This article appeared on October 23, 2006 in the Watauga Democrat, Boone, NC . It was written by Frank Ruggiero.
Council approves zero growth
By Frank Ruggiero
Boone may become a zero-waste community, after the Boone Town
Council unanimously adopted a resolution to move in such a
Council members Lynne Mason and Rennie Brantz worked with Jasmine
ShoShanna, founder of the High Countrys Gardens for
Humanity and Zero Waste program, on the resolution.
Weve had several meetings, and I think we are
beginning to formulate an important vision for the future of
Boone, Brantz said at last Thursdays regular meeting
of the Boone Town Council, and Im very excited about
what works been accomplished already and whats in the
ShoShanna addressed the council, saying the town has done well in
looking at the future for generations to come. Part of what
that means is looking at waste in our community, she said.
She noted that the countys landfill is full and said trash
is shipped to Johnson City, Tenn. for approximately $1 million a
year. Furthermore, ShoShanna said Johnson Citys landfill
has a life expectancy of 60 to 80 more years.
So, what are we going to do with all this trash we keep
accumulating? she asked.
While some areas throughout the state and nation are considering
regional landfills and similar options, ShoShanna said those are
not good solutions, especially when environmentally-friendly and
productive solutions are easily at hand.
ShoShanna said 60 to 90 percent of trash can be safely composted
and converted into usable topsoil.
This resolution is a first step in that direction in
looking at how we can minimize waste, protect the environment,
(and) work on composting more of our trash and turning it into
topsoil, she said.
The resolution says, a zero-waste plan will promote a disposal
hierarchy of reduce, reuse, compost, recycle for
garbage, including paper, reusables, polymers, putrescibles,
construction, demolition, ceramics, wood, plant debris, textiles,
soils, metals, glass and chemicals into processes that will
address local problems with local solutions, employ local people
in new jobs, and enhance our community and environment.
The resolution also notes that waste stream reductions of 80
percent for composting organics, 40 percent for recycling, and 20
percent for reusing are possible, while facilities for such
protect and enhance the environment, provide local jobs,
sustainable economic opportunity and security.
The resolution recognizes that voluntary recycling goals probably
cannot achieve waste elimination, while pointing out that the
town adopted the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement.
The agreement was adopted in September, with the town pledging to
reduce global warming and carbon dioxide pollution citywide to 7
percent below 1990 levels by 2012.
Mason moved to adopt the resolution supporting the creation of a
zero waste plan, and council member Bunk Spann seconded.
Other communities, both in North Carolina and nationwide,
are adopting similar resolutions, and this will be the kick-off
for us to work on other community efforts to help people look at
ways to reduce, reuse, compost and recycle, Mason said.
These will become common words that the community will get
used to, as we become better stewards of the environment in the
place that we call home.
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