Drop-Off Center Examples
On this page you can see some of Louise’s concepts implemented in park like educational drop off centers. The Bella Vista program was started long before Waste Reduction Resources (WRR) came into existence. Take a minute to relax as the pictures load. Enjoy and be inspired!
Recycle Signal, Signal Mountain, Tennessee
This project began in 1988 around Louise’s kitchen table with an alderman, an architect, and a PTO president. These four citizens invited others to join the effort, resulting in a community-initiated recycling program that boasted over 100 active volunteers. Lessons were taught in all elementary classrooms EVERY month for several years. Because volunteers built many of the features in the Center, citizens were engaged and invested in it. When Louise ran the facility, it was so attractive Southern Living magazine did an article for their June 1991 issue. The materials were very, very clean. You can read about this once extraordinary program in the Resources section of this website. Unfortunately, the ongoing education program was discontinued, and today the center is simply a single stream drop-off site. It is no longer a park-like educational facility. Nonetheless, Recycle Signal serves as a great case study about what can be done when citizens work in partnership with schools, government and re-manufacturers.
Parks Director Tom Cogan totally got the concepts Louise relayed about drop-offs being a place of community pride. “If we’re asking people to care enough to haul stuff to us, shouldn’t the site itself reflect caring?” she asked. Tom took Louise’s advice about separating cars from pedestrians, making this a family friendly center. AERT of Springdale, AR donated lumber (made from recycled plastic bags) to build the small amphitheater. The drop-off sets at the top of a slope and once caused flooding on the business below. Water expert, LuAnn Diffin donated her time to advise Tom in correcting the situation. The addition of butterfly and rain gardens eliminated the flooding. The business below thinks having a drop off center as a neighbor is great. These pictures were taken shortly after the center opened. The gardens have filled out since then.
Bella Vista, Arkansas
The Bella Vista AARP Recycling Program boasts one of the only drop-off centers that returns money to the community. AARP volunteers are key to the success of this project. I hope all ages will become involved with this center. As you watch the PowerPoint you’ll see information about how this 40 year old program benefits the local community, the brokers and mills, and the environment. I apologize the top of the first slide with text was cut off. It should read CLEAN MATERIALS….
Fayetteville, Arkansas City Operated Fifteenth Street Drop-Off Center
Shortly after Mayor Jordan took office, Louise Mann founder of Waste Reduction Resources, rounded up college students who donated a day, to clean up the messy recycling site on 15th Street. They picked up litter, pulled plastic bags from trees and the small ditch that runs behind the bins. Ozark Natural Foods fed volunteers the day of the initial clean up. The area was actually clean enough for a picnic. This clean-up effort by citizens inspired city staff to make future drop off sites manned, fenced, and landscaped. Unfortunately, the city has chosen not to update or maintain the landscaping at 15th Street drop-off, even though it sets next door to the Parks Department. This is a real shame, since keeping a drop-off looking great is a wonderful gesture of respect and appreciation for the citizens who bother to haul and sort their own materials.