The west half of Queen Anne is a close second to win a stake in a $50,000 community project through a city-wide contest held by Seattle waste management company CleanScapes.
Running from September 2010 to September of this year, trash collection areas are competing against one another to make the largest reduction in trash, yard waste and recycling compared to the previous year. This is the second year Queen Anne has competed in CleanScapes annual Neighborhood Waste Reduction Rewards program, which is meant to encourage Seattle residents to limit the amount of waste they produce.
“We think it’s a great program and a great way to give back to the community,” said CleanScapes Government Relations Manager John Taylor. “What we like about this is that it gives something back tangible to the community that everybody in the community can enjoy.”
The first four months of the competition have already been tallied, and the trash collection area in second place, Tuesday South, includes Queen Anne west of Queen Anne Avenue North and the top portion of Magnolia north of West Emerson Street. First place, Tuesday North, which encompasses the Ravenna neighborhood, is leading west Queen Anne by only 0.7 percent. Wednesday South, the half of Queen Anne east of Queen Anne Avenue North including the Westlake, South Lake Union and Eastlake neighborhoods and a portion of Capitol Hill, is in fourth place.
“What’s unique about the competition is it invites communities and traditional neighborhoods to work with other neighborhoods and communities,” said CleanScapes Waste Diversion Project Manager Candy Castellanos. “Queen Anne is in a couple different areas, which actually gives Queen Anne a better opportunity to compete.”
If the Tuesday or Wednesday South collection areas win, Queen Anne could inherit the $50,000 community project. Once an area has been deemed a winner by CleanScapes, a project selection committee is made of representatives from the community councils of the neighborhoods in the collection area. They then decide on a project from proposals submitted by the public. If come September Queen Anne and Magnolia in Tuesday South manage to surpass the Ravenna area, they will get to decide how to spend $50,000 in their area.
Picture Perfect Queen Anne chair and Queen Anne Community Council board member Margaret Okamoto said that there are many proposed projects in Queen Anne that could benefit from the $50,000 prize money.
“Picture Perfect Queen Anne has tons of projects that are part of our streetscape plan that we’d love to see done, clearly $50,000 could go a long way towards that … and the Galer Stairs would lend themselves wonderfully to some community activity,” said Okamoto, adding, “anytime you can bring people together to make decisions for public spaces it makes you feel more cohesive as a neighborhood, and the more community involvement there is I think the more vibrant a neighborhood is.”
FOLKpark Chair Debi Frausto said the money could easily be used to fund the organization’s plans for the renewal of lower Kinnear Park. They received a matching grant of $100,000 from the city of Seattle, and they are currently looking to raise $50,000 to honor the terms of that grant.
“It would be a perfect number for us,” said Frausto. “It would be very exciting to know we had that additional money already raised so that we could go into full production.”
Last year’s winner was Thursday South, which includes the neighborhoods of Montlake, Madison Park, Madison Valley, Madrona, Capitol Hill, First Hill and Yesler Terrace. They’re turning the prize into a playground at Washington Park Arboretum.
CleanScapes has many tips and resources for reducing waste on their website, and representatives are available to give presentations and help organize events, said Castellanos.
From the CleanScapes website:
Winning is easy: stop waste before it happens. Compost at home. Use a worm bin. Grasscycle. Use refillable water bottles and coffee mugs. Replace paper towels and napkins with cloth kitchen towels and washable napkins. Bring your own bag. Use Tupperware. Reuse. Repair. Buy in bulk. Buy local. Buy second-hand. Share. Trade. Swap. Rent. Donate or sell unwanted items. Print double-sided. Stop junk mail and phonebooks… you get the idea!