Celebrate National Pollinator Week at Durham’s First Pollinator Garden Tour

Celebrate National Pollinator Week with Keep Durham Beautiful and take a tour of Durham’s finest pollinator gardens. Learn why birds, bees, butterflies, and bugs are so vital to us! 

The Durham Pollinator Garden Tour will take place Saturday, June 24 from 9 am to 1pm. The tour will highlight the participating community gardens in our Healthy Bee, Healthy Me Program, which seeks to establish pollinator habitats throughout Durham, all the while increasing local food yield in low-income and underserved areas.

There will be 13 stops on the tour; visit as many as you like or all of them! Garden representatives will be on hand to show off their beautiful garden spaces as well as to lead visitors in fun pollinator activities such as honey tasting, water color art, nature journaling and much more!

Tickets are on sale now. All proceeds go to directly support Keep Durham Beautiful pollinator programs. Tickets, a complete list of participating gardens and tour map are available online at DurhamGardenTour.org .  Tickets can also be purchased on the day of the tour at the Keep Durham Beautiful garden, located at 2011 Fay Street.

National Pollinator Week runs June 18-25 and promises to be full of fun and educational activities. Find a list of events at DurhamBeeCity.org.

For more information, or to register as a volunteer, visit our website or contact Britt Huggins at Britt@KeepDurhamBeautiful.org or 919-560-4197.

About Keep Durham Beautiful

Keep Durham Beautiful is a nonprofit, volunteer organization working in partnership with the City of Durham General Services Department and Durham County to encourage residents, businesses, and community organizations to protect the environment and enhance the appearance of Durham through cleanup events, beautification projects, waste reduction, and educational activities. To learn more, visit the website, like on Facebook, and follow on InstagramFlickr, and Twitter.

 

Engaging and inspiring individuals to take greater responsibility for their community environment.

Durham Recycles Over 19,000 lbs. of Tires to Help Prevent Zika Virus

 

Durham Tire Recycling Drive July 2016

Durham Residents dropped of unwanted tires at the Durham Tire Recycling Drive that took place at the City of Durham’s Waste Disposal and Recycling Center n July. Residents who missed the event are invited to drop off up to five used tires at no charge.

Residents May Still Drop Off Up to Five Used Tires At No Charge

DURHAM, N.C. – Thanks to Durham residents there are now 975 fewer places for mosquitoes and the diseases they carry to flourish with the recycling of thousands of pounds of old tires earlier this month.

As part of the Durham Tire Recycling Drive held on July 9, residents dropped off 975 unwanted tires from their yards, diverting approximately 19,455 pounds of material from the community’s waste stream and decreasing the number of potential mosquito breeding locations in Durham.

Durham residents who missed the Tire Recycling Drive can still drop off up to five used tires (off the rim only) at no charge at the City of Durham’s Waste Disposal and Recycling Center, located at 2115 E. Club Blvd., during the center’s normal operating hours.

Durham Tire Recycling Drive July 2016

As part of the Durham Tire Recycling Drive held on July 9, residents dropped off 975 unwanted tires from their yards, diverting approximately 19,455 pounds of material from the community’s waste stream and decreasing the number of potential mosquito breeding locations in Durham

While there are still no locally acquired mosquito-borne Zika cases, there have been at least 25 known travel-associated cases in North Carolina according to the Durham County Department of Public Health. Limiting exposure to mosquitoes by reducing breeding sites, like old tires, is an extremely important part of Durham’s effort to limit the spread of Zika virus. Old tires and other items that hold standing water, including bird baths, containers and gutters, encourage mosquito breeding and the diseases they may carry. With increased attention and concern about the effects of Zika Virus, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the department are encouraging people to decrease mosquitoes around the home through removing sources of standing water.

According to Keep Durham Beautiful Sustainability Specialist Erin Victor, the tires collected earlier this month will be put to good use since old tires can be recycled into a number of different products, including rubber mulch for playgrounds and landscaping as well as rubberized asphalt concrete (RAC). “RAC is considered a cost effective, durable, and environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional asphalt used to pave roads. So, not only did these residents get rid of mosquito-breeding locations in their yards, they were also able to repurpose their used tires, which is wonderful for our environment,” Victor said.

The July 9 Tire Recycling Drive, a City-County Collaborative effort, was a partnership between Keep Durham Beautiful, City of Durham Solid Waste Management Department, City of Durham Neighborhood Improvement Services, City of Durham General Services Department, Durham County General Services Department, and the Durham County Department of Public Health.

About Keep Durham Beautiful
Keep Durham Beautiful is a nonprofit, volunteer organization working in partnership with the City of Durham General Services Department and Durham County to encourage residents, businesses, and community organizations to protect the environment and enhance the appearance of Durham through cleanup events, beautification projects, waste reduction, and educational activities. To learn more, visit the website, like on Facebook, and follow on Instagram, flickr, and Twitter.

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Keep Durham Beautiful Seeks Pollinator Garden Applicants

Healthy Bee, Healthy MeKeep Durham Beautiful Seeks Pollinator Garden Applicants – Deadline April 25, 2016

Durham-based community gardens are invited to apply for the “Healthy Bee Healthy Me” Pollinator Garden Program  

 
Durham, NC – (April 20, 2016) – Keep Durham Beautiful (KDB) currently seeks applications from community gardens interested in installing a pollinator garden and interpretive signage near an existing community garden space. Eight Durham-based community gardens will be selected to participate in the 2016 “Healthy Bee Healthy Me” Pollinator Garden Program.
 
The “Healthy Bee, Healthy Me” Pollinator Garden Program is brought to you by Keep Durham Beautiful in partnership with Durham County Cooperative Extension to promote pollinator habitat throughout Durham City and County. The program is made possible in part by a grant from The Burt’s Bees Greater Good Foundation.
 
The goal of the program is to establish educational pollinator gardens in proximity to pre-existing community gardens to ensure the sustainability of nectar and pollen sources for our honey bees, native bees, butterflies and other pollinators throughout the year, and to increase the yield of the food crops grown within the community gardens. 
 
Gardens selected to participate in the Healthy Bee, Healthy Me program will receive pollinator plants, tool loaning, technical guidance, and interpretive signage. Preference will be given to well-managed community gardens that serve low income or underserved populations, with a focus on food and revenue generation.
 
Our goal at Keep Durham Beautiful is to create more vibrant and beautiful spaces, where our residents are engaged to be good stewards of their community environment. Providing bees and other pollinators with plenty of food sources throughout the year ensures the sustainability of their populations and increases the health and yield of the food crops grown nearby. Establishing pollinator gardens is one of the many ways that KDB promotes community greening and beautification. 
 
For more information or to download the application visit: http://keepdurhambeautiful.org/programs/healthybeehealthyme or contact Keep Durham Beautiful at 919-560-4197.
 
About Keep Durham Beautiful
Keep Durham Beautiful is a nonprofit, volunteer organization working in partnership with the City of Durham General Services Department and Durham County to encourage residents, businesses, and community organizations to protect the environment and enhance the appearance of Durham through cleanup events, beautification projects, waste reduction, and educational activities. To learn more, visit the website, like on Facebook, and follow on Instagramflickr, and Twitter.
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Keep Durham Beautiful 2016 Bulb Blitz Giveaway

Share! Win free flower bulbs! #BulbBlitz2016 #giveaway @durhambeautiful http://bit.ly/21g8jtH

Keep Durham Beautiful 2016 Bulb Blitz Giveaway

Durham-based community groups are invited to register for the chance to win free flower bulbs

Durham, NC – (February 24, 2016) – Durham-based community groups are invited to join the Keep Durham Beautiful 2016 Bulb Blitz Giveaway. Five community groups will win 100 bulbs each to help keep our community clean, green, and beautiful.

Our goal at Keep Durham Beautiful is to create more vibrant and beautiful spaces, where our residents are engaged to improve their community environment.

Flower bulb planting, a signature Keep Durham Beautiful volunteer effort, is one of the many paths to achieve community greening and beautification.

The giveaway will feature a mix of summer blooming bulbs (Cannas, Daylilies, and Asiatic Lilies) that should be planted by volunteer groups in the spring for optimum performance. All of these bulbs are perennials, which means they’ll come up again each year, beautifying Durham for years.

We believe that programs like the Bulb Blitz help to inspire further beautification and develop practices that will prevent litter, reduce waste and increase recycling, and beautify the community.

Participation Rules for the 2016 Bulb Blitz:

  • Deadline for submission is Monday, March 14, 2016 at 5 p.m. EST
  • Registration is open to any Durham-based group. Groups may be: neighborhood, civic, faith-based, non-profit, service, scouts, schools or any other community group
  • Bulbs must be planted by volunteers
  • Bulbs must be planted where visible from public streets or public spaces anyplace within Durham County
  • Winners must plan to pick up bulbs from Keep Durham Beautiful at 2011 Fay Street during business hours within two weeks of notification of bulb delivery
  • Bulbs are expected to arrive between mid-March and mid-June 2016 
  • Bulbs should be kept cool and dry (not freezing, not in the refrigerator, not in warm house) such as a basement or protected garage until planted
  • For optimal performance, bulbs should be planted by groups as soon as they are received
  • Winning groups must submit pictures of (1) volunteers planting the bulbs and (2) of the bulbs blooming 

Register at: http://keepdurhambeautiful.org/our-events/bulb-blitz/

About Keep Durham Beautiful
Keep Durham Beautiful is a nonprofit, volunteer organization working in partnership with the City of Durham General Services Department and Durham County to encourage residents, businesses, and community organizations to protect the environment and enhance the appearance of Durham through cleanup events, beautification projects, waste reduction, and educational activities. To learn more, visit the website, like on Facebook, and follow on Instagram, flickr, and Twitter.

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Can I recycle this? Your Recycling FAQs answered

Recycling Tour - January 2016

Durham residents joined Keep Durham Beautiful and the City of Durham Solid Waste Management Department on a guided tour of the Sonoco Recycling plant in Raleigh.

Last month, Keep Durham Beautiful and the City of Durham Solid Waste Management Department partnered together to offer a free bus tour of the Sonoco recycling facility in Raleigh, NC.

The tour featured a trip to the City of Durham’s new transfer station, where our solid waste and recycling is consolidated into larger trucks then hauled either to the landfill or recycling plant, respectively. Following the life of our recycling from curbside to market, the tour made its way to the Sonoco Recycling Plant where our single stream recycling in Durham is sent after it is collected.  Sonoco is a Material Recovery Facility (MRF) that sorts and prepares recyclable materials to sell to manufacturing end-users. The manufacturing end-users turn our paper, plastics, and metals into new products, keeping these materials out of the landfill.

Interested residents took a guided tour through the state-of-the art facility and saw how a combination of manual and mechanical sorting allowed Sonoco to separate and bale the various materials (aluminum, steel, cardboard, mixed paper, and different types of plastics) with impressive accuracy. Afterwards, everyone was welcomed to ask both City of Durham Solid Waste Management and Sonoco representatives their burning recycling and waste reduction questions. Here are some of the answers to our most Frequently Asked Questions related to recycling in Durham:

Recycling FAQ’s:

Recycling Tour - MRF

Sonoco Recycling is a Material Recovery Facility (MRF) that sorts and prepares recyclable materials to sell to manufacturer end-users. Durham’s single-stream recyclables go to this recycling plant in Raleigh after collection.

Can I recycle phone books?

Yes. You can recycle your old (or new, but unwanted) phone books in the recycling bin. Want to opt-out of receiving phone books at altogether? Visit: https://www.yellowpagesoptout.com/

Can I recycle pizza boxes? What if they have some residual grease?

Yes. Pizza boxes are recyclable, even with some grease, but remove all trash and as much food residue as possible.

What should I do with plastic bags?

Plastic bags are not accepted in our single-steam recycling bins. They actually will shut down the machines at the MRF. You can recycle plastic bags and other film plastics (such as case wrap, produce bags, food storage bags, newspaper bags, and bubble wrap) at most local grocery stores. To find the nearest drop off location for film plastics, visit: http://bit.ly/1plMotU

How do I recycle my electronic waste?

Electronic waste can be taken to the quarterly E-Waste and Recycling Events hosted by the City of Durham. Don’t want to wait until the next event? Residents are invited to drop off e-waste at the City Transfer Station or County Convenience Sites. Triangle Ecycling and Kramden Institute will also accept computer equipment at no charge.

What should I do with confidential papers?

Confidential papers should be shredded and placed in a clear bag before recycling. You can shred and recycle confidential papers at the quarterly E-Waste and Paper Shredding Event. City residents can also bring up to 4 boxes of paper to shred to the transfer station (2115 E. Club Blvd) on Wednesdays by appointment (919-560-4505).

Which number plastics can be recycled?

You can recycle all plastics in your single-stream recycling bin except #6 (polystyrene) which is Styrofoam and plastic bags and other film plastics (see above question about recycling plastic bags).

To learn more about what is recyclable in Durham, please refer to the City and County’s websites:

Want to join us for the next recycling plant tour?

Keep Durham Beautiful and the City of Durham Solid Waste Management Department will be offering periodic tours to the recycling plant in Raleigh. If you are interested in joining us, please sign up for the monthly Keep Durham Beautiful newsletter featuring volunteer opportunities, bulb and tree seedling giveaways, community grant opportunities, recent KDB news, and information on events such as the recycling tour. You can register for our newsletter here: http://bit.ly/1Q0TfHs or email info@keepdurhambeautiful.org.

Erin Victor is an AmeriCorps Project GEOS Service Member working on environmental outreach and volunteer coordination with Keep Durham Beautiful.

Durham Hosts Tree Care 101 Workshop

What: Tree Care 101 Workshop

Who: Trees Across Durham

When: Saturday, January 23, 2016, from 9:30 a.m. to noon

Where: Northgate Park 300 W. Club Blvd. Durham, N.C. 27704

Fast Facts

  •  Trees Across Durham is hosting a free tree care workshop to provide volunteers with handson experience while planting and tending to the trees along the Ellerbe Creek Stream Restoration Project, which runs through Northgate Park.
  •  Participants will learn about tree planting, pruning, and other tree care topics. They will also discover the critical role played by trees and forests for stream health and water quality. Tools and gloves for the workshop will be provided, but participants are encouraged to bring their own if possible. Participants should also dress appropriately for the weather and bring water to drink.
  •  Workshop partners include Keep Durham Beautiful, City of Durham General Services Department Urban Forestry Division, Durham City-County Sustainability Office, City of Durham Public Works Department Stormwater & GIS Services Division, and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Division of Mitigation Services.
  •  For additional information or to register for this workshop, visit the Registration Web page or call (919) 560-7993.
  • Additional tree planting volunteer events are being held throughout January and February 2016. Information on all upcoming events is available on Greener Durham’s website.
  • Trees Across Durham is a broad-based partnership dedicated to making Durham a healthier and greener community now and in the future through the planting and protection of trees; the education of tree caretakers and the general public about how to maintain healthy trees; and the measurement and communication of the benefits trees provide to the environment and community.

Share! Register now for free #Durham Tree Care 101 Workshop on Jan. 23 http://tinyurl.com/TADevent

America Recycles Day

ARD_IR_Logo_Green_Nov.-15

Earlier this week we celebrated America Recycles Day (ARD), a national Keep America Beautiful initiative that seeks to raise awareness about recycling each November. Started in 1997, America Recycles Day is the only nationally recognized day promoting and celebrating recycling in the U.S. According to the EPA, the average individual produces 4.4 pounds of waste PER DAY [1]It is estimated that 75% of this waste is recyclable, however only 30% is currently being recycled [2]. Clearly, we have room to REDUCE our waste stream, REUSE materials we purchase, and increase the amount of materials we RECYCLE.

This year, the theme of America Recycles Day is “Bathroom, Bags & Gadgets.” In efforts to increase the national recycling rate (34.3%), ARD efforts this year are focusing on recycling common products that are often forgotten about – like shampoo containers, plastic bags, and personal electronic devices like phones and tablets. Now, it should be noted- not all of these items can go into your single stream curbside recycling bin that you have at home, school and work. Check out this Recycling Locator to identify where you can take some of those items you are not sure what to do with- such as plastic bags and other film plastics, electronic devices, and clothing. For more information about what you can put in your curbside recycling bins, here is a helpful guide put together by Durham County’s Solid Waste Management department

Why Reduce, Reuse and Recycle?

  • To conserve natural resources. Did you know that recycling one ton of paper saves 17 trees [3] and recycling one ton of plastic can save up to 2,000 gallons of gasoline? [4]
  • To save energy. Did you know that recycling aluminium requires 95% less energy that making it from scratch? The energy savings are  70% for plastics and 40% for paper. [5]
  • To save landfill space. Did you know that more than 28 billion glass bottles and jars end up in the landfill every year? That’s the equivalent of filling up two Empire State Buildings every three weeks. [6]
  • To create jobs. Did you know that for every job created by burning or burying waste, 25 recycling-based manufacturing jobs can be created from the same amount of waste? [7]
  • To reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Did you know that if the U.S. can raise its 34.5% recycling rate to 75%, it will be the CO2 equivalent of removing 50 million cars from the road? [6]

How you can get involved:

How do you Reduce, Reuse, & Recycle at your home, school, work, or organization? Let us know about your efforts to reduce waste and keep Durham clean and green. 


Sources:

  1. Advancing Sustainable Materials Management: Facts and Figures 2013; Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  2. 11 Facts About Recycling, dosomething.org 
  3. Recycling Fun Facts, The University of Michigan, Plant Operations
  4. Recycling Facts, MRC Polymers
  5. The price of virtue:How to get people recycling more – even if they do not particularly want toThe Economist June 7, 2007.
  6. Recycling Facts, Recycle Across America, 
  7. Recycling Works Fast Facts, Recycling Works 

Growing Durham’s Future: Eastway Elementary Orchard Project

Angier Avenue Neighborhood Workday CrossFit Group

Volunteers from CrossFit Durham and Bull City Crossfit lend their strength and perseverance at the Keep Durham Beautiful gardening workday at Angier Avenue Neighborhood Farm on Saturday, August 29. These CrossFit volunteers worked alongside community members clearing and mulching the blueberry patch and preparing a perennial bed at this unique ½ acre urban farm located in NE Central Durham. Angier Avenue Neighborhood Farm, the Eastway Elementary Orchard, and a new community garden space on Taylor Street coming this Fall, are all efforts to increase access to local, fresh food in this area of Durham.

With school back in full swing, parents across the city are busy packing lunches. The newest “hot item” for your child’s lunchbox: the paw paw. Haven’t heard of a paw paw? This native fruit looks like a green mango and tastes like a cross between a mango, cantaloupe, and banana.

You are unlikely to find paw paws in the produce aisle of your favorite grocery store. But luckily for all the parents packing lunches in the Bull City, if you keep a close eye out, you can find paw paw trees scattered throughout Durham. Come September, Northeast Central Durham will welcome Paw Paws, along with other native fruit trees, to the Eastway Elementary Orchard.

Eastway Elementary School, home of the Eastway Eagles, is committed to “Growing Durham’s Future.” This elementary school is working hard to grow Durham’s future, both literarily and figuratively, and will be planting an orchard with Keep Durham Beautiful as part of the Green Apple Day of Service on September 26, 2015.

The Green Apple Day of Service, through the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGCB), is an opportunity to transform schools into healthy, safe, and productive learning environments through local service projects. This year, Keep Durham Beautiful, the USGCB NC, and Building Managers and Managers Association (BOMA) Raleigh-Durham have partnered together to plant an orchard at the entranceway of Eastway Elementary School.

The project will convert the grassy area in front of the school into an orchard with native fruit trees and fruiting shrubs, perennial flowers, benches, and educational signs. The Eastway Orchard project provides opportunities for beautification, education, health, and community building in Northeast Central Durham, which is a target area for the Mayor’s Poverty Reduction Initiative. This area is characterized as a “food desert,” meaning there is a lack of access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food. Planting an orchard on the school grounds will provide the Eastway community increased food access, a dynamic outdoor learning environment, and a chance for children to connect to where food comes from.

Education & Advocacy Manager Sarah Montgomery at USGBC NC looks forward to a large group of volunteers from the school and surrounding community to participate in planting the edible school orchard for the students and families at Eastway. “There is nothing more exciting to me than to see students, teachers, administrators, and parents come together with their community members and work collaboratively on a project to improve their local school. Eastway Elementary’s Orchard project is an opportunity to showcase the community-based, community-driven, transformative work happening all across Durham,” Montgomery said.

To learn more about Green Schools at USGBC NC, visit the website: http://www.usgbcnc.org/


**Update 10/2**

Due to the weather, the Green Apple Day of Service Orchard Planting Workday has been rescheduled for Monday, October 12, 2015. Please check back or email for the latest information. 

Green Apple Day of Service | Monday, October 12, 2015

Eastway Elementary School, 610 N. Alston Ave., Durham, N.C. 27701

12-4pm (tentative time, please email for updates)

Join us as we plant a small orchard at the entrance of Eastway Elementary! For more information and to register, email erin@keepdurhambeautiful.org.


 

Rising litter Levels Threaten Durham’s Progress

Litter Index

Keep Durham Beautiful volunteers Butch Fisher, Rhonda Spivey, Michael Crutchfield, Rhonda Crutchfield and David Harris prepare to conduct the 2013 Community Appearance and Litter Index in a van provided by University Ford.

You may not have noticed, but Durham has a fair amount of litter. Our streets, schools, parks, and neighborhoods are filled with trash from cigarette butts to bottles, cans, plastic bags, and even items like car tires and shoes.

“First impressions are the lasting impressions,” said David Harris, a former Keep Durham Beautiful Board Member and long-time volunteer with the Durham Community Litter Index. “The appearance of the gateways into our city is what visitors see and develop first opinions about Durham.”
As Durhamites, we have a lot of pride. There is exciting energy here in the Bull City. Durham is teeming with talented local artists, authors, and the city is a nationally recognized foodie destination. But the phrase, “Keep it Dirty, Durham,” is not intended to be taken literally.
Litter hurts. Litter costs approximately $15 million in taxpayer dollars to clean up each year. Litter reduces tourism, hampers economic development, and encourages vandalism and crime. Litter contaminates our drinking water and is detrimental for plants and wildlife. Litter even causes accidents, with thousands of automobile accidents each year in the U.S. classified as litter-related.

So, what do we do about it?
On June 11th, Keep Durham Beautiful will be spearheading the 11th annual Litter Index and is looking for community members to get involved. Keep Durham Beautiful is a non-profit affiliate of Keep America Beautiful that works in collaboration with the City of Durham and Durham County to engage and inspire individuals to take greater responsibility for their community environment. Keep Durham Beautiful, with the help of dedicated volunteers, has collected data annually on litter levels in the city since 2005.

What is the Litter Index?
Developed by Keep America Beautiful, the Litter Index is a quantitative measure used across the nation to gauge roadside litter levels. Routes throughout the city are scored on a scale from one to four, with a score of one indicating “no litter” and a score of four indicating the area is “extremely littered.” The index is used to determine the effectiveness of litter campaigns and identify litter “hot spots” in the community for future clean ups.
Teams of volunteers receive training before driving along pre-determined routes to monitor the amount of litter along the roads. “Each route includes business/commercial districts and residential communities and consists of urban, suburban, rural and county roads,” said David Harris, who has participated in the Litter Index for the past 10 years, taking on various roles as an evaluator, driver, coordinator, trainer, co-chair, and chair.

Results from the 2014 index indicate that roadside litter has increased in Durham. The average score across all the routes in 2014 was 1.804, up from a score of 1.35 in 2013. These results suggest the need to take action now. Litter is an individual behavior and each of us can do our part to make a difference. From joining a neighborhood cleanup, adopting a street or bus stop, or by modeling good behavior in your home, school, work or neighborhood YOU have the ability to reduce litter and increase litter literacy in this city we love.

If you are interested in joining this year’s Litter Index efforts, please contact info@keepdurhambeautiful.org or register here. The Litter Index will take place on Thursday, June 11th from 8:30 am – 1 pm at the Forest Hills Neighborhood Clubhouse. Coffee, bagels, and gratitude will be provided for all volunteers.