Zero Waste: Goals for Home, Work & the Community
Adult Enrichment / Special Interest -
“Zero waste” seems aspirational to some and pure gibberish to others. Schools, cities and individuals claim they have already achieved this incredible degree of waste reduction, but how do they define “zero”? How are they feeding themselves, for example? Given the amount of food packaging, food scraps, takeout containers, mailing envelopes, old paint, stained clothing, and ratty old furniture there is out there, is there really a way to eliminate these things from the waste stream? At the same time that we work to make personal goals, what can we accomplish at the community level? How can we better support each other to reduce waste? In this class we will investigate success stories from other parts of the country and the world. As Arlington plans updates to our trash and recycling programs, what should our goal be? What should we try, what should we avoid, and how close to zero waste can we aspire to get? Bring your ideas and questions, and be ready to be challenged to think differently.
Charlotte started recycling circa 1970 by helping her mom smash different colored glass bottles into different trucks at the local transfer station. After studying Anthropology, social work, and business, she was finally prepared to put those together and go back to waste reduction as the Town of Arlington's recycling coordinator in 2012. As a lifelong volunteer herself, Charlotte saw the power and possibilities with that dedicated workforce, and welcomed as many volunteers as she could find to help launch the Arlington DPW Recycling Center. Now in her eighth year working around waste and its reduction, Charlotte recognizes the deep environmental commitment of the people around her. She strives to co-create projects and programs that excite this community of waste reducers, as well as bring our town into the forefront of environmental stewardship.