Fabulous Way to Deal with Surplus Good Used Things

unnamed (1)Meet Joseph Nicoletti, the Commissioner of DPW in White Plains in front of his most fabulous TILI.

TILI stands for Take it or Leave it. A place to donate good used surplus household items, garden toys, household tools, play items, building supplies, exercise equipment, old but working condition TVs and all those things that really should be re-used, rather then chucked into the garbage. unnamed (3)

And at the same time, a place to pick up that extra vase, the drying rack, the home bike and those large outdoor plastic kids toys.

The front is built from recycled materials and is made to look like an old western style store, but behind the sliding doors are two shipping containers that keep things nice and dry. The TILI is staffed by volunteers and does vivid business during opening hours. unnamed (2)

What a great idea, something that should be replicated in each community.

Setting Up A Recycling Program…..ha, how difficult can that possibly be?

unnamed (1)As Sustainability Consultants we often run into the attitude that setting up a recycling program is nothing but putting out some bins and ….voila….. all is well.

The reality is a far stretch from it. Changing behavior is a complex problem that takes much outside pushing and delicate prodding as well as proper set up of logistics and safe guards to avoid falling back into old behavioral patterns.

Its human nature.

Just look at systems such as wanting to loose weight. Every person that wants to loose weight KNOWS that it has to do with what they eat and how much/little they exercise.   Some people then make valiant efforts to change and the weight loss industry is making billions in the process, but only very few sustain to the desired effect, unless they have prolonged support from an outside person.

The same problem exists in regards to changing to sustainable habits in institutions. Implementing a recycling program such as We Future Cycle offers looks so easy, so logical, surely the institutional director of facilities can do it all by himself?

How difficult can it possibly be?

Same as with weight loss, how difficult can it possibly be to eat less and to exercise more on a regular basis?

The truth is, unless there is a person or organization in place that constantly supports the program and keeps all players engaged over an extended period of time, no behavioral change takes place.

And the losers in the system are the children.

The children had just learned the value of recycling, they were excited and actively engaged in saving the world, but then they see the adults loosing interest…..

Why are we teaching our children that inconsistency is acceptable?

Setting up a successful recycling program with sustainability education is very difficult and it can only be accomplished with the understanding that it is a long term capital improvement project that takes active management and professional support.

It cannot be accomplished by just putting out some bins…..