Friday, June 21, 2019

Saving Recycling One Step at a Time (Updated April 24, 2020)

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." Then we produced 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

UPDATE: Primary footage was shot on June 22-23, 2019. Thanks to Recyco Inc. and The Screening Room for the great locations! 

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! 

Here's a peek at our rehearsal process...

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 mostly 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! 


Latest News:

In an effort to get the message out to more people, we are conducting a fun Dance Challenge! 

Our beloved choreographer Katie has put together a series of short dance lessons. The first one is super easy, and they get progressively harder.  

Dance lesson 1: Easy smeazy dance lesson with Katie!

Dance lesson 2.  You can do this! 

Dance lesson 3: Step up your game!

Dance lesson 4: For those of you who want a challenge!

DANCE CHALLENGE: Using your cell phone record yourself dancing with the Recycling Video and post it on social media!

See! I just danced the easier moves from the first two lessons and posted them on my f.b. page and facebook stories. The post (below) inspired a spirited conversation about our recycling program.

Be sure to include a link to our video:

#recyclingdance #recyclingdancechallenge

Not a dancer? Not a problem! You can help out by sharing the video with your peeps on social media!

Or simply read up on Tucson's recycling rules and share!

Lessons from our Recycling Queen

Go Team Recycle!

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