Friday, October 30, 2009

T2T teams with Tribune for Beerfest, December 4, Huzienga Plaza

Once again, under our corporate parent, South Florida Reuse and Recycling Institute, we are teaming with the Tribune Company for their annual Beerfest. This year it is called the Big "S" Beerfest as they promote the Sun-Sentinel, WSFL TV and

As usual, we will help make sure that the glass, cardboard, and plastic cups gets recycled. Also, this year we will be focusing on bottle caps. As many of you know, bottle caps are great for art and crafts projects and often go quickly at Trash to Treasure. The caps are challenge to clean up after the event, so a program to collect them will benefit everyone.

UPDATE:  Here is the where you can get advance tickets.

See you there:
December 4
Huzienga Plaza
Downtown Fort Lauderdale

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Chemical Reaction at FLIFF, Monday November 9, 7:30, Cinema Paradisio

Do you want dandelions . . . or cancer?

That's the question Americans who use lawn chemicals should be asking themselves.

To learn more about the disturbing facts which impact millions of Floridians, join us at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival. The documentary "A Chemical Reaction" will be shown at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 9 at Cinema Paradiso as part of the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival.

Many Americans will be surprised to find that many of the lawn chemicals that they are told are safe are not that different from Agent Orange -- so dangerous and potentially carcinogenic that they are banned in five countries and in the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec.

"A Chemical Reaction" tells the story of how one small town in Quebec set into motion the events that culminated in a ban on chemical pesticides for lawns throughout the province of Quebec.

This ban was fought in court by lawn care giant ChemLawn (now known as TruGreen) and others. Ultimately, the case went to the Supreme Court of Canada where the ban was upheld, and has since spread to other provinces and municipalities across Canada.

The documentary shows the people behind the ban are regular people. The movie (and the movement to stop using certain chemical pesticides) is winning supporters as it makes the rounds of film festivals in the United States and Canada.

Everyone who wants to reduce their exposure to potentially dangerous carcinogens should be interested in the movie and its message to take action in your community.

Take Back Your Lawn - Pass It Along!

Choice switches to Natural Gas

Congratulation to our friends at Choice Environmental for having the first private fleet of natural gas vehicles.

Here is the press release.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Rainbarrel Workshops Nov 6 and 7

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 6th at 6pm or SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 7th at 11am


Come and build your rainbarrel with us! Feel free to paint and decorate it with us too! ...and of course you get to take your barrel home.

There is space for 10 participants. Please RSVP and send or bring in a check to secure your space.

Call or email us if you have any questions!

Thank you to Burners Without Borders for helping to make this happen!!

No injuries have occurred at our rainbarrel workshops

International Day of Climate Action Fort Lauderdale in the news

Our very own Casey Eckels is featured in this video about our event.

Thanks to everyone that participated.

Also, check out the Delray Beach event where our signs were reused thanks to Michael O'Brien.

Pictures soon or visit our Facebook page now.

South Florida Living Green Fair Nov 14-15

Join Trash to Treasure and most of South Florida's major environmental organizations at the inaugural South Florida Living Green Fair. Part of the profits (if any) will go to T2T.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Florida Considers Ban on Single Use Bags

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), as part of FS 403.7033, "shall undertake an analysis of the need for new or different regulation of auxiliary containers, wrappings, or disposable plastic bags used by consumers to carry products from retail establishments." FDEP is considering a law to require retail businesses to charge up to a quarter for one time use bags. Here's the Orlando Sentinel story.

As reduce, reuse, recycle proponents, we support this idea. Those against all taxes and those who hate everything will oppose it. Still, it may have a chance of passing.

It costs business to give you a bag. A business makes money selling you a reusable bag. So expect business criticism to be tepid.

So, what can make this happen? Provide input on FDEP's web site and contact your state legislator to share your support.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

International Day of Climate Action Sun-Sentinel Article

Our very own Michael O'Brien was featured in this Sun-Sentinel article about the International Day of Climate Action.

As with any newspaper article, the unemployable, ignorant people of our community make their comments. If anything is discouraging, it is people like this live amongst us.

Help us fix the world! Join us October 24, 10-1 at MODS

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Our Members are Willing to Travel

Sure, Trash to Treasure has members in Dade, Broward and Palm Beach. But, we also have members in Fort Myers and Orlando.

They recognize the value of T2T and a trip or two a year is well worth the annual $60. Know an artist, teacher or crafty person that could benefit from T2T? Let them know what a great asset is in their community.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Single Stream Recycling Comes to Broward

Broward County Recycling Manager and T2T friend Phil Bresee is featured in this Miami Herald article on Broward County's conversion to single stream recycling.

Phil notes that single stream will ``make it more convenient for customers,''. I'll note how lazy people are. The County even developed a video to show people how to bring their recyclables into one big happy place.

The reality is that this is a system driven by consumers and waste haulers. People were mixing their paper with cans and bottles anyway which made one of them useless if they got into the wrong bin on the truck. Haulers like it because they don't have to purchase recycling specific vehicles.

Participation and volume in recycling programs almost always goes up with the introduction of single stream recycling. How much is due to just conducting an education campaign will be determined in the future.

What often isn't reported is the drawbacks of single stream. Mixed recyclables have to be unmixed. Thus, the cost to separate the material at the recycling facility costs more. Check out Waste Management's video on the process. Also, the value of the material is less. There is more likelihood that your beer bottle will get crushed, caught up in some paper, and then shipped to the recycled content toilet paper manufacturer.

That means the toilet paper company is willing to pay less for that material and in recessionary times might not even buy from single stream facilities. This also results in more of the material being unmarketable than through other processes and thus is sent to a landfill.

This results in less dollars back to your community for the material collected. It should be noted that Broward County has done a great job of negotiating a fair price per ton for recyclables delivered. It is such a good price it won't be surprising when Waste Management tries to change the terms of the agreement if the recession continues for any length of time.

Two of the largest unserved markets for recycling should gain the most with the conversion to single stream recycling-multifamily and commercial.

Apartments and condos have less space than single family homes which leaves less storage space. Less sorting will make them more likely to participate. Now is the time for Broward cities to take action to start or reinvigorate their multifamily recycling programs.

The paper laden commercial sector could virtually eliminate their garbage by combining containers with paper. Since Florida does not allow for the franchising of commercial recycling, the private sector could rush in and provide this service but the County's agreement with Waste Management is just for residential.

It would not make sense to lose business to competitors by allowing them to use the Waste Management recycling facility so it is up to Waste Management to lead the way. Will they?

There is no evidence that this is in their strategic plan. There is money to be made either way so why rock the boat. The demand is not there in part because of bad service in the past from a variety of vendors. So the result is that businesses will continue to be underserved until the market demands it and the private sector responds.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Southern Waste Systems provides mulch to our Community Garden

A special thanks to Southern Waste Systems (SWS) for providing mulch to our community garden. The mulch, rich in nutrients, will help establish our new garden. This mulch was made from vegetative waste collected by SWS.

Most consumers have the wrong conception about mulch. The primary purpose of mulch is to add nutrients to the soil and help with moisture retention. Too many people buy mulch based on aesthetics.

Why isn't more curbside yardwaste being used in the community? Fear and incorrect perceptions.

Perception: Mulch will have seeds and weeds that will affect the yard's plants.
Reality: Mulch is exposed to high temperatures from the mulching process and from stockpiling which kills pathogens and seeds. Plant will grow into it but not out of it.

Perception: Mulch is not attractive enough.
Reality: The plants in your yard should be the star not your fire engine red mulch

Perception: Store bought mulch is better for plants
Reality: Many mulch's contain wood which is low in nutrients and often contains chemicals.

Perception: The community would complain if curbside mulch was used in public areas.
Reality: Government pays for collection of yard waste in the community and then pays again for mulch.
Reality: Money savings makes voters happy. Check out what the City of Plantation is up to.

Perception: The community would not be interested in free mulch from curbside collections
Reality: "Did someone say free?"

Finally, do not buy Cypress Mulch. It is the worst thing you can do for Florida!

Friday, October 9, 2009 Updates and T2T reminders

Please remember to note on your calendars that Trash to Treasure (T2T) will be closed on Oct 24th so that we may all participate in the 350 International Day of Climate of ACTION.

T2T is part of the local grassroots planning group and we have challenged individual's and groups to become CLIMATE CAPTAINS, and to bring 10 people to the event, making sure they are in the 350 logo tees, and bearing a sign representing their group. This is not only a good way to support climate protection initiatives, it is also a great way to promote your group pr business as part of a sustainable future. It's not too late to get involved.

T2T has formed a Climate Captain group as well and our goal is to get 35 people under the "T2T SUPPORTS 350 Climate Protection" banner. If you don't have time to form a group, consider joining our group and bringing your family and friends along. We feel that this is gathering will be especially empowering to kids, since we will have to pass the baton to them eventually to continue the democratic work of make the voice of the people heard by leaders.

Our event is designed to be positive, uplifting and responsibly vocal. Eight cities and Broward County have issued Proclamations honoring the day and encouraging citizen involvement. When the Town of Davie presented the Proclamation the other night, the council stood and led a standing ovation acknowledging the importance of the day and the work to be done---together.

All the details for the local event to be held at Museum of Discovery and Science from 10 -1pm are on our website. Pdf's of posters and flyers are also there, if you can print them out and continue spreading the word, that would be great.

Contact us via the website if you want to join the T2T Climate Captain group. We will have a 2nd work party night on Friday, Oct 16th ( back by popular demand) to continue silk screening tees and making signs. Join us!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

18 Rabbit Grand Opening

Check out T2T member Leah Brown's grand opening of her new art gallery, 18 Rabbit, right in the heart of downtown Fort Lauderdale. Good Luck Leah!

Here's the press release:


Grand Opening of 18 Rabbit Gallery

FT LAUDERDALE, Florida (October 6th, 2009) – 18 Rabbit Gallery is South Florida’s newest contemporary art gallery, and it will open it’s doors to the public with a Grand Opening of the group exhibition, Fireworks, on October 23rd, 2009 from 6 pm to Midnight. The exhibition continues through November 23rd, with gallery hours 10am-6pm or by appointment. Located in the heart of downtown Ft Lauderdale at the intersection of NW 1st st and NW 1st Ave, 18 Rabbit is a 2,000 sq ft exhibition and event space, dedicated to showcasing work by today’s most exciting emerging and established artists as well as being a hub for the local arts community.

The brainchild of local artists Leah Brown and Peter Symons, 18 Rabbit Gallery began as a renovated warehouse space in Ft Lauderdale downtown’s exciting revitalization of the North of Broward (NOB) district, bridging the art museum with the thriving FAT Village art scene. Brown and Symons moved to South Florida from New York City one year ago where they had both lived as practicing artists with a vision to create a thriving art community. 18 Rabbit is the realization of their idea to create a “Yes” space, where artists are unrestricted by materials usage and artistic content, empowering both artists and audience with the freedom of possibility. The building, itself, claims the title of first legal graffiti wall in Ft Lauderdale, painted on three sides by members of the infamous MSG Cartel.

Monthly exhibitions of group and solo shows will be augmented by the community’s involvement in events and classes within the context of the art space. Live music, poetry slams, figure drawing nights and film screenings are only the beginning. 18 Rabbit wants you to play an active role the arts community and welcomes any and all suggestions for bringing people together in acts and appreciation of creation.

The inaugural exhibition, Fireworks, brings together current work by a group of 10 internationally recognized contemporary artists working in several media, including drawing, painting, photography, sculpture, installation, performance and video. The artists include Leah Brown, Jinkyung Chong, Brian Hitselberger, Lisa Iglesias, Tony Ingrisano, Eva Jung, Justin Plakas, Blaine Siegel, and Peter Symons. A performance by Jinkyung Chong will begin at 8:00 pm.


Leah Brown, Gallery Director

(828) 279-1481 (direct)

18 Rabbit Gallery

18 NW 1st St

Ft Lauderdale, FL 33301

Florida Wants to Increase Recycling or Do They?

The Orlando Sentinel gives us a one-sided report on the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP) goal of tripling the state's recycling rate to 75%. A preliminary report from DEP shows that it recognizes some of the components necessary for a better program such as:

• Change how people think about waste and recycling by way of education and outreach.

• Enhance who recycles by placing more focus on the commercial and multi-family sectors. • Change the pattern of final waste disposition by decreasing the amount of waste going to landfills.
• Establish sufficient funding sources to assist local governments and keep a reporting system in place.
• Help develop markets to make increased recycling a sustainable process.
• Try innovative concepts such as “Pay As You Throw” and a bottle bill.
• Most importantly, recognize that all of this will take time!

While this is encouraging, nothing is new nor has not been tried before. There is pending legislation the essentially changes the definition of recycling which is found here. FL statues 403.7032 (2) states "However, any solid waste used for the production of renewable energy shall count toward the long-term recycling goal as set forth in this section."

Broward, Dade, Palm Beach, Hillsborough, Pinellas, Lee and Bay counties are preparing the "Mission Complete" banners. These counties rely heavily on waste-to-energy facilities to dispose of nonrecycled materials. Four of Florida's top six metro areas would have to take little or no action.

Waste-to-energy is much more desirable than landfilling. Its emissions are highly regulated. The fuel is domestic and never ending. Still, too many materials get disposed of this way when there are markets and uses for them.

A good part of the proposed legislation is that counties would be required to develop plans to compost between 5 and 10% of the counties waste.

The heat and humidity in Florida makes it perfect for composting. Its a travesty that more work has been not done in this area. Backyard composting is especially easy to implement. There is more yard waste in Florida than anyone knows what to do with. What kind of mulch are you buying? What is your local government purchasing and how much are they paying?

Only Plantation in Broward runs a program where yard waste from residents is converted into mulch used by city crews. Residents pay a small fee to dispose and the City saves on mulch purchases. They also provide free mulch to the community.

Here are some our ideas for successful programs:

  • Have dedicated recycling/solid waste professionals to implement programs
  • Reinvest savings and revenue from recycling programs into new programs and education-like a business would.
  • Have containers that are unique and distinguishable from garbage cans
  • Make recycling a business practice-it is what you business does for savings, the earth, and PR
  • Governments should implement extensive recycled-content programs-strong markets mean strong revenues
  • Government should coordinate competitive bids to provide recycling services to business-they already do this through their exclusive garbage collection
  • Educate, educated, educate-you know what Coke is all about and they advertise constantly
  • Remove the financial incentives for not encouraging business recycling through fees payed based on the volume of garbage collected.
  • Implement residential pay-as-you-throw programs.
There are many more. If you are looking for more information from our experts, contact us at Trash to Treasure.