Friday, June 21, 2019

Saving Recycling One Step at a Time

First dance practice for Recycling Video
At Sustainable Tucson's November meeting "Recycling and Beyond", Sherri Ludlam, Environmental Scientist in the Department of Environmental and General Services, informed us that China would no longer be accepting all of our dirty recycling because of the contamination. 

plastic bags caught in the rollers of the recycling machine
Contamination is all the trash that doesn't belong in recycling - including plastic bags that jam up the machines. That contamination is costing the company contracted to do our recycling truck loads of money. Tucsonans put everything from dirty diapers to dead cats to Saguaros in our recycling cans. Sherri reminded us that there are actually people who sort through all that gross trash. On behalf of those workers, she asked that we don't throw anything in the recycling can that we wouldn't want to find.

All that contamination is making cost it prohibitive to run our recycling program. So the city has decided to cut back our recycling pickups to twice a month and may raise our fees. Some municipalities, like Sierra Vista, have dropped their recycling programs all together!

Spurred on by the threat to our beloved recycling program, some of us formed a Zero Plastic Waste team. Our first step was drafting a blog. "Lessons from the Recycling Queen." Our next step is producing a music video parody of Megan Trainer's song, "No" - that teaches Tucsonans what NOT to recycle.  Alex Kosmider, of Zero Waste Tucson, rewrote the lyrics and recorded a practice tape:

Plastic bags? No
Crushed cans? no
That pizza box? no
You need to let it go
You need to let it go

In the trash it goes. 
Nah to the ah to the, no, no, no

We will be shooting our music video parody in the coming weeks! In the meanwhile, here's a peek at our rehearsal process...

UPDATE: Primary footage was shot on June 22nd and 23rd. Thanks to Recyco Inc. and The Screening Room for the great locations! 

UPDATE: No! (That Isn't Recyclable) had a sold-out premiere at the Screening Room on August 13th..  It's now live on Sustainable Tucson's Youtube channel! 

We started by learning Alex's song...

Our costumer Kasey (on the right) gets familiar with the lyrics. 
Singing rehearsal

Each of the singers recorded their part on the audio track....

Katie Popiel, of Musical Mayhem fame, taught this group of middle-aged women and mothers her choreography. You rock, Katie! 

Break time! Walking the talk. No plastic bottles here! 


Next stop our shoot at Recyclo! 

Break a leg, ladies!