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Did You Know?
Did you know that every holiday season Americans throw away five million tons of trash per week, a one million ton per week increase over the rest of the year (epa.com)? The holidays are a wonderful time to celebrate with family and friends, but there are ways to celebrate that are less harmful to the environment. Listed below are several ideas on how to reduce waste and be eco-friendly over the holiday season.
- Give eco-friendly gifts- Not all products are created equal. Try to purchase products made from recycled materials, are produced in environmentally friendly ways, and that are durable. Treehugger.com has compiled a wonderful eco-friendly gift guide.
- Make cards from reused materials- An estimated 2.6 billion holiday cards are sold each year in the United States each year and most of them are immediately disposed of in the trash (recycleworks.org). Help reduce waste by reusing paper, paperboard, or cardboard to make a homemade card and recycling them afterwards.
- Go LED with Christmas lights- Save money and energy by using LED Christmas lights instead of traditional incandescent Christmas lights. LED Christmas lights require 1/50th of the electricity of conventional lights and last 20 to 30 years (epa.com).
- Get a real tree and treecycle it- Most experts agree that purchasing a real Christmas tree is less harmful to the environment than purchasing a fake tree. The consulting firm Ellipsos determined that "when compared on an annual basis, the artificial tree, which has a life span of six years, has three times more impact on climate change and resource depletion than the natural tree (ellipsos.ca)." To further reduce your environmental impact, remember to treecycle your tree after the holidays.
Call 832-3030 to purchase yours today! For more information on waste reduction and composting in Lawrence, visit www.LawrenceRecycles.org or call 832-3030.
Holiday Toy and Food Drive
On Monday, December 2nd and Monday, December 9th (weather permitting), the City of Lawrence Solid Waste Division will be picking up new unwrapped toys and non-perishable food items for donation along the regularly scheduled yard waste collection routes. All toys collected will be donated to the Lawrence Police Department’s Blue Santa Program and all food collected will be donated to Just Food, the Lawrence-Douglas County Food Bank.
Blue Santa asks that you donate new, unwrapped toys (for children under the age of 17) and/or grocery gift cards ($25.00 increments). Just Food asks that you donate any non-perishable food items. Some of the most needed items include boxed cereal, canned fruit and whole grain pasta.
Please set out any donation items next to your yard waste on either Monday for collection. If you do not wish to set the item out at the curb or do not have residential yard waste collection, please drop the donation items off directly at Just Food (1000 E. 11th Street) or any Toys 4 Tots collection bin (http://lawrence-ks.toysfortots.org).
Please note, if yard waste collection is cancelled due to inclement weather on either December 2nd or 9th, the toy and food collection will not occur either. Instructions will be posted with the notice of service cancellation.
Blue Santa Program
The Blue Santa Program was organized in 2011 by the men and women of the Lawrence, Kansas Police Department to provide toys and food for those who are less fortunate, living within the city limits of Lawrence, Kansas. Each year the Blue Santa Program provides every child in the family under the age of 17 with three wrapped gifts and a gift card from a local grocery store to purchase food for their holiday dinner. Lawrence Police Department personnel will deliver the wrapped gifts to the children and their families the week before Christmas.
Just Food is the food bank in Douglas County, supplying more than 40 partner agencies with food donated from food drives, as well as access to frozen meat, fresh produce and bread. Just Food also provides direct service to clients: it operates a food pantry, administers two federal food commodities programs, holds a monthly mobile food pantry, and participates in cooking and nutrition classes for low-income residents. Just Food and its partners play a key role in fighting hunger in our community by increasing the availability of a variety of foods, while helping to reduce waste and discarded food.
Recycling 101With students moving back to town and many others moving into new apartments and houses, August is a great time to get reacquainted with recycling options in Lawrence.
Recycling options include:
- Free recycling drop-off locations for newspaper, mixed paper, cardboard, and glass provided by the City of Lawrence. For a list of city sponsored drop-off locations click here.
- Aluminum can recycling drop-off boxes provided by Cans for the Community, a local not-for profit. Click here for a list of Cans for the Community drop-off locations and other aluminum recyclers.
- Several companies also offer curbside recycling services in Lawrence. For a list of curbside recycling providers and information on the new city-wide residential curbside recycling service to be provided by the City of Lawrence in October 2014, click here.
- There are several community drop-off recycling centers in Lawrence that accept a wide variety of commonly recycled products. For a list of community drop-off recycling centers, their hours of operation, and materials accepted, click here.
- Another option for disposing of most recyclables is in "One Earth, One Chance" single-stream recycling bins operated by Deffenbaugh Industries. Click here for a list of "One Earth, One Chance" bin locations in Lawrence.
- Household hazardous waste products can be recycled or disposed of properly through the City of Lawrence/Douglas County Household Hazardous Waste program. Douglas County households may schedule a drop-off appointment by calling 832-3030.
Play the new "What's In Your Trash?" Game!
What's In Your Trash? This is a question the Solid Waste Division researches frequently in order to divert the most amount of waste from the landfill (through recycling and composting) in the most cost effective manner to you - our community! Click on this game and test your perception of how much municipal solid waste ("trash") we generate, what the facts state, and what the City is doing about it. Enjoy the game! Click here to play now!