Saturday, February 16, 2013

Get Excited!

You can get kids excited about anything. I regularly visit an elementary school classroom and teach them about the benefits of recycling. I let them know what they can recycle and why they should keep these materials out of the landfill. This past week I congratulated them on how well they have been doing and told them they helped recycle over 400 pounds in three weeks. You wouldn't believe the response I received. They cheered, they clapped, they hugged! I'm pretty sure one boy started crying with tears of joy. And then a chant bursted out, "Mr. Ed! Mr. Ed! Mr. Ed!". Man, it was great.

If only we could get this excited about something so simple. Maybe we need to think about it differently. What works for me is looking at the numbers. When I lived out in Portland, Oregon, they picked up our trash once every TWO weeks. So much of our trash can be recycled! I see the progress here as well, every week. With 10 customers, over 400 pounds have been kept out of the landfill, in three weeks! That is huge! It may not seem like a lot at first, but it adds up. You are making a difference, you should be excited.

So the next time you're drinking out of a plastic bottle, cheer, clap, hug the stranger next to you, and toss it in the recycling bin. You kept one more item out of the landfill, and it's adding up. Oh, and feel free to start chanting my name.

-Star City Recycling

Friday, February 8, 2013

Blue Bins

Blue bins, blue bins everywhere! It was a great feeling seeing all those blue bins out on the curb today. It's starting to catch on. Soon people will start wondering, "Hey! What are those blue bins doing out on those people's front lawns?" or "Hey! What's Star City Recycling?" or "Hey! This is the best new business of 2013 and I should vote for them in the Roanoke Times so they can keep on recycling and making the world a better place!". And then it will really catch on like wildfire. And then I'll say, "Star City Recycling, making Roanoke County green, one blue bin at a time."

Spread the word!

-Star City Recycling

Saturday, February 2, 2013

First Week

Roanoke County is moving slowly on the "Green" movement. Even with our neighboring cities working hard, we are still behind the times. We're like a trashy oasis in the middle of a recycling desert. That wasn't a very good example. We're like the little engine that could, but going the wrong way. "I won't recycle! I won't recycle! I won't recycle!" That might not be any better but you know what I mean. Recycling is not on top of Roanoke County's to-do list. I can't say they don't care, but I can say they don't care enough.

February 1st marks my first week running Star City Recycling, a curbside service that sorts and transports your recyclables for you. I quickly gained 5 customers who were eager for my service, but the thing was, 4 of them already recycled. They were a part of the 30% of Roanoke County that does recycle. They wanted my service because it was a hassle to sort and transport their materials. When you do recycle, you produce enough material to be put in a 32 gallon bin. Who wants to lug that thing around? You also have to sort it! It's no wonder that our recycling rates are so low.

The hard part is getting the customers that don't recycle. Many times when I explain to someone what I'm trying to do, that I'm trying to get people to recycle, I see fear in their eyes. They glance up, down, and all around looking for a way to escape. I think this is because we all know recycling is important, but we don't know how easy it can be, which often frightens us and leads us to hoping someone else will do it. I can hear Roanoke County yelling right now, "Hey Salem, Vinton, and Roanoke City! You're doing an awesome job! We're cheering you on right here from the sidelines!"

It's time to get the word out, "It's Easy!" If it's paper, plastic, metal cans, or glass it's recyclable! Yes there are some exceptions, but I promise it's very easy.

Ed Arsura
Star City Recycling