Friday, August 21, 2009

Recycling Efforts

I saw my friend and neighbor Linda Centell at the District 3 block party. You may remember Linda; she works with Ann Erdman, Pasadena's Public Information Officer. At the party, Linda introduced me to Gabriel Silva. Linda thinks the world of this guy and now that I know more about him, I do, too.

Gabriel is Pasadena's Environmental Programs Manager. Do you want to guess what that involves, or should I just tell you?

It'll take too long to get a consensus. I'll just tell you.

The Environmental Programs Manager is responsible for the following recycling programs: residential curbside, green waste, used oil, large venue/special events, compact fluorescent light bulb/battery, sharps (needles, syringes, etc.), e-waste (like the free collection events), composting and of course all those Christmas trees. His duties also include: elementary school education/outreach, household hazardous waste disposal, coordinating the Greening the Earth Day Festival, annual outstanding recycler awards, developing new programs to increase the City's waste diversion, managing several state grants, and reporting.

I know the above is true because I got it from Gabriel. Though it seems like a lot, a paragraph still doesn't give you the scope. Think of each of those duties as containing other duties. For example: did you know that a single Rose Bowl Game (large venue/special event) can generate as much as six tons of recycling trash? Someone has to pick up all that stuff. And sort it. Eeuw.

Silva doesn't collect all those cans himself. He coordinates the effort, though, by teaming up with the Los Angeles Conservation Corps to employ 50 to 80 young adults to help at UCLA Home Games, the Rose Bowl Game and the BCS Bowl Game.

I'd say something about how well he delegates his staff, except if I understand it correctly there's only one staffer to delegate. So I have to assume Gabriel does a lot of the work himself. When Linda introduced us, we interrupted him collecting the trash bins from the block party. It was a Saturday, but these things have to be done and when you don't have underlings to do them for you, you do them yourself.

Just take another look at Gabriel's list of duties and think about that.

Ow. My back is killing me.

Here's more information about recycling in Pasadena.


Cafe Pasadena said...

Is that Linda helping Gabriel in the golf cart? They look like a great team set to do greater work.

PDP, I knew you were a big football fanatic, but it's amazing the range of statistics you keep on the game!

blt, I'm sorry to here about your back. Helping friends out with their horses Kan Be a back breaking job. Stay away from it!

Shell Sherree said...

Hip hip hooray ~ six tons worth of cheers for Gabriel! Speaking of compact fluoro bulbs, I had a devil of a hard time trying to find out what to do with my 'dead' ones here, where there is no recycling programme in place for them yet {grr}. After reading about Gabriel's responsibilities, I'm even more aghast at our local council. One of those handwritten letters is in order, I feel.

Dina said...

Only one way to explain it then--his must be a labor of love.

Susan C said...

Wow! No wonder Linda thinks so highly of Gabriel. Add me to the list of his fans.

Petrea said...

Yes, Cafe, that's Linda. She wanted a ride in the little truck. She's the one who gave me those statistics. After all, she works in the Public Information Office.

Shell, I don't know about other countries but I think California's a leader in recycling in the U.S. We were way ahead of the Midwest only a few years ago; my friends there were surprised our cities had services when theirs did not.

Dina, you may have it: I think he does like his work.

Yeah, Susan! What a guy. He must be a hell of an administrator.

Margaret said...

Love the little gold cart. Want one!

Virginia said...

My hat's off to Gabriel. I do love a man with a work ethic! Bravo Petrea for giving Gab some well deserved recognition.

WV: irant
Well don't mind if I do!

Katie said...

Go Gabriel! I would seriously trade my desk job working with lawyers to work with Gabriel and his six tons of recycling any day. I'd even sort! Reduce, reuse, recycle -- words to live by.

pasadenapio said...

Gabe is our go-to guy for all things recycling! He's great to work with.

pasadenapio said...

Shell, there are special bags that we have available for recyling compact fluorescent lightbulbs, and they're available at a number of local retailers that serve as CFL recycling locations in Pasadena.

Even if your municipal government hasn't started a CFL recycling program, you might check with your Chamber of Commerce (or whatever the equivalent is) to inquire about whether the merchants in your area offer such a program.

See more about CFL recycling here.

Petrea said...

Katie, I wouldn't be surprised if there's a job for you doing something like this in San Francisco. Gabriel seems to like what he does, plus he gets to drive the cart, and you see how it makes Margaret feel.

Virginia, you just come and rant here any time. You don't need an excuse.

Ann, your PR skills are about to make you an international PIO.

Italo said...

Excellent work!!!! In my village it's a problem too. You know, it's horrible to see historical placese, monuments, and plastic around.

Shell Sherree said...

{Thank you, Anne! The young lady at the council seemed as surprised as me at the lack of action, planning and information about CFL disposal - I'll pass on the info in case it helps them put something in place.}