Northern California Recycling Association – Virtual Board Meeting – Thursday, July 16, 2020, 6-9 pm
6-6:30 pm Informal Sharing, 6:30-9 Meeting
Contact NCRA to receive the Zoom Link
Northern California Recycling Association – Virtual Board Meeting – Thursday, July 16, 2020, 6-9 pm
6-6:30 pm Informal Sharing, 6:30-9 Meeting
Contact NCRA to receive the Zoom Link
Speaker List, in Alphabetical Order:
Genevieve Abedon, Ecoconsult
Before joining Ecoconsult in 2017, Genevieve worked on statewide and local plastic pollution policies and campaigns for Californians Against Waste. In the past, she has worked as a Landfill Reduction Technician at various events and sailed across the North Atlantic Ocean studying microplastic pollution with The 5 Gyres Institute. At Ecoconsult, she represents the Clean Seas Lobbying Coalition, a coalition of non-profit organizations dedicated to source reduction solutions to the plastic pollution crisis.
Synopsis: Description of the Clean Seas Lobbying Coalition that NCRA has joined, what we do and what we have accomplished. I will give an overview of our statewide legislative priorities are for the year and deep dive into a few of them including SB 54/AB 1080 and The California Recycling and Plastic Pollution Reduction Act of 2020 ballot initiative. I will touch briefly on local ordinances/efforts, and close with how NCRA members can support our efforts.
Clytie Binder, Brisbane City Council, Australia
Clytie Binder is a Waste Educator with Brisbane City Council, helping schools, community groups, businesses and individuals to reduce their waste. In this role she has designed and delivered the Community Composting Hub program which has seen the establishment of 25 community composting hubs across the city. In 2019 she presented at the Coffs Waste Conference on community composting and was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to travel to the USA, Canada, and Cuba to explore education methods and partnership models to support community composting. Clytie is passionate about sustainability and the power of community to bring about change.
Synopsis: Brisbane City Council, Australia, has been developing a network of community composting hubs since 2016. While this program has diverted a large amount of organic waste from landfill community composting has also ignited a passion about composting in the hearts and minds of Brisbane residents. This is expressed through the development of income-generating opportunities, a surge in new urban food growing initiatives, a conduit for supporting and connecting passionate people and groups, a sense of excitement around the topic of composting, a gradual shift as composting moves into the mainstream and a sense of empowerment among the community in being part of the solution.
Michael Bisch, Yolo Food Bank
Michael has an accomplished background in business management and nonprofit leadership. Following his undergraduate education in Business Administration, he launched a career in international finance. An entrepreneur for the past 20 years, Michael has been the owner for 10 years of Davis Commercial Properties, a commercial real estate brokerage firm. As president of the nonprofit Davis Downtown for four years, Michael acquired a deep knowledge of nonprofit management best practices. At this time of transformation for YFB, Michael’s unique qualifications enable him to guide the organization with a balance of innovation and stability, blending business acumen with a passion to serve.
Synopsis: Poverty-stricken Yolo County is in crisis: 34% of households do not earn enough to cover their basic household expenses (impacting +50% of school children). YFB’s response is to transform itself from struggling nonprofit to high-performing change agent leading all of Yolo County on a mission to EndHungerYolo.
Our leadership has focused on the “Sustainable Management of Food” approach prioritizing wasted food recovery:
Rescuing wasted food is a quadruple win: it’s good for the economy, for our community, for the environment and for our vulnerable neighbors.
José Bravo is a long-time leader on just transition, climate justice and chemical policy as they relate to communities fighting for Environmental Justice and Labor Justice (Organized and Unorganized). Born in México and brought to the U.S. as a child, José’s work in social justice issues is rooted in his upbringing in the Southern California avocado fields alongside both his parents. Since 1991, José has gained recognition as a national and international leader in both the Environmental Justice and Climate Justice movements. Over the past 30 years as a community organizer, José has worked on numerous campaigns in the U.S., Puerto Rico and in México.
Synopsis: This Just Transition Alliance presentation covers how environmental justice (EJ) communities are disproportionately impacted in every part of the plastics lifecycle – from the extraction of oil for plastics to plastic in the ocean. EJ communities bare the burden of toxic chemicals in plastic products and the disposal of these products at hazardous facilities such as incinerators. This Environmental Justice Lens on the Lifecycle of Plastics is important to understand that communities have been left out of the environmentalism discussion, and explains how to bring our communities to the forefront of the conversation.
Laurenteen Brazil, City of El Cerrito Environmental Services Division
Laurenteen Brazil has over 18 years of experience in the recycling industry. She serves as the Waste Prevention Specialist at the City of El Cerrito where she provides educational outreach to the community and works directly with businesses for legislative compliance. Over the course of her career, she has also served on both the NCRA and CRRA Boards. She is a proponent of Zero Waste goals and advocates for lifestyle behavior change. In her spare time, she volunteers to help green a K thru 8 school and her home church. She enjoys outdoor activities and aspires continually to be impactful.
Synopsis: The Chinese Sword has caused the City of El Cerrito to adjust operations based on marketability. The first adjustment happened in April of 2018 with major changes effective May 15th and July 1st in 2019.
The one-stop-shop recycling center is still resourceful to the community we serve but, we have been constricted by marketability and we’ve decided to make it an education opportunity as well.
Derek Crutchfield, City of Vallejo
Synopsis: In an effort to reduce recycling contamination, the City of Vallejo Recycling Coordinator, Derek Crutchfield implemented a year-long Recycling Rewards incentive program. This citywide incentive program required residents, multi-family dwellings and businesses to recycle (and recycle properly) in order to be eligible to be rewarded. The program gave participating residential garbage customers an opportunity to possibly be rewarded with one of twelve “packages” of a year of free garbage service. In addition, multi-family dwellings and businesses were eligible to receive $1,000 off their garbage bill.
Jill Donello, GreenEducation.US
As the education manager at GreenEducation.us for the previous 3 years, I’ve worked closely with students and instructors in providing online education in sustainable resource management. Our students include recycling coordinators, public works department managers, facilities managers, consultants, waste haulers and others. I was a founding member of the US Zero Waste Business Council and have several decades of public speaking experience. With a Masters in Educational Technology, I look forward to bringing new methods for knowledge sharing to the field of SRM.
Synopsis: As California aggressively seeks to reduce waste to landfill and build a more sustainable future, an understanding of the “zero waste fundamentals” is needed by a growing number of employees and leaders in both the private and public sector. Solutions require collaboration across the supply chain. Training and education programs aim to support a shared vision, vocabulary, and base to ensure the workforce is ready to lead the changes to come. Let’s talk about the role of training and education in building zero waste leaders across the state!
Jeff Donlevy, Mings Resources
Bio: 25 years’ experience in the recycling industry. With experience in the design, construction, start-up, and management of recycling facilities ranging in size from a few hundred tons per month up to 10,000 tons per month. He has managed recycling and logistics contracts for large customers including Anheuser Busch, DST, California State Department of Corrections Facilities, and Bay Area News Group. The Ming’s Hayward facility handles over 2 BILLION CRV containers per year.
Magdalena Donoso, GAIA Latin America and the Caribbean
Magdalena Donoso is the Coordinator for GAIA Latin America and the Caribbean. She has worked in communications and networking with several Chilean NGOs and in Television Trust for the Environment (UK), supporting educational and activism programs in forestry and biodiversity for 15 years. For the last ten years she has worked on waste issues with cities in Latin America, particularly defending the rights of recyclers and promoting zero waste. She is based in Concepción, Chile.
Synopsis: Informal recyclers (wastepickers) have long been the unsung heroes of zero waste and faced environmental injustice, but that is changing. As a result of their long struggle for recognition, cooperatives of wastepickers/recyclers are now running city-wide collection and sorting programs in multiple capital cities in Latin America. Because of their on-the-ground knowledge, waste pickers are uniquely positioned to inform sound zero waste policy and defend against incineration and other obstacles to success. Embedding wastepickers in key decision-making is not only critical to social justice and equity, it’s also the best chance cities have to achieve zero waste.
Miriam Gordon, UPSTREAM
Bio: As Policy Director with UPSTREAM, Miriam is a leading architect and incubator of local and state policies aimed at making the Throw Away culture a thing of the past.Previously, as the California Director of Clean Water Action, Miriam launched ReThink Disposable, a program that has demonstrated that reducing throw away products in food service saves food businesses money and improves customers’ dining experiences. Over the last 20 years, she has been a leading California advocate for policies aimed at reducing plastic pollution and has worked with local, state, and federal agencies implementing pollution prevention and water quality programs.
Synopsis: Plastic pollution is everywhere- in the air we breathe, water we drink, and food we eat. Communities and their governments are responding with bans on plastic items-like straws, containers, and bags. But allowing other disposables like paper, aluminum, bioplastic and fiber to take their place just transfers the harm to climate, habitat destruction, and resource depletion. We can’t recycle and compost our way out of this problem. There’s a better way than throw away! Resusables are better for the planet and save businesses money. UPSTREAM brings reuse into food service through policy and business innovation. New policies- like the Berkeley foodware ordinance- and innovative business models are transforming the Throw Away Culture. Learn how you can join the REUSE REVOLUTION!
Lawrence Grown, Metro Lighting
I founded Metro Lighting in 1993 to fulfill a need for architectural lighting–fixtures designed to complement unique architectural environments. I earned my architecture degree in 1990 from the acclaimed program at the University of Cincinnati. My passions are for product development, sustainable design, and organic architecture. I am a charter member of Buy Local Berkeley, the Founder/Executive Director of the West Berkeley Design Loop, and founder of Commotion West Berkeley. I previously served on boards for many years at my three daughters’ schools. And in 2018 I designed and produced a large scale environmental art project for Burning Man called the Chilopod, which is my biggest lighting “fixture” to date.
Synopsis: Metro Lighting manufactures lighting fixtures in Berkeley. Our showroom is 100% solar powered. And we’ve developed a line of lighting glass made from post-consumer liquor and wine bottles. We are making use of their embodied energy used to create them. They are beautiful, sustainable, and handcrafted. I also pick up repurposed metal components and build other fixtures with them, mostly floor lamps and bicycle rim chandeliers.
Mitra Gruwell, Saint Vincent de Paul of Lane County
Mitra Gruwell is a second-generation craftsperson, sewist, and upcycle fashion designer from Eugene, Oregon. She has been redesigning clothing for 20 years. She is the lead designer and manager of the ENVIA upcycled fashion brand- a project of thrift store non-profit St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County. Mitra is the founder of several fashion-focused companies in Eugene, including Bricolage LLC and Eugene Fashion Week. She also teaches art-focused business workshops for The Arts and Business Alliance of Eugene (ABAE) and does mentorships and apprenticeships with local youth.
Synopsis: Being the upcycling department for thrift store non-profit St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County, we get a lot of opportunities to work with local and national businesses’ waste. In response to this, and to maximize reciprocal benefit, we have come up with protocols in working with these businesses that encourage not only an ongoing partnership but also that have the potential of shifting the industry perception of “waste”. Our Go Green Program does this by offering to take on business’ post-manufacturing and post-consumer discards, and using all methods available to us (including retail sales, wholesale sales, recycling and upcycling) to avert the expense of disposal for the business, while also reducing expense to our environment. In some cases, we have even been able to upcycle the business’ waste and sell it back to them in the form of upcycled products, shifting their perception of value of these discards from “expense” to “asset,” with the potential of earning income while adding to the rich story of the business’ investment in environmentally responsible practices.
Tony Hale, San Francisco Estuary Institute – Aquatic Science Center
As SFEI’s Program Director for Environmental Informatics, Dr. Tony Hale has advanced the Institute’s communications practices, overseen the development of new data visualization technologies, and partnered with state and federal agencies to address complex data management challenges such as those presented by trash-related pollution. He leads a solid team of innovators who share a common mission to advance our collective knowledge of California’s most pressing environmental concerns.
Synopsis: Each year, tons of trash sail down tributaries into the San Francisco Bay. Yet understanding the true scale of the problem eludes us. If we could achieve a bird’s-eye view, perhaps then we could capture a more expansive view of the landscape. Furthermore, if we could take that image and process it automatically, then perhaps we could better quantify this elusive challenge. Our presentation describes a project, funded through the California Ocean Protection Council, to develop a new trash-detection method that uses drone imagery and AI to affordably expand the spatial range and temporal density of current trash monitoring.
Nick Harvey, Bay Area Redwood
Nick graduated from the College of Creative Studies at UC Santa Barbara with a degree in chemistry and biochemistry, then headed to the Bay Area to work in sustainable lighting at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as a staff scientist. Concurrently, Nick worked at LLNL and pursued a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering at UC Davis before dropping out to work in Tech, Shortly thereafter, Nick struck out on his own to pursue entrepreneurial ventures: BayAreaRedwood.com was founded serendipitously when Nick saw trees being thrown away while riding his bike. Nick leverages his background in chemistry and materials science in this current venture.
Synopsis: BayAreaRedwood was founded on the premise that we should not waste trees removed from urban environments; the status quo sees urban trees mulched and then typically burned producing copious amounts of CO2. In contrast, our processing method creates carbon sinks. Here at BayAreaRedwood, we specialize in upcycling urban redwood trees into usable timber commodities including live-edge slabs, siding, beams, and other custom milled products. In addition, we fabricate and assemble this wood into solid-wood furniture products.
The presentation will discuss the current challenges in the industry, how we are solving them, and what we create by doing it.
Brock Hill, Premier Recycle Company
Brock Hill is Vice President and Director of Operations for Premier Recycle Company. He started with the company in 2008 and has since led an 80% increase in facility material throughput. As well as serving on the board of Silicon Valley Construction Financial Management Association, Brock serves as the Legislative Committee Chairman and Board of Directors member for the Construction and Demolition Recycling Association.
Synopsis: Monopolies created by exclusive franchising limit resource recovery and are bad for the local economy.
Steve Lautze, Resource Revolution
Bio:Long time member and former board member and President (1993-95) of NCRA whose recycling career detoured for 20 years into green economic development for the City of Oakland, including administering that city’s Recycling Market Development Zone (RMDZ); recently retired from city government to focus more intently on recycling market development issues as an independent consultant. President of Calif. Assn. of RMDZs (2003-2019); co-founder, Recycling BIN (Build Infrastructure Now) Coalition; board member, East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse; advisor to Upcyclers Network.
Synopsis: The QUALITY of what we collect is as important as the QUANTITY, and that focusing on CONVERSION of these materials deserves increased attention, as opposed to simply maximum DIVERSION from landfills. Focusing on facility development and closed-loop manufacturing requires more attention and resources than California’s traditional approaches to these issues; such efforts are by definition less government based, and more entrepreneurial. Messages to the public should be more oriented to capture materials that manufacturers and compost facilities can use to make products, rather than methods that reach towards the highest level of “diversion”, truly closing the loop will take new tools and new approaches to materials management.
Taumra Lawrence, City of Oakland
Taumra Lawrence is the Executive Assistant to the Director of Oakland Public Works, and also acts as one of the lead team members working to implement the City of Oakland’s race and equity mission within the Public Works Department. The team supports the mission of the City of Oakland to transform practices in City government to promote inclusion and full participation by a broad representation of residents and to end racial inequity.
Synopsis: How Race & Equity Can Make a Vast Difference in the Zero Waste Movement – By supporting capacity building, the development of race and equity outcomes, and tools across the industry’s activities, the Recycling and Zero Waste industries can experience much greater participation from diverse communities. I will cover how your organization can begin to implement the tools necessary to reach a wider citizenry, therefore experiencing greater success in our efforts to reduce, if not end, waste.
Leslie Lukacs, Zero Waste Sonoma
Leslie Lukacs is the Executive Director of Zero Waste Sonoma formally known as the Sonoma County Waste Management Agency. Leslie has worked over 20 years in solid waste and resource management industry and, prior to this appointment, was the Director of Zero Waste at SCS Engineers, a solid waste, recycling and organics management consulting firm, for 13 years. Leslie also had her own consulting company for 7 years. Leslie has spent her career designing and implementing comprehensive sustainability and zero waste programs for large institutions, public agencies, venues, and events throughout California and the nation.
Synopsis: Last September, Zero Waste Sonoma’s Board of Directors requested staff research the viability of accepting compostable plastics and products as a feedstock for a new organics processing system. We produced a white paper that outlines the pros and cons of feedstocks and cost analysis of the options. The presentation will provide the white paper results, uncover the truth that the majority of compost facilities that accept compostable plastics are screening them out for landfilling,
John Moore, Law Office of John Douglas Moore
Although John is not a zero-waste professional, he is a star in his own profession. He taught in law school when he was 23; won his first case while still in law school at age 24 and in the 39 following years achieved and has been recognized as much as anyone can as a lawyer, including service as a superior court judge. Last year he became one of a select few attorneys admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States, which he will presently discuss.
Synopsis: Many Supreme Court decisions have been found by history to be wrongly decided. While a CA Supreme Court case permits (but does not mandate) local governments to grant exclusive garbage collection franchises, local governments should choose not to use exclusive franchising which, in fact, increases landfilling and takes money and living wage jobs out of local communities. Premier Recycling chose to challenge this practice in the US Supreme Court and it will now explain why.
Monaliza Noor, HF&H Consultants, LLC
Monaliza Noor is an Associate Analyst at HF&H Consultants. She recently assisted with the development of CalRecycle’s SB 1383 implementation tools and case studies. To help jurisdictions plan for SB 1383, Ms. Noor has also helped develop a number of SB 1383-specific tools that identify requirements; delineate which entity (City, hauler, or a third-party) will do what; and, allow for cost-benefit analysis. In addition to her SB 1383 focused work, Ms. Noor also assists in hauler performance reviews, solid waste and recycling contract analysis, and procurement evaluations. Before joining HF&H Consultants in 2018, Ms. Noor worked for the City of Oakland’s environmental services division. In 2016, she earned a Master of Science degree in Environmental Management from the University of San Francisco.
Synopsis: Monaliza Noor will provide an overview of newly developed SB 1383 Implementation Tools produced for CalRecycle by HF&H Consultants, in conjunction with Diversion Strategies and Debra Kaufman Consulting. The SB 1383 tools include: a model franchise agreement; a model mandatory organics disposal reduction ordinance; a model organic waste product procurement policy; and, a model edible food recovery agreement. Each tool provides example provisions for use by jurisdictions and other entities to develop new agreements, ordinances, and/or policies, or to amend existing ones. The presentation will highlight key provisions of each tool and describe how users can navigate and customize each model tool.
Veronica Pardo, California Refuse Recycling Council, Northern District
Veronica Pardo has served the Northern District California Refuse Recycling Council’s governmental affairs program since 2013 where she monitors the numerous regulatory agencies that impact the waste and recycling industry, ensuring that industry needs are communicated during regulatory rulemakings and state policy development. Ms. Pardo works on a diversity of issues ranging from organics management to renewable energy production. She holds a master’s degree in Community Development from UC Davis and a bachelor’s degree in French and English from UCLA.
Synopsis: This presentation will highlight the differences and similarities of the waste management system of 3 distinct regions: Japan, Germany, and California.
Having lived in Japan, Germany, and California, I will provide a personal view of waste sorting and expectations at the household level. The presentation will also address recycling rates, specific programs, and incineration and landfill use within these regions.
Ultimately, the audience will learn that each region has a unique approach to waste management. This perspective will help inform the larger discussion of how to realize our significant global and regional waste diversion goals.
Wanda Redic, City of Oakland
Wanda Redic has 25 Years of experience in municipal solid waste and recycling; currently focused in community outreach and developing public engagement strategies, advancing social equity in ethnic communities, developing waste reduction strategies and managing elements of franchise agreements and current lead staff for SB 1383 implementation.
Synopsis: My presentation briefly will provide information about Oakland’s path to edible food recovery and distribution. I’ll share Oakland’s collaboration with other government agencies and with the community of food distribution stakeholders as we chart a path towards reducing food surplus and increasing food recovery which can have potential impacts beyond our borders.
Jessica Robinson, Resilience Birthright Inc
Jessica Jane Robinson is known as superhero Resilience, Recycle Woman, and Miss Alameda. Ms. Robinson is a Zero Waste practitioner with more than a decade of experience in implementing recycling and compost programs. She works with businesses, organizations, school districts (throughout the Bay Area), principals, faculty members, teachers, students, and community members in engagement projects, implementing cultural and social change programs to improve zero waste and climate protection goals. She has served on the Board of Directors for the Northern California Recycling Association since 2013, serving as treasurer from 2013-2016, and now as Vice President.
Synopsis: The Earth Warrior Carbon Calculator is a zero-waste tool that helps address climate change by guiding people toward the UN Sustainable Development Goals. For people not familiar with the zero-waste lifestyle, this website will help them slowly get accustomed to the behaviors and lifestyle without going “cold turkey.” The user will be able to track their daily actions based on sustainable lifestyle choices, such as walking, carpooling, composting, recycling, and reusing. The website calculates the activities as the equivalence of carbon metric tons avoided in the atmosphere, then simplifies those metrics with tangible analogies such as saving trees or removing cars off the road.
Karen Strolia, Downtown Streets
Bio: After graduating from UC Berkeley’s Psychology Dept, Karen joined Downtown Streets Team (DST) as a Case Manager in Marin County in 2016 where she worked to connect unhoused individuals to critical resources. After being promoted to Project Manager, she created positive visibility in the greater community for those who often feel marginalized. As a Director, Karen launched Marin County’s only shower program, Marin Mobile Care, with a focus in meeting people where they are to serve a basic need – a shower – to those living “off the grid”. She is currently working to expand DST into Sonoma County’s Petaluma.
Synopsis: In 15 Northern CA cities, Downtown Streets Team (DST) provides a path to recover from homelessness through community, motivation, and hope. Unhoused “Team Members” clean up business districts, neighborhoods, encampments and waterways as they work their way out of homelessness. The Organization’s model has been lauded as one of only five evidence-based best practices by the League of CA Cities and the CA Association of Counties’ Homelessness Task Force. Come learn about the model, service philosophy and 15 years’ experience engaging local unhoused residents in community cleanups.
Wes Sullens, U.S. Green Building Council
Wes Sullens, LEED Fellow, leads Materials & Resources activities at the U.S. Green Building Council. Wes is responsible for the materials credits in LEED and directs organizational activities related to construction waste, product manufacturing, material transparency, circular economy, and embodied carbon. He has worked in the public, private and nonprofit sectors for 20 years on broad topics including energy efficiency, supply chain sustainability, and chemicals transparency.
Synopsis: Update on waste, recycling and circular economy recognition for construction and building projects in LEED. The presentation will focus on project waste management and diversion (reuse, C&D), as well as product procurement (recycled content, designed for circularity, environmental product declarations). Updates will focus on the newest version of LEED: version 4.1.
Peter Schultze-Allen, EOA Inc.
Peter Schultze-Allen is a Senior Scientist at EOA Inc. providing technical assistance to municipalities around the Bay Area, specializing in the development of policies and practices for: public and private green stormwater infrastructure, zero waste, zero litter, complete streets, sustainable landscaping, and urban forestry. His previous experience includes managing the environmental programs for the City of Emeryville and team member of Recology-San Francisco’s Fantastic Three program rollout. He is one of the four authors of the Ecology Center’s initial draft of Berkeley’s Single-Use Foodware and Litter Reduction Ordinance that was adopted in March of 2019.
Synopsis: How do the worlds of stormwater and zero waste intersect and why should you care? I will give some examples and ways that people and organizations are taking action on these topics: plastics, PFAS, cigarette butts, EPS (Styrofoam), shopping bags, extended producer responsibility, marine debris, litter, foodware, compost use and specifications, mulch, green stormwater infrastructure, roadway design, sustainable landscaping, carbon sequestration, regenerative agriculture, erosion and sediment control, street trees and building demolition!
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NORTHERN CALIFORNIA RECYCLING ASSOCIATION
BOARD MEETING – THURS November 21, 2019
San Francisco Dept. of the Environment, 1455 Market Street, Suite 1200, SF
Dinner at 6, Meeting at 6:30
RSVP is required to attend Board Meeting, as there is a security desk
“Environmental justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies” Dr. Robert Bullard
5 Things To Know About Communities Of Color And Environmental Justice Jasmine Bell, Center for American Progress, 4/25/16
1. Communities of color have higher exposure rates to air pollution than their white, non-Hispanic counterparts. A Yale University study found that non-Hispanic whites had the lowest exposure rates for 11 of the 14 pollutants monitored in the study. Meanwhile, Hispanics had the highest exposure rates for 10 out of the 14 pollutants, and African Americans had higher exposure rates than whites for 13 out of the 14 pollutants. Some of the pollutants studied have been connected to asthma, cardiovascular issues, lung disease, and cancer. For example, a case study of The Bronx, New York, found that individuals who lived close to noxious industrial facilities and waste sites were 66 percent more likely to be hospitalized for asthma. Significantly, these same individuals were 13 percent more likely to be people of color.
2. Landfills, hazardous waste sites, and other industrial facilities are most often located in communities of color. A report titled “Toxic Waste and Race at Twenty” reviewed data collected over a 20-year time period and found that more than half of the people who live within 1.86 miles of toxic waste facilities in the United States are people of color. A report by the Center for Effective Government found that people of color are nearly twice as likely as white residents to live within a fenceline zone of an industrial facility. These facilities contribute to air pollution, safety issues, and health concerns.
3. Lead poisoning disproportionately affects children of color. Children of color who live in urban areas are at the highest risk for lead poisoning caused by lead-based paint. A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention determined that 11.2 percent of African American children and 4.0 percent of Mexican-American children are poisoned by lead, compared with 2.3 percent of white children. Lead poisoning can result in a wide range of health problems, such as anemia, seizures, and brain development issues. Even with the restrictions on lead paint usage, children of color who live in low-income communities continue to suffer the most. For example, a 2004 report revealed that African American children and Hispanic children in Chicago were 12 times and 5 times more likely to be poisoned, respectively, than white children.
4. Climate change disproportionately affects low-income communities and communities of color. The effects of climate change, such as extreme weather conditions, have devastating consequences for communities of color and low-income communities. These extreme weather events can displace residents and even cause death. In the aftermath of such disasters, efforts of city officials to rebuild communities of color and low-income communities are often inadequate compared to efforts to rebuild higher-income and white communities. Perhaps the most powerful example of this inequity is the communities of color in New Orleans that were affected by Hurricane Katrina. Black homeowners received $8,000 less in government aid than white homeowners due to disparities in housing values. In 2013, about 80 percent of the mostly black residents of the city’s Lower 9th Ward had not returned to their community due to inadequate building efforts.
5. Water contamination plagues low-income areas and communities of color across the nation. Studies have documented limited access to clean water in low-income communities of color. Water contamination has largely affected children of color who live in rural areas, indigenous communities, and migrant farmworker communities. Contaminated water can cause an abundance of health-related issues, particularly for young children. Depending on the contaminant, possible health problems can include waterborne diseases, blood disorders, and cancer. Indigenous people of the Navajo Nation, for example, have suffered for years from water contamination due in part to the residual effects of uranium mining in the region during the 1950s, as well as the recent Gold King Mine toxic spill. In St. Joseph, Louisiana, residents are forced to live on water that is tinted brown and yellow but that the state continues to claim is safe to drink. African Americans make up three-quarters of the town’s population and nearly 40 percent of the residents live in poverty.
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