Saturday, August 15, 2009

Note posted on FaceBook

...at the Greenville City Council Meeting (8/11/09) it was mentioned that the council members were at first hearing more positive than negative comments about the proposed mandated curbside recycling program for our city. Now it is about 50/50. They want to hear from their constituents in the next month. If you are a person that DOES want to recycle without having to deal with the drama of the tracks, then I urge you to get on the phone to your council members or email them and let them know how you feel. This is a case where complacency will affect outcome. If the entire town of Greenville starts recycling it would have a massive impact long term on the state of our landfill, at the very least.

Below is a copy of a letter that I just sent to our council members in reply to one of the negative comments made last night. I don't want to be pushy about this recycling stuff, but I just want everyone to know what is at stake for our city. If you care, one way or another, then you need to make yourself be heard. Obviously, I would prefer if you call in for curbside and not against - that's no secret. However, if the voices of what I believe to be the fewer are heard and louder than the many that just don't call in or email, then we may lose this chance to improve our lives and this planet.

Emails are as follows:
Kenny Hampton - khampton@greenvilleillinois.com
Will Boyd - wboyd@greenvilleillinois.com
Matt Roadman - mroadman@greenvilleillinois.com
Roger Sanders - roger.sanders@sbcglobal.net
Dave Willey - dwilley@greenvilleillinois.com
Alan Gaffner - agaffner@greenvilleillinois.com

These email addresses can also be found on the City web page along with meeting times and agendas at www.greenvilleillinois.com then click on City Council.
You can also get updates on whats going on at www.begreeningreenville.blogspot.com (that is if I'm not totally depressed about what is actually going on in greenville and decide not to blog :'))

You can also call your city manager, Dave Willey, or any of the other council members at 664-1644.

You can mail them a response at: City of Greenville, Municipal Building, 404 South Third Street, Greenville, IL 62246.


August 12, 2009

Dear Council Members,

I know you know where I stand regarding recycling and curbside recycling for Greenville. This letter is just in response to Jack Chism’s claim that recycling and environmental issues are only for the middle class and the wealthy and are of very little help to the poor, who have no money or time to think about such things. I wish I could have been faster on my feet last night and responded right away to this inaccurate claim. Unfortunately, when I get upset, my mind goes to “brain freeze.” Below are some of the thoughts I wish I had been able to convey last night that I thought you needed to take into consideration:

1. One of the main reasons I feel so passionate about environmental issues is because of the poor. This population of people will always be the first impacted by the negative effects of our environmental choices. The debate about global warming in our scientific community is over. We, the human race, are changing weather patterns and causing or aiding in global warming. We will continue to see more devastating weather changes as these patterns are more disrupted by our lifestyle. When you look at what population of people was devastated the most by Katrina, you realize that our actions and how we live becomes a moral question. The poorest of the poor in third world countries are even more devastated by these extreme weather changes. Drought and famine are more common these days and will continue to get worse as our planet responds to our massive emissions of waste. It is precisely because of the poor that it is imperative that we change how we are living.

2. Where are landfills, generally, located in a community? I think it would be safe to assume that in most communities they are found by or next to the impoverished part of town. No one wants to live by a landfill. Only those that can’t afford to live elsewhere would live there. Again, the health of the landfill matters for these people. If and when pollutants begin to leach out of the landfill into the ground water, these people will be affected first. Unlike the wealthy/middle class, they can not afford to buy a supply of bottled water until any crisis is over, and they probably can’t afford to buy filtration systems either. Again, for this reason, it is our responsibility to ourselves and these folks to stop living in ways that will bring nothing but harm to us all.

3. Our country is one of the greatest polluters and users of stuff. We throw away so much stuff. We are consumers that like very much to consume. This chain of consumerism doesn’t just affect us, but also has great impact on many poor and unfortunate people in other countries and along the whole consumeristic chain. Again, it is the poor folks that take the brunt of all the negative effects of this chain. I challenge each of you to watch the online movie, “The Story of Stuff.” It is 20 minutes long and can be found by going to google.com and typing in “The Story of Stuff.”

4. I realize that $4.25 will be a burden to some people. I also think that we have a tendency to only think about the here and now. It is imperative that we think about the future in this case. If we don’t start turning things around now, it will have even more devastating effects on the impoverished in our community and abroad. These are the people who won’t be able to pay for whatever is proposed as solutions to get through any coming environmental crisis. So, while it may seem like a high price to pay now, it is worth it for the future. Also, without a rate freeze these same people will have to pay this amount in a few years anyway only without all the benefits of recycling.

Finally, I just want to end by assuring the council members that my husband and I care deeply about the poor, both in this community and over seas. It is one of the reasons that we started Jubilee House, a NFP that is run right out of our home. We realize the need that others have financially and are doing our best to help eliminate this need through our services. We do not take these issues lightly, and I was a little offended that my views on the environment and recycling were somehow counter and irrelevant to the needs of the poor. I wanted to make sure that you as a group know that this is not the truth. Poverty and the environment actually converge and because of this, I believe that it is a moral issue not to act on environmental care. We have an obligation to this earth that sustains all of us no matter what our income is. We have an obligation to those more unfortunate folks here and in extreme poverty overseas to begin to change the way we live. We may not be able to control a lot when it comes to poverty, but we can control our own actions and how we choose to live. We need to live in a more sustainable way that doesn’t have such a negative impact on the poor.

Please consider these things above and do not let the emotional pleas of a few distort the facts of the future. Get on-line and do your own research on global warming and how it impacts the poor or global warming and our health. Again, it is the poor that will suffer most with increasing health problems, such as asthma. This is not an issue that is going away. You can deal with it now or later, but we must find a way to fix this problem. I hope that you will help our community start now rather than later.

Thanks again for considering this option. I know it is not easy and there are many variables. I appreciated your respectfulness last night to all present and believe that you are doing your best to come up with the right solution at this time for our community.

Sincerely,

Linda M. Peters
(address not included here)
(phone number not included here)


I hope this letter motivates you to respond to your council members. I do believe that they care about our city and what we think and desire. They genuinely want to hear what you think. Please let them know. Help make a difference.

For those of you who may not yet know about the proposed plan, it would be $4.25 extra on your trash bill each month. You would receive free of charge a 46 gallon tub with wheels that you would put to the curb once a week. You could place everything in it but glass, singlestream. That means no sorting at all. Doty Sanitation has frozen trash rates the last five years. He proposes to freeze his rates for another five years if curbside is accepted. Normal increase would be around two dollars a year without the rate freeze. So if curbside does not pass and Doty gets the current bid for our city contractor, then your trash bill would most likely increase any way.

One of the ways curbside recycling will help improve our community. This won't be at the tracks anymore.
Wouldn't you enjoy being able to place your recyclables in a container, single stream, no sorting, where it all fits? I wouldn't miss having to cram things into the bins and chase them down when the wind catches them, OR having to turn around with all my stuff in the van to come back another day hoping the bins aren't full.
First we had one bin that would get stuffed and overflow. Then we got two bins that continue to be stuffed and overflowing. If we had three or four or even five, they would be stuffed and overflowing. This is why we need curbside. The more available means, the more people will recycle. Just think about all that stuff going to the landfill that wouldn't have to go there. Please write or call your City Council members and tell them you want Curbside.


Monday, August 10, 2009

Curbside on the Agenda for 8/11/09 City Council Meeting

This is just an alert to inform everyone that tomorrow night at 7:30pm, there is a City Council meeting at the City Municipal building. On the agenda is Curbside Recycling for Greenville! There is a chance that this issue will be voted on tomorrow night.

If you have any desire at all to obtain such a service for this city, then please come and be counted as "for" this issue. Your presence would be greatly appreciated. If you, however, do not feel that this service would be an improvement for our city or the earth, then by all means, stay at home :')

I hope to see everyone out and about supporting this issue.

Remember to stay cool . . .and to do that you need to be a "greenie" in the ville. Where else is it so right to be so green? No other place but the city of trees!!

See you there!
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