Get Your GreenBack Tompkins is a community-based campaign to inspire all 42,000 households and every business in Tompkins County
to take at least one
step to save energy and money in the areas of
and Heating and Lighting
"Around 200 homes on West Hill in Ithaca have already participated in the new Curbside Food Scrap Recycling program which is being piloted by TC Solid Waste--which is close to 50% of all homes in the p... ilot. That's a lot of waste getting diverted from the landfill into a warm home in the compost pile. While you wait for Food Scrap Recycling to come to your neighborhood/town, don't forget that you can drop off your food scraps at the Recycling Center or at Cayuga Compost in Trumansburg--for free!" more
TC Solid Waste - December 9, 2013
"Around 200 people participated in the "Leaf it to Us" rake and swap, coordinated by the Compost Educators at CCE Tompkins. This includes dozens of volunteer rakers, and all the people who donated and ... collected leaves for their composts!
(Photo is of the stack of leaves collected from Fall Creek and Northside homes.)" more
Compost Educators - December 9, 2013
"During the last week of February, 27 teams with 66 members participated in the first ever Coolest Carpool Challenge sponsored by Get Your GreenBack and Way2Go.
(Photo is of the coordinators from s... ome of the 10 participating employers.)
All in all the 27 teams shared 4,262 miles, avoided driving 5,872 miles, and almost 3 tons of CO2 emissions. Each participant saved an average of $53 over the week by sharing the ride (and cost).
Team 34 from Cornell University won the prize for Longest Distance Carpool with 434 shared miles; The Carpool Gang from Ithaca College won the prize for Fullest Carpool with 5 members; Ithaca Investors from Finger Lakes Wealth Management won the prize for most consecutive days with 4 people commuting 5 days in a row; and the Vestal Carpool from IC won the coolest story prize with their humorous stories, poetry and The Carpool Decalogue (pasted below).
No surprise that Cornell University won the prize for employer with the largest # of participants (28); Tetra Tech won for highest proportion of participating employees (over 25%!).
Thanks to Ithaca Carshare, Moosewood Restaurant, Diane's Downtown Automotive, GreenStar Coop, and Life's So Sweet Chocolate for the donated prizes.
The Carpool Decalogue (by the Vestal Carpool)
1) Thou shalt embrace a flexible concept of time. 7:20 and 7:40 are one and the same. So are 5:00 and 5:45.
2) Upon reaching the town of Owego at the end of the day, thou shalt welcome the prospect of thy evening repast by incorporating gastronomy into the carpool discourse.
3) Thou shalt not crave thy carpoolies' snacks, but they shall know thy true soul and share them with thee anyway.
4) Thou shalt not speed in Candor.
5) Thou shalt agree to discuss at length the merits of holiday lights and decorations along the carpooling route.
6) Thou shalt honor requests to stop for caffeine, particularly when said requests come from the driver.
7) Even when driving through snow, sleet, ice, more snow, rain, flood-like rain, and seemingly unchanging landscapes, thou shalt gaze at thy surroundings with childlike wonder, marveling at the extraordinary within the ordinary--such as the pink elephant at the Tioga Mini Challenger.
8) In carpool conversation, thou shalt keep up with rapid changes of topic and non-sequiturs.
9) Thou shalt... wait, is the ice cream open??? Let's stop!!!
10) Thou shalt spread the seeds of carpool spirit." more
Coolest Carpool Challenge - March 12, 2014
"I grew up in Danby and when I was in school at DeWitt Middle School I started to go to physical therapy after school and used Gadabout to get to my appointments at Cayuga Medical Center. I’ve been r... iding Gadabout for a long time and find it incredibly reliable. It’s crucial to my independence. Just the other day riding Gadabout my husband and I went to my mom’s house in Danby and we stayed the night and came back home. The other week I went with a friend to see a movie. This time I didn’t use Gadabout. I just got on TCAT’s Route 70, saw the movie with my friend (I had a medium popcorn), and took the bus back, getting off at the Seneca Street stop. Easy as pie. Gadabout and TCAT are important to my independence, my ability to live my life in Tompkins County. That being said, we do need more fixed route transportation in Tompkins County. TCAT does a fabulous job providing what it does, but it needs the resources to do more. Lots of people who use wheelchairs live in rural areas and in villages and towns that don't have enough bus service. Strong support for more bus service benefits everyone, and will make the county more accessible to people with disabilities." more
Larry Roberts - August 29, 2013
"The GIAC Conservation Corps under the able guidance of Jodie Herbert spend this summer learning about different ways to protect the environment, and lend their strength and talent to a variety of comm... unity organizations.
Here they are working on the GIAC garden." more
GIAC Conservation Corps - August 6, 2013
"At the 2013 Community Supported Agriculture Fair, held March 2nd at Boynton Middle School, nearly 250 people had the opportunity to meet with 29 CSA Farmers and consider the many options available in ... and around Tompkins County. Products available included vegetables, mushrooms, several varieties of meat, eggs, cheese, bread, pickled and fermented products, fiber, and more." more
Avi Miner - March 11, 2013
April Step of the Month: LOVE YOUR COMPOST!
Nearly 60% of Tompkins County residents report composting food scraps at home. Do you?
Good for your pocketbook: saves $ on trash tags or disposal fees
Good for your garden: compost makes great soil for growing flowers and plants
Good for the planet: Food scraps make up 30% of our waste. Composting keeps this from being trucked to a landfill far away
Try Compost! From apartment to acres, learn how to compost where you live.
42,000 Step Zumba Celebration!
Register your step to reach our 42,000 goal, and celebrate our collective victory with a zumba dance led by master teacher Cynthia Henderson.
Sunday, May 4th
Place: Boynton Middle School
on the Solar Stage.
The celebration will be part of Earth Day activities and will be on the Streets Alive!
route. Come dance, and then enjoy the streets closed to traffic and open to people!
"I graduated from CCETC’s 10-week Master Composter program in May 2011, just a few months before GREEN$BACK was launched. The skills I’ve learned are not difficult to apply and quite rewarding to ... implement. I now turn “yard waste” into premier topsoil for our garden and houseplants, saving more than $100 per year in the bargain.
I’ll break down that figure later, once I’ve described my learning journey and the basics of home composting.
First, an admission: My wife Iris did all the composting in our household for the first thirty-two years of our togetherness. Five years ago, seeking to finally help in the garden, I volunteered to “handle the compost.”
We already had a black plastic “Darth Vader” compost bin and a wood-pallet leaf-bin, constructed by Iris in the last century. I filled these bins rather haphazardly with leaves and all manner of food scraps, yielding minimal results. The compost piles didn’t much reduce, and I soon ran out of space in the bins.
I purchased a welded wire cylinder bin during January 2007, when I first met Adam Michaelides, CCETC’s Program Manager of Compost Education. Adam advised me to “lasagna layer” our “browns” (dry leaves) and “greens” (food scraps) in layers throughout the compost pile. He also wanted my excess leaves (!) for distribution to other composters in Tompkins County, placing a value on the “waste” I packed into about 35 large plastic bags each autumn for curbside pick up by the City of Ithaca.
Thus I started lasagna layering, but did nothing else. The layering – dry leaves on top – yielded more topsoil than I was getting before. My lack of composting knowledge, however, prevented me from harvesting the bounty of “black gold” that one could expect from such large piles. Black gold is the coveted harvest of homegrown topsoil, transformed from stuff otherwise destined for the landfill.
It took nearly four years to fill the wire-mesh bin. I was jolted then with the pressing need to do something educational to deal with our bulging compost piles. I applied and was accepted for CCETC’s 10-week Master Composter (MC) program starting in February 2011.
MC training teaches basic and advanced composting methods, “the facts
of life in the compost pile.” I learned how to feed and nurture the “compost cosmos,” a term I coined for the functioning universe of microbial creatures like bacteria and protozoa, and seeable fungi, mites, millipedes, centipedes, sow bugs, earthworms, ground beetles and countless other species that perform the decomposing “work.”
The most effective composting is WONC, shorthand for Water, Oxygen, Nitrogen (food scraps) and Carbon (dry leaves) in the compost pile. The balanced combination of these elements, when tested by hand, should feel damp, like a freshly wrung out sponge.
I enjoy watering and managing our reduced compost piles. I feel a sense of purpose in carefully layering the crinkly dry leaves over food scraps, providing the multitudinous universe of compost critters with oxygen for faster decomposition. Last September, I harvested more than a dozen bushels of black gold for our garden and houseplants.
We reap the nutritional benefits of this organic topsoil every day at the dinner table. The houseplants, likewise, respond with quickened growth, renewed color and (sometimes) flowering after they are each fed a handful or two of our precious soil.
I no longer place any leaves at curbside. They are too valuable for wasting. The City now prohibits non-biodegradable plastic bags for yard waste pickup, and it’s also no longer free. Leaves must be placed in large, durable paper bags. The required yard waste tags cost $1.50 each. Bags are sold in bundles of five for $1.87 (plus tax) at Lowe’s; however, each bag only holds about three-quarters of the leaves that can be stuffed into a large plastic leaf bag.
Dollar wise, the 53 paper bags I’d need for curbside pickup today costs $21.41 (plus gas). The tags alone would run $79.50. That’s $100.91 in GREEN$BACK annual cash savings, at minimum. The total value of home composting runs much higher. That’s my “step” for GYGB. What’s yours?" more
John Milich - October 10, 2012
"We started composting about a year ago just to help reduce our garbage bill. It has become so much more that that. Our kids are very conscious of it and get confused when we go to someone's house wh... o does NOT compost. We have certainly saved money doing this!" more
Renee - March 15, 2013
Master Composters are a group of volunteers trained to educate the public about, and instill enthusiasm for, composting. Volunteers achieve these goals in a number of ways. They conduct workshops at Demonstration Sites throughout the county. Through exhibits and demonstrations, they provide information at community events held during the year at various locations. Volunteers also offer troubleshooting and technical assistance to composters in the community.
Cayuga Compost is proud to provide a food waste collection and composting service to local businesses to divert their food scraps from the waste stream and turn it into high quality compost. With 10 years of commercial composting experience, we guarantee prompt professional service. We welcome the opportunity to assist you with your solid waste disposal challenges. With shrinking landfill space and an increasing concern about the environment, we are taking organic materials and creating high quality compost products.
3225 Agard Rd. Trumansburg NY 14886 Phone: 607-387-6826 Fax: 607-387-7179
2. Save Money & Energy
Supporting the communities of Ithaca, Lansing, Dryden, Freeville, Groton, Trumansburg, Cayuga Heights, Caroline, Danby, Newfield, Enfield and Ulysses in taking energy-saving steps.