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Daily Nonpareil's Go Green 2012


  • A special supplement to The Daily Nonpareil

    Teaching young recyclersSee Page 2F

    Wait, before you throw that away...

    See Page 3F

    Reusing: A great way to go green

    See Page 6F

    Sunday, March 11, 2012


    Young people in the Council Bluffsarea are learning to be green, and thatthat even small efforts at recycling mate-rials may result in a cleaner planet.

    Shannon Meister, education coordina-tor for the Council Bluffs Recycling Cen-ter, has played a significant role in thateffort. Hired in 2007, she has spent count-less hours speaking to students in the

    schools about theimportance of conserva-tion and recycling.

    Once you get thekids recycling, theyllconvince the parents,Meister said.

    She estimated thatshe spoke to 1,666 peo-ple last year; 3,002 in2009; and in 2008,2,675 people. Thats a

    lot of people.Her recycling push has yielded

    results. Council Bluffs district schoolshave started commingled recycling,which means putting all recyclables intoone bin. The Boy Scouts and Girl Scoutsare among the groups that will visit theRecycling Center at 4441 Gifford Road.

    We have teachers bringing studentsinto the recycling center to see how theprocess works, Meister said. We tell thestudents where their trash goes, becausethey dont think about it. Theres no land-fill in Pottawattamie County so our trashgoes to Mills County. We ask, What hap-pens when landfills fill up? The more youcan recycle, the better. We know if kidsrecycle at school, theyll carry it into thehome.

    Children are visually-oriented, andthis field trip to the Recycling Center willhelp them understand more about whathappens to the items they help to recycle.

    The importance of the Reduce, reuse,recycle motto can be illustrated this way:Recycling one glass bottle conserves theelectricity required to operate one 100-watt light bulb for four hours.

    Student groups are getting involvedwith the conservation efforts. The stu-dent council at Longfellow ElementarySchool and a student group at Kirn Mid-dle School are involved in recycling pro-jects, and Lewis & Clark ElementarySchool also has a recycling club, Meistersaid.

    The Council Bluffs Recycling Centerhas decided to encourage greater partici-pation through a Celebrate Recyclingart contest. Its open to all third- andfourth-grade students in the CouncilBluffs and Lewis Central schools as wellas Heartland Christian and St. AlbertCatholic schools.

    The idea is to promote ways toreduce, reuse and recycle. Schools canwin $1,250, $1,000, $750 and $500 if oneof their students becomes one of the fourwinners.

    Each school will prejudge the studentart and submit two entries for the con-

    test by March 30.Winners also will see their posters

    replicated and displayed on the sides ofthe recycling trucks throughout thesummer.

    There are simple ways for studentsand their families to get involved in con-serving and recycling at home, Meistersaid. Unplug the Wii or Playstation

    when its not in use Use the new CFL light bulbs Take hazardous waste items to the

    Recycling Center. Purchase some reusable bags at the

    grocery store. Using these bags cutsdown on the demand for single-use plas-tic bags. Set up a composting bin in the

    backyard to recycle household foodwastes and yard materials such as lawnclippings into fertilizer for a garden.This can be a long-term project lasting

    weeks or months depending on the typeof composting equipment used.

    In the summer school program withCouncil Bluffs schools, we built compostboxes out of kitty litter containers,Meister said. Adding soil, shreddednewspaper and red wrigglers from abait shop results in a serviceable com-poster.

    You can mow your lawn and leavethe clippings there, Meister said. Another Council Bluffs summer

    school program has shown students howto reuse old compact discs spreadpeanut butter on both sides, cover themwith bird seed and hang them in a treeor bush and how to make bird feedersout of old plastic bottles.

    The more you can recycle, the bet-ter, Meister said.

    For information, contact Meister atthe Recycling Center, (712) 328-4985, orgo to cbrecycles.com.

    2G Sunday, March 11, 2012 The Daily NonpareilGo Green

    Teaching young recyclersOne educator

    believes if kidsrecycle at school,

    theyll carry itinto the home

    Submitted photoAccording to Shannon Meister, education coordinator for the Council Bluffs Recycling Center, students in the sum-mer school program at Council Bluffs schools built compost boxes out of kitty litter containers, adding soil, shred-ded newspaper and red wrigglers from a bait shop to make serviceable composters.



    Its been said that cats havenine lives, but so does paper.

    And, aluminum and steelcan live indefinitely.

    Products made from thesematerials can be recycled overand over again, according to arecycling expect.

    Paper can be recycled up tonine, 10 times, said ShannonMeister, education coordinatorfor the Council Bluffs RecyclingCenter. Aluminum and steelcan be recycled indefinitely. Popcans can be recycled back totheir original form in 30 to 60days.

    While more and more peopleare recycling all the time, somuch is still being thrown awayneedlessly, Meister said.

    Up to 80 percent of trashcould be recycled, she said.And, at least 50 percent of thetrash is paper.

    Most types of paper can berecycled, Meister said. Theseinclude newspapers, notebookpaper, office paper, junk mail,magazines, envelopes, tissuepaper and glossy paper.

    All the ads in a newspapercan be recycled, she said. Mostnormal wrapping paper can berecycled, though not the foilkind. If it creases easy, it proba-bly can be recycled.

    Cardboard can be recycled,

    as well as paperboard likecereal boxes, she added. Papertowel rolls are also recyclable.People, though, should not recy-cle plastic plates or cupsbecause of obvious contami-

    nants, Meister said.Besides being recycled back

    into daily items, paper is nowbeing used to build warehousepallets, instead of wood, shesaid.

    Perhaps most important,recycling paper reduces theneed to cut down trees.

    The more paper that isrecycled, the less trees to be cutdown, Meister said.

    Trees absorb carbon dioxide,a greenhouse gas, to breatheand grow, she said. The moregreenhouse gas there is escap-ing in the air, the warmer theplanet becomes.

    Plastics are also recyclable,but only a few are beingaccepted at the moment by theRecycling Center. Residentsshould recycle Nos. 1 and 2,Meister said. Plastics No. 1 aresee-through water and pop bot-tles, while No. 2 consists of milkjugs or colored plastic containerlike those for laundry deter-gent.

    Plastics Nos. 3 through 7 arenot being taken at the momentfor lack of a market of thoseitems, Meister said. If in doubton what is being taken, Meistersaid that if the item has a neck

    and a twist top, its probably aNo. 1 or a No. 2.

    The more plastic that isrecycled, the less oil is neededto produce these items, shesaid.

    Aluminum cans like popcans and steel cans used forsuch foods as soups are recy-clable, also. In fact, they can berecycled over and over, Meistersaid. Its possible that peoplemay buy the very same popcans they recycled two monthsearlier, she said.

    Like plastics, recycled alu-minum and steel cans takemuch less energy to recreate asopposed to creating new cans,Meister said.

    Any glass container or bottle

    can also be recycled, she said.The lids, however, should bediscarded.

    Plastic bags that grocerystores use can be recycled,though Meister suggested toreturn those to the stores. Ittakes a long storage time forthe Recycling Center untilenough of those bags are col-lected to ship out, she said.

    And please, she added, dontdiscard regular trash in therecycling containers.

    To keep recycling growing,people should continue to pur-chase reusable items to encour-age more markets for them,Meister said.

    The more recycled itemsyou buy, the better.

    Sunday, March 11, 2012 3GThe Daily Nonpareil Go Green

    Wait, before you throw that away

    Residential Specialist Sales Service Installation Over 20 Years Experience Flat Rate Pricing Free Estimates On Installs

    Council Bluffs, IA www.philscomfortzone.com



    Paper: colored office paper, junk mail, magazines, newsprint(everything that comes with a Sunday paper), books, telephonebooks

    Plastics: #1 and #2 plastics only (pop and water bottles, milkjugs, laundry detergent, shampoo bottles)

    Cardboard: corrugated (brown boxes), cereal boxes, etc.

    Metals: non-ferrous (pop cans), ferrous (tin cans & angleiron), steel pipe

    Foam rubber (carpet padding, couch cushions)

    For a brochure listing curbside recyclables and schedules, visitcbrecycles.com.

    The Council Bluffs Recycling Center, 4441 GiffordRoad, receives most of its recyclables from the curband containers at city grocery stores, but manyother items may be dropped off.

    Recycle items for free

  • GREENG Its soeasy toWith such a global focus

    on the deteriorating condi-tion of the environment andhow humans contributing toits demise, many people aresetting goals to participatein a sustainable lifestyle thatincorporates a series ofgreen goals for the upcom-ing year.

    It's not just the oil spills orrainforest depletion that'sraising concerns for theenvironment. Even thingslike the roads we drive oncan prove harmful. Forexample, according to aCarrying Capacity Networkconference held inWashington, D.C., everyyear in the United Statesroughly 1.3 million acres ofunpaved land is paved