March 17, 2014

EHLE: Eco-focus in upcoming festival

By Bob Ehle
Guest columnist

---- — Today I get to go back to my days as a reporter and bring you very good news. It centers on a Galveston teenager, Allie Lumpkin, who was working on plans for her Girl Scout Gold Award Project. She contacted me in late July, and came up with the idea of hosting a festival that encourages the community to be more eco-friendly.

She began to form her ideas, and decided to put together a Green Earth Festival that will take place from 2 to 5 p.m. April 12 at the Galveston Park. I applaud her efforts in organizing this event which will include a number of activities including a tree giveaway, family-friendly entertainment, educational booths, a youth art exhibit, along with various demonstrations for adults and the youth.

The Cass County Solid Waste Management District Board overwhelmingly voted to get involved with this effort, and to sponsor an R-Day, where paper, cardboard, plastic, and glass that had contained a food product will be collected. We will also host a medicine collection that day.

And with Allie’s encouraging, we also contacted our vendor for e-waste, RecycleForce, who also thought it would be a great idea to support this effort by having an electronics collection during the festival. So, residents can bring their TV’s and computers for recycling as well.

RecycleForce is a company that really cares not only about its employees, but also the environment and the communities it services. If you have a chance, go to their website and check out their story.

We are just pleased to be a small part of this community event that should be a lot of fun for the entire family. Allie has also set up a Facebook page for the Green Earth Festival that also contains information on a youth art contest and a small electronics collection which is currently under way.

We certainly hope to see you there.

I also want to let Cass County residents know that the district will begin its annual tire collection in mid-April. This will take place by appointment only through the district office, and the fee schedule that was put in place last year will again be in effect. This is very similar to what a number of the districts across the state use.

The first 10 car or small truck tires are free. Each additional tire is $2 with no limit. Semi tires are $5 each with no limit and tractor tires are $15 each, up to four. Tractor tires five through 10 are $30 each. You may make an appointment beginning the week of April 7 by calling 574-732-9253.

Again, these tires need to come from Cass County residents only, not from businesses. The program will begin in mid-April and will continue until the beginning of August or until the appointments begin to run out. An ID will be required for each appointment to show that the resident is from Cass County. We also ask that, as much as possible, the tires be free of water.

Last year, the district helped recycle three semi loads of tires.

One final housekeeping note: The CCSWMD Office will be closed from March 20-31 and will reopen on April 1.

Bob Ehle is executive director of the Cass County Solid Waste Management District.