I live in a small community. The Tam Community Services District takes care of our sewage, garbage and parks. It is run mainly by volunteers who work extremely hard and there are a few paid positions. People move here and usually stay until they die, so there is quite a mix of people involved. I am looking at our latest newsletter and there is good news for our little area. We have three garbage cans, one for garbage, one for recycling and one for plant waste. We are the only collection system in Marin county that has seen their garbage collection go down, way down in 2007. We are saving a ton of money, or $13,400 to be exact. In addition, we have increased our recycling 10% so that is generating $6000 a month. In 2006, we were paying $73,000 in fees to a contractor to have recyclable materials picked up. Now, we're making money, $72,000 a year. What a shift.
In addition, the green stuff is being mulched and heated, so we can easily pick up free organic mulch on any week day. Anything with a cord is picked up for recycling, and we can easily dispose of our batteries. I am impressed. Maybe it works so well because it is such a teeny-tiny community, but, if this small area can have such a result, imagine what it means if everyone does as well.
This shift has occurred in one year. Who knows how much money we'll save and how much mulch we'll produce in 2008.
Owl houses are being installed in the parks to help control rodents, especially gophers. This area is designated pesticide free. In the summer, music and food are provided on Friday night, so people can walk to their entertainment. I feel like I'm living the Ranger Rick dream.