P3 has solution to downtown recycling
Published 9:57 am Friday, September 12, 2014
FRANKLIN—Coach Patti Rabil and her team of Franklin City Public School System Community Problem Solvers were on the agenda Monday at the Franklin City Council, and they had some good news.
The underlying problem for P3 (cubed), the Project… Pollution Preventers was having a positive impact on the environment in Franklin and beyond. Specifically, bringing recycling awareness to help stop trash buildup and “Ocean Soup,” also known as plastics and other garbage from amassing in the seas.
Well, after much work, they have a solution to the question, “How can the Downtown Franklin businesses recycle?”
They delivered questionnaires to downtown businesses, and found that the results were mostly positive, save the question of how it would be paid for, said P3 student Sarah Conner. If they decide to utilize dumpsters in all nine proposed locations, it would cost $135 per month. At first, student Vanessa Stone said, they thought of proposing the addition of $1 to each downtown business’s utility bill every month. But after speaking with Public Works Director Russ Pace, Community Development Director Donald Goodwin and City Manager Randy Martin, Stone and the P3 team learned that the city was willing to subsidize the recycling efforts downtown.
“Good answer,” Mayor Raystine Johnson-Ashburn retorted to Martin, who laughed.
Stone also said P3 has received the smaller recycling bins through a grant, and they were unpacking them to deliver to interested businesses.
Angela Bird then talked about the next step.
“We are going to meet with downtown businesses after hours at Mary’z Cafe on Sept. 24,” she said of the 6 p.m. meeting.
They’ll have a handout ready and be prepared to talk about how to participate and gauge the interest from business owners and representatives present, and they’ll also have bins on hand and try to distribute some that night. They’ll use this meeting to help determine how many of the estimated maximum of nine dumpsters that they will put out.
It’ll all kick off on Oct. 4 at the Fall Festival. P3 will have a booth and, for the first time ever, recycling containers for plastic bottles, aluminum cans and paper items.
Student Cindy Mitrovic asked council to declare Oct. 4 “GREEN Day,” with GREEN standing for Growing Recycling Efforts for the Environment Now. Johnson-Ashburn said they’d do so at the Sept. 22 meeting after drafting a resolution.
Due to the size of the trucks that pick up Franklin’s residential recycling, downtown businesses are not able to participate, Martin said. He was pleased to see this group of young people go out and negotiate a good deal with TFC recycling. At most, Martin said, city planners estimate that they will spend $3,000 per year on this.
“I commend the students for coming up with this idea and pursuing it,” he said. “I’d like to give them a round of applause and appreciation.”
Martin said it could potentially save the city money.
“Every ton of what would normally end up in a garbage can, we can take out of the landfill,” he said. “It costs us $125 per ton and that can add up quick.”
Martin said he hopes they need all nine dumpsters, and that the city uses it.
“Hopefully, all of the businesses will want to use it, and hopefully all of the bins will be well utilized,” he said. “If we have to consolidate after a year, we will, but we hope it’s a situation where we have to add more.”