Wave Cafe Becomes Newest Crew Member in RecyclErie

Category:  BloggERy
Wednesday, April 25th, 2012 at 1:36 PM
Wave Cafe Becomes Newest Crew Member in RecyclErie by Ben Speggen

“These are symbols that tell us what our responsibility is,” Erie County Executive Barry Grossman said, pointing to blue recycling cans on the stage of the auditorium at the Erie Art Museum. “This issue,” Grossman added, “is close to my heart, having worked so long in the restaurant industry."

The issue that Grossman referred to is RecyclErie, a joint venture between Erie County Recycling Program and Environment Erie that is an incentive-based program designed to assist Erie County bars and restaurants in developing and/or expanding recycling in their establishments.

Mayor Joe Sinnott added that with the success Erie’s seen with the single-stream recycling method currently employed, this is the next logical step in Erie’s greener footprint.

Grossman, Sinnott, Erie County Recyling Program, Environment Erie, and roughly 40 members of the community gathered together Wednesday, April 25 to welcome the Wave Café as RecyclErie’s newest Crew Member. The Wave Café joins: Bertrand’s Bistro, The Sidewalk Café, Papa Georges Country Bar & Grill, the Erie Club, Erie Ale House, The Brewerie at Union Station, Under the Clock, Bobby’s Place, and Teresa’s Italian Deli (both east and west locations).

Don Blakesley, Erie County Recyling Coordinator, gave one big reason for the necessity of this program: “68 percent of what bars and restaurants throw out is actually recyclable.” He followed that with statistics from a national survey that found that 60 percent of bar and restaurant patrons would deliberately frequent recycling restaurants more often, and 51 percent would be willing to pay more if a location were participating in a recycling program.

While RecyclErie first launched Feb. 1, Blakesley was quick to note that this project isn’t a one-and-done initiative. “This,” he said, “is going to take time.”

Bars and restaurants willing to participate in RecyclErie will receive a certificate of participation, two indoor recycling bins, window decals, drink coasters featuring recycling trivia, and free advertising, said Jessica James, Environment Erie program director. James added that bars and restaurants, which can often experience a higher turnover of staff and employees, can continually take advantage of free training as well.

Another incentive for joining the program would be the special waste and recycling rates offered by Waste Management. Additionally, the reduction of waste being picked up with the increase of recyclables being picked up will lead to far less materials headed straight to a landfill to begin a 4,000-year-long process of decomposition--something we can all feel better about.

John Vanco, director of the Erie Art Museum accepted the certificate of participation for the Wave Café, housed in the Erie Art Museum. But recycling isn’t new to the Art Museum. Throughout the museum, patrons will find bins in sets of three clearly labeled: recyclables, compost, and landfill—a welcomed approach to waste found not nearly enough throughout the city.

“Success depends on the owners and managers, but it also depends on the consumers,” she added. “Patronize businesses that align with your environmental beliefs.”

RecyclErie is currently contacting Erie City businesses, but plans to expand to Millcreek, Summit, and Fairview townships are underway. Both Blakesley and James said that if a local business is not yet part of the program, encourage your favorite establishment to join RecyclErie in an effort to make Erie a deeper shade of green.

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