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Earth Day advances recycling

The Department of Conservation (DOC) found Californians from January-July have recycled 5.8 billion bottles and cans according to the California Refund Value (CRV). This has become the highest six-month figure ever. In effort to limit these statistics, an Earth Day celebration will be held on April 28.

The festivities will be held from 10 A.M.-3 P.M., at the Easton Plaza, on Fresno and N street located downtown. This year, Leadership Fresno class of 23, has sponsored Earth Day.

“Even thought Earth Day is an annual holiday marked on a calendar it should still be looked at as an everyday thing,” Amy Huerta, Leadership Fresno associate, said. “This is one of the reasons our class chose it because by having this one day a year may remind us to help out every day. Anyone can be involved to help the community by investing in hybrid cars or recycling programs at schools, this shows people there are alternatives.”

Over 19 billion CRV bottles and cans will be sold in California this year. In 2003 eight billion bottles and cans were not recycled, worth an estimated $300 million CRV. As California heads into its 20-year mark, consumers will soon have an even greater incentive to recycle; they will get more cash back for their aluminum, glass and plastic beverage containers as of Jan. 1, 2007.

Due to recycling, energy is saved as well; a single recycled aluminum can saves enough electricity to run a television for nearly three hours.

“Earth Day doesn’t really impact my life in any way,” Jonathan Bingman, ’08, said. “It’s just one of those days you hear about and blow off. I think it is good that we recognize the need for caring for the environment, but I don’t feel I can do anything myself to directly help with it.”

A variety of enjoyment for all who attend is planned, including a band, 40 food venders, 4 car venders, and more at the Easton Plaza. Car venders promote environment friendly cars such as the newest hybrid. There will also be a recycling truck taking all E-waste, free of cost.

“I have never heard of Earth Day before,” Daniel Kingen, ’09, said, “but I think it would be important to have Earth Day because it shows how to help Earth out by recycling and help live in a clean world.”

One objective of Earth Day is to influence the community to recycle. To do so, there will be a free e-waste drop off (no limit). In addition, there will be numerous events for people for any age, such as a tree planting ceremony, a kids poster/essay contest, science and fitness mobiles, asthma screenings, a rock climbing wall and live music. A debate over solar power and nuclear power will also be held from 2:30-3 P.M. at Fresno City Hall.

Fresno Unified Schools will participate in an essay and poster contest of what Earth day means to them,” Huerta said. “There will be a drawing and every person attending will have a chance to win. The prizes are from a BMX bike to a trip to Disneyland. Rock walls and games will be provided for children as well.”

Campus advocates recycling program, wins awards

Although there seems to be little emphasis on Earth Day from students, this campus is an active participant in recycling and conservation.

In November of 2006, Peoples Church received the Mayor’s Business Recycling Award form the City of Fresno. The award, presented to several Fresno businesses, recognized efforts in comprehensive recycling, 50 % plus recycling and employee efforts at waste reduction. Willard Neufeld, Peoples Church facility manager, accepted this award on behalf of Peoples Church. The Etched Glass Award made of recycled glass, is on display at the reception desk in the church office.

“There are 10,000 businesses in Fresno and 1,000 of them recycle,” Neufeld said. “One of 50 businesses gets awarded, when we were called to accept the award people laughed at us. It has been so great to see students and faculty a part of this. We are hoping to keep growing and a food service is next in mind for improvement.”

This campus began the recycling program October of 2005 with recycling bins and containers spread throughout the buildings as well as outside. In addition to recycling, the campus decided to start an E-waste program as of February 2006.

“Having recycling and E-waste at school helps the community,” Neufeld said, “because teachers and students learn about recycling and E-waste and spread it through their community by being examples for others.

“We keep all E-waste in the warehouse by the campus filled by the school and church,” Neufeld said. “We divide the E-waste such as batteries and light bulbs. Then we take it all to the electronic recyclers and they get rid of it from there.”

When the campus began all recycled and E-waste was sent to the Recyclers Of America. An extra cost of .20 is placed on E-waste objects such as televisions and computer monitors. Later the campus found a flyer from New Hope Electronic Recyclers that took all E-waste and recycled goods for free.

“I think it is cool that the campus won an award and also very weird because I didn’t know they gave out awards like this,” Haley Tamberi, ’07, said, “it is good cause we are doing our part to help our environment. I don’t think people should get paid to recycle, we should just do it because it right. Any little thing that helps the world be a better place counts and I am a strong believer in world peace.”

“No one actually takes the time to throw recyclables in the proper trash cans,” Tamberi said. “However despite the enlightening academic success of the campus, we care about saving the environment for tomorrow?s future. Now I understand how important it is to say I went to a school that gave back to the environment and community as an example.”

Andrew Rurik’s Nov. 3, 2006, article “E-waste recycling mandatory” further outlines current Fresno County and campus recycling measures.

For more information on Earth Day contact Huerta at (559) 495-4818.

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