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Archive for Sunday, April 21, 1991

EARTH DAY TAB

April 21, 1991

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The latest in city recycling is almost brand-new for Earth Day '91.

"EARTHBOUND '91," a Lawrence recycling project only 2 weeks old, is concentrating on taking care of yard waste and old motor oil.

And its success already is being measured in gallons of oil and tons of grass and leaves.

Lawrence Recycling Coordinator Patricia Marvin thinks the new program is off to an excellent start, but she said that's none too surprising for Lawrence.

IN FACT, she points out that her move from part-time to full-time recycling coordinator in January 1990 was not only in tune with last year's 20th anniversary of Earth Day, but also was in tune with the character of the community.

"It was certainly the right time for a lot of reasons, not just Earth Day," Marvin said. "Our community, I think, is ahead of most of the communities in Kansas about wanting to use our resources differently.

"My office helps people to find out what's happening in the community, what's possible, what kind of rules there are and what kinds of needs there are. It's a really good focus point."

The latest thing that's happening through Marvin's office is EARTHBOUND '91.

The program involves new drop-off sites called GLOBEs. GLOBE stands for Grass, Leaf, Oil, Battery, EARTHBOUND '91.

Local residents can drop off the specified materials between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Saturdays at Centennial Park, Ninth and Iowa streets. All those materials also can be dropped off from noon to 4 p.m. Sundays at the Holcom Park parking lot off of 25th Street.

MARVIN SAID that on the first Saturday, 32 people dropped off about five tons of leaves and grass at Centennial Park.

The next weekend, she said, 14 people dropped off 52 gallons of motor oil at Holcom Park.

"We have exceeded my expectations," Marvin said. "Usually a new drop-off site will take several weeks to start up."

Marvin said local residents actually helped her with the program before it even got started by telling her that weekends would be the best time for collecting motor oil.

"People changing their motor oil want to take off for a longer period in the afternoon than what weekdays allow," Marvin explained.

Oil recycling for the public has been a part of the city's recycling program since the middle of 1990, when the city garage was opened four hours a week as a drop-off site for motor oil.

RESIDENTS CAN continue to take oil to the city garage at 1141 Haskell from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Mondays and Fridays. The city's oil collection sites also take used car batteries.

Another component of EARTHBOUND '91 is the curbside collection of grass and leaves in two pilot areas.

Every Wednesday, collections occur in a "west" area from Kasold Drive to Wakarusa Drive and between Sixth Street and Clinton Parkway. Collections also occur in a "south" area from 23rd Street to the south city limits and from Iowa Street to the east city limits.

The pickups are by regular city sanitation crews who duplicate their regular routes for the special yard waste collections.

Bob Yoos, the city's solid waste superintendent, said 372 bags, or about seven tons, of grass and leaves were collected on the south route on the first day of collections this year. About 15 bags, or half a ton, of grass and leaves were collected on the west route.

YOOS SAID residents in the south area were part of a pilot collection route last year, and he expects collections in the west area to increase as more people become aware of the program.

Marvin said she expected overall collections to increase for another reason.

"You've got to give people time to mow their lawns," she said.

Yoos said the leaves and grass are taken to a vacant lot on East Eighth Street for composting.

"It gives us a source of material for mulch and soil amendment," Yoos said, adding that the compost will be useful in several city projects. In addition to frequent use by the Lawrence Parks and Recreation Department, Yoos said, the compost could be used as a good soil cover for planting native grasses over the old Lawrence landfill northwest of town.

"WE ALSO might have several `community giveaways' now and then for flower beds and so forth," Yoos said.

Marvin said that with landfill tipping rates presently at $15.52 a ton, local residents can save the city, and themselves, a lot of money by recycling their yard wastes.

Said Yoos, "The program's really gotten off to an excellent start. I'm going to be real interested to see how much material we get over a full season, and I think it's going to be a substantial amount."

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