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September 9th, 2008
Sustainable San Marcos speaks to CONA

Click below to listen to audio from the event.

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Sustainable San Marcos has its introduction at the Council of Neighborhood Associations’ monthly meeting. Sustainable San Marcos is a program whose purpose is to provide information that helps the community live and operate in their homes and businesses in an efficient manner while saving money in the process.”It is very important,” said Sustainable San Marcos Chairwoman Betsy Robertson. “I encourage everyone to get involved; we need to care of our planet and at the same time we save money.”

The presentation cited the program’s strategy as, “(working) primarily though our committees, education, outreach, advocacy, resource, communication, events, activities, and initiatives.” The 3Rs (reduce, reuse, and recycle) committee provides for environmentally conscious activities ranging from transportation logistics, paying bills online, and energy and water audits. This committee is an ardent supporter of single stream recycling.

“Single stream recycling encourages curbside recycling with easy-to-use wheeled carts, increase quantity of materials recycled, thus decreasing landfill waste, and it produces quality manufacturing feedstocks,” said Sustainable San Marcos Board Member Steve Harvey.
The 3Rs committee is taking a special interest in initiating a campaign sign recycling program.

San Marcos is currently in the midst of an election year, therefore the committee has made it a goal to recycle 2500 signs in San Marcos; and build support in surrounding areas. They will collect/recycle plastic election signs and drop them off at the Green Guy recycling center for four days after the election.

“We need to make this a joint effort between the city, the citizens, candidates, Green Guy Recycling and Sustainable San Marcos,” said Harvey.

Other committees within this program include, Edible San Marcos, Energy, Transportation, and Green Building. According to the presentation the Energy, Transportation, and Green Building committees are not currently active.

Robertson said the Edible San Marcos Committee’s mission is “to promote gardening and locally grown food.” This committee takes part in and supports home gardens, farmer’s markets, and community gardens. The San Marcos Community Garden is open to anyone in the city and rents plots for $20 per year. The Edible San Marcos Committee is working to introduce community supported agriculture- where area farmers deliver a box of produce to subscribers weekly for a set fee.

“Community gardening is fun and you share with people around you that have a common interest,” said Robertson. “Everyone should take part in it, if you’re not as experienced you can learn a lot from those around you.”

The Edible San Marcos Committee host how-to workshops that teach composting, market garden tour, and double-digging.

The Sustainable San Marcos presentation claims to encourage living thoughtfully, conserving resources, and saving money. Membership is open to all who support the mission, there are no dues; however, contributions of time, talent, and money are welcomed.

To see a set of the photos Andy took at the event, click here.

Also, a link to the presentation made by Sustainable San Marcos can be downloaded here in .pdf format.

By ANDY SEVILLA
Correspondent

More info about Sustainable San Marcos can be found here at their home page.

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0 thoughts on “Sustainable San Marcos speaks to CONA

  1. At what point will Green Guy start giving the city and or citizens a rebate for all that we recycle. With the money they are making because of our recycling efforts there should be NO cost for them picking up our recycling materials

  2. I was not aware that the Green Guys were so rich. Is there anything wrong with them making a profit? We should be encouraging “green” jobs and business, not penalizing them. Do you have a problem with other companies that receive city funds and should we all get free services from them as well?

  3. I wasnt aware that they were “so rich” either! What Im saying Wendy is that other towns/residents get some sort of rebate for recycling and I dont understand why we cant. Is there anything wrong with me saving some money?

  4. The recycling center fee on my bill is .55 cents per month. Not worried about getting it back. Do you have any examples of how much money these cities are pulling in from their recyclers and which ones are getting it? Typically these recycling centers are subsidized by the city/county as the material prices fluctuate. I doubt Green Guy was making any money when many accepted items were worthless. I have no problem with them earning a living now. If you can prove that we are losing big bucks I would be surprised. There is nothing wrong with you saving money, if that’s even possible, but there is a larger question to be considered here about recycling being a profitable business and available to all citizens. If it has no profit margin, it will not be available.

  5. I’m never was a huge proponent of living “thoughtfully” but now I think it’s the only sensible way to live. First and foremost we SAVE $$ and apparantely we also help the environment, so it’s a win win! I use to be very wasteful, with everything, but now Im more conscious of the little things that I use to not watch out for. Im glad to see a program like Sustainable San Marcos, and I think that recycling the election signs is brilliant! I wanted to address the comments above by saying that perhaps we should NOT expect Green Guy to eat the bill of picking up our recycling, however they could, and perhaps should, consider making more of a contribution to our city, seeing as how they do profit (for a good cause), if nothing else it would be some good P.R. for Green Guy.

  6. Like I said…Is there anything wrong with me saving some money? Sounds pretty simple to me…. Save Money, Make Money

  7. This was a wonderful article and a good description of our efforts. One small correction: Sustainable San Marcos won’t be picking up campaign signs. Signs will need to be brought to Green Guy (thanks, Kyle) where volunteers will de-construct them and bundle them for trucking up to the plastic recycler in Austin.

  8. Ladies, Green Guy does not pick up your recyclables, TDS does, and that costs a lot in gas, trucks and truckdriver wages. And I believe that we are very lucky to have a recycling drop off site like Green Guy’s here, and he is certainly not rich. Few people would have given up their lives to get San Marcos recycling over the last few years, but Green Guy is dedicated to keeping natural resources out of landfills. Even when he actually had to pay to get glass picked up, he kept on taking it from us. Prices rise and fall so rapidly, that it is hard to know when steel might only bring half of what it did the day before. It is a very difficult business, but he perseveres, finds a way to stay afloat even when it meant no salary for months and months, and meanwhile always looks for more ways to recycle more varieties of items. We take our recycling to Green Guy, because the city-distributed curbside bins are open to the rain. And Green Guy takes much more variety of items, including cardboard and many plastics, that curbside does not right now. I hope that we can soon get single stream passed at City Council so that we can have a big rolling covered bin for curbside, just like our trashcans from TDS now, but slightly smaller. That would really get this town recycling, it would be so much easier. Since we recycle almost all our trash at home, by taking it to Green Guy, we can only fill a trashcan about once a month now. (We do put it outa quarter full every week though to get rid of smelly trash.) Cardboard is a huge percentage of trash, as you will find out once you start recycling. I highly recommend putting a special can for cardboard in your kitchen and in your bathroom, you will be amazed how much you’ve been throwing away.

  9. Thank you Sustainable San Marcos. You are a great group of citizens helping us become a better town. Don’t ever give up.

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