HIGHLIGHTS OF THE AUGUST BOARD MEETING: We all picnicked instead.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE JULY BOARD MEETING: Working on the details of our new staffperson Teresa Bradley, wrapping up with Shauna after nine years, the agreement with Freight & Salvage for RU-18, the agreement with GRRN for the 2013 joint conference with the ZWIA folks, getting all on the same page for the CRRA conference, etc. Lots of details; all are well. ARB
WELCOME TERESA, OUR NEW STAFFER: When Shauna indicated in April that she intended to resign as our officeperson, Teresa Bradley, a NCRA boardmember for the last three years, indicated her interest in the job and we decided in May that she should have the right of first refusal once Shauna was gone. Teresa is originally from Missouri and completed her BA at the University of Missouri in Columbia in Regional Cultural Geography in 2003 and has just completed a masters at USF in Environmental Management. She has worked for federal agencies in NM, ID, and UT and, after working for both the SF Conservation Corps and the Conservation Corps North Bay, has had her own business, Revolutionary Green Consulting, for three years; RGC has conducted trainings as well as set up and run recycling programs at various events including the Marin County Fair. (Details on the actual transition elsewhere.) ARB
SEEN AND HEARD AT THE CRRA: After years of refusing to revise its GHG emissions schema, ICLEI has apparently finally consented to abandon the IPCC method which looks at wastes-in-the-ground only and to consider the effect of wasting what are renewable resources. The Zero Waste Brain Trust, initially funded by NCRA with support from the EAB, summarized its work [Portia and Ruth presenting], discussing their numerous case studies and identifying how local public agencies can adopt policies and programs that make their waste hauler a more committed and effective participant in the zero waste movement. Cara Morgan of Cal Recycle staff says AB 341 makes for flexible regulation; my Natalie says, “that’s an oxymoron.” Rod Muir is getting close to his first million Sure-Close kitchen pails and got a rousing endorsement from SF and SJ officials during the CORC Sunday afternoon seminar on organics collections; Emmanuel Nava of the SFDoE made a nice speech on their program; with 8,500 multi-unit buildings in the city, all but 1,400 are now enrolled in green cart collections. Rob Hilton had some interesting numbers on the economics of food collections programs. Rick Anthony met Daniel Kamen of UCB’s energy program in Rio and hopes he’ll be available at next March’s Ru/ZWIA conference in Berkeley. Richard Gertman is considering his retirement, (formally announced later in August). ARB
ANOTHER PICNIC GOES INTO THE BOOKS: Berkeley Cesar Chavez Park was the site of NCRA’s annual summer picnic on Sunday, August 12th. In attendance were: Arthur Boone, Teresa Bradley, Doug Brooms, Jessica Connelly, Jenny Cutter, Chris Lehon, Heidi Melander et familie, John Moore, David Tam, David Pilpel, and Mary Lou Van Deventer. It was cold but sunny at the top of the park and a good time was had by all; Cutter and Pilpel even played Frisbee. Jenny did the heavy lifting on the event and we thank her. ARB
NCRA, RONA and the NRC: RONA and the NRC are moving along in merger talks; the boards both met at Austin in late August and plan to reorganize together as one organization known as the North American Recycling Council [retaining the NRC initials]. Although our contribution of $500 to RONA when it was being formed several years ago has made us a member, NCRA has, primarily at my leading, not been very much involved in these deliberations. It’s been my opinion that working locally and trying to keep Sacramento honest is about all we can handle, but I would be interested in hearing from others on questions of our involvement. This will be discussed at the September board meeting although until we have more details on the exact shape and content of the new NRC, definitive action will not be likely. NCRA member Gary Liss has been a RONA boardmember and can keep us abreast of the discussions; Marjorie Griek, president of RONA, has been very attentive in answering any questions I would have. ARB.
NCRA and CERTIFICATION: Over the last few years, CRRA, RONA and now GRRN have devoted large energies to mounting and conducting classes for newbies and wannabies leading to certification. Although individual NCRA members have been involved as instructors and attendees, NCRA as an organization has taken a hands-off attitude towards all this effort. At the September meeting the board will be asked to discuss if that should change and decide that we should make a positive effort to notify our members and to recruit their attendance at these learning sessions and their own certification. Please tell our board what you think. ARB
OFFICEPERSON TRANSITIONS: Teresa Bradley is now clearly our officeperson; she has been doing our work out of her home on 47th Avenue in SF (almost at the beach) since late July. Shauna transferred her piles to Portia who then winnowed the materials to remove archival stuff (off to the archivist) and checking all the software programs so she could be clear that Teresa is fully up to speed. It’s been agreed that Laura McKaughan, our Vice-President, will be the lead board contact with Teresa and that Portia Sinnott will be responsible for making sure Teresa gets fully competent on all our special software. Teresa’s employment agreement is being modified to reflect concerns that developed during our nine year stay with Shauna; our attorney, John Moore, is reviewing all before we sign. Jordan continues as our web-maven and we are trying to keep Teresa’s time and materials to a minimum so we can devote even more resources to our central mission. Shauna provided yeoperson’s service for nine long years through four or five NCRA News editors and managed to get our newsletter out the door on time and on budget; we are grateful for all of her efforts as well as her attention to our interests and we wish her well in her future work and with her future clients. ARB
THE NATURE OF MATERIALS UPDATE: At its June meeting the board agreed to accept the $2,500 grant from the EAB to fund the start-up of this course. Arthur has developed agreements with Patty Moore (plastics), Susan Kinsella (paper) and C. Philip Ross (glass) and has a preliminary interest from Dave Keeling at SRI to help us find a teacher on metals. We are now looking at a November 27th date (Tuesday after Thanksgiving) for the first offering of this one-day course. Attendance will be limited to 30 people and the attendance fee will be $55 per person. There will be some scholarship money available. Some have suggested doing these two hour segments in the future as one-at-a-time, late afternoon sessions (5-7, 6-8, etc.) rather than as a one-day special; your opinion please. ARB
DOES YOUR FOOD SCRAPS PAIL REALLY NEED A LINER?: I was discouraged at the CORC event during CRRA hearing about all the pushback from ordinary people who object to rinsing out their kitchen pails and green carts with oh-so-yukky food residue and juices within. It’s a non-issue to me (never used a liner); what do you think? ARB Portia: use a reusable one that suits my ick factor just fine. I also suggest folks line it with newspaper or an old paper bag.
ARCHIVIST SPEAKS: Over the years I have become the repository of NCRA’s old and unwanted files, papers, etc.; I have about 8 full-size file boxes in my office. If you have hard copy of old copies of the NCRA News and would like to dispose of them, I’ll be glad to take them; we’re trying to build a complete file. ARBoone, Archivist, de facto.
HOSED IN SACRAMENTO: The California legislature did nothing for the anti-garbage movement in its recently-ended session and failed to enact any of the chances they had: no plastic bag bans, no mattress recycling bill, no end to ADC for green waste, and took away much of local government’s powers to limit landfills’ imports (AB 845; we’re still fighting on that one) and undue restrictions on donation boxes (AB 1978). Tell your legislator you were disappointed. At this rate we’ll be at 50% forever. ARB
A PLEASANT DAY IN STOCKTON: A year after its formation, R-BIN asked NCRA to exhibit at its annual forum and Boone carried the flag to Stockton on September 11 when 70 people assembled to hear speeches on how can restore the reprocessing of used materials to in-state businesses and diminish the outsourcing of the stage after collections of our resources. The leaders of Epic Plastics from Lodi, American Recycling in Stockton (land application of cannery debris) and Golden By-Products (tire shredders) in Ballico all made interesting talks. Steve Lautze, former NCRA president and now president of the CA RMDZ officials group, moderated one discussion. The board will consider joining this coalition at its September meeting. ARB