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As an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, Keep Alachua County Beautiful believes that each of us holds an obligation to preserve and protect our environment. Through our everyday choices and actions we collectively have a huge impact on our world. It's really a simple concept, but one with far reaching effects.

Keep America Beautiful follows a practical approach uniting citizens, businesses and the government to find solutions that advance our core issues of preventing litter, reducing waste and beautifying communities. 

 

Announcements

U.S. EPA Sustainable Materials Management Web Academy Webinar

U.S. EPA Webinar on the Newly Released Municipal Solid Waste Data

Thursday, September 13, 2018 from 1:00 - 2:00 pm ET

To register for this free webinar visit, https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/3519169876089088003

This webinar will present the latest information about trends in U.S. materials generation, recycling, composting, combustion with energy recovery, and landfilling as described in EPA?s newly released Advancing Sustainable Materials Management (SMM): Facts and Figures 2015 report: https://www.epa.gov/facts-and-figures-about-materials-waste-and-recycling. The report also includes data on construction and demolition debris generation as well as an economic indicators and trend data such as jobs, recycling and commodity values and tipping fees.  In addition to highlighting the latest information contained in the report, this webinar also will describe EPA?s transition to presenting the data in a new web-based format.

Speakers

Swarupa Ganguli, Measurement Team Leader, U.S. EPA Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery
Swarupa Ganguli is the Measurement Team Lead at the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Resource Conservation and Sustainability Division (RCSD) within the Office of Land and Emergency Management (OLEM). She directs detailed analysis of program policies, major issues and strategies related to Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) and serves as a senior spokesperson and liaison with Federal agencies, States, Local Government, industry representatives, non-governmental organizations, and the public in developing policy, guidance and regulation related to SMM.

Swarupa has an M.A. in International Relations and Economics from the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at the Johns Hopkins University, a B.Sc. in Economics and Finance from the University of Pennsylvania?s Wharton Business School, and a Certificate in Environmental Law and Policy from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Graduate Programs.

Drew Sullivan, Public Affairs Specialist, U.S. EPA Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery 
Drew Sullivan is a public affairs specialist in EPA?s Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery (ORCR). He joined EPA in 2016 and helped adapt the Advancing Sustainable Materials Management report into a web format. Other work at EPA includes developing and creating communications plans and materials for ORCR?s regulatory and voluntary programs and initiatives, such as America Recycles Day, the Federal Green Challenge and WasteWise. Prior to joining EPA, Drew worked as a writer-editor in the Office of the Executive Secretariat at the U.S. Department of Transportation, and served in the Peace Corps as an education and youth development volunteer in the country of Georgia. He has a bachelor?s in journalism from Ohio State University.

Hope Pillsbury, Analyst, U.S. EPA Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery 

Hope Pillsbury is an analyst in EPA?s Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery. She has managed the work on the Advancing Sustainable Materials Management report series for over 10 years. Other work at EPA has included working with the National Park Service to encourage recycling at national parks, working to improve scrap tire management and acting as technical coordinator of a cross-media environmental study in Baltimore. She has a master?s in environmental studies from Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

 

Zero Waste Initiative

At the Joint Gainesville City Commission / Alachua County Board of County Commission Meeting, staff from both agencies presented the Zero Waste Initiative. At this meeting, the Zero Waste Website was introduded. At the website, you can sign up for notifications or upcoming meetings, more information, etc. 

Link to the site: http://www.zerowastegac.com/.
 

How to Create an Award-Winning Yard Even When You're Busy

During warm weather, there’s no better place to be than your own backyard — especially if you’re firing up the grill with friends and loved ones. But between work, family, and your social life, it’s possible that you don’t think there are enough hours in the day to make your outdoor space shine. However, if you’re willing to put in a little legwork, you can create an award-winning yard that will practically maintain itself so you can go on living your busy life. The sooner you get the job done, the faster you can start enjoying your green oasis.

Go the Low-Maintenance Route

 When considering a design for your landscaping, don’t overcomplicate things. You need not replicate the gardens of Versailles to create an impact, so avoid designing beds with sharp curves or edges as they are extremely difficult to mow and require extra work with a trimmer. Opt for low-maintenance shrubs such as Candy Oh rose bushes, gold mound spirea, summerific hearty hibiscus, oakleaf hydrangea, blue star juniper, and moonshadow euonymus, as they are easy to maintain yet they look beautiful.

 Mulch beds are a worthwhile investment because they fertilize plants, prevent weeds, and don’t need to be mowed. Consider replacing some areas of grass with mulch.

 Create an Outdoor Living Space

 Create an extension of your living room with an outdoor space for entertaining and relaxing. Such an addition reduces maintenance because you’ll have fewer grassy areas to tend to. There are many different directions you can go depending on your budget, but the important considerations are that you have some way of escaping the sun if need be, comfortable furniture, a good working space for a grill, close access to the house (you don’t want to be running halfway across the yard to get to the kitchen), and lighting for nighttime. Flanking the space with landscaping is a perfect way to enjoy the fruits of your labor 

 Maintain Your Landscaping

 In order to have a low-maintenance yard, you to keep up with it, as there’s no escaping the basics no matter what type of landscaping you have. Once things get out of hand, it can take a dubious effort to get things back to square one, so make a checklist to prioritize. Regular tasks should include mowing (but don’t cut the grass too short), weeding, mulching, fertilizing, and tree and hedge trimming. It’s a good idea to slate an annual spring cleaning every year to take care of things such as the gutters and any replanting.

 Install a Watering System

 Watering is the key to any beautiful yard, but standing outside with a garden hose is usually not top of mind for anyone with a busy schedule. Instead, install an in-ground sprinkler system to do the job for you. Not only is this style of sprinkler discreet, but it also turns off on a timer, thus reducing water waste. Another major benefit is even water distribution, so there’s no need to babysit. An irrigation system is another method if you wish to go the more sustainable route, but it can be complicated to do yourself, so you may want to consider hiring a pro.

 Make sure you have a plan of action before creating your green space. If you don’t inherently have a green thumb, don’t be afraid to ask an expert at your local nursery or garden shop for advice. The last thing you want to do is to get in over your head with a tedious landscaping method or high-maintenance shrub, as the ultimate goal is being able to spend as much time enjoying — not working in — your yard as possible.

 Photo Credit: Pixabay

 

Upcoming Events

Gainesville Greenway Challenge: Protect Gainesville’s natural areas.
Saturday, September 29
Wide offering of native plants!
led by Susan Carr at Morningside Nature Center

                                           Great news! Grow Hub Gainesville is now open for business.

They have a huge selection of landscaping plants and vegetables. They have a wide selection of pollinator attracting plants, sweet and hot peppers, everglades tomatoes and much more! 

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Grow Hub Gainesville is open from 8AM-6PM everyday and the proceeds benefit the special needs workers that keep the nursery running and looking beautiful!

 

Grow Hub Gainesville is located at 2900 NE 8th avenue Gainesville, Florida

Click here for Directions 

For more information visit their website https://www.grow-hub.org 

or follow them on Facebook Grow Hub

 

 


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            The Drive It Home campaign is funded by a grant to
             Keep Alachua County Beautiful from the State of Florida. 

   download.png                     Rick Scott, 45th Governor of Florida

   www.myflorida.com      Carlos Lopez-Cantera, 19th Lt. Governor of Florida                                                                                            

The Florida Department of Transportation has a new and exciting campaign that KACB will be helping out with in 2015. The Drive It Home campaign aims to "Keep Our Paradise Litter-Free" and focuses on reducing roadside litter, much of which can create dangerous driving conditions.

Did you know that more than 25,000 accidents are caused by vehicle-related road debris each year in the U.S.? (FDOT)

Let's help to reduce those numbers and keep our county clean, too!

Ways You Can Help

    • Dispose of trash in its proper receptacles
    • Keep a bag for trash in your car
    • Refrain from throwing trash out of the car window
    • Secure your load when you carry trash or loose items in or on your vehicle

Adopt-A-Highway Program

To learn more, please visit http://www.dot.state.fl.us/statemaintenanceoffice/aah.shtm.

Litter-Hotline number: 1-800-BAN-LIFT(er) /1-800-226-5488

Stay tuned for more information, or visit http://www.cleanflroads.com.

Special Thank You to Our Sponsors!