RENewsletter | June 7, 2009


The Free environmental newsletter from  

“Our Environment is changing: Keep up with the Change.”

[05/31/09– 06/07/09]


* Need to vent? | Go to my blog: Environmental Thoughts - Rochester, NY


Opening Salvo | NewsLinks | Daily Updates | Events | Environmental Site of the Month | Take Action |


[Hyperlinks work by CTRL + click to follow a link]





Opening Salvo:  The Bottle Bill Ban Battle


This heralding by the media of environmentalists unhappy with the latest ban on the deposit law just passed strikes me as an odd way to look at the halt in the NYS bottle bill that was supposed to go into effect on June 1st, and an odd way to see environmental issues in general by the media. Because, of course, shouldn’t everyone be miffed that the battle to remove discarded bottles from our streets, urban forests, our roadways (you-name-it, bottles are everywhere) via a popular measure (most New Yorkers are for this bottle bill) has been squelched by a judge, bottling companies, some politicians, grocery and convenience stores?  [Note, local recycling newslinks:]


The media sees a battle, not an environmental problem where an incredible amount of waste is piling up around us. For, the press cannot see the forest because of the trees: the forest--our environmental issues that jeopardize the sustainability of our way of life; the trees--the myopic way mainstream media frames environmental issues.  Mainstream media see environmental issues as a series of battles, oftentimes only with those opponents willing to step up to the microphone. Allegedly, the rest of us are dozing on the sidelines.  It is as if while their train is plummeting off a cliff, passengers watching a fight in the aisle between the brakeman and the engineer believe they have no stake in the events about to unfold.


In this story about the ban on this bill, what is missing is the incredible amount of trash littering our world, the loss of natural resources, and the needless use of energy making our stuff that is polluting our planet. It’s not about squabbles going on by groups of angry people remote from our existence: It’s about how we (every one of us) conduct our business (economics) and whether or not we can keep doing that—without depriving our children of a future.


At present, our environment is failing, pollution is building, our energy sources are warming the planet…, and the list goes on and on. The tragedy of this bottle bill ban is that solving the larger problem of the trash build-up in our environment is on hold because the media cannot conceive of a way to report on it other than framing it as a long battle interspersed with a few good verbal whacks on each side.


Here’s some recycling matters our media could be reporting on until April of 2010 if they weren’t so dysfunctional: instances of volunteers taking the initiative and cleaning up our parks and trails in this Recession; seeing that our county enforces existing laws on haulers land-filling recyclables; making sure that televisions taken to the curbside because of the signal change on July 12th do not go into landfills; finding out if we in Rochester have recycling audits like Buffalo to see how many of us are actually recycling; finding out why our county doesn’t recycling beyond #2 plastics like Ontario County does; finding out how the recycling market affects recycling locally; find out where recycled products get recycled properly; finding out about programs to develop community composting programs that might remove some 10% of our food waste from landfills and sell as compost; finding out what local entrepreneurs are doing to create jobs in this area to keep trash from landfills; and maybe even compile a list of local recycling places for our residents to recycling properly—like this list: Donate, Recycle & Reuse []  (Click on my email for feedback)




NewsLinksEnvironmental NewsLinks – [Highlights of major environmental stories concerning our area from the past week]


         Gas Drilling Update

         Update on Bat Disease

         DEC on Emerald Ash Borer

         Govt Monies on Water Infrastructure

         Clean Energy Green Jobs

         Green Homes

         Using Computer to Get Green

         Tire Recycling - Buffalo

         More Bears in NYS

         Invasive Species in Great Lakes - new Book

         New Great Lakes Overseer

         Selling Park to Developer

         See-Through Garbage Bags A Must

         City Planning Includes Global Warming

         Big Wind in Indiana

         Chili & Open Space Issue

         Killing Trees

         New Tech Might Save Bulbs

         Death of Swine Flu

         Ruling on Ballast Discharge Upheld

         Executive Order #1 Lead Poisoning

         Gov Est. Task Force To Prevent Lead Poisoning

         Bat Disease To Great Lakes

         More on Bottle Bill Ban

         Local Food To Local Schools

         Fuel Cell Research in our Area Goes On

         Bridgehampton's Tree Planting Program

         Best Practices for Great Lakes Wind Power

         Green Lab in Syracuse

         New Invasive Species in Great Lakes

         New Light Bulb



UpdatesDaily Updates – [Connecting the dots on Rochester’s environment. Find out what’s going on environmentally in our area—and why you should care? Clicking on -DISCUSSION – will take you to my blog “Environmental Thoughts, NY, where you can add your comments.]



EventsRochester Environmental Events Calendar – [The most complete listing of all environmental events around the Rochester, New York area.]  If you don’t see your event, or know of a local environmental event, please send me the info: with (EV event) in the subject line.




ActionTake Action - Often, I receive request to pass on alerts, petitions, Public Comments on local developments, and environmental items needing action by the Rochester Community and around the world. I’ll keep Actions posted until their due date. 




AwardEnvironmental Site of the Month Award – [On the last Sunday of each month, we present an environmental award for the Rochester-area environmental web site or blog that best promotes the need to protect and offers solutions for our area's environmental issues.]