Posts Tagged ‘Pride of Place’

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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“Pickin’ Up Tennessee is a multimedia grassroots project launched in March 2013 by the nonprofit group Scenic Tennessee. Made possible by a generous grant from the Tennessee Department of Transportation with funding from the state’s beverage industries, this project seeks to combine the new-age power of digital and social media with the timeless legacies of Tennessee music, volunteerism and stunning natural and cultural beauty, and use the results to vanquish, or at least subdue, the persistent problem of Tennessee’s litter.”

The tour events June 1 – 26

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The comprehensive litter and recycling solution 
based on a 5-cent deposit on beverage containers

I wish I had solid green news–but in fact there was no vote yesterday on the container-deposit bill. It still lacks the 4 votes needed in House State Govt Subcommittee, and that’s not likely to change. 

However, it’s never over till it’s over, and in the meantime we’re getting some pretty good press coverage–see links in item #3–so Rep. Mike McDonald rolled HB3429 to the final meeting, which is next Tuesday, March 23.
Rep. Mary Pruitt  rep.mary.pruitt@capitol.tn.gov: YES. Please thank her.
Rep. Joe Carr rep.joe.carr@capitol.tn.gov: NO. (Says he’s “undecided,” but on a committee with no other Republican support, it’s the same thing.)
 Rep.Ty Cobb  rep.ty.cobb@capitol.tn.gov: NO. (Officially he is also “undecided.” This probably has more to do with election-year politics than anything else.)
Rep. Ryan Haynes rep.ryan.haynes@capitol.tn.gov: NO. Similar to Joe Carr, only with less indecision.
Rep. John Litz  john.litz@capitol.tn.gov: NO. What he told his hometown newspaper is that the bill is good “in theory” but “the numbers don’t add up,” there’s no market for glass and plastic, the litter grants aren’t paid for, etc.–all unfounded.
Rep. Gerald McCormick  rep.gerald.mccormick@capitol.tn.gov: NO. 

Feel free to contact the legislators, if you like. However, it will probably be more useful for you to contact your local newspaper and other media–especially in the smaller communities–and urge them to follow (or continue to follow) this bill. Assure them that this is a popular and effective public policy that will create real jobs for real Tennesseans, and that the special-interest myths against it are just that–myths. Lies. Distortions. If you like, give them my contact info. But they prefer to hear from their own.


As I said above, the bill has been getting some great coverage; I especially love the editorial in the Chattanooga Times Free Press. 
(Note that some of the stories contain some errors, e.g., we go thru 4.5 billion containers a year–not 450 billion! But nothing fatal.)

THANKS, GUYS! Talk to you next week.

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



‘Bottle Bill’ offers incentives to go green, Our view   From the Tennessean, April 8, 2009.  “A bill before the General Assembly would return the 5-cent deposit to Tennessee, but in a new version that has seen success in 11 other states.”

The comprehensive litter and recycling solution 

based on a 5-cent deposit on beverage containers

Dear Friends of a Clean, Green Tennessee: 

The bill is still in play in the House State Government Subcommittee, but it’s hanging by a thread.
Committee members have been hammered with misinformation from groups opposing the bottle bill.  This had its intended effect of creating doubt and making legislators think the status quo is the safest route. 
Knowing the votes were not there, Rep Mike McDonald asked the chair to roll the bill to next week, but to let us give a presentation this week. The chair agreed to allow ten minutes.
You really need to watch the online video of the presentation, which included videotaped interviews with businesses as well as testimony by Susan Collins, executive director of the Container Recycling Institute, who flew in from California for one day to help us. It will make you proud of our side:

  1. Go to http://www.legislature.state.tn.us/
  2. On the main menu, click on “Videos.” This will bring up options–click on “House Videos.”
  3. On the list to the left, open the drop-down menu for “State and Local Government Committee” by clicking on the little arrow to the left of the committee name.  
  4. In the drop-down menu, click on “State Government Subcommittee.”
  5. Under “Archived Videos,” go to the item for March 9, 2010, and click on “Video.” This opens the video screen.
  6. The discussion of HB 3429 (bottle bill) starts at 21:10 minutes, so slide the little playback slider until you get to that point.

If we are sure of four votes by next Tuesday, March 16, Rep. McDonald will allow the bill to be voted on. I WILL LET YOU KNOW NEXT MONDAY IF THERE WILL BE A HEARING. If the votes aren’t there, he’ll withdraw it. That means the bill will be dead for 2010. 
However, if it lives, things will start moving in the Senate the following week. (The bill is on the calendar in Senate Environment for next Tuesday, but the calendar is so crowded that there’s almost no chance they’ll get to it, and it will be moved to the following week.)


  • Watch the presentation, then e-mail the subcommittee members, below.  Do this even if you’ve contacted them already, because now you can urge them to support the new jobs that they heard about in the presentation.
  • Urge legislators to at least let the bill get out of sub and advance to the full committtee! They are just six people, making a decision that will affect 6 million–to say nothing of the manufacturers around the country who need the material this bill will provide. Do they really want to be responsible for getting it wrong?
  • Enlist help from your friends, especially those in Maury, Hamblen, Rutherford, Knox and Hamilton counties. These are the districts represented by the subcommittee members. They need to know that their legislators have the power to create–or forego–new jobs and small businesses AND clean up Tennessee.
  • Talk to the media in those counties. Urge them to cover this issue over the weekend.   
This really is a cool exercise that should fire you up: Picture Tennessee with 500 small businesses (minimum!) spread across it, some in every county, all dedicated to recycling. These are the redemption centers. (I see it as a sort of game board in the shape of the state, and the redemption centers are those little green Monopoly houses.) Now envision perhaps 100 bigger businesses–I use the red hotels from Monopoly–also distributed across the state. These are the processors, manufacturers and service providers that will either start up or expand as a result of this bill. Now think of at least 2,000 new workers moving around inside these buildings. This is Tennessee with a container deposit, and it is no exaggeration. Forty years of bottle bills support these growth projections. Oh, and you can also picture most of the bottles and cans gone from the roadsides and lakes and rivers.
Okay, now: Take your arm and wipe the board clean. This is Tennessee without the bill. This is what our legislators are prepared to give us on Tuesday. Oh, and you can put all those bottles and cans back in the ditches.
(This little exercise comes from Ward Cammack, the first candidate for governor to endorse a container deposit. Ward is no no longer running, but now he’s helping us.)

WMB = War Memorial Building
LP = Legislative Plaza
Gerald McCormick, chair  R-26 (Chattanooga: represents part of Hamilton County) 117 WMB   (615) 741-2548   rep.gerald.mccormick@capitol.tn.gov 
Mary Pruitt, vice-chair (SPONSOR)  D-58 (Nashville; represents part of Davidson County)  25 LP      (615) 741-3853       rep.mary.pruitt@capitol.tn.gov 
Joe Carr  R-48 (Lascassas: part of Rutherford County)     205 WMB     (615) 741-2180       rep.joe.carr@capitol.tn.gov 
Cobb, Ty  D-64 (Columbia: represents part of Maury County)   23 LP       (615)  741-3005       rep.ty.cobb@capitol.tn.gov 
Haynes, Ryan R-14 (Knoxville: represents part of Knox County)    203 WMB   (615) 741-2264      rep.ryan.haynes@capitol.tn.gov 
Litz, John  D-10 (Morristown: represents all of Hamblen County)    17 LP         (615) 741-6877        rep.john.litz@capitol.tn.gov 


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

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The comprehensive litter and recycling solution based on a Tennessee bottle bill
The bottle bill is still very much alive. At its final hearing in the Senate Environment Committee, the sponsor, Sen. Doug Jackson, opted to roll it, intact, to next year.
All things considered, this is a good outcome. We knew we faced a whole new slate of legislators and committee members this year, and I think we made good progress getting them to understand the legislation. We heard a lot of excellent testimony, gained some vital allies and logged more press endorsements. Most important, the bill itself is now essentially perfect. It poses no new cost to distributors, it levels the playing field for recyclers, and it eliminates what I call the “mayonnaise jar” argument, by allowing redemption centers to accept other, non-deposit recyclables as well as deposit beverage containers.
Anyway, now that we have a perfect bill, we need to spend the rest of 2009 making sure it has the votes to pass in 2010. Here’s what I have in mind; please let me know which of these you’d be willing to help with:
1. Gain endorsements from all 95 county commissions (we already have three!)
2. Do door-to-door canvassing in Williamson County
3. Organize “Litter-&-Legislators” roadside cleanups 
4. Expand our support network (Facebook, Twitter, blogs?)
5. Make sure the bottle bill is an issue in the gubernatorial race
1. Gain endorsements from all 95 county commissions
Three county commissions have already passed resolutions (Loudon, Hickman and Maury) supporting the bill; our goal is to gain the endorsements of the remaining 92. As most of you know, the TN County Mayors Association has already done so. Commissioners tend overwhelmingly to like this bill for the same reasons (more jobs, more revenue, less litter, lower waste costs and more money for schools, all at no cost to county budgets). 
I’ve written a sample resolution (borrowing from Maury County’s) and am sending a copy to each county mayor and commission chair, along with a letter and brochure summarizing the revised bill. (Midtown Printing here in Nashville has generously donated 4,000 copies of the brochure.)
I’ve also promised to make sure the commissioners have whatever other information they need, including testimony from county residents. If you can help out in your county, let me know, and I will plug you in.
2. Go door-to-door in Williamson County
Although folks are welcome to canvass their own districts, this effort is aimed at Williamson County, home of District 23 Senator Jack Johnson. (His district also includes a small part of Davidson. To see if you are a constituent, click on this link: http://www.capitol.tn.gov/districtmaps/Senate23.pdf.) 
Sen. Johnson is a high-powered legislator who led the opposition when the bill came before Senate Environment Committee in April. His chief objection, he said, is that it is a “$250-million tax” that is opposed by most of the businesses in his district. He dismisses the results of the UT poll that showed 80 percent support among voters. 
Some politically astute folks have told us that the best way to address Johnson’s opposition is to talk directly to his constituents. The plan is to have volunteers go door-to-door in District 23, briefly summarizing the bill and asking respondents (1) if they support the measure, and (2) if they consider the deposit to be a tax. We’ll pass the results on to Sen. Johnson and other Williamson County legislators. We may also share them with the press. If you can help organize or take part in these efforts–esp. if you live in Williamson County–contact me.
3. Get youth to organize “Litter-&-Legislators” roadside cleanups 
Everyone says we’ve got to get young people involved. Why not have them–Scouts, outdoor clubs, etc.–persuade legislators to join them in picking up local roadsides? 
Our system is real simple. Participants simply put all the deposit-beverage containers in one 13-gallon drawstring garbage bag; put everything else in another bag; and tally the results. We had great success with a similar series of cleanups in 2005-2006 that showed 50% of litter volume is bottles and cans. Contact me if you want to know more, or go to www.tnbottlebill.org, click on “Events and Cleanups,” and download the guidelines for “X Marks the Spot.”  
4. Expand our network using new-fangled tools like Facebook, Twitter, blogs

I’ve just been introduced to the brave new world of social networking. Granted, all I’ve done so far is create my own profile at Facebook, and I’ve never even sent a text message, let alone Twittered. Nonetheless, I know it’s the organizational tool of the future. If you know how to do such things, please set up a blog, Facebook and/or Twitter network for POP, tell me how to use it, and I’ll notify everyone else. 

5. Help make sure the bottle bill is an issue in the governor’s race

Nashville businessman Ward Cammack, one of the Democrats running for governor, recently became the first mainstream candidate for any office, ever in the history of the state, to publicly call for passage of a bottle bill! This really is an act of courage (one of the other candidates owns a beer distributorship!) but it can only help give this issue more credibility and visibility.
I’d like to see every candidate take a position publicly on the bill. If you know any of them–or even if you don’t–contact them, and ask if they have a position on the bill. If they have no position, offer to provide them information so that they can take one. If they are opposed, suggest that they look more closely at the bill. And if they support it, consider putting your own support–and money–into their campaign–and make sure they know why you are doing so.
Here are links to their campaigns:

a. Ward Cammack (D) http://www.wardcammack.com  SUPPORTS BOTTLE BILL
b. Kim McMillan (D) www.kimmcmillan.com c. Mike McWherter (D) www.mikemcwherter.com
d. Roy Herron (D) www.tndp.org/group/royherronforgovernor
e. Bill Haslam (R) http://www.billhaslam.com
f.  Ron Ramsey (R) teamronramsey.com
g. Zach Wamp (R) http://www.zachwamp.comh. Bill Gibbons (R) http://www.gibbons2010.com

Thanks, folks. I hope to hear from you!
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

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