Charlotte Waste Reduction Project Concentrates on Food

(by Sherrell Dorsery, Next City)

"Charlotte’s Solid Waste Services department recently announced a plan to get nearly 16,000 homes in majority low-income and minority neighborhoods to cut the amount of trash they discard by half...Healthy Communities seeks to chip away at some of these challenges by leveraging the city’s goal of reaching zero waste by 2050 and centering the conversation on food...

Meg Fencil, education outreach and program director for Sustain Charlotte’s sustainable communities program, has led health and wellness efforts in addition to recycling and anti-littering campaigns in communities in the West Boulevard Corridor.

“In general, there’s often high turnover in communities where most of the residents rent their homes. Many people may have never been taught to recycle, or apartment complexes in many of these communities don’t offer it,” says Fencil.

Her organization has worked over the last three to four years in communities like Grier Heights and Reid Park, where Solid Waste will focus its campaign. They’ve helped residents establish sustainability vision plans, organized trash cleanups and recycling drives, and provided small stipends to engage local youth in becoming educators in their communities on these issues.

By partnering with Solid Waste on the Healthy Communities initiative, Fencil believes the program will have greater impact in helping people learn the basics of recycling and reducing waste to start making a difference."

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