ICR -- Investigating Community Resilience
Every week Dave Barrons hosts a conversation about community resilience in the Northwestern Michigan. Each show investigates resilience through various themes with his guests. Select one of the themes in the left sidebar to watch past shows from that theme's perspective.
This is an archive site, please visit the new website - icr.nrec.org
Kelly Ignace from American Waste is back again for more discussion of managing our communities waste stream. American Waste follows a different business plan than it's competitors: American does not bury its collected waste in a landfill, instead it segregates the waste stream into recyclable products of various grades and kinds, indoors! Burying our trash simply removes the value of all that we throw away from our economy. "Out-of-sight, out-of-mind" won't cut it anymore. We must learn to use our waste stream as a resource for local economic development.
Kelly Ignace joins Dave for this edition of ICR, talking about her employer's one of a kind waste hauling and disposal business. Kelly is Director of Marketing and P.R. for American Waste, a locally owned and operated waste disposal business that runs a one of a kind operation on the south side of Traverse City. American's collection area extends from Mackinac to Manistee and inland to about I-75. Almost all of its collected trash is brought to T.C. and dumped, not in a landfill, but indoors where a combination of mechanical and human separators divide the single trash stream into its constituent parts resulting in bales of marketable recyclables. Nearly 70% of the entire waste stream is segregated into re-usable product and sold to vendors, without first being buried in the ground. Watch this giant, one-of-a-kind machine do its job. Nothing else like this exists in the U.S.
Josh Wunsch is in on this discussion. Josh is a local fruit grower and experienced agricultural manager with clear views on agricultural trends. Localism is all well and good, says Josh, but their are 330 million mouths to feed each day. The demand of that, alone, will play into the balance between a fragile, corporate sized food system and a more resilient localized food system. How far localism goes will be determined by how much 'locals' are willing to pay for more local food and how deeply they support the development of markets. Farmers don't produce into a vacuum. They produce for a viable market that can sustainability pay them to produce.
Bob Russell joins the conversation on this show. The discussion reviews some of the latest writings/conclusions on the two built-in mechanisms forcing a changing future: climate change and resource constraint. Bob and Dave highlight the facts and resources. Once again, 'adaptation' stands out as a key ingredient of resilience. The future presents unforecastable challenges. Building the seeds of resilient strength determine a community's resilience.
This discussion shares the experience of Timothy Young and Chris Treter of the On The Ground non-profit that sponsored their recent Run Across Palestine. Chris introduced us to the groups first such effort The Run Across Ethiopia, last summer. Chris Treter's business is fair trade shade grown coffee and now, olive oil. The run in Ethiopia focused fund raising efforts to build schools in coffee growing communities; in Palestine, the run kicked off fund raising to plant olive trees. But in both locations the real work was in cross cultural communications and community building. Building communities of producers and consumers that span oceans. Linking our local community in NW Michigan to theirs no matter the distance between. Art is always a part of On The Ground's work. This show includes a performance by singer, song writer Josh Davis with a song he sang multiple places in Palestine.
Doug Luciani, Executive Director of the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce joins this conversation to detail a number of the local Chamber initiatives. From local food to energy policy this Chamber seems to 'get it' when it comes to understanding our difficult future and decisions that need to worked on, now, in preparation. Collaboration is the name of the game for this Chamber as it works with a wide range of community stakeholders.