandatory, residents may keep their old 18-gallon bins if they so choose.

Councilman Frank Fannon, the lone City Council member to oppose the new recycling bins, said he was against increased government spending, not recycling.

A a glance  »  Cost to Alexandria residents: Roughly $180,000, or about $9 per bin

»  Bin size: Ranges from 25 to 65 gallons, replacing the old 18-gallon bins

»  Time frame for implementation: August or September

»  Alexandria’s current recycling rate: About 29 percent

»  Alexandria’s target: 35 percent

»  Expected recycling rate increase using new bins: At least 2 percent  

 

Source: Alexandria Department of Transportation and Environmental Services

 

“I thought this was just another fee that we didn’t have to pass on to the residents,” he said.

Herring said the city conducted a survey among Old Town residents last May that found 60 percent wanted larger bins. She also said other jurisdictions had implemented bigger recycling bins and had seen recycling rates shoot up as a result.

“The larger the container, the more people recycle,” Herring said, citing a study conducted by Eureka Recycling, a Minnesota nonprofit organization that promotes recycling.

Alexandria recently reported a 29 percent recycling rate to the state. Virginia requires most localities to recycle 25 percent of its waste, while the Environmental Protection Agency advocates a 35 percent target.

Baier said larger bins increase recycling rates because residents tend to throw their excess recyclables into regular trash cans once their recycling bins fill up.

He also said litter was a problem with the current bins, which don’t have lids to prevent light materials from blowing out into area neighborhoods.

Venishka Hurdle, who coordinates recycling education programs in Arlington, said the county implemented larger, tracking-chip loaded recycling bins last year and saw the curbside recycling rate jump roughly 24 percent. The county’s overall recycling rate is about 40 percent, she said.

“They’ve been a huge success,” Hurdle said of the new bins. “Residents love them, and they recycle more materials as well.”

Hurdle said Arlington County is collecting data from the bins’ microchips, but had not yet used that data to improve recycling outreach and education programs.

Alexandria residents can expect to see their waste collection fees jump up in July, and likely will receive their new bins this summer.

mheid@washingtonexaminer.com

Published in: on May 7, 2010 at 9:06 am  Leave a Comment  

Students Kicked Off Campus for Wearing American Flag Tees

http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local-beat/Students-Wearing-American-Flag-Shirts-Sent-Home-92945969.html

Freedom of expression or cultural disrespect on Cinco de Mayo?

By GEORGE KIRIYAMA
Updated 7:58 AM PDT, Thu, May 6, 2010

On any other day at Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill, Daniel Galli and his four friends would not even be noticed for wearing T-shirts with the American flag. But Cinco de Mayo is not any typical day especially on a campus with a large Mexican American student population.

Galli says he and his friends were sitting at a table during brunch break when the vice principal asked two of the boys to remove American flag bandannas that they wearing on their heads and for the others to turn their American flag T-shirts inside out. When they refused, the boys were ordered to go to the principal’s office.

“They said we could wear it on any other day,” Daniel Galli said, “but today is sensitive to Mexican-Americans because it’s supposed to be their holiday so we were not allowed to wear it today.”

The boys said the administrators called their T-shirts “incendiary” that would lead to fights on campus.

“They said if we tried to go back to class with our shirts not taken off, they said it was defiance and we would get suspended,” Dominic Maciel, Galli’s friend, said.

The boys really had no choice, and went home to avoid suspension. They say they’re angry they were not allowed to express their American pride. Their parents are just as upset, calling what happened to their children, “total nonsense.”

“I think it’s absolutely ridiculous,” Julie Fagerstrom, Maciel’s mom, said. “All they were doing was displaying their patriotic nature. They’re expressing their individuality.”

But to many Mexican-American students at Live Oak, this was a big deal. They say they were offended by the five boys and others for wearing American colors on a Mexican holiday.

“I think they should apologize cause it is a Mexican Heritage Day,” Annicia Nunez, a Live Oak High student, said. “We don’t deserve to be get disrespected like that. We wouldn’t do that on Fourth of July.”

As for an apology, the boys and their families say, “fat chance.”

“I’m not going to apologize. I did nothing wrong,” Galli said. “I went along with my normal day. I might have worn an American flag, but I’m an American and I’m proud to be an American.”

The five boys and their families met with a Morgan Hill Unified School District official Wednesday night. The district released a statement saying it does not agree with how Live Oak High School administrators handled this incident.

The boys will not be suspended and they were told they can go back to school Thursday. They may even wear their red, white, and blue colors again, but this time, the day after Cinco de Mayo, there will be no controversy.  

First Published: May 6, 2010 1:22 AM PDT
Published in: on May 6, 2010 at 2:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

Overpopulation is a Myth

Overpopulation: The making of the Myth

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZVOU5bfHrM&feature=player_embedded

2.1 Kids: Stable Population

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBS6f-JVvTY&feature=player_embedded

Food: There’s alot of it!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXrN9HhnCcM&feature=player_embedded

Published in: on May 5, 2010 at 1:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

Welcome to My World!

Hello All!

I’ve decided to create a blog. I’m tired of posting important health & political news / articles on Facebook & Myspace just to be ignored by friends. The majority of the population would rather play a fake farm game than to actually grow their own organic food. They’d rather pretend to be a mobster than to learn how to prepare themselves for a real horrific attack. So those who subscribe and view MY blog better be prepared to use BOTH sides of their brain….so don’t get emotional for my fact based opinions.

Mudweiser Matt Out!

Published in: on May 4, 2010 at 6:02 pm  Comments (6)