May 2013 Eco-Newsletter
New Community Garden Benefits WIC Clients
Johnson County is supporting a new community garden that will grow fresh produce for the Kansas WIC (Women, Infants and Children) clients. The goal of the WIC Community Garden is to educate, empower and feed the clients in the Kansas WIC program, creating a healthier community. A kickoff event to celebrate the garden project is scheduled for Friday, May 10th at 11:00AM at the garden located at 11875 S. Sunset Drive, Olathe, KS 66061. Bring your gloves.
WIC is a nutrition program that provides nutrition and health education, healthy food and other services to Kansas families who qualify. WIC’s goal is to help keep pregnant and breastfeeding women, new moms, and kids under age 5 healthy. The addition of a community garden will further support the commitment of Johnson County Government to improving access to healthy foods in our community.
“Not only will produce grown in the WIC Community Garden be distributed to clients, but the garden will be a teaching tool for clients to be empowered to grow their own food in the future,” said Laura Drake, WIC program manager.
The current WIC program provides a stipend for families to shop for healthy nutritious foods. Nursing mothers and pregnant women qualify for $10 per month allocated for fruits and vegetables and children qualify for $6 per month. While this help is greatly appreciated and beneficial, the opportunity for these families to receive additional fresh fruits and vegetables will be even better.
The WIC Community Garden project is a collaboration between many Johnson County government program partners including our Sustainability Program, Environmental Division, Facilities Department, Health Education Division, Access to Healthy Foods Coalition, K-State Research and Extension and the WIC Program. Success of this program will rely on attracting community volunteers and deepening relationships with community partners. Johnson County Government has been awarded a $4475 grant through the Kansas Community Gardens Project, a joint initiative of the Kansas Health Foundation and K-State Research and Extension, to fund the new WIC Community Garden project.
Volunteers are welcome to participate in this exciting and beneficial community garden. They can sign up by contacting the volunteer coordinator at email@example.com. For more information visit www.jcdhe.jocogov.org/health/wic/garden.
Curbside Recycling Expands to Include Cartons
Customers of Deffenbaugh may now begin placing all empty food and beverage cartons in their recycling cart. Products commonly package in cartons include: milk (dairy, soy, almost); juice; small juice and milk boxes; cream; egg whites and egg substitutes; soup and broth; protein drinks, eggnog, wine, and tofu.
By working with Carton Council, Deffenbaugh installed new processing equipment to maximize carton recycling efforts. This equipment is able to recognize cartons and separate them from other items. Once separated, the cartons are baled and shipped to end users who break them down to create new products.
Schools serviced by Deffenbaugh will also be able to take advantage of recycling cartons. With an average school generating 32,000 pounds of cartons each year, the opportunity to recycle more and waste less has never been easier. Deffenbaugh is excited to work with any school to divert cartons from their waste stream.
“For years we have battled with the negative effects of waste in our school trash compactors,” said Tony Caldarella, Custodial Services Manager, Liberty Public Schools. “With this new carton recycling program diverting both cartons and the leftover liquids from the trash, we will eliminate many of the problems in our compactors, such as odor, pests, and leakage.”
Carton recycling is becoming increasingly popular across the United States. The recycled carton paper fibers are a valuable resource for making new products and consist of some of the highest quality fiber among recyclable products.
Consequently, cartons have a global demand and are shipped to paper mills, where the paper fiber is extracted to make new products such as paper towels, tissue, and even building materials.