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Archive for Thursday, June 7, 2007

The gloves come off

Lawrence, Topeka go toe-to-toe over who’s ‘greener’

Andy Stowers unloads a box full of mixed paper at the Twelfth & Haskell Bargain Center, 1146 Haskell Ave.  Although some paid services provide Lawrence residents with the luxury of curbside recycling, many Lawrencians still hand deliver their recyclables.  The city of Topeka provides curbside recycling services to its residents.

Andy Stowers unloads a box full of mixed paper at the Twelfth & Haskell Bargain Center, 1146 Haskell Ave. Although some paid services provide Lawrence residents with the luxury of curbside recycling, many Lawrencians still hand deliver their recyclables. The city of Topeka provides curbside recycling services to its residents.

June 7, 2007

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Yahoo!'s "Be a Better Planet" contest

Yahoo! employee and Topeka native Meg Garlinghouse describes the company's "Be a Better Planet" contest and why Topeka is so far ahead of Lawrence.

Topeka is putting Lawrence to shame in an online competition to find America's most environmentally conscious city, and it's not afraid to do some taunting.

"Ha, Lawrence: Maybe you're not so environmentally conscious after all," an article in The Topeka Capital-Journal gloated after Topeka climbed to seventh place nationwide last week in the "Be a Better Planet" campaign promotion sponsored by Yahoo!.

The contest aims to get residents to create a Yahoo! account and take one of a series of earth-themed actions, such as making a pledge for how they'll change their personal habits to cut carbon emissions. The city with the highest participation, weighted to the size of the city, wins a fleet of hybrid taxis or $250,000 for an environmentally friendly project.

Topeka's ranking comes in part because the Yahoo! employee organizing the campaign, Meg Garlinghouse, is a Topeka native. Her mother, Susan, convinced the city of Topeka to make an announcement urging residents to participate.

Not to be outdone, Lawrence residents are sending e-mails aiming to catch up. Lawrence started the week ranked in the high 200s and had climbed to 24th place by Wednesday.

"I thought 'we can't let Topeka get the upper hand on this,'" said Lawrence resident Leslie McCaffrey, who grew up in Topeka and is friends with Meg Garlinghouse.

The contest can be found at better.yahoo.com/planet. Participants must create a Yahoo! account if they don't have one, but can opt out of providing personal details such as their home address.

Comments

Centrist 7 years, 3 months ago

While the cause is a worthy one, I don't feel that this is 'news' .. but, whatever.

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Oracle_of_Rhode 7 years, 3 months ago

Shame on Lawrence for not recycling. We need to charge residents $1 per 5 lb. of garbage thrown away...it would fund curbside recycling and lots more, plus it would cut waste. They do it in Europe and it WORKS.

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Sean Livingstone 7 years, 3 months ago

The only way we look "green" is our fight against Walmart... hahahahahaha.

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Aimee Polson 7 years, 3 months ago

I heard once that Lawrence's recycling rate is high enough without curbside recycling that the amount of increase that would result from a city funded curbside recycling program could not justify the added expense. Plus there are plenty of people in town who will pick up your recycling for a nominal fee. Although I don't disagree with being charged by the pound, bag, whatever for trash collection. It might help me minimize my own garbage accumulation. I wonder if it would add to the amount of litter around town.

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mr_economy 7 years, 3 months ago

The one thing that has amazed me most about Lawrence is the lack of a curbside recycling program. I'm originally from Hays, where there are honestly probably more climate-change deniers than believers, and we had a city-wide recycling program in the mid-1990s!

As at least a partial subscriber to the rational-choice theory for actions, this is a no-brainer to me. The less effort required to recycle, the more likely people are to do it. Yes it is very possible to recycle in Lawrence, and yes you can even hire curbside service (unless you're a college student just trying to pay off utilities), but the numbers will never reach their potential while real barriers to action still exist.

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RKLOG 7 years, 3 months ago

I went to Topeka High with Meg Garlinghouse, she's always been a determined individual. IT does no good to recycle if you have to account for the gas usage to get to the recycling center. We need curbside recycling! But as far as Topeka being superior to Lawrence, Topeka will always feel superior to us because they are upstream and we drink their waste water. I hear that a lot from my Topeka chums.

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warthog 7 years, 3 months ago

"Shame on Lawrence for not recycling. We need to charge residents $1 per 5 lb. of garbage thrown away:it would fund curbside recycling and lots more, plus it would cut waste. They do it in Europe and it WORKS."

Yeah... that's why I live in America, because I want to be European. If I'm not mistaken, our lovely roundabouts came from a European idea, too. Maybe we should have a queen.

As far as Topeka vs. Lawrence, it sounds like a slow news day and they're trying to stir the pot again.

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RKLOG 7 years, 3 months ago

75x55. LOL! Good response. I'll have to use that one.

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