May general meeting minutes

Following are notes taken by Elaine Nelson, board member, at the May 10 2007 general meeting.

About 20 people were in attendance, including board members.
Board president Chad Akins opened the meeting, welcomed all.  Also suggested that perhaps at the next general meeting (November) we might have a brief open mic period.  Feedback on this idea welcome.

Ursula Euler from the City’s Solid Waste division presented on Zero Waste initiatives.  The notes below were taken during the meeting; ask for clarification.
zero waste resolution
has anybody heard about it? not too many.
“impossible?” what else can be done?
put sustainability to work to save the planet
seems pretty impossible, but what it really means is that we have to take responsibility to pay attention. we are a major contributor to climate change. one way to reduce greenhouse gases is to reduce waste & increase recycling. better management is one way to contribute.
zero waste is not a goal but a vision. something to strive for.
once they started thinking about that in waste mgmt, there are some things that can be done. 6 year waste management plan. keep looking at the website, for the next study session, public hearing, and so on. likely study session in june, hearing in the fall. all opportunity to provide your input. if you feel comfortable with the plan, they have a chance of being successful.
using less, using longer, reduces waste w/out recycling.
when we throw away…we can only recycle for so long, and eventually it all ends up in the landfill, and not just a dirty place, but an emitter of greenhouse gases! (CO2 & methane) and to reduce the use of raw materials.
product stewardship? also called cradle to cradle, seeing it now with e-waste laws here in WA (and other states), to design products that are recyclable or compostable. turn to the original manufacturers, make them responsible for taking back products for appropriate disposal.
they’re helping to put that into action, help us get the equiment to wherever the manufacturer says it needs to go.
keep watching, reading, going to the website. she has cards, take her email & phone.
what can we do today? very simple things we can all do, that she’s doing. backyard composting. some places collect food waste (and papers) at curbside for composting, and they are thinking about doing this as well.
comment from audience: two weeks is a long time to have organic waste sitting out.
can pizza boxes go into backyard composting? yes, but it takes a long time. where they would take it is to a commercial composter, with temps close to 100 degrees. and that would also take bones & dairy products, which are NOT recommended for backyard composting.
[missed a question about the proposed facility]
question about zero waste: you didn’t mention energy, is that part? yes. energy is part of the whole cycle. trash goes from transfer station (no longer a landfill) @ hawks prairie; then trucked to near chehalis, then by train even further south! but the biggest impact is not the transport, but the gases generated in decomposition.
another thing you can do now is buy newer CFLs, bring your own bags to the grocery store. last not least, buy recycled. if we don’t buy it, then there won’t be a market, and it’s not getting us as far as we’d like to get.
our residential rate in 2006 was 56% including yard waste, which is very well in comparison with other localities.
has anything ever be done about what to do with plastic bags around papers/magazines? 46 different kinds of plastic! that’s “film” and the manufacturers don’t make it easy. only the bottles are really developed as a market. Seattle takes plastic bags; how do they have a market and we don’t? can take some to Fred Meyer. their goal is to take recyclable to recycled — they may have a really good processor, and that’s often limited locally. they’re still researching & struggling.

Elaine Nelson got up to announce the current status of the sign project and to ask for volunteers for a work party on Saturday, May 12.  The focus of that event is scouting and marking locations.

Then followed a discussion of the board’s idea of “adopting” the Madison Scenic Park.  The idea most discussed was for a community “pea patch” garden.  Several members of the local group Grub were in attendance.  Real-time notes follow; “Nathan” refers to board member Nathan Allan.  Again, feel free to ask if you need clarification on any notes.
Is it really a city park? city has money for it, still working out the details, but it will be city property.
top 3 ideas: path, stage, pea patch garden.
Nathan started talking about the garden idea, maybe work with Grub, who has members here at the meeting. Chad talked to WSU master gardener people, they could be really interested.
Apparently the old stage has already been demolished. City is planning new plantings. Mark F. mentioned that there’s already water service. City council has voted to increase amount of neighborhood matching grants to $4000.
Asked to recap.
Some people from existing community garden, concerned about moving out of their current spot. they have some money that they’re hoarding for their move, good tools, regular work parties.
Nathan: we figured it was centrally located.
Chad: do a walk through? and approximate how many spots.
Points to me about square foot garden.
grub rep: concerned about vehicle access. Chad: would be fun to think about an innovative solution. Nathan: spot where people walk through near duplexes at the bottom.
size of park is 2.2 sq. acres, approx. how much as pea patch? (didn’t answer!) could also do terracing of the slope.
Nathan: once the church is moved in, we can use their parking during the week to get to the week.

After this item, the formal meeting broke up, and people ate snacks provided by volunteers and chatted before departing.

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