In 2012-13 Amaterra has provided a $1000.00 micro-grant to support the ZEROwaste project in Albuquerque, NM. The project was devised by an employee from Soilutions, Inc., http://www.soilutions.net/, named John Shaski (Ski). The premise of the project is to engage and encourage both vendors and market attendees about the process and importance of waste classification and sorting. During the Downtown Growers’ Market trash cans are removed and collection stations are set-up throughout the public park.
Each station asks people to sort their trash into three categories, recyclables, compostables, and trash. At the end of each growers’ market Ski takes the recyclables and compostables, and leaves the remaining trash for the Downtown Albuquerque Action Team. The team is responsible for cleaning the park and disposing of the trash after the growers’ market.
The ZEROwaste project currently is supported by volunteers with some support from Soilutions Inc. Soilutions Inc. provides the containers at each sorting station and a truck to haul the recyclables/compostables away. This is not a money making venture for Soilutions Inc. or Ski, but a means to introduce waste reduction and management concepts to participants at a community event such as the local growers’ market.
Amaterra determined that the best way to support this project would be to provide funding for the creation and production of educational materials detailing the classification and end-use pathways for each type of waste material collected at the growers’ market and to provide an annual report detailing how much waste was collected and then diverted to either a recycling or composting center. The goal of this project is to help educate not just the general public but also local decision markers about the importance of sorting the waste that is generated at community events. If this project is successful it can be scaled to include other growers’ markets in the Albuquerque area, and possibly other community events.
The project was arranged by our Vice President, Shawn Hardeman, supporting this endeavor with direct community involvement.
As team leader for the ZEROwaste initiative I wanted to contact you in appreciation for the Amaterra grant we received.
In our 2011 effort to collect and recycle ALL waste generated at the Downtown Grower’s Market we managed just over one ton of material. 84% of that material was found to be readily recyclable.
Our success flies in the face of assumed public apathy and highlights the inadequacy of the available infrastructure.
We are currently engaged in a re-branding of the ZEROwaste_initiative that will raise its profile substantially. Future plans include expanded infrastructure and manageability that will allow us to broaden the scale. More eyes and ears, more material recovered, more momentum towards a more efficiently managed waste stream.
Please kindly take stock in the nurturing role Amaterra has taken in this endeavor. We’ll be sure to let others know.
Regards, John ‘Ski’ Shaski