RENewsletter | May 15, 2011


The Free environmental newsletter from

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

[5/07/11 – 5/14/11]


* Got news? | Go to my blog: Environmental Thoughts - Rochester, NY or Tweet me @!/FrankRrrr  On Twitter, I post local environmental events, news, commentary, and action items as soon as they happen. 


* Found an important Rochester environmental story from a credible source that you think needs attention? Or, an Environmental Event, Please, SEND ME THE LINK. If you think this newsletter, which continually informs our community on our local environmental news, events, actions, is worthwhile, please encourage others to sign up.  


The great conundrum of our times is that in a time of rapidly occurring Climate Change and a rapid disintegration of the environment that we need to thrive and survive, mainstream media still marginalizes environmental concerns. [Check often for this continually updated list on the possible consequences of Climate Change in our region--supported by facts.] If there isn’t a quick and substantial change in how environmental concerns are reported, edited, and chosen in mainstream media, the public will continue to believe that environmental concerns are merely special interest matters, issues they can avoid if they choose.  How can we inform the public and monitor our environment without abridging our Freedoms--in enough time to safe ourselves?


Anything else you're interested in is not going to happen if you can't breathe the air and drink the water. Don't sit this one out. Do something. You are by accident of fate alive at an absolutely critical moment in the history of our planet. -- Carl Sagan


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



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




Opening Salvo:  “Now recycling 3-7 plastics in Monroe County”


It’s official: As of June 1st Monroe County will recycle 3-7 plastics.  It’s been a long time coming, but many who have worked hard to influence Monroe County’s recycling policy to include 3-7 plastics are very pleased with the announcement by Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks:


“Starting June 1st, Monroe County residents will now be able to recycle plastic products labeled three through seven – in addition to plastics one and two, which we already collect. Expanded collection will give residents more recycling options. Now you will be able to recycle drinking cups, yogurt containers, take-out containers, and prescription pill bottles, just to name a few.” 2011 State of the County AddressMonroe County Executive Maggie BrooksMonday, May 09, 2011


We know that this decision to recycle 3-7 plastics was not made easily.  Although several of our surrounding counties have been recycling these plastics for years, Monroe County has maintained that there was not a stable market for them—meaning, when the market for these plastics dropped the county would have to quietly landfill them.  They didn’t want that to happen. 


“An expanded recycling program has been a priority of environmental groups for years, but the county had only accepted containers labeled 1 and 2. The county also is planning to open a disposal center on Avion Drive in Chili, called ECOPark, by the end of the year. The center will accept all waste not accepted by garbage trucks, including prescription drugs.” Brooks points to environment, jobs in State of County speech | Democrat and Chronicle


Local environmental, church, and community groups deserve credit for this change in recycling options, especially those folks who continually included in their events the collection of 3-7 plastics for years where they took these plastics, often times having to wash them by hand, and then truck them out of the county to some place that would take them.  There are also those who met with recycling officials week in, week out pointing how the markets have changed and made it possible to do this.  Those people know who they are and they rock.


You may well ask, why all the fuss?  What do the numbered plastics mean and why this is important? Go here for a short article on the 1-7 plastics: “The 7 Types of Plastic & What They Mean to Your Health” – from  The Green Guide Network.


You might also ask: What will this expansion of the county’s recycling program mean for our community?  It will mean a lot.  We’ll have less toxic trash going into our landfills; instead, these plastics will enter our waste stream markets as commodities.  This ‘trash’ will become a resource for new businesses, new jobs, and incentivize collecting what presently despoils and harms our environment.


The expanded recycling program will also increase the stuff going into your recycle bin.  Please don’t let it overflow and go into your neighborhood.  Stomp it down.  If you need another recycle bin, ask your hauler (in the City of Rochester, that’s the City of RochesterJ).  Don’t let the solution to one problem be the start of another—more litter blowing around our neighborhoods.


Finally, I want to reflect on what Ms. Brooks said about recycling in her State of the County address: “During my time as County Executive, I have learned that when it comes to going green, there is one stand-out priority for residents. The County has received hundreds – maybe even thousands – of emails, letters, phone calls, and personal pleas advocating for an expansion of our recycling program.” 


I’ve been puzzling this fact that recycling is a “stand-out priority.”  There are a lot of environmental issues out there and I’ve worked on a lot of them, but nothing grabs as much attention and the willingness for the public to join in and do something as the issue of waste does.  What most people tell me when I bring this up is that recycling is something everyone can do in their daily lives.  And folks want to pitch in.


Here’s what you can do:  Write a thank-you note to Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks and let her know how important this issue is to you.  Encourage your media to continually remind folks to recycle—a ‘public service announcement’ that costs taxpayers zilch.  Join groups who are keeping the focus on zero waste, donating, reusing, and recycling.  Write to your representatives to provide resources to be allocated for education, outreach, and enforcement of recycling.  Write articles in your local neighborhood associations on recycling in your neighborhood.  Do the vision thing: Help move our county beyond the decentralized ECOPark that’s planned to a centralized Resource Recovery Park, where everything we dispose of –hazardous waste, composting, toxic metals, and recyclables--all can be brought to one place. 


And finally, recycle and don’t let anyone trash our planet.  (Click on my email for feedback)




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





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.


May 2011



June 2011



September 2011





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.]