As Teton Valley Community Recycling is a very small organization with only one half-time employee and an equally small budget, we have to get creative in how we implement reduce, reuse, and recycle strategies in our community. Our committed Board of Directors serve as volunteers and visionaries for the organization, and Iris Saxer, as the Executive Director, is in charge of executing our strategic plan.
Since Iris started this position in November, one of the greatest things she has found in our community is the willingness of other non-profits and small businesses to partner with TVCR to further our shared vision of a thriving community that minimizes waste. We are excited to work with any organization who sees ways they can help keep our valley clean and reduce unnecessary waste.
Here are just a few of the great partnerships that we have already formed in 2018:
With encouragement from Grand Targhee Resort, we initiated TerraCycle collections in town at the Teton Geotourism Center and the General Laundry Company. Both businesses have offered TVCR space to have permanent collections of hard to recycle items like toothbrushes, empty toothpaste tubes, cereal bags, energy bar wrappers, and SOLO cups. Since TVCR doesn’t have a physical office, it is wonderful that these generous business owners have allowed us to set up shop and expand what can be recycled in our valley. It is nice to have convenient indoor public drop-off sites in both Victor and Driggs for these small items so they won’t blow away and create litter. Teton Valley Community School and NOLS Teton Valley, two other non-profits have also agreed to collect TerraCycle waste items at their business sites. Thank you!!
Battery collections are going strong with participation from Valley Lumber and Rental, Ace Hardware, and Broulims. All of these businesses have agreed to host a drop-off bucket for any kind of used battery which TVCR can pick up and take to the Recycling Center for proper disposal, yet another boon for an organization without a public space.
Valley of the Tetons Library has partnered with TVCR to pursue our shared dream of creating a Tool Lending Library. Rashell Stanger, Library Programs Manager, secured a grant for $925 from the Community Foundation of Teton Valley Youth Philanthropy Program and TVCR got a $1000 business sponsorship from Silver Star Communications to begin Phase 1 of the project converting a basement storeroom into a Tool Storage Area. Soon we will be asking the community and businesses to look through your tool sheds, garages, and workbenches to find any extra tools that you no longer need that will become an asset to community members to check out for FREE using the library’s existing loan system. We will be starting out small at the Victor location, but hope this Tool Library will become a valuable resource for the whole community.
Friends of the Teton River is spearheading Teton Valley’s first ever Household Hazardous Waste collection event, with grant funding from the EPA and Teton County Solid Waste, using $12,000 of our earnings from selling recycled metal, to allow county residents a day where they can bring household hazardous waste to the Transfer Station at no cost. Stay tuned for more information, but save the date: May 19 morning to rid your home/garage/shed of nasty chemicals.
Teton Valley Community School, Valley of the Tetons Library, and TVCR partnered to write a grant for a Protocycler, a machine that melts used HDPE plastic for reuse as filament in 3-D printers. We are still waiting to hear if we got the grant. Fingers crossed!
We partnered with Habitat for Humanity to collect used blue denim through an annual Denim Drive in February. This material is shipped to Blue Jeans Go Green where they turn it into insulation for sustainable houses. We plan to continue this collection every year, so if you missed it, please save your ratty blue jeans until January 2019. We’ll take them from you then!
The Community Foundation of Teton Valley has asked TVCR to help make the Tin Cup a “greener” event this year, so we are helping at the planning stage looking at food waste, packaging, and other ideas. We also will head up the “Green Team” on event day to make sure waste gets recycled or reused as much as possible. Come help us out if you want to contribute to keeping community events green and clean.
TVCR is working with the Teton Valley Foundation to reduce plastic waste during Music on Main. A generous donor has funded and built a Water Refill Station that we will roll out this summer for many public events allowing you to easily refill your water bottle and avoid buying single use plastic bottles. On top of this, Teton Valley Hospital Foundation’s See and Save Thrift Store is collecting and donating used water bottles which we will sanitize and distribute for free to people at events who may not have a water bottle with them. We are hoping to see an end to single use water bottles.
Our connection with Jackson’s Integrated Solid Waste and Recycling remains strong as we adopt practices from our neighbors to the east. We will be helping with the upcoming publication of the 2018 Reuse Resource Guide which highlights businesses who repair, reuse, rescue, and repurpose items to keep them out of the landfill. If your business fits the bill, let us know and we can include you in this publication free of charge.
What’s next? Stay tuned as we continue to reach out to more local organizations to form strong partnerships that lead to a healthier, more connected community we can all be proud of.
If you’d like to partner with us or have great ideas on how Teton Valley can continue to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle, please contact Iris Saxer at 206-484-7354 or firstname.lastname@example.org