Solutions receives grants and updates community on recent projects

Solutions, a local volunteer group advocating for the global benefits of a green lifestyle, recently received a $1,000 grant from a Colorado foundation, and a grant of 20 recycling bins for use in an area-wide recycling education program.

The $1,000 grant, from a foundation that the groups says “wishes to remain anonymous,” will help Solutions work with indigent and homeless people in the community by offering them small payments in exchange for bags of recycling.

“Through our Friends of the Parkway program, started in August of 2004, we noticed that there is a regular and steady population using the parkway to live, drink and recreate. The situation was getting out of hand, with police involvement increasing, and large amounts of littered recycling everywhere, so we thought this would be a great way to calm the situation, work with those who call the parkway home, and get bags of recyclable containers to the recycle center each week,” said Sara Melnicoff, of Solutions. “We hope to establish a relationship of trust in order to become a resource for any of these folks who may need or want medical assistance or information about available social services in the area.”

The project, started in August of 2008, has been successful, Melnicoff said.

Solutions was also one of 85 groups chosen from more than 1,400 applicants to receive recycle bins through a bin grant program administered by the National Recycling Coalition and Coca-Cola. The grant process is open twice a year, and since its inception in the fall of 2007, the Bin Grant program has placed more than 11,000 recycling bins in 225 communities in 49 states, the District of Columbia and the US Virgin Islands.

Recipients have included local and state government agencies, non-profit community groups, churches, kindergarten through 12th-grade schools, colleges and universities, Native American tribes and private companies.

Solutions applied for and will receive 20 large clear recycle bins.

“These see-through plastic bins make recycling fun and add an educational aspect,” said Carol Hoggard, one of the founders of Solutions. “Seeing what goes in the bin reduces contamination, and it’s fun to see the colorful cans and bottle pile up in the bin.” The group will make the bins available to the community for events recycling and will offer some on permanent loan for those wanting to start a recycling program at their business.

Solutions members conduct daily clean ups in Mill Creek Canyon at the Powerdam and the Potato Salad Hill area, and they recently worked with the state School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration and 12 local volunteers to fence off the heavily damaged Hell’s Revenge trail exit, located on Sand Flats Road across from the landfill. And Solutions’ Wednesday Morning Recycle Club continues to meet at the recycle center every Wednesday to help sort plastics and other containers, and clean up windblown cardboard and debris from the grounds.

For more information, or to participate in a Solutions’ projects, contact Sara Melnicoff at 259-0910 or Carol Hoggard at 259-9168, or visit the group’s website at www.moab-solutions.org.