CELEBRATING OUR FREEDOM on the 4th of July was a more contemplative exercise
than usual for many this year. Perhaps one of the only silver
linings in the dreadful cloud of the September 11 terrorist
attacks is an awakened recognition of just how precious our
freedom is. Hopefully, we are also now more attentive to the
responsibilities that come with it.
For some of us, that includes taking care of our environment
in ways that will make this planet a healthy place for future
generations. It may seem mundane next to defending our people
against deadly attacks, but here it is: Recycling matters. I
know some of you are asking how I can talk about garbage and
national security in the same breath, but the collecting and
disposal of our waste relates to dozens of important health
and land use issues that are indeed important.
That said, here's the good news - we have the opportunity to
get a really effective and efficient recycling program started
here in Sunol. Currently we have to take our recyclables to
Pleasanton, which many find just inconvenient enough not to
do it. Jim O'Laughlin has been working with the Alameda
County Waste Management Authority (WMA), an independent agency
with a budget of about $15 million raised from dumping fees
at all of the county's dump sites. The goal of the WMA is to
reduce the amount of material going into landfills.
If Sunolians want a recycling program, the WMA will start one
for us. All we have to do is agree to manage it. Tri-Ced, a
recycling program in Union City, would provide a collection
container and replace it as needed. There would be no cost to
us because the WMA would pick up the tab. "The question
is, how many people are interested and want to help?" Jim
asked. "We will find out and go from there." Jim will
lead a meeting on Thursday, July 17 at 7:30 p.m. in the Sunol
Glen Community Room to get the answer to that question and help
find the answers to questions you might have.
"What we need is a site and enough people to monitor the
site when it is open," Jim explained. "It would probably
be open for a two or three-hour period each week, such as Saturday
morning, and we would need someone to open the facility, monitor
it and lock it up. It would take about 25 individuals who would
commit to doing this two times a year, and a small coordinating
committee to deal with scheduling and any other issues that
The container Tri-Ced would supply us has three sections for
different types of recycling, and the company would also make
bins available for household use. The site for the container
needs to be secure to prevent the dumping of inappropriate materials,
and Jim has noted three such locations in Sunol: the county's
natural gas and equipment yard, the Bond Street end of the Community
Park, and the Sunol Glen School yard on Bond Street. Jim said,
"If there were any problems with the operation of the recycling
site, it could be terminated at any time."
The need to recycle is something that most everyone recognizes,
but it is not easy to do without the curbside pickup that many
cities have. "A Sunol recycling site would allow individuals
to recycle with minimum effort and know that 100% will be recycled,"
Jim concluded. If there is not enough interest, the project
will be dropped, so if you cannot attend the meeting but are
willing to help monitor the site, or if you have questions,
please call Jim at 925-862-2550.
QUICK CALENDAR NOTE: There will be Community Drumming
at the Little Brown Church of Sunol, 141 Kilkare Road, on July
14 and 28. No drumming experience is required - just "an
open mind and a spirit of adventure," said Pastor Tom
Thresher. "We have some drums to share, but if you
have them, please bring your own and any to share." Please
give Pastor Tom a call at 925-862-2004 for info, or to let him
know you'll be attending.