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Winter 2015 
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PARTNER SPOTLIGHT: The Scrap Box
Article written by: Julie Craig, Environmental Engineer & Volunteer
The Scrap Box is an Ann Arbor-based non-profit organization and Waste Knot Partner since 2001.  Its purpose is “Creative Recycling.”  The Scrap Box specializes in supporting early child education, but is also a fun place for artists, older students, parents, and educators. 
 
The Scrap Box has a warehouse in Ann Arbor and a van for business donation pickups.   It is staffed by professionals assisted by many volunteers who procure and sort materials, hold workshops and keep the storeroom stocked. They provide an outlet for recycling many different materials including many colorful, interesting and useful materials such as craft foam, adhesive-backed paper and plastic pieces for use in craft projects, as well as many usable materials such as strapping, buttons, fabric, rip stop nylon, and office supplies. Among the many donors are book binders, carpeting warehouses, decorators, restaurants, craft and gift stores.  Households may also drop off their craft donations during operating hours.

Donations from businesses may be one-time, as needed, or scheduled on a regular basis.  For information regarding pickup of donations, contact Charlie.  For information on classes and/or volunteering, contact Libby.  For general questions about the program, contact the Director, Karen.
During the last fiscal year, ending August 2014, the Scrap Box collected over 9000 square feet of materials, plus donations delivered directly by households and businesses.  This is significant, but what is also important is the value that it provides to the community.

The warehouse in Ann Arbor is conveniently located on State Circle just off of I-94 at the State Street exit.  Some items are priced individually; other items found in the bulk area are sold by the bag.   With a Scrap Box membership,   the members’ room provides die cut machines, reference books, and a quiet place to plan or craft a project. 

The Scrap Box offers classes to groups of children age 5 and over.  Children listen to a short discussion about recycling and instructors might read a story for inspiration.   Then children are given their own shopping bag to collect assorted materials.  They can create pets, wild animals or imaginary critters, as well as boats, cars or planes.  Older children can do games & mazes, masks, puppets and 3-D models. 

The author of this document observed a teacher create a colorful scrap bouquet for a retiring teacher.  She watched her effortlessly twist together wire and paper scraps within a few minutes in the members’ room and head off to the retirement party.  She also watched a proud grandfather wait for his toddler to put together a foam backing with eyes and legs to create an imaginary animal in the store.  On another day, there were five (5) University of Michigan students designing a project for their undergraduate course on entrepreneurship.  All of these people were having fun the day they were at the Scrap Box.


Household Donation     Maker Faire Report     Project Foam
 
The Scrap Box
581 State Circle
Ann Arbor, MI 48108
Scrap Box phone:  734-994-0012
ATTENTION! Washtenaw Business Recyclers
Calling all businesses currently achieving a 30% or higher recycling rate! Governor Snyder announced in 2014 his detailed plan to increase the State of Michigan’s recycling rate to 30% by 2017. As part of this progressive initiative, the Governor’s Recycling Summit in scheduled this May where various Michigan-based businesses achieving 30% or higher recycling rates will be recognized. This event will be held in conjunction with the 2015 Michigan Recycling Coalition (MRC) Annual Conference.
You may APPLY HERE or contact Waste Knot if interested in submitting your organization for recognition in achieving 30+% recycling rate or need assistance in determining if your organization may qualify! 
Follow our Guest Speaker, Howard Brown

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For those whose interest was piqued by the progressive innovations our guest speaker Howard Brown presented at the 2014 Waste Knot Ceremony, sign up for the free dMass newsletter,
Insights!

This newsletter offers weekly updates on doing better business with less, including innovative technologies and and a brainstorming exercise to help you and your professional team “think dMASS."

Washtenaw County Striving for Zero Waste

 
Washtenaw County Government is working toward achieving organizational zero-waste-to-landfill goals, as prioritized by the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners and the Washtenaw Food Policy Council. Zero waste is a goal that many organizations around the nation and globe are currently pursuing and is defined by  the Zero Waste International Alliance to be “a goal that is ethical, economical, efficient and visionary, to guide people in changing their lifestyles and practices to emulate sustainable natural cycles, where all discarded materials are designed to become resources for others to use.”
 
Pursuant to Zero Waste goals, Washtenaw County Government officially adopted an Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) Policy on November 19, 2014 which will promote more sustainable procurement within county government. Specifically, the new EPP Policy strongly demotes the use of Expanded Polystyrene (EPS), or Styrofoam®, a primary source of unnecessary waste and a potential public health threat and instead promotes the procurement of “reusable, compostable, and recyclable” food service ware 

 


and office supplies, clean technology, renewable energy and sustainable janitorial service products & providers. Zero Waste goals are most effectively achieved if waste is prevented from being generated in the first place, so this policy seeks to preventively tackle waste before it starts! 

 
As a FREE BENEFIT to our Waste Knot Partners interested in learning more about adopting EPP Policy within their organization, please contact Noelle Bowman (bowmann@ewashtenaw.org) for additional EPP Policy information or consultation.
 

Speaking of Zero Waste events.....

WASTE KNOT 2015!

 

DEA New Rule 

Washtenaw County spearheaded the State of Michigan's very first Pharmaceutical Take-Back Program in 2008, facilitating proper disposal for residents' old & unused [non-controlled only!] pharmaceuticals that would otherwise end up in our landfills & waterways. 

In 2010, the Drug Enforcement Agency [DEA] passed the Drug Disposal Act, allowing pharmacies to voluntarily take back most controlled substances, if in compliance according to new law. This official new DEA law was finally released in October 2014, and defines the parameters by which pharmacies must abide to legally conduct on-site controlled-substance collection. Participation with the updated law is strictly voluntary, not mandated. The Drug Disposal Act is voluntary, meaning it will only effect those pharmacies who wish to expand their existing collection site to be in accordance with the new rule,

Prescription drug abuse has been on the rise among our youth and Michigan ranks in the top five states nationwide for misuse. As a temporary measure the DEA has held a total of 9 National Take Back Days to provide education and help dispose of prescription drugs including controlled substances.  The leading cause of poisoning in children under age 5 results from unused pharmaceuticals. In 2003, the United States Geological Survey revealed over 80% of the surface waters in the U.S. has some residual of personal care products including pharmaceutical compounds.
Copyright © 2015 Washtenaw County Environmental Excellence Program, All rights reserved.


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