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Agendas and Minutes

Conservation and Climate Outreach Commission (View All)

Regular Monthly Meeting

Minutes
Wednesday, July 24, 2002

ASHLAND CONSERVATION COMMISSION
Minutes
July 24, 2002

 

 

 

CALL TO ORDER - Chairperson Susan Reid called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers. In addition to Reid (who had to leave the meeting at 7:40), members present included Joanne Krippaehne, Mort Smith, Jim Hartman, Bruce Moats, Charles Bennett and Paige Prewett. Staff present were Dick Wanderscheid and Sonja Akerman. Dan Murphy, representing Ashland Sanitary and Green Business Coordinator Ross Finney were also in attendance. Members unable to attend the meeting were Russ Chapman and Darcy Davis.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES - Krippaehne moved and Prewett seconded to approve the April 24, 2002 minutes as submitted. The motion was unanimously approved. Krippaehne then moved to approve the June 26, 2002 minutes as submitted and with a second by Moats, the motion passed with a unanimous vote.

PUBLIC FORUM - There was no one present who wished to speak.

SUBCOMMITTEE REPORT: (Because Reid had to leave early and Ann Seltzer, Marketing Director for the City of Ashland, was in attendance, the order of the agenda was changed.)

Marketing - Prewett reported she had met with Chapman, Seltzer and Daily Tidings Editor Larry Berteau to discuss the publishing of conservation tips in the newspaper. Berteau was open to this and offered to provide space in the paper free of charge at least once a week, perhaps twice. He is in the process of developing a community page and felt the tips would fit in nicely. Originally, the Commission wanted to have the tips on the last page in the Thursday edition by the weather. Since the community page has not been finalized, Berteau would like the tips to go on the second or fifth page in the meantime. The Commission's role would be to provide time sensitive appropriate conservation tips. The tips will be put together and approved by the members, then they will go to Seltzer. The City of Ashland logo will be with the tips and if there is room, the Sustainable Ashland logo will also be included. The graphic design people at the Tidings will design the layout for the tips so people will get used to seeing them every week. Prewett also said that Berteau is considering running the tips twice a week, which means more tips would be needed.

Seltzer clarified these tips are in addition to the "weather banner" the City of Ashland already uses in the Tidings. For one week every three weeks, the City has space on the weather page. This space is used primarily to call attention to existing conservation programs, while incorporating brief tips. She noted the generosity of the Tidings because the value of what Berteau has offered for the 2-3 inch column is about $40 per tip. Berteau will be giving more guidelines as he experiments with the space. Prewett added the importance of keeping the tips concise has been discussed because more people will take the time to read something short. Berteau is interested in using more text if needed and stressed the importance of citing the sources used in the tips. In addition, Prewett stated there is no harm in repeating tips, whether in this series or those included in the weather banner. They can be stated differently. Seltzer said Berteau is willing to begin printing the tips within the next few weeks. She also said one of the points he likes about the idea of having text for the tips is that they can be stretched or shrunk as needed to fit in the columns. She noted it is a good idea to have the City on board because analysts Cathy Cartmill and Robbin Pearce can check for accuracy. This is also a good opportunity to have all the members involved.

The Commission discussed various ways to proceed in order to get the tips approved and submitted. Cartmill and Pearce will check the tips prior to passing them on to Seltzer, who will ultimately submit them to the Tidings. The first batch of tips will be distributed to each member electronically. Subsequent tips will most likely go first to the marketing subcommittee (since it has been meeting the week prior to the monthly meeting), then be included in the packet and placed on the agenda for each monthly meeting. When asked for input from Seltzer on what she needed from the Commission, she replied that 1) it is important to remember that the tips can be recycled and repeated and that 2) timeliness, in terms of what time of year it is, will be an important factor in weaving in both energy and water conservation tips. She declared we are trying to redirect peoples' behavior with these tips. Moats stated there will be quite a number of tips and wondered if there should be a way of cataloging them.

In Wanderscheid's opinion, each member could generate a certain number of resource conservation tips per month, which would focus on energy, water, solid waste, litter, recycling, etc. It would help Berteau to have the tips categorized. The first batch, which will include the tips already given to Berteau as a sample, will be electronically sent within the next two weeks.

In going back to Moat's comment about keeping track of the tips, Finney suggested an on-going list on the City's web site. Prewett suggested coordinating the tips to coincide with calendar events that will be occurring. Bennett asked that the list of tips be ongoing so that instead of always receiving a list with the latest tips, the list keeps growing. It will be easier to keep track of the tips with this method.

OLD BUSINESS:

Earth Advantage Program - Wanderscheid updated the Commission on the progress that has been made with Portland General Electric (PGE). All the issues the City had have now been resolved and we are waiting for the contract, which should be signed in August. Subsequently, Energy Conservation Analyst Cathy Cartmill and Water Conservation Analyst Robbin Pearce will be trained in the program. After the standards are manipulated to fit the City, the program will be launched to the builders. Once that has been accomplished, the land use process will begin in order to amend the Land Use Ordinance. Wanderscheid also noted that in talking with representatives from the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), they agree this is the right thing for Ashland to do and realize the region is not in a position to do this yet. After the contract is signed, the City can work on the standards to make them stronger. PGE has said that as long as the City does not lower the standards, Ashland can add to them. Wanderscheid also noted that in talking to BPA, he found there will potentially be federal tax credits available for the Energy Star Program, and since the Earth Advantage Program has higher standards than Energy Star, the credits should also be available for Earth Advantage. He noted the significant progress that has been made in this acquirement.

Krippaehne informed the Commission that Cartmill and Pearce very graciously visited the Natural Step meeting last week. Two ideas came out of that meeting that are worth considering - the first being that the design community be involved in the Earth Advantage Program and secondly, if the program is to be educational, it needs to be something that can get to the public and be freely disseminated in order to encourage its use. Wanderscheid said that PGE has said we don't necessarily have to charge builders to come in under the program. The City can also pay incentives, unlike the original Earth Advantage Program, which requires that builders pay $200 in order to get their homes certified. He said that PGE is also trying to sell this program to the Energy Trust, which is the group that is funneling all the benefit money from the IOUs into the State of Oregon. If this happens, Earth Advantage will become more of a statewide program.

Reid excused herself at this time and Krippaehne took over the meeting.

ASHLAND SANITARY & RECYCLING UPDATE

  • Murphy reported 168 cars participated in Discount Day at the transfer station last month. On that day, everyone gets a $3.50 discount off the regular $14.00 fee. Of the $11.50, $1.75 for each car is donated to the food bank. Murphy explained that every year, Ashland Sanitary rounds the donation up to $500.
  • Free leaf and grass recycling at the depot will be on November 12 and 26 (both Tuesdays).
  • Demolition waste statistics indicate that 12.2% of solid waste is now being diverted from the landfill, compared with 3.5% in 2000. In 2002, out of 26,972 tons of solid waste collected (projected figure based on January 1 to June 30 actual data), 800 tons are yard debris, 3,500 tons are either going to BIO-MASS or are recycled metals, and 23,672 tons end up in the Dry Creek Landfill. These figures do not include regular recyclable materials such as glass and cardboard. Murphy explained that last year Ashland Sanitary started an aggressive wood waste and metal separation process with every load of demolition material that came in, coincident to the initiation of the Green Waste Program. In 2000, 892 tons of metals and wood waste were diverted, compared with 1,497 in 2001 and 2,500 expected for this year. He also clarified that with the commencement of the Green Waste Program in 2001, 400 tons went to the compost facility at Dry Creek Landfill last year and 800 tons are projected to go this year. In addition, Murphy noted that most landscapers are now using this yard debris service. Ashland Sanitary is looking for ways to get demolition waste out of the garbage. It already supplies "wood waste only" boxes at the demolition site. At the transfer station, people pay $14 per load. Wood waste is $6 per cubic yard and metals are free for recycling. He said if there was room for a re-use area, there would be plenty of good wood. On behalf of the Building Appeals Board, Krippaehne asked if there was any prospect of a box collecting demolition waste at the recycling center. Murphy said he would need to talk it over with Chapman, but he doubted there would be enough room and they don't want those types of vehicles coming in because of all the cars. Also, heavy metals can get hazardous and it would be difficult to keep the waste clean. Wanderscheid stated that metals can be recycled for free at the transfer station. He then asked if it would be possible for a drop box for metals to be delivered to a demolition site, but Murphy said there hasn't been the demand for that. They do leave drop boxes for BIO-MASS at sites, however. He also said that they would take drop box requests for metal on a case-by-case basis.
  • Prewett reported that Ashland Sanitary has generously agreed to provide North Mountain Park with a yard debris bin, which is out of the ordinary because the park is a commercial account. The park's part of the bargain is to help educate people about the program, so signs have been posted on the bin. Brochures about the program are available in the Nature Center also.
  • Murphy clarified questions last month on fiberboard (cereal boxes) acceptance when commingled recycling begins. Most likely, fiberboard won't be accepted because the market is so small in our region. Separating fiber from fiber is highly labor intensive. Ashland Sanitary will be watching Rogue Disposal's pilot commingled recycling program, which has added magazines but not cereal boxes. Hartman asked if cereal boxes could be recycled with yard waste for composting. Murphy will find out from Rogue Disposal, but cautioned him that it takes a long time for the fibers to break down and the plastic liners would also likely end up in the compost, thus contamination would occur.
  • Wanderscheid asked Murphy if a date has been set for residential computer components recycling day at the transfer station. Murphy responded no date has been set and also that he has been talking to Rogue Disposal about this. Rogue is currently looking at two things - DEQ has not yet come up with an identification process for the storage of potentially hazardous materials (primarily monitors), and also whether small businesses will be included. Ashland Sanitary is reluctant to have its own computer day. Both Rogue Disposal and Ashland Sanitary would like to do this again, preferably in the fall.

OLD BUSINESS:

Green Business - Finney reported he was able to do a little more recruiting work at the end of June. He corresponded with Ashland Community Hospital Administrator Jim Watson, who is interested in the program. Watson has passed the information on to the staff that handles conservation issues. With additional follow-up, Finney is confident the hospital could be a new Green Business participant. Finney also spent some time with the Southern Oregon University library remodel project with Moats. It looks as though there will be approximately 88,000 square yards of concrete fascia that will hopefully be recycled.

Finney mentioned that Standing Stone, an existing Green Business, is moving forward after receiving help from the Oregon Manufacturing Extension Partnership (OMEP) on an energy conservation project. The proposal has been submitted to the Oregon Office of Energy (OOE) for a business energy tax credit. The project (which has to do with the hood vent in the kitchen) has a potential of saving 8.8% of the current total energy. Another business that had an OMEP audit was Caldera Brewing (a Jackson County Green Business, although located in the City of Ashland). It has also submitted a proposal request to OOE for a water conservation project that will save over 100,000 gallons of water a year and will also save some natural gas, thereby receiving incentives from Avista also. This project will capture water in a heat exchange process.

Krippaehne stated she agrees with Prewett that the Conservation Commission should do all it can to help promote the Green Businesses that are doing important conservation projects while getting the name of the Green Business Program linked to them - maybe more businesses would be attracted. Finney said he has a release written and is sure the Tidings will do another article on Caldera once the new 1,000-gallon tank is in place.

Conservation Commission Display - Bennett passed around display information from Northwest Presentations. He explained the basic display consists of three panels, then other items can be added such as brochure holders, clamps that connect to tables, lighting, etc. The display is lightweight, folds up and has a handle for carrying. Depending on size, prices range from $189 for the 35" x 63" display to $249 for the 40" x 70" display. The cost goes up with optional items. In discussing the display, Hartman asked if we would create the information that would go on the panels or if any of that would come with the package. Bennett replied this is just the basic display; the Conservation Commission would take care of the rest. Prewett said she did something similar for the Nature Center, where she got the text and pictures laminated, then took them to a local framer who put them on foam board. Prewett subsequently put velcro on the backs to adhere to the display. She observed that portion was not overly expensive. Wanderscheid stated the display is very reasonably priced but cautioned the members that they should get everything they might need, although items can be added later. Since it isn't much more to get a bigger display, he suggested getting the 40" x 70" display. Bennett will communicate with a company representative and bring back more information next month.

NEW BUSINESS:

Budget - With the advent of the new fiscal year, the current budget is $4,000.

COMMISSION ITEMS NOT ON AGENDA:

Wanderscheid reported Public Works is hoping to get the new street sweeper under the state bid. If this works out, it should be here within a month. If it doesn't work out, it will take a lot longer. The new sweeper will have the winning decal on it.

Prewett asked if the City has a policy for purchasing recycled content paper. Wanderscheid said he thinks it is 30-40%. Prewett said she realizes recycled paper is more expensive, but the price is coming down. She has been able to purchase 100% recycled paper for the Nature Center and thinks the City should also do this. It used to be almost impossible to find 100% post consumer recycled paper, especially at a decent price, but now it is possible to purchase it for less than $5 per ream. Wanderscheid will check with Purchasing Agent Kari Olson for the City and report back.

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

There were 21 people who attended the July 13 compost class. Wanderscheid noted this continues to be a popular class. There are two remaining classes, one on August 10 and one on September 14.

The next meeting will be on August 28, 2002.

ADJOURNMENT: There being no further business, Hartman moved and Bennett seconded the meeting adjourn at 8:30 p.m. The motion passed unanimously.

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