May - 2019

Rethink Waste Update

The Rethink Waste Plan was adopted by City Council in October 2017 to guide future efforts related to recycling and materials management. We are nearing the end of the first phase of that plan which included establishing baseline metrics which to gauge our progress against. Below is a table showing how Flagstaff’s Single-Family Residential recycling and total diversion rates have changed over the last few years.

diversion rate table.JPG

As we can see, our community has a lot of room for improvement. But this just means that there are lots of opportunities to engage the public, educate them about sustainable consumption, and capture a whole lot more valuable materials.

You can read much more about the plan and how it will guide future decisions in this month’s blog post located here.

What We’re Reading

We’re starting a new series in the newsletter where we can highlight interesting resources Master Recyclers may find useful.

Lately, we’ve been thinking a lot about food waste for a number of reasons; it’s one of the largest segments of our waste stream, the City is working on several initiatives to help residents eat more locally produced foods, and it’s Spring which is the beginning of our (unfortunately short) growing season.

Here is an article from National Geographic giving tips on how to reduce food waste at the consumer level.

Most people waste more food than they think—here's how to fix it

Mail order meal kits have been growing in popularity and there have been a lot of misconceptions related to how environmentally friendly they actually are. NPR breaks down the carbon footprint of a typical meal kit and the results may surprise you.

Meal Kits Have A Smaller Carbon Footprint Than Grocery Shopping, Study Says

Restaurants deal with food waste in an entirely different manner than most consumers. For one, the scale and volume are so much greater, but any food wasted is also a business loss. For some innovative restaurant managers this just presents another opportunity to think outside the box and attract new customers as well.

Toronto Restaurant Fights Waste By Chopping Menu Prices Till Food Is Gone


Even if you've completed your 30-hour commitment, we'd appreciate you continuing to report your hours so that we can measure the progress of the program and improve your experience.

Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities

There a lots of different opportunities to volunteer this month. The Community Farmers Market has begun and takes place every Sunday morning at the City hall west parking lot. We’ve partnered with The Azulita project again and will host a table every week where we can engage with interested community members and vendors. Please reach out to Dylan at 928-213-2158 or if you’d like to participate. The next Fix-It Clinic is taking place May 18th from 10am-1pm at Killip Elementary School. We're always looking for help at our Fix-it Clinics, whether you are a master fixer or not. We could use help not only as fixers, but also as general help and providing recycling outreach. If interested, please contact Maggie Twomey at

As always, feel free to create your own opportunities and let us know if we can help you by providing outreach materials, helping create presentations, or in any other way.

Volunteer Appreciations


Carol Gamble has met her 30 hour commitment to become our newest Certified Master Recycler. She has met the commitment by volunteering for a large variety of programs and events. Everything from neighborhood canvassing, to Fix-It Clinics, to tabling at Earth Day and the Farmers Market. She has exemplified that community service and engagement can take many forms and that this is often the best way to contact diverse audiences. Thanks so much Carol for all your hard work!

Not sure how many hours you’ve completed?

We've compiled all volunteer activity into a Google spreadsheet, which summarizes the various activities each Master Recycler has completed. If you scroll to the bottom, you can find the total number of hours you have completed. We'll be updating the spreadsheet at the end of each month. You can access the spreadsheet here.