Letters to the Editor: May 22, 2015

Waste group impressive

My wife, Phoebe, and I, as always, loved the annual UFO festival and parade.

However, the highlight for us this year was an inspirational project carried out by a local grassroots organization.

Local volunteers were able to divert much of the trash generated by the festival; consequently, very little made it to the landfill. This all-volunteer effort was organized by a relatively new but energetic not-for-profit group called Zero Waste McMinnville.

The core leadership trained volunteers from the community, Linfield College and McMinnville High School on how to help attendees sort their waste to be either composted, recycled or trashed.

Then they set up and staffed 10 stations along the parade route to collect and help sort the refuse. Just under 80 percent of the waste collected was diverted from the landfill (700 pounds composted and 294 pounds recycled).

This is an impressive piece of work from an all-volunteer local effort and a great demonstration of how much unnecessary waste is reaching our landfills. It is especially impressive when you consider that the volunteers’ motives are neither personal wealth nor political gain.

Zero Waste’s goal is to divert 90 percent of this community’s waste away from the landfill by 2024. It’s not an easy task, but it is do-able, considering what they were able to accomplish last weekend.

Their UFO project was a great success!

Philip Newman


Zero Waste makes a mark

As a volunteer for the first Zero Waste effort during the UFO Festival, I was struck by the reception of the recycling pup tents by the attendees.

We were approached by several organizers of other McMinnville events about the program. Yes, for any event organizer who would like to contribute to the goal of Zero Waste in McMinnville by 2024, we will be there with our pup tents collecting recyclable, compostable or trash items. We will bring our volunteers if you bring yours.

Zero Waste organizers weigh and measure each of the three categories. The baseline was set this weekend. The UFO Festival produced 700 pounds of compostable waste that will not go to the landfill.

My take-away? Years from now, we will look back at this core group of volunteers and say, “Oh, that’s how this all started.” Thank you, Zero Waste, for starting this movement in McMinnville.

Susan Allen


Horse with no name

Wonderful idea and execution. Besides taking care of the waste material it raises awareness of how to deal with all the waste. Yep even if you don't see it, it's costing you money. I use to think it was so cool to recycle, do that and everything will be OK. I had my awareness raised by a youngster that said "hey recycling is OK but you should Rethink, Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, it's the last one".

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