Conservation Corner - Energy Advisory Panel Update

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By The Staff

Hard to believe it, but another month has gone by since the last update column.

Energy awareness. As you know, one of the goals of the Energy Advisory Panel is energy awareness. I think that this has started to happen throughout the Cedar Key community. I hear people talking about recycling and composting and how they have reduced the amount of trash that gets put in the WastePro truck twice a week.

Cedar Key School. Thanks to the leadership shown by the administration and staff of our school, there are now recycling containers in the classrooms and throughout the campus. What a great teaching tool, and it is wonderful that the kids are recycling. GO SHARKS!

Recycling Center garden. With the great help of the Cedar Key Garden Club, we have done further landscaping at the recycling center. Dedicated volunteers water the garden on a regular basis as more plants are added and the existing plants grow. This garden will look better all the time. Thanks to Mayor Sue, we now have a bench at the Recycling Center.

Pay-as-you-throw. Cedar Key’s contract with WastePro ends next year. This is an opportunity for our city officials and our citizens to investigate and evaluate what we can do to reduce the waste that our island sends to the landfill – and at the same time reduce the cost to our citizens. Thousands of cities across the country have switched to a pay-as-you-THROW program for trash removal. It’s basically a user fee: the more trash you create, the more you pay to have it taken away. A pay-as-you-throw system gives people the incentive to REDUCE, REUSE, and RECYCLE. It also gives citizens some control over their trash removal expense. If you would like to learn more about this program, go to www.epa.gov/payt.

May figures. For the month of May, our island recycled 15,440 pounds, off about 6% from last month. Over the course of the next six months, we’ll watch to see what our trend line is.

Summer composting. It’s a great time of year to be composting your food waste. It really helps to reduce the odor coming out of your trash can.

Until next time: stay well, keep recycling and composting, and inform and encourage others to do the same.

- Tom Deverin, Energy Advisory Panel