ONE VOICE CAN CREATE CHANGE
This week a couple of my side projects made some progress and I've seen how one person can create change.
Earlier in July I wrote into The City of South Perth in response to an article they'd published in the community Peninsula Magazine. I believed the city could do more in relation to recycling and decided to share some information about TerraCycle.
I received my magazine today and decided to send some feedback about the Recycling & Waste column for South Perth.
The information you have put down was great however, I believe the magazine can go one step further by mentioning the other recycling programs that are available such as TerraCycle, RedCycle, Greenbatch (Perth based) to name a few and also remind people now that in 2020 the container deposit scheme is coming.
As a bonus, you could get in touch with some of our local businesses that are drop off points for these programs and support their local efforts.
For example, Angelo Street Optical is a collection point for empty contact lens blister packs. Last time I dropped off they had filled 3 boxes already. That's a heap of single-use plastic that isn't going to our landfill!
What do you think? Keep up the great work."
Initially, I received what I believed to be a lack-lustre response.
"Hi Cherrie Ann
Thank you for making contact with us and for the great information about additional recycling services.
We will make a note about those services and try to include them in any future articles we publish. There is so much information out there about recycling at the moment and it’s a case of baby steps with educating the community.
Our first priority is to maximize the efficiency of our own recycling centre and community kerbside recycling but it’s good to know of the other services available.
Thank you for your feedback and the great photos."
So, I responded with this.
That's great news.
I think we've gone past the time for baby steps. Third world countries are overtaking us!
It definitely starts within our communities.
It's simple really. We supply the information for the options that are available to manage and recycle responsibly along with the outcome if we choose to do xyz.
The rest is information to prompt better habits and it's up to people to do the rest.
For example, most women aren't aware that instead of their empty makeup containers going into the bin and becoming landfill, they can be sent to TerraCycle and turned into school play equipment or park bench seats, thanks to the L'Oreal partnership.
Information like this creates shifts that ease the burden, especially with more plastic becoming landfill because of the restrictions that have gone far beyond China's ban, extending finally into India. WA sends their waste to 4 countries that have all cracked down.
South Perth could connect with the community by encouraging local schools to participate in the Colgate program.
I'll love to contribute my knowledge and ideas to the South Perth community. Is there a way to connect with the editor and talk to them direct?
There's no voice from local residents in the Penisula editions."
Apparently I'd been writing to the editor because I received this response.
"Hi Cherrie Ann,
I am the editor of the magazine so I will definitely take on board your comments and I will also pass them on to our waste team.
Thanks for your feedback."
Again, I read something pretty non commital so I wrote back.
You didn't address my other options. Who makes those decisions?"
To which I received this reply.
"Hi Cherrie Ann,
Sorry you didn’t feel that I addressed your other options.
Decisions about the content of Peninsula magazine are made by myself and my team. I think it’s a great idea to have a voice of a resident section in the magazine, I will have a think about how we can facilitate this - please leave it with me and I will be in touch.
I am not in a position to make any comment or decision this week on your proposal but as I said, I will speak to the waste team and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
After a quick response I left it to the powers that be, not really believing too much would come of my emails since the magazine has been running for at least 4½ years without a community voice but to my surprise a few weeks later I received another email.
"Hi Cherrie Ann
We’ve had a think about your suggestion about including a community voice piece in Peninsula Magazine and we would like to give it a try for the September edition. We’ve put together the following piece and wondered what you think?"
Of course I was over the moon because I had created change and was able to share an important message.
And this is the result.
You can read the full magazine here. Now to keep working on protecting the swans.
Update: Unfortunately L'Oreal cancelled their TerraCycle program but the great news is you can still purchase a Zero Waste box and use them in your own home or perhaps ask a local business to sponsor a box.
The great news is BIC have recently sponsored a recycling program for used stationery. Check it out here.
Question - Have you ever created change?