Posts Tagged ‘Litter’

The Earth is not a trash can! Please don’t treat it like one.

waste not want not

Dear person driving the green sedan in front of me on the highway,

Tonight I was on my way to a sustainability event sponsored by the environmental non-profit associate board I serve on. I was driving along, listening to the radio, and minding my own business.

We were driving in the middle lane of the highway when your next action really stuck with me. You didn’t brake suddenly, or swerve into another lane endangering other drivers.

Instead, you rolled down your window and tossed some wrappers out onto the road, as if it were your own personal trash can. My jaw legitimately dropped and hung open for a good five minutes as a million questions ran through my mind.

How could you do that?

Why couldn’t you have just waited to where you were going to throw out those wrappers?

Who taught you that it was okay to litter?

What gives…

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Cleaning up our planet one piece of trash at a time.

Trash is everywhere. Soda cans, plastic bags, and cigarette butts litter the environment, choke wildlife, and threaten our planet. By combining technology, social awareness and art, the Litterati is tackling this ever-escalating problem one piece of litter at a time.

Let’s see how many photos we can take using Instagram at Nashville State Community College, including cigarette butts. After taking the picture and posting it, don’t forget to either recycle it or put it in a landfill trash can.

Post to Litterati on Instagram using #litterati.


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Dear Friends:
I’ve given up on my effort to use cool e-mail stationery. We’ve got more important things to focus on. Like . . . VICTORY!  
For once I’m not going to go on and on and on. I’m just going to give you a handful of action items (along with the usual list of key features) and ask you to pour your hearts out for these last few hours before Tuesday’s all-important Senate Environment Committee hearing. 
Action items:

  • PLEASE COME TO THE HEARING TO SHOW YOUR SUPPORT! The Senate Environment Committee convenes Tuesday (April 7) in Room 12 of Legislative Plaza, corner of 6th and Union in downtown Nashville. Start time is 11 a.m. rather than 11:30. Our bill (SB 1404) is next to last on the agenda, so it probably will be 11:30 before they get to it.  
  • Note: There is no House hearing on April 8. This will likely happen on April 15, IF the bill passes out of committee on Tuesday. Plan to come to that, too.
  • Know any FARMERS?? If so, send me their contact info, asap. We need a farmer to testify on Tuesday. This is planting season, and none of our usual farmer-supporters is available.
  • Got any great images of litter? If so, e-mail them to me, and I’ll put them in a slide show to be aired at Tuesday’s hearing. If we are going to survive the opposition’s efforts to kill the bill by putting it into a “summer study committee,” we need to remind them that a container deposit does as much about litter as it is about recycling. The opposition bills do nothing to address litter. (And they do little, realistically, about recycling.)
  • Continue to
    • work your networks
    • contact committee members if you haven’t already done so (see list below), especially chairman Steve Southerland
Key features:
  • The bottle bill will dramatically and permanently reduce TN’s litter, roughly half of which is bottles and cans. The 11 states with bottle bills found that overall litter dropped by an average of almost 40% within a few years of passage, and container-only litter dropped by as much as 80%. 
  • This year’s bill imposes NO NEW COST on the beverage distributors. Under an amendment that will be voted on on Tuesday, beverage distributors will pay only a “container-recovery fee” of 1/8 cent, which works out almost exactly to what they now pay in “litter taxes” to fund inmate litter crews and Keep Tennessee Beautiful. Funding for these programs will now come out of the bottle-bill revenues.
  • Empty containers do NOT get returned to the grocery store under this bill. Returns are to any of hundreds of independent businesses known as certified redemption centers. These may be owned by individuals, businesses, scrap yards, local governments and nonprofit agencies. 
  • Redemption centers make a living by (1) selling the container scrap to local scrap dealers or end-users; and (2) receiving a handling fee of 1 cent per container, which is paid out of the accrued unclaimed deposits. 
  • Redemption centers may, if acceptable to the local government and the local recycling infrastructure, also accept non-deposit items such as cardboard, newspaper and pickle jars. 
  • The bill is endorsed by the Tennessee Association of County Mayors. 
  • Manufacturers prefer bottle-bill scrap not only because it gets collected in such high quantities–the national average is 80%–but because it’s properly sorted by material and color, and with none of the cross-contamination, foreign materials and low volumes that tend to plague drop-off and curbside recycling programs. 
  • For the first time in history, all three of the major container-commodity trade groups–the Aluminum Association, the Glass Packaging Institute and the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers–now support container deposits.
  • In addition to recovering $50 million or more of scrap each year, this bill will save landfill space, reduce collection and hauling costs, save 1.5 million barrels of crude oil a year and avoid 150,000 metric tonnes of greenhouse gases.
Senate Environment, Conservation and Tourism Committee members:

Marge Davis, Ph.D.
Pride of Place/Tennessee Bottle Bill Project
A Project of Scenic Tennessee, Inc.
45 Burris Court
Mt. Juliet, TN 37122
home (615) 758-8647
fax (615) 754-0966
cell (615) 294-2651

Cheatham, Houston, Montgomery
305 WMB
Cumberland, Jackson, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, White
304 WMB
Claiborne, Grainger, Hancock, Hawkins, Jefferson, Union
11A LP
Dickson, Giles, Hickman, Humphreys, Lawrence, Lewis
Williamson & part of Davidson
10A LP
Cocke, Greene, Hamblen, Unicoi
10 LP
Franklin, Bledsoe, Coffee, Grundy, Sequatchie, Van Buren, Warren
310A WMB
6 LP
Campbell, Fentress, Morgan, Rhea, Roane, Scott
3 LP
Think positive!


The litter & recycling solution based on a 5¢ Tennessee container deposit

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