The City is to Blame!
This week we were on a mission to get more information about how businesses are currently recycling. We spoke with many business owners and employees about their recycling habits and learned a lot about the way in which the city deals with recyclable items that the businesses need to dispose of every week.
This is the front of Pause Cafe, a business that has not been able to recycling for the past 7 years because the city has taken the alley it backs on to off the recycling pick-up route.
We spoke to the owner of Pause Café, which is located on Chatham St in our target area, and learned some very shocking information. Pause Café as been in business for 7 years, and has had a 0% recycling rate over that time. This is not the owner’s choice; the city simply has taken the alley he is situated on off the route for recycling pick up. When he first opened, he worked hard to sort, separate and clean all his recyclable items. He would place it in the back alley in appropriate bins and waited for it to be picked up, but the truck never came. After a few months he called the city and told them that his recycling had not been picked up, and the next day it was gone. This happened multiple times, where the city would only pick up his recycling after he would call complaining. After a few years of this, he called again. Instead of simply asking for it to be picked up, he asked why they never picked it up without his request. The correspondent on the phone told him that his street was not on the recycling route, and when he thought the city was picking up his recycling and disposing of it correctly, they were actually just throwing it away with the rest of the garbage. The cities reasoning is that the trucks do not fit down the alley, so they stopped picking up the recycling in that area. We were shocked by this information, as we previously believed it was the business owners that should be blamed for not recycling. In actuality it is the city that is not providing the opportunity for recycling.
Out of all the people we talked to, they were all either proud that they did recycle, or disappointed that the city did not allow them to. The owner of Pause Café was very interested in the possibility of being able to recycle, and was intrigued by our proposal for a recycling centre that would pick up and dispose of his recyclables properly.
This new information has given us a more specific focus on what we need to accomplish and who we should target. We now want to provide services to the businesses who are unable to recycle simply because the cities trucks cannot access their recyclables. We feel confident that focusing on these businesses would be very beneficial to both our business, as well as the health of our community.
As you know, our group is developing a recycling centre called gREenCYCLE. Our centre has 3 main focuses.
- Providing a more affordable recycling system for business,
- Implementing more recycling reciprocals on streets that do not currently have enough,
- Having a strong community presence.
This week, we wanted to go into more depth about the community involvement aspect we intend to implement into our centre. We believe that a very important aspect of promoting recycling is to get the community to learn more about it, and provide easier opportunities for them to properly recycle their materials and objects. A lot of people do not recycle items because they either don’t know enough about the issue, or they don’t know what to do with the item. Recycling is a very important environmental issue in our community, as well as the world, but people simply do not understand the magnitude of the issue. The purpose of gREenCYCLE to is provide the community with both a place to properly dispose of recyclable items as well as learn about the issue in a fun and interactive way.
This image, from Google, is an example of the type of program we wish to provide to the community. Starting a home recycling system with kids is a great way to ingrain the concept into them at a young age.
We are intending to create a space that is very interactive in nature. Instead of giving us the material and walking away, we want them to be part of the process; learn what happens to it and where it goes next. We want to have school programs where elementary classes can come to the centre and take part in these interactive activities. We are also thinking about a program where people can make their own items made out of recyclable items, similar to the merchandise we sell. This would be a great way for people to learn about reusing materials. It would get them thinking about what they can do with materials or objects after they are done with the items initial purpose.
Check back next week to learn more about another aspect of our project!
Developing a Plan for a Recycling
This week, we separated our work into three parts. First, we walked around Windsor downtown area and record the location of recycling bins or regular bins. We have decided that Chatham St, Pitt St and Ferry St are our target streets, as they are in great need for more recycling opportunities. We have studied Ouellette Ave and Pellssier St, which are both very developed, and compared them to our target area to understand what needs to be done. The maps below indicate where recycling reciprocals are located currently, as well as highlights the difference between our target area and the developed streets.
Secondly, we design a recycling survey that we are going to ask business owners in the target area to take. We want to find out what the current recycling system they use is, and how motivated they are to recycle. We Plan to send out the surveys next week.
Last but not least, we have begun to do research about effective recycling systems in other cities. This information will provide up with ideas about what we can do in downtown Windsor. We are also contacting city official and other people in the community that are strongly engaged in recycling to learn more about the current recycling practices and what they think could be done to improve it.
Next week, we will be continuing out research and learning more about the area. Once we complete our survey and research, we will solidify our concept and begin the business plan.
Check back next week to find out what we come up with!
Meeting, Exploring and Brainstorming
Two weeks down, ten to go. And in that time we have A LOT to accomplish.
Coming into this course, none of us really knew what to expect. We didn’t know what we would be doing, where we would be meeting, or who we would be working with. These first two weeks have been spent getting to know each other, understanding the concepts of the course, and exploring the target area of our projects.
A view of Chatham Street emphasizing Caesars Casino, restaurants, Cheetah’s, and the decorative street lights that the city has implemented to make the streets more inviting.
Our group consists of Steph Borrink, a Psychology and Visual Arts student, Raman Singh, a Civil Engineering student, Shannon Hawke, a Visual Arts and the Built Environment student, and Ying Sun and Cong Han, both Business students. We have spent the past few weeks brainstorming ideas as to how we can make a positive contribution to the downtown core of Windsor. Many issues have come up through class discussions, group discussions, videos, and a talk by Kevin Alexander, the Senior Planner of Special Projects for the City of Windsor.
Our group has decided to tackle the issue of RECYCLING. Although we are still is the early stages of brainstorming, we are confident we can find an interactive, fun and innovative way to encourage recycling among business owners, residents, and visitors of Windsor’s downtown core.
This is an example of the garbage that is tossed into the street because there is not sufficient places to dispose of recyclable items.
Check back next week to learn more about how we bring effective recycling into the city centre!