Sun City Vistoso residents show you “can” make a difference

By Wendy Sweet

If your neighborhood or organization is looking for a way to help the environment and make money, here’s a way you “can” achieve both goals – just by recycling your aluminum cans! While many of us recycle our cans through our waste hauler, Sun City Vistoso in Oro Valley has taken recycling in their neighborhood to a new level. In fiscal year 2006-07, residents of Sun City Vistoso recycled 6,960 pounds of aluminum cans. That equals approximately 238,100 cans, according to Dave Johnson, a resident who is in charge of the recycling program.“We have bins for recycling at the recreation center,” explains Johnson. “We only ask that residents rinse their cans before recycling them. Every day, volunteers transfer cans from the collection bins into large trash bags. Then about every three to four weeks, we load the bags into a landscape trailer, cover them with a tarp, and make a trip to the scrap yard at Miracle Mile and I-10. So far in this fiscal year (between July 1, 2007 and the end of January 2008), we have recycled 3,520 pounds of cans.”Although he has no firm statistics on the number of Sun City residents participating in the recycling program, Johnson says he feels “we are only getting 25 percent of the cans in Sun City.”Did you know recycling aluminum cans saves 95 percent of the energy required to make cans from bauxite ore? But, this recycling program does even more than help the environment. The money received for the cans from the scrap yard goes right back into the community. Last year that amount came to about five thousand dollars.“It’s all for the betterment of the community,” Johnson explains. “We help fund a community assistance committee in Sun City that provides loaner equipment to residents – such as wheelchairs, medical equipment, roll-away cots, car seats and high chairs.” The money raised has also provided funds for the Woodworkers Club, the K-9 Corral, The Sun City Art League and the Sun City Vistoso Community Association. “We also fund Thimblelenas, a sewing club in Sun City Vistoso that makes teddy bears and clothing for children in need,” says Johnson.”By the way, the Thimblelenas sewing club recently completed their own project designed to help the environment. Using donated fabric, the club members sewed 140 fabric grocery bags, which they sold for two dollars apiece. “We are encouraging people to use these and eliminate plastic grocery bags,” says Karen Hasselbach, who chaired the project. She also suggests people leave their fabric grocery sacks on the front seat of their car, rather than in the trunk or on the kitchen counter. “That way you remember to use them!” she notes.

Tell us what you're thinking...

Please share your thoughts and ideas with the Who's Green community.