Have you ever wondered if the things you put in your recycling bin are really getting recycled? Well you’re not the only one. Over 100 people joined us at our November Grow Smart CLT event to hear from Mecklenburg County Solid Waste Services about how to recycle right.
It's no secret that plastics have made life easier for humans, but at the cost of choking our waterways, littering our city streets, and posing hazards to endangered wildlife around the globe. If you're looking for a way to reduce your single-use plastics, one way to do it is by using a Leaf Burrito.
If you’re not using plastic bags, you’re on the right track, according to the panelists at our November Grow Smart CLT event. Same if you’re working to reduce your food wasted, or reading up on which products can actually be recycled curbside.
We’re excited that Charlotte has launched two pilot projects in the North End Smart District, with the goal of reducing waste. The programs are funded through a Neighborhood Matching Grant.
Photo credit: Leaf BurritoRead more
This is the fifth article in our 8-part series of weekly blog posts called "The Good, the Bad, the Possibilities". For this series, we are asking local experts three questions to give you a quick overview of recent local trends and solutions with respect to a range of important issues that affect our community's sustainability. This week’s topic is solid waste, and our featured experts are Victoria O. Johnson, Director of Solid Waste Services for the City of Charlotte, and Jeffrey Smithberger, Director of Solid Waste Management for Mecklenburg County.Read more
Did you know that the average American household spends $1,500 on food that ends up uneaten? Sustain Charlotte recently partnered with Livable Meck to co-host a workshop on the topic of food waste and sustainability.
Our program director Meg Fencil explains the connection between food waste, sustainability, and equity.
Household expenses, health, and environment
The median Charlotte household spends 29% of their income on housing and another 22% on transportation. For many households, food is their third-highest expense. When a large percentage of that food is wasted, it places an extra financial strain on the household. That means less money is available for other household needs.
Denada Jackson from Solid Waste Services and David Valder from Crown Town Compost educated the audience about the environmental and health impacts of excessive food waste. When food and other organic material decomposes in the landfill, it generates methane, which is 28 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas. However, when food is composted and decomposes in the presence of oxygen, it generates carbon dioxide instead of methane. In other words: a composted banana has a much smaller carbon footprint than a landfilled banana.Read more
Did you know Mecklenburg County processed 130,000 tons of wood waste in 2017? That’s the weight of 22,000 African elephants!
How about the fact that between each November and January, the County picks up 10,000 tons of leaves (as much as 5,000 cars)? In a city growing as quickly as Charlotte, waste management is a challenge. That’s why our January Monthly Mixer featured speakers from our partners TreeCycle America and Leaf Burrito, two companies working to shift the mindset of residents to managing our waste more sustainably. In case you missed it, over 100 Charlotteans joined us at Resident Culture Brewing to learn more about the topic.
Photo courtesy of TreeCycle America
Charlotte is known as a city of trees, but did you know that 100,000 pounds of lumber from them ends up in area landfills every day? This fact shocked the attendees at our May monthly mixer. And it's the reason that Damon Barron, founder of Treecycle America, is passionate about rescuing those trees and giving them new life as lumber or furniture. Treecycle America is a collaborative network of certified architects, designers, developers, municipalities, arborists, sawmills, woodworkers, and makers embracing the common goal of using urban trees to their fullest potential.
Damon Barron views Charlotte's downed trees as a very underutilized resource!Read more
The City Council Environment Committee's conversation about whether or not to continue providing trash and recycling pickup at multi-family properties began several months ago. Since then, there has been a lot of discussion about what "multi-family" really means. During two public input sessions, many residents of apartments, condos, and townhomes have shared their concerns about rising costs, equity, and environmental impact.
The City's ultimate goal is to divert 100% of waste from landfills.Read more
Ever wonder how Charlotte City Council splits up the work of governing a city of over 800,000 people? Committees, of course! There are five committees, or "Focus Areas", that council members serve on. Here's what the Environment Committee is up to as they kick off 2016.
Before the commitee's first meeting of the year, Mayor Jennifer Roberts shuffled the membership to include two returning committee members, John Autry (Chair) and Claire Fallon. Newly elected council member James Mitchell will serve as Vice-Chair, with Al Austin and Patsy Kinsey also joining the committee. Meet them here.Read more