As some of you know may know, reducing, reusing, and recycling are important topics at Shaver’s Creek. But, are these topics so important that we would get rid of the dumpster and change the center? Would we get rid of the concept of “trash” all together?
The answer is YES! Reducing our waste, and impact on the earth, is so important to us that we had our dumpster officially removed at the end of June! Additionally, we have changed how and what we buy for camps and programs. As a result, the only thing we toss to the curb these days are the words “trash,” “waste,” and “garbage.”
So… one may ask, how did we make the change to a no-dumpster way of life?
The Answer: Careful purchasing, reusable containers, expanded recycling options, and a compost partnership have replaced our “need” for a dumpster.
Our trash transition started earlier this year with a trash audit performed by Al Matyasovsky and Penn State Waste Management. Al helped us discover that many of the items we were tossing into the dumpster could be recycled. In addition to cans, glass, and plastic bottles we used to recycle, we have added plastic film, hard plastics (like yogurt cups), scrap metal, and rubber. We send sorted these recyclables to designated recycling facilities in the area.
We also have a large compost container into which we place our organic waste. Thanks to Penn State, we can compost items like meat, bones, and pizza boxes that are not easily compostable in home compost piles.
“Zero-waste” has recently become the norm within our staff, and we are hard-at-work spreading the “zero-waste” mentality to our programs. We encourage reusable water bottles and containers for camp, program, and personal lunches. We buy our supplies in bulk to limit excess packaging. Furthermore, we hope that individuals and families will take what we do as a staff at Shaver’s Creek and implement those practices into their lives at home.
Although many Center visitors may not have the opportunity to recycle and compost as we do here at their homes, we hope they realize that there are two options before recycling. We wish to remind others to take action to reduce, reuse, and then — last but not least– recycle.
– Magpie, Summer Intern 2011
– Turkey, Dr. of Fun 2007- Present