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Going green

Eagle’s Trace kicks off yearlong recycling campaign

Created date

September 24th, 2014
woman holding up a painting of a tree

Trace residents recently kicked off a yearlong recycling campaign in an effort to reduce, reuse, and recycle.

“For the past several years, we’ve had one big recycling event on Earth Day,” says Dennis Gregg, chairman of the community’s resident life committee, which is sponsoring the recycling campaign. “Each Earth Day, we collected just about everything—clothing, hangers, plastic bags, old electronics—and distributed them to various agencies for recycling. This year, we’re spreading our efforts over several collection days.”

The change comes as residents broaden their vision for a greener community.

“We don’t want to think of recycling as a one-day event,” says Dennis. “It should be an ongoing effort.”

The first collection day, a clothing drive, followed the kick-off event. The Salvation Army sent a truck to Eagle’s Trace in mid-August to retrieve residents’ donated clothes. 

The remaining collection days are scheduled for November (medical supplies and eyeglasses), February 2015 (electronics), and May 2015 (paper shredding).

Minimizing their footprint

Harry Hayes, chief operating officer for the City of Houston and director of the city’s Solid Waste Management Department, was the guest speaker at the kick-off event.

Hayes praised Eagle’s Trace residents for their efforts “to get items out of the waste stream.”

“Everybody has an impact [on the environment],” said Hayes. “It’s great to see a group of people asking how they’re affecting the world around them and what they can do to help.”

Resident Becky Ogle spearheaded the Earth Day events and says the new yearlong push to recycle is one more step in the right direction.

“Recycling is such a simple thing to do to help the planet,” says Becky, who moved to Eagle’s Trace seven years ago. “The more we do it, the more it becomes a habit.”

Ongoing recycling and conservation efforts

Becky says the ongoing recycling efforts already in place at the West Houston community make it easy for residents to do their part.

“We can set paper, cardboard, plastic, glass, and aluminum just outside our doors for the housekeeping staff to pick up,” says Becky. “It’s just as easy to recycle as it is to throw something away.”

Other conservation efforts include an opt-in feature for community news. 

“Instead of getting the Eagle Vista [community newsletter], menus, and other paper announcements in our mailboxes, we can sign up to receive them electronically,” says Becky. “It cuts down the amount of paper we use.”

‘Plant a notion’

After the kick-off event, residents were adding their ideas for greener living to a Plant a Notion tree designed by resident Ed Hulyk.

“Ed came up with the design for a tree with removable leaves,” says Community Resource Coordinator Lisa Hadley. “Residents can remove the leaves; write down their ideas to reduce, reuse, and recycle; and place the leaves back on the tree to inspire others.”

Suggestions from residents ranged from turning off computers when not in use to taking unused medicine to the pharmacist for disposal.

“This is great,” said Hayes as he examined the tree. “Every little step makes a difference.”