Archive for May, 2014

Healthy Melrose Fair: A Huge Success!

The 5th Annual Healthy Melrose Fair welcomed Sustainable Melrose for the first time on May 3. The event was a big success with over 2,500 attendees. The Sustainable Melrose groups were in a cluster and received a lot of traffic. The groups that attended include Melrose Energy Commission, Friends of the Fells, Melrose Recycling Committee, UU Green Sanctuary Committee, Melrose Community Garden Club, Melrose Conservation Commission, Grow Native MA, Melrose Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, Ell Pond Committee and Sally Frank’s Farmers Market.

In collaboration with the Healthy Melrose organizers and the city,  Sustainable Melrose took steps to make the fair a “zero waste” and “zero carbon” event. Bins for recyclables and compost were located around the fair, and the electricity used during the event was matched with clean and local wind power made possible by Mass Energy Consumers Alliance.

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The Melrose Recycling Committee had a busy table with information about composting, recycling and rain barrels. Attendees played the “Wheel of Recycling” trivia game to enter into raffles.

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The MVMMS Green Team club had their own booth with a recycling game and information about their projects. Click here to read more about their club.

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The “Zero Waste” stations were run by volunteers and helped divert compostable materials from the waste stream. Black Earth Compost picked up the compost and brought it to their farm to compost it.

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Melrose’s First Paint Swap: May 17

What should I do with my leftover paint?

We have all asked that question at some point or another. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, about 10 percent of all paint purchased in the United States is not used. This is a problem because the unused paint is thrown in the trash at a cost of $8 per gallon for the municipality.

Nationwide, around 64 million gallons of paint purchased becomes leftover annually.

Currently, the proper way to dispose of unused latex paint is to let it harden in the can and then place in the trash. There is a better method, however, since this is wasteful. Paint reusing is easy and reduces trash.

To demonstrate how this works, the Melrose Department of Public Works is holding its first Paint Swap event on Saturday, May 17, from 8 a.m.-noon at the DPW Operations Facility, 72 Tremont Street. Only latex, water-based paint can be swapped.

Oil-based paint is considered hazardous waste and must be disposed of at Household Hazardous Waste events. Melrose holds one every October.

But if you have any indoor or outdoor latex paint, come on down to the event. Paint drop-off, for Melrose residents only, is from 8-10 a.m. From 10 a.m.-noon, residents and non-residents can pick up unused paint for their own use. It’s not necessary to drop off paint if you’re interested in picking up used paint.

DPW staff will inspect the paint when it is dropped off. Only wet, clean, unexpired latex paint in original containers (with all original labels intact and legible) will be accepted. The cans must be in good condition, not rusty or dirty, and closed securely.

DPW will not accept any hazardous waste items such as oil-based paint, art supplies, varnishes and paint thinners.

Paint must be taken in whole cans. There will be no pouring of cans at the event and the City is not responsible for the quality of the paint taken.

“Any opportunity to divert waste from our waste stream for our community, both in an environmental and financial prospective, is important,” said DPW Director John Scenna. “Melrose recycles well but true benefits are gained when we focus on reducing and reusing.”

The paint reuse idea is not new; municipalities have been dealing with this issue for years. Some communities have built paint-swap sheds where residents can drop off and swap paint anytime and others have created events similar to Melrose’s Paint Swap.

The Boston-based Product Stewardship Institute (PSI), a national nonprofit that promotes environmental responsibility pertaining to products, has been working on the paint issue for the past decade. PSI supports paint exchanges and swaps as a way to reuse paint and reduce waste, saving the city and the consumer money.

In case studies from other states, it has been found that the give-away rate was up to 90 percent, meaning that only 10 percent of the donated paint was placed in the trash.

PSI works with other organizations to create state laws that encourage paint manufacturers to promote paint recycling programs. These laws, called Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), have successfully instituted recycling and reuse programs for various items in many states.

Other items covered by the EPR legislation include mattresses, carpets and pesticides. Paint EPR laws have gone into effect in California, Oregon, and Connecticut, and are being considered in other New England states.

If you want to get rid of reusable paint or pick up some free paint, come over to Melrose’s first Paint Swap on May 17.

For more information about this event, contact Jessie Schmitt at jschmitt@cityofmelrose.org or 781-665-0142.

 

 

Healthy Melrose Fair: Sat, May 3

Healthy Melrose logoThe 5th Annual Healthy Melrose Fair will take place this Saturday, May 3, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Melrose High Athletic Complex at 360 Lynn Fells Parkway. It will have a new addition this year—Sustainable Melrose.

Sustainable Melrose member groups will there including the Melrose Energy Commission, Melrose Recycling Committee, Friends of the Fells, Melrose Conservation Commission, Grow Native MA, Melrose Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, Sally Frank’s Farmers Market and more.

The member groups will hold various activities throughout the day including: nature walks, a scavenger hunt, and presentations aimed at educating the public about such activities as seed planting, composting, recycling, and energy conservation.

In collaboration with the Healthy Melrose organizers and the city, MRC logoSustainable Melrose will be taking steps to make the fair a “zero waste” and “zero carbon” event. Bins for the proper disposal of recyclables and compost will be located around the fair, and the electricity used during the event will be matched with clean and local wind power made possible by Mass Energy Consumers Alliance.

Go to this website for more information about the fair.  See you there!