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New Gleaning Project Prevents Waste

New Gleaning Project Prevents Waste

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Published by: Gulf Restoration Network on Jul 16, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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It’s a stunning fact: About 25 percent of commercially grown food goes to waste in thiscountry.And you’ve probably seen a neighborhood fruittree ripen beautifully, only to have all the fruit falland rot on the ground.In our busy world, excess fruit and vegetablesoften go unused. This wasted food also burdensour solid waste system and creates odor and pestproblems in our communities.At the same time, demand at local food bankshas increased dramatically in recent years.
New Gleaning Project Prevents Waste
 Picked Produce Will Benefit food Banks
 Pierce County Executive: Pierce County Council: Roger Bush,
 Pat McCarthy Shawn Bunney Tim Farrell Joyce McDonaldBarbara Gelman Terry Lee Dick Muri
Spring 2010
Earth Matters is a publication of Pierce County Public Works and Utilities, Solid Waste Division.
Printed on 30% post-consumer recycled paper and recyclablethrough Pierce County’s curbside recycling program.
Multiple Agencies Turn ExcessInto Resource
A coalition of Pierce County organizations andindividuals is coming together to create the PierceCounty Gleaning Project (PCGP). Their mission isto turn food waste into resources by “gleaning”—harvesting excess fresh fruit from neighborhoodtrees and local farms—in order to increase freshfood at local food banks.The gleaning project will be staffed by the St. Leo Food Connection working in collaboration with numerous community partners, including the Pierce County Master Gardenersand the Pierce County FoodCoalition.“We’re excited to work withthese groups because this is acommunity-based effort that willhelp to achieve our goal of diverting 75percent of the waste from the landll,” said Kristen McIvor, Environmental Educator, PierceCounty Public Works and Utilities. The PCGP willfocus on two primary sources of produce—commercial growers and homeowners throughoutthe county.
Community Involvement Needed
 You can help the gleaning team in a numberof ways.
• Volunteer to glean.
Sign up tohelp with farm glean-ing or fruit treeharvest.
• “Donate” your  fruit tree.
Contactthe PCGP if you wouldlike to donate fruit from your fruit tree. You canhave it fully picked,partially harvestedor have a bag of picked fruit left with you. Acceptedfruits include:apples, plums, pears,peaches, grapes and
Continued inside…
Gleaning Project, cont’d.
CAPE KeepsNeighborhoodCleanup Affordable
 Need an incentive to start acommunity spring cleaning project?Assistance is available from PierceCounty Responds—a program coordi-nated by Public Works and Utilities.The Community Assistance and Public Education (CAPE) program wascreated to make County resourcesavailable for a scheduled communitycleanup day. Potential CAPE assistance includes:Litter Credits: Eligible recipients atproperties in unincorporated PierceCounty may receive a $100 disposalcredit at participating transfer sta-tions.Junk Vehicle Afdavits: These areused in place of a title to have a junk vehicle removed from your property. Hulk haulers will not remove junk vehicles if you do not have either atitle or a junk vehicle afdavit.“Dumpsters”: These large containerscan be provided to clean up publicproperties such as a park or openspace owned by your community(cannot be used to clean privateproperties). Once lled, the CAPEprogram will pay the disposal fees forthe waste collected by volunteers.If your community is selected for aCAPE project, Pierce County Respondsstaff will work with your communityrepresentative to arrange a date we will be in your neighborhood. A commu-nity meeting will take place before theactual cleanup day. Please call (253) 798-4636 or submitan online request at www.piercecoun-tyresponds.org.
Pierce County Responds has programs tohelp with litter cleanup on private and public property.
 berries. These should be pesticideand worm-free and harvested fromthe tree or bush (not the ground).
• Be a neighborhood coordinator.
 Tired of seeing fruit go to waste in your neighborhood? Volunteer toorganize fellow neighbors to har- vest the trees in your neighborhood.Training and equipment will beprovided—no experience required.
• Scout fruit trees in  your neighbor-hood.
If you notice fruit going to waste on a neighborhood tree, PCGPcan provide outreach materials tohelp youtalk to yourneighborsaboutdonating their fruit to our program.
• Spread the word.
Tell all yourfriends, family and co-workers! Youcan request outreach materials ordownload them from the gleaningproject website. You can also be a“fan” on Facebook. Search for the Pierce County Gleaning Project andclick “be a fan.”
• Provide the tools.
The project wel-comes your surplus harvesting equip-ment such as ladders and boxes.The gleaning project is an excellent way to help hungry people in ourcommunity and reduce waste at thesame time. For more information, please visit the Pierce County Gleaning Project website, www.piercecountygleaningproject.org,email: info@piercecountygleaningproject.org, or call Rebecca Goossen at(253) 327-1710.
Celebrate Earth Day April 22
Borrow a Kit for
Fish-Friendly Car Washing
 Your fundraising car wash might be bad news for local waterways. Water that runs into storm drains goes directly into our lakes, streams and Puget Sound with little or no treatment. The runoff from car washes containssoap, oil and other pollutants that are toxic to sh and other aquatic life. You can prevent the pollution withan easy-to-use car wash kit that PierceCounty Public Works and Utilities loansout free. These kits use a storm draininsert and a pump to send the dirty water to a sewer system or vegetatedarea to soak into the ground. Find out more at www.piercecounty wa.org/carwash or call (253) 798-2725to reserve a kit.
Spring Cleaning:
Not Everything Goes in Trash
 Following are tips for environmen-tally safe ways to dispose of householditems.
coMPuters, Monitors, tVs:
Recyclethese items free of charge through the E-Cycle Washington program. Visit www.ecyclewashington.org or call1-800-RECYCLE for more information.Another option is the Take It Back Network, businesses that recycle theseitems for a small fee. See the partici-pants’ list, and learn more about theTake It Back Network, at www.pierce-countywa.org/tibn or call (253)798-2179.
old clotHes, furniture, Books:
 Donate or sell items that are in goodcondition. Try a consignment shop,thrift store, yard sale or list online.Also check out the free online option, www.2good2toss.com.
oil-Based Paint, Pesticides, HouseHold cHeMicals and otHer HouseHold HaZardous Wastes:
 These products are labeled “corro-sive,” “ammable,” “poison,” “toxic,”“danger,” “warning” or “caution.” Examples include drain cleaner, insec-ticides, weed killer and pool chemicals.Try to use them up or give leftoversto a neighbor. Don’t put them in thegarbage.Instead, take the items to the facili-ties listed below. Pierce County resi-dents can drop off products free of charge.
Tacoma Hazardous Waste CollectionFacility 
at 3510 S. Mullen Street, just east of Fircrest (open seven daysa week, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., exceptmajor holidays)
Hidden Valley Transfer Station
,17925 Meridian Street E., Puyallup(open Tuesday and Thursday, 8 a.m.to noon and 1 to 5 p.m.) For details on how to prepareand transport household hazard-ous waste, call the Hazardous Waste Line at 1-800-287-6429or visit www.piercecountywa.org/hhw.
 lateX Paint
is water- based and not hazardous.If you can’t use it up orgive it away, dry out thepaint and put the can in thegarbage with the lid off. (Landllsand garbage haulers can’t accept wetpaint.) To speed up drying, add kittylitter, sawdust, grass clippings or thinstrips of newspaper. If the paint canis too full to add an absorbent, line acardboard box with a plastic bag, pourin paint and mix with an absorbent.
 fluorescent BulBs and tuBes
 contain small amounts of mercury andshould never be placed in the garbage.Take It Back Network participants whocollect uorescent bulbs and tubesinclude: McLendon Hardware stores(Bulbs: no charge. Tubes: fee) and Se-attle Lighting (Bulbs and tubes: fee for both). Other recycling locations includethe Hidden Valley Hazardous Waste Facility and the Tacoma Hazardous Waste Facility. For more information visit www.piercecountywa.org/fbulb.
 unWanted Medicines:
Unwanted andoutdated pharmaceuticals pose seri-ous safety and environmental threatsranging from child poisonings, illegaluse, and contamination of our streamsand drinking water. Safe disposal isquick and easy: Don’t ush them. Mixmedicines in a sealable plastic bag with coffee grounds, kitty litter or saw-dust, then add water. Seal it in another bag. Throw it in your garbage. Destroyprescription information. For moreinformation visit www.safedrugdispos-alnw.org or www.medicinereturn.com.Our online
 ryg  dp dy
, at www.piercecountywa.org/recycle, lists locations to recycle, dis-pose or donate items in Pierce County. From appliances and carpet to micro- wave ovens and remodeling debris, this website lists more than 100 categoriesto assist you with your recycling anddisposal needs. You can also contactthe Pierce County Solid Waste Division at (253) 798-2179 for moreinformation.

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