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A 'can'-do attitude

Hillsdale Main Street Sustainability Committee makes dream of new recycling bins a reality


by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Cindy Eldkrona, Jeanne Roy and Ray Berardinelli of the Hllsdale Main Street Sustainability Committee with one of the new recycling bins.The Hillsdale Main Street Sustainability Commitee has facilitated the installation of new public recycling bins, designed to reduce the amount of recyclable bottles and cans mistakenly disposed of in the trash. Paper products will not be included, though, in an effort to keep the materials uncontaminated. Each lid is outfitted with two holes, one for plastic and metal bottles and cans and the other for glass.

Jeanne Roy, who founded Portland’s Center for Earth Leadership, explained the process by which the new bins came to fruition via email. According to her, the project started over two years ago when she and Alice Speers inventoried all the public trash cans in the commercial area. Then she and the Wilson High School Students for Environmental Action club did a waste sort to determine how many bottles and cans were in each trash bin. Roy persuaded TriMet to attach a recycling container to the trash bin on the northeast corner of Sunset Boulevard and Capitol Highway. The hauler does not pick up these containers but someone does and gets the money from deposits. Unfortunately, TriMet had no more of these unique containers. The committee considered the dual can designed by Alberta Main Street that has a trash receptacle on the bottom and cans on top and relies on members of the public to collect the cans for their deposits. Another option was dual bins used by the University of Washington with the recycling container on top and the trash below. However, the committee didn’t want to rely on the public collecting the bottles and cans, and Heiberg said the glass couldn’t be mixed with the plastic and metal ones. So a separate recycling container was chosen.

Other volunteers who devoted time to this project were Ray Berardinelli, chair of the Sustainability Committee; Cindy Eldkrona, committee member; and Phil Richman, member of the Hillsdale Main Street board.