Sustainable Lawrence

Living Local Expo Sat 3/28


The latest updates on the expo are available at

2015 EXPO

Living Local Expo 2015

It’s that time of year again. The days are getting longer even if the temperatures aren’t getting warmer. Everyone is looking forward to the arrival of spring and   . . . the next annual Mercer County Living Local Expo! It’s a great time to meet your neighbors and find out more about what is happening in our community.


There will be vendors with tasty local food and produce, organizations working to promote health and wellness in our environment and community, and businesses in the area who are working to achieve sustainability in the products and services they provide.


Most of all, the Expo is a place to meet and share ideas for how to build our community around and ways to get involved. Come to this event so that you can be energized and inspired by what your neighbors are doing to work towards sustainability in their own lives and in the places where they work.


There will be something for all ages, so bring the whole family!


Where is it? The National Guard Armory on Eggert’s Crossing Road in Lawrence. If you’ve never been there, you should check it out!

When? 11-4 on Saturday, March 28th

Who’s going to be there? Vendors, local organizations, speakers, farmers, friends

Why? Because you love Mercer County!

See you there!

Reduced Waste Challenge at Super Bowl XLIX

The Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee has teamed up with Super Bowl XLIX to announce the first “Reduced Waste Challenge,” which will be held during the festivities accompanying the Super Bowl in the middle of downtown Phoenix.

Various approaches

The organization planning the Super Bowl-related festivities is encouraging vendors, business owners and visitors to use recyclables and reusable products to eliminate waste.
Composting will also be introduced on-site; bins will be set up by the Phoenix Department of Public Works. Food collected will be converted into compost. Volunteers will be on hand to assist attendees and ensure the materials are tossed into the correct bins.

Future Directions

This organics waste pilot program will serve as a test for the city of Phoenix as well as future sporting events. Because it is the first time organics collection will be introduced at the Super Bowl, the project will set a precedent for games to follow. The goal set for the “Reduced Waste Challenge” at this Super Bowl is to achieve an 80% diversion rate.

Source: Waste Dive

BioCycle: Residential food collections grew by 8% in 2014

According to research conducted by BioCycle, a national composting publication, 198 municipalities across the nation offer residential food waste collections.

The number is up about 8.2% compared to 2012 figures (BioCycle pegs the figure as “almost 9 percent”), when it was reported that 183 cities made curbside organics collections available to residents.
The largest segment of the population that recycles resides in the Western region of the U.S., and of the approximately 2.74 million households that recycle, nearly half are in California.

Other states where food recycling is faring well include Texas, New York, and Ohio. In these states, approximately 200,000 households are regularly recycling organics through curbside collection programs. Food waste collection is offered to a significant amount of residential customers in Oregon and Washington.

The U.S. diverts less than 5% of food waste generated by residents. Advocates conclude that finding solutions to divert food scraps could boost stagnating diversion rates across the U.S.

Source: Waste Dive

MD issues executive order to increase recycling, raise diversion rate

Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley (D) has issued an executive order to increase recycling, reuse, waste diversion, and composting across the state. The order is effective immediately.

The order will also limit new or expanded municipal landfills, including debris landfills that accept materials from land clearing.

The order highlights Maryland’s ambitious goal of reaching 85% waste diversion and an 80% recycling rate by 2040. The state government must hit a mandatory recycling rate of 65% by 2020, and is expected to divert a minimum of 60% of its organic waste using recycling, composting, and anaerobic digestion by that year.

Maryland’s “Zero Waste Plan” was issued in 2014, with a focus on the role that anaerobic digesters can play in order to help attain the state’s goals.

Source: Waste Dive

The State of Composting in the US: What, Why, Where, How

state of composting

A report published in 2014 summarizes what’s going on in the US with respect to organic waste recycling.  An article in Biocycle magazine provides a nice overview.

Lawrence Twp Curbside Organic Waste Pickup to start March 1


The Township’s curbside organic waste pickup program is slated to begin March 1, 2015. More details will be made available soon!

Toothpaste tube recycling gets a major boost

This is pretty cool  – “Researchers turn old toothpaste tubes into aluminum an fuel.” Read more about it here.

Infographic: Plastics

A great summary of the issues with plastics can be found here.



Philadelphia moves closer to city-wide pickup of organic waste


This article provides some details on alternate locations for organic waste, now that the facility in Delaware has shut down….

“[In November 2014] two Philadelphia City Council committees held a hearing on food waste composting, exploring how the city could get into the action… Food scraps are seen as the next frontier for waste reduction. Philadelphia’s curbside recycling rate for bottles, cans, paper, and similar materials has nearly topped out. Since food waste is about 24 percent of the household waste stream, that’s an obvious next step, many say.

The committee heard from operations small and large…Their message: It can be done. It also can create jobs and save the city money. For a city that aims to be the greenest in the nation, it would help the environment by reducing methane gas from landfills and by creating lush soils for city gardens.”


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