Milo Garden Club news

MILO — The National Garden Club Conservation Pledge, “I pledge to protect and conserve the natural resources of the planet Earth and promise to promote education so we may become caretakers of our air, water, forests, land, and wildlife.”

On Tuesday, March 12 the Milo Garden Club honored this pledge when they welcomed to their meeting Elena Bertocci, Courtney Hafner, and Brian Beneski from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Materials Management. The focus of their presentation was meant to be minimizing waste. However, the audience was eager to learn so much more and their guests were very happy to oblige.

“Why?” was the question of the day. Why are fees charged for bottles, paper bags, and disposal of some products? Why don’t all community transfer stations accept the same recyclables?

Once history is learned, consumers have a better understanding of the “why” behind decisions that are made to protect the environment.

Photo courtesy of Milo Garden Club
MEETING SPEAKERS — From left, Brian Beneski, Courtney Hafner and Elena Bertocci from Maine Department of Environmental Protection presented a program to Milo Garden Club on March 12.

For example, in an attempt to end littering, fees were established to act as incentives and reminders. Bottle deposits were established to encourage returns for refunds rather than discarding containers along the road or in a landfill. Charging for paper bags reminds consumers to bring their own reusable bags to the store. Remember, that paper bag you just bought can be considered a reusable bag the next time you visit the store. Some grocery stores provide drop boxes for plastic bags, produce bags and even some types of frozen goods bags. Those stores cover the cost of having these taken away for recycling. Interesting to note that plastic bags are included in the process of making composite decking.

Several area businesses are involved in Local Product Stewardship Programs. Dover Foxcroft True Value, will accept, for disposal, your remaining architectural latex or oil based paint in liquid form. Additionally, both Dover Foxcroft True Value and Lincoln’s Aubuchon Hardware will accept mercury thermostats and mercury added light bulbs. Staples, in Bangor, will accept electronic waste, batteries, and cell phones. Bangor Home Depot will take plastic plant pots as will many greenhouses and gardening businesses.

Community leaders, listening to their residents, decide what type of recycling facilities are made available to them. This could involve creating processing structures in the community or choosing a company that will pick up local recyclables from transfer stations. 

One of the most interesting aspects of minimizing waste suggested by Milo Garden Club’s guest speakers was establishing an event called a Repair Café. This  is an opportunity for community members to get together, share knowledge, and have broken items repaired rather than tossed away. For example, electronics, clothing, bicycles, furniture, appliances, and more could be brought to the café where, others who have talent and background in repairing items will do so for no charge.

So many other opportunities to protect the environment are possible for individuals and communities and can be found at Milo Garden Club thanks Bertocci, Beneski, and Hafner for their very enlightening presentation. 

For more information about Milo Garden Club, please contact 207-943-2400.

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