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Row on the creek - 0 views

    Critics blast environmental review of proposed waste conversion facility along Glenn County waterway The watchdogs at Butte Environmental Council usually keep guard close to home, but occasionally they'll look beyond Chico's backyard. "Environmental issues don't stop at the county line," said Executive Director Robyn DiFalco. "We tend to look beyond our borders at least a little bit to see if our community will be affected." She believes that's the case with the proposed Glenn County Solid Waste Conversion Facility about 3 miles west of Hamilton City, which would sort and recycle up to 200 tons of material a day and convert biodegradable substances into biogas. According to the project's Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR), the goal is to divert and recycle up to 70 percent of the county's municipal solid waste from the landfill. And that's been a problem; the county's landfill near Artois has been pushing capacity for years and is set to close in December. What's caught BEC's attention? It's mostly a matter of location. The facility would be constructed along the northern bank of Stony Creek, which feeds into the Sacramento River and the Tuscan Aquifer, the vast underground reservoir that provides drinking water for residents in Glenn County and nearby communities-including Chico.

Recycling Education Programs in Butte County Are No Longer RARE - 0 views

shared by rdifalco on 16 Nov 13 - No Cached
  • Published on November 3, 2013 by growingupchico
  • When it comes to waste, “there is no away.” This is an important life lesson that the Butte Environmental Council hopes to impart to local students, teachers and community members with their new recycling education program. RARE, The Recycling and Rubbish Education program, strives to educate through engaging interactive workshops and field trips, which focus on the four R’s – reduce, reuse, recycle and rot.  The program comes directly to the students at their Butte County school and is completely free of charge. “When we give children meaningful, hands-on experiences within their classrooms and show them up close by visiting the local landfill, they feel connected to the bigger picture of where trash ends up,” said Tanya Parish, RARE program coordinator.  “Our hope is that they then take positive steps to create a healthier and more sustainable future.”

Chico News & Review - RARE program returns - Earth Watch - Green - September 26, 2013 - 1 views

  • The Butte Environmental Council (BEC) recently announced the revival of the Recycling and Rubbish Education program (RARE), aimed at teaching schoolchildren about recycling and garbage reduction. “[A]fter more than a year of negotiation, a proposal submission process and a vote by the Butte County Board of Supervisors, BEC was selected to carry on the successful legacy of the RARE program,” said a BEC press release. The program—which was in existence from 2001 to 2012, thanks to the Chico State Research Foundation—“will travel to schools throughout Butte County providing [no-cost] hands-on, interactive workshops that emphasize the importance of the 4 R’s—reduce, reuse, recycle and rot (compost).” For more information, go to or call 891-6426

Chico waste rates are changing, but customers can still save money - 0 views

  • It’s worth noting the city has approved the main components of the waste hauling agreement, but has not finalized the details. There will likely be more tweaks made before the October date. The agreement returns to the City Council on July 5.
  • “A lot of people aren’t quite sure what can be recycled,” Holden said. When in doubt, some people tend to just throw things out, or throw too much into the recycling bin.
  • maximizing use of recycling bins, using donation stations and learning to compost can help costs drop “enormously,” especially for people using the largest bin size.
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  • Once people realize how easy it is to compost, Holden said they can create their own nutrient rich soil and put organic waste back into the ground instead. “It’s water, food, brown material, cardboard and sunshine,” Holden said.
  • Residents and businesses can end up being slammed with extra fees if they are not disposing of waste correctly. Learning what not to do can help people avoid unnecessary fees.
  • “The goal is to deliver clean recyclables to manufacturers to create new materials and clean green waste to return as compost,”

Bidwell Park and Chico Creeks Cleanup coming Saturday - Chico Enterprise Record - 0 views

  • The Butte Environmental Council and the city of Chico are partnering once again for the annual Bidwell Park and Chico Creeks Cleanup from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday. Last year, more than 350 volunteers helped collect several tons of garbage and recyclables from the park and creeks. Since 1995, BEC volunteers have pulled seven tons of recyclables, 14 tons of scrap metal and 77 tons of garbage from the parks and creeks. Volunteers are encouraged to wear long pants and sturdy closed-toe shoes. Bring gloves and a water bottle, and meet at the Hooker Oak Recreation Area parking lot for the park cleanup and at Park Avenue and 11th Street for the creeks cleanup. BEC will provide water and treat all volunteers to a free barbecue and raffle prizes afterward. For more information, contact Maggi Barry at or call 891-6424.

Chico News & Review - Compassion above all else - Editorial - Opinions - March 29, 2018 - 0 views

  • Butte Environmental Council, which for decades has organized events to beautify our parks and waterways. During a cleanup in 2008, as the CN&R reported, BEC volunteers collected a whopping 10.5 tons of trash in five hours.
    Butte Environmental Council (BEC) is a community organization committed to protecting and defending environmental quality throughout Butte County. By regularly removing trash and recyclables that have found their way in to our urban creeks, parks and greenways BEC is helping to keep local water clean and safe, improving wildlife habitat and reducing human impacts on our environmental quality. Chico's urban waterways are heavily impacted by litter, illegal dumping, and creekside camping. BEC is committed to treating all members of our community with dignity and respect. We often remove materials left behind by those living along our creeks. Our non-confrontation policy asks our volunteers to avoid any interactions with those in the cleanup area besides inviting them to join us. In partnership with local law enforcement, we provide notice to camps in an effort to allow time for personal property to be removed. Usable items that are removed from our cleanup efforts are repurposed whenever possible to minimize what we send to the landfill. Our community cleanups have two goals: remove waste from our creeks, and build a community committed to healthy waterways.

After the eclipse: What do I do with my glasses? - 0 views

    Butte Environmental Council will gladly accept your solar glasses to recycle.

Letters for October 11, 2012 - Letters - Opinions - October 11, 2012 - Chico News & Review - 2 views

  • Regulate plastic bags As a student and Butte Environmental Council intern interested in a sustainable future, I am submitting this letter in support of the Chico City Council’s voting to restrict plastic-bag use. California uses an estimated 400 plastic bags per second, requiring an estimated 12 million barrels of oil annually. Only 3 percent of plastic bags are recycled, and the thermosetting process used to mold plastic bags is irreversible, creating a product that is not biodegradable. These bags end up in the streams, creeks, rivers and eventually the ocean. On the bags’ journey to the sea, the plastic breaks down into smaller pieces, absorbing toxic chemicals along the way. These contaminated bits of plastic contribute to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which is twice the size of Texas. At least 267 marine species have been documented to be adversely affected by plastic debris. California spends $25 million annually to manage plastic-bag pollution and $303 million in litter reduction. If consumers were to utilize reusable bags instead, we could reduce waste and water pollution and contribute to the local economy by allowing wonderful companies such as ChicoBag to further their commitment to consumer safety. Lindsay McDonnell Chico

Environmental coalitions push stricter limits on plastic bag ban | Action News Now - 0 views

  • Prop 67, the measure that would ensure a ban in every city and require stores to charge 10 cents for paper bags. The Butte Environmental Council Executive Director says we still have a lot of work to do. "In the United States, we use more than a billion plastic bags a year and less than one percent of them are recycled,” said Natalie Carter. “The rest of them end up in landfills and take more than a thousand years to degrade."
  • City Councilmember Randall Stone says our county needs to protect our numerous creeks, streams and rivers. "We have plastic bags going into those creeks and streams it requires us to clean that space up that costs a tremendous amount of money for the city of Chico in volunteer time as well as staff and waste time,” he said.
ndcarter - 0 views

  • Katie Beeson, Butte Environmental Council business manager, said the nonprofit is creating a craft project with recycled materials at its office downtown all day in recognition of the movement.
  • “As Giving Tuesday becomes more popular,” said Beeson, “we’re hoping that Chico can really become a place on the map for local giving back.”

Butte Environmental Council named top-rated nonprofit - 0 views

  • “BEC is a great example of a nonprofit making a real difference in their community,” said Perla Ni, CEO of GreatNonprofits, in a press release.
  • “We are so proud of our many accomplishments this year, including our 29th annual Bidwell Park and Chico Creeks Cleanup event that brought out more than 500 community volunteers who cleaned over four tons of waste and recyclables from our local creeks.”

Chico News & Review - On top of trash - Downstroke - Local Stories - September 24, 2015 - 1 views

  • About 500 volunteers—a record number—helped pull trash out of waterways during Butte Environmental Council's annual Bidwell Park & Chico Creeks Cleanup on Saturday (Sept. 19). The volunteers collected an estimated 21,547 pounds of trash and recycling, said BEC Executive Director Robyn DiFalco. That figure is down from last year's record total of about 30 tons of material, but DiFalco said that's likely because “the community has been chipping away at this leading up to the big event” with smaller cleanups. “We also didn't get everything that's out there,” she added. “We never do.” BEC's cleanup also kicked off six weeks of smaller, neighborhood-based stewardship events called Block Parties With a Purpose. Go to for updates.

Fewer floaters equals less trash from Sacramento River revelry - Chico Enterprise Record - 0 views

  • With an alcohol ban on both the water and adjacent shores, thousands fewer people floated on a popular stretch of the Sacramento River and the resulting trash that accumulates for miles also dramatically declined.
  • "It was a night-and-day difference on the river, from tubes to full beers floating down to empty cans," said Lucas Merz, program manager for the Sacramento River Preservation Trust. "Just the overall respect for the river was really nice to see."
  • Maggi Barry, office coordinator with Butte Environmental Council, voiced appreciation to the Glenn and Butte county boards of supervisors for the ban. She said their proactive approach makes the river a better environment in several ways. "We would like to say 'Yay! Thank you for the double-duty of addressing young lives and helping clean up the environment,'" she said.
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  • BEC will host the annual Bidwell Park & Chico Creeks Cleanup on Sept. 21 to prevent trash from entering the Sacramento River and its tributaries.

Chico News & Review - A $7 billion blunder? - Feature Story - Local Stories - October 23, 2014 - 0 views

  • Local environmental groups, including the Butte Environmental Council, AquAlliance, the Sacramento River Preservation Trust, Chico Conservation Voters and Friends of Butte Creek have come out against the proposition. So, too, have fishing groups and others worried about the impacts on the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and the state’s fishery.
  • BEC officials note Prop. 1 includes some worthwhile components, such as water conservation and funding for restoring watersheds, but the bond promotes north-to-south water transfers via purchase at a time when existing water rights exceed the actual supply of water by a 5-to-1 ratio. The bond, as BEC points out, does not create more water.
  • Carol Perkins, BEC’s water policy advocate, says the bond doesn’t address the urgent nature of the issue. “We need immediate solutions like recycling and efficiency improvements,” she said, “not borrowing now to purchase water and shift the burden to our children and grandchildren.”
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  • Perkins studied the potential impacts the proposition, including the construction of Sites Reservoir, would have on Northern California groundwater resources.
  • Above-ground storage facilities do not offer much in the way of new water, her study notes, though Sites could increase the existing supply by 1 percent. On the other hand, at least 30 percent of the surface water in the state is known to evaporate or be lost to infiltration back into the ground, which means “groundwater storage will be the ‘wave’ of the future.”
  • She said $520 million would be allocated for organizations to compete for clean-water and waste-water infrastructure projects. “That money would be set aside for competitive grants,” Perkins said, “which means it goes to the savvy, well-funded organizations instead of the smaller communities without county or district water departments.
  • Perkins said the bond also provides hundreds of millions for water conservancies, and that those monies would not be dispersed on a level plane. For instance, she noted the conservancy in L.A. County’s Baldwin Park would receive $10 million for its 2,038 acres of land, which equates to $4,906 per acre. On the other hand, the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, which provides 60 percent of the state’s water supply, would receive $25 million for its 42 million acres, or 59 cents per acre. “Los Angeles is getting a lot of money and so [statewide] environmental organizations like the Audubon Society and the Nature Conservancy are for [Prop. 1] because it means more money for them,” Perkins said. “We’ve had $20 billion set aside in taxes and interest since 2000 and we still have water problems. The money gets put aside, but is not being spent where it needs to be spent.”
    Environmental groups say water proposition is no panacea

Chico News & Review - Editors' picks 2014 - Feature Story - Local Stories - October 16, 2014 - 0 views

  • Best cleansing of the creeks BEC’s Big Chico Creek Cleanup The sheer amount of garbage pulled out of Chico’s waterways during the cleanup on Sept. 20 was mind-boggling (nearly 20 tons!), and we’re thankful an organization like the Butte Environmental Council was around to organize it. We’re also thankful that so many community members (nearly 450!) volunteered to help the cause. The effort has never been more important, because our creeks were more littered with trash than ever before. (This year’s haul almost doubled the previous record.) And trash littering the banks of our creeks is more than gross and unattractive; our refuse floats downstream, harming aquatic habitats in the Sacramento River and eventually the Pacific Ocean. So, cheers to BEC and the volunteers who diverted that stuff to the landfill. The community and its waterways are much better for it.

Chico News & Review - Back in the scrap - News - Local Stories - October 1, 2015 - 0 views

  • It takes more than a good fence to make a good neighbor. That was the sentiment expressed by many who attended a meeting held by Chico Scrap Metal at the Eagles Hall on Friday (Sept. 25). The meeting ostensibly was a pitch for aesthetic improvements proposed by the recycling yard as part of the owners’ latest attempts to stay at the 20th street property it has occupied since 1983. Zoning changes to the area in 2004 prompted a 2006 order from the Chico City Council that the scrap yard move by 2011, and a series of extensions expired at the end of 2014.
  • A group of opponents to Chico Scrap Metal’s continued presence in south Chico, collectively known as Move the Junkyard, met Tuesday morning at Butte Environmental Council’s headquarters to try to make sense of Friday’s meeting and plan strategies moving forward. Several in attendance expressed ongoing concerns about pollution and questioned whether the city can legally overturn zoning laws and the past council’s amortization order. The group thinks there’s only one reasonable outcome, which was best voiced by Chico resident and Democratic National Committee member Bob Mulholland.

A busy Saturday in the park during 29th annual Chico cleanup event - 1 views

  • Hundreds of hands gathered tons of trash Saturday in Chico’s prized parks and along Lindo Channel, Little Chico Creek and Comanche Creek. The 29th annual cleanup is organized by the Butte Environmental Council,
  • During the events, big containers are provided to help haul all the items away, BEC assistant director Becky Holden explained while standing near a row of blue recycling containers, each with a different label of what should go inside.

31st Annual Bidwell Park & Chico Creeks Cleanup | Growing Up Chico Magazine - 0 views

  • Saturday morning, September 15th as the sun comes up, hundreds of community volunteers will gather in the parking lots of Hooker Oak Park and the Annie K Bidwell Parlor. Check-in stations and empty dumpsters will be waiting for volunteers to participate in the largest round up of trash and recyclables in Chico. In small groups, formed in advance or on the spot, volunteers will be supplied with trash bags, pickers, buckets, and coffee before they are sent out to clean every creek in Chico- in just over 3 hours! Hosted by Butte Environmental Council since 1988, this year will be the 31st annual Bidwell Park and Chico Creeks Cleanup.

Here are decorating tips to help you save money and energy this holiday season - 0 views

  • Bryce Goldstein, Butte Environmental Council energy conservation program coordinator, said it’s important to recycle old lights to keep valuable materials out of landfills.
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