Meeting Minutes from InspireSeattle Social on January 23, 2010

We had about 25 folks attend our lively session!  We had lots of questions and discussion!  Dave said from now on he will be taking his own mug to Tully’s!  Every little bit helps!

We had two great speakers: 

Marcia Rutan has worked in local government in recycling and composting for almost 20 years and currently is the Community Recycling Program Manager for the City of Seattle. She started up the Washington Green Schools project five years ago and is the steering team lead for this new program that launched in August 2009. She also works on providing food waste collection to multi-family properties and clear informative recycling education through the web and brochures of Seattle Public Utilities.

Jane Bogner has been an environmental activist in California for over 20 years.  She has been both Director and Board member for the VALCORE – a community recycling center during this time.  She was awarded WOMEN IN WINE COUNTRY Award from State Assemblywoman Patricia Wiggins 2003 and WRAP: California Waste Reduction Awards Program 2008, 2009.  She is known as “Just Ask Jane” based on her years of experience and knowledge about recycling.  She has authored a bi-weekly environmental column for the last 17 years in the Vallejo Times-Herald.

For Marcia’s section:

She focused on the need to start with waste prevention first, then recycling then proper disposal in landfills.  The less we consume, the less packaging we have for what we consume, the better we are all off!  It takes a lot of energy to produce the packaging for us to just throw away.  Here’s the link to Climate Change information for Seattle:  Seattle has a state of the art facility for composting at Cedar Grove locations at Everett and Maple Valley.  You can get group tours of the facility.  The best thing we can do for food waste is to get it out of our garbage.  Food in garbage creates methane…not so good.  (There are ways to capture and reuse methane…but it is limited.)  The centers sell their compost directly in bulk to companies / folks or sell to local nurseries.  Among large cities, Seattle ranks with San Francisco and Portland as national leaders in recycling.   

Buy stuff that is recyclable.  For plastic wine glasses, rinse and reuse.  Or rinse and recycle.  There is a question of is it better to wash or recycle.   Marcia is looking to see if there are studies on this.

Within Washington there is a Green Schools initiative which is focused on action.  77 schools have signed up and 14 are in a pilot study.  If you have kids in school, encourage your school to sign up.

For Jane’s section:

Jane focused on looking at what we buy and choose those items that are better for the environment.  Examples:  for toothpaste…pick Tom's Of Maine as it comes in a recyclable box.  For dollar bills, insist on dollar coins…a dollar bill lasts about 18 months and then is destroyed.  Look for boxes that don’t have staples or glue.  Encourage Washington legislation to have a bottle bill to pay cash for cans and bottles brought back.  States that have this bill recycle more.  You can recycle cork here in Seattle at Whole Foods.  Try refillable small travel size toothbrush containers.  Carry bags for produce.  The inside of Starbucks coffee cups are filled with plastic and do not recycle. 

Click here to read Jane’s notes and recommended reading.

Many thanks to all who participate in InspireSeattle!

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Previous meeting minutes


Previous IAN Events



Marcia Rutan, first speaker


Jane Bogner, second speaker


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