Environmental Sustainability

TREX Stretchable Plastics Recycling Program November 2021 - April 2022

Nevada City Rotary Club’s Environmental Sustainability Committee has initiated a pilot recycling program aimed at collecting plastic bags, shrink wrap, and similar plastic film that Waste Management does not pick up.  We are doing this in cooperation with the TREX company, which turns the returned plastic film into outdoor decking, fencing, benches and other outdoor furniture   https://recycle.trex.com.  Our hope is to provide a means for people to dispose of a form of plastic that until now has not been able to be recycled in our county, and typically ends up in landfills, further contributing to pollution and carbonization of the atmosphere.

Trex melts the plastics and combines them with other recyclables in their materials process. Here is a video from Trex on what they collect and their materials process.

Recycling bins around town

We are approaching 1,000 lbs — well beyond our 500 lbs in 6 months goal — of plastics!!! Add your clean stretchable plastics to our bins around town - Briar Patch, B&C, the Library, Restore, Nevada City and Wolf Creek/Grass Valley CoHousing or bring them to Robin at our hybrid meetings. 

What can NOT be recycled?

We are having to sort out a number of pieces going into our recycle bins such as:

Look for bins in various locations around the area including Briar Patch, B&C True Value Hardware, Madelyn Helling Library, Nevada City and Grass Valley CoHousing and other locations to be added. We are also collecting from AJA Video Systems. Nevada City Rotary team members are monitoring the bins and gather the materials on a regular cycle that have been deposited. SaveMart Grocery in Grass Valley is an established TREX partner collection their own store, as well as customer plastics. They have agreed to bail our collections and deliver them to TREX.

Environmental Sustainability Committee

Nevada City Rotary is proud to form our Club/s Environmental Sustainability Committee in conjunction with The Rotary Foundation's official launch of the Focus on Supporting the Environment.    

Return to this page for new resource references as the Environmental Sustainabilty Committee expands its focus.

PRIP and TRF Trust Chair Ian Riseley spoke to Nevada City Rotary in July 2021 on Rotary's decision to add a seventh Area of Focus. He repeatedly referenced The Rotary Foundation newly published Areas of Focus Policy statement for each of its seven areas of focus. Pages 18-21 outline policies for the Environment.

Areas of interest for the Environmental Sustainability Committee

1. Circular economy Circular economy

Source: Closing the loop: The why and who of the Circular Economy at #SB16bcn

https://drawdown.org/drawdown-framework

Starbucks Cup to Starbucks Cup - Circular Economy Partnership Model

Source Sustana Group https://www.sustanagroup.com/about-us/

Source: https://www.drawdown.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/Drawdown_Graphic_SourcesSinks01.pdf

2. Recycling

Recycling systems locally and around the world are broken.  We are examing targetted options for recycling that address specific high volume, frequently used products. 

Companies that we are researching include TerraCyle

TerraCycle® is a social enterprise Eliminating the Idea of Waste®. In 21 countries, we tackle the issue from many angles. We have found that nearly everything we touch can be recycled and collect typically non-recyclable items through national, first-of-their-kind recycling platforms.

Waste Management: What Can Be Recycled: Recycling Guide

Locally Waste Management provides a downloadable (pdf format) What Can Be Recycled: Recycling Guide on their website. "To find out more, please reference these guidelines and common myths based on science, research and collaboration with industries, agencies and other organizations. ...Help spread the word about what is or isn’t recyclable curbside and why."

Learn more at WM Recycle Right. https://www.wm.com/us/en/recycle-right

3. Climate Change

Environmental Sustainability Rotary Action Group - ESRAG and Project Drawdown are collaborating to attack Climate Change.

https://esragdrawdown.org/

Solar Panel Recycling 101

It’s projected that more than a billion solar panels will be installed throughout the U.S. alone over the next decade. While this growth is great for the environment, there are some challenges surrounding the amount of waste that these panels will produce after their 25-year lifespan. 

That’s why our team at EcoWatch created a guide that explains how to recycle solar panels. You can check it out below: 

Solar Panel Recycling 101 https://www.ecowatch.com/solar-panel-recycling-2655905825.html

Our guide includes:

  • The importance and future of recycling 
  • A list of companies that will help recycle solar panels
  • An infographic that breaks down the anatomy of a solar panel

ESRAG Big West ECOLOGY DAY Virtual Conference Saturday, November 6 2021

The Environment 101 conference with distinguished speakers offered a great opportunity to create awareness in our communities and take action.

We celebrated the ENVIRONMENT: Rotary's New Area of Focus and Rotary's November 1st Ecology Day, declared in 1990.