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Home / Neighborhood / San Gabriel Valley / Pasadena Independent / Learn How Pasadena Will Be ‘Waste-Free’ by 2040

Learn How Pasadena Will Be ‘Waste-Free’ by 2040

by Pasadena Independent
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Free Film Screening Presents Vision for Zero-Waste City Aug. 13

By Nick Kipley

Race to Zero. - Photo Courtesy Armory Center for the Arts

Race to Zero. – Photo Courtesy Armory Center for the Arts

Pasadena’s Public Works Department has set the long-term goal to make Pasadena a completely waste-free city by the year 2040. The program ambitiously promises to create a sustainable city in which nothing—or nearly nothing—goes to waste by putting focus on composting food and landscaping waste, increased recycling of certain substances (plastics) that current recycling centers cannot handle, and the implementation of hazardous and e-waste (solvents, old paint, dead batteries, mercury-gas-laden-florescent-light-bulbs, etc.) that are oftentimes either inappropriately bundled in with recycling or tossed out with trash. Public Work’s vision for the program—namely the publically available PDF you get when you visit their site—looks a bit like the rolling green hills that Microsoft’s Windows XP operating system used as their default background. That said, California natives might find the ambition of the program a bit lofty—we all know the San Gabriel Mountains are only lush and green for about two weeks each early February (besides, we’re in a drought) also, how could you have a Zero-Waste City? More specifically: what would that even look like?

To answer any skeptical citizens and journalists, and to raise awareness of the Public Works Department’s current and future plan for environmental sustainability, the cleverly titled group ‘Contentious Projector’ (a branch of the Peace and Justice Ministries at All Saint’s Church) will be hosting a free screening of the documentary Racing to Zero: In Search of Zero Waste at the Armory Center For The Arts in Downtown Pasadena on Thursday, Aug. 13th.

For those unfamiliar with them, Contentious Projector’s vision for the future of democratic society is one that values the creation of a responsible economy; the advocacy for low-income workers in L.A. County; the proliferation of organic, Fair-Trade certified, and union-made products; and a democracy that stands in solidarity with “the global movement for an economy that is healthy, caring, and focused on future generations” while attempting to curtail or dismantle the sorts of “free” trade agreements that powers much of the unneeded plastic waste we contend with on a daily basis.

The film promises an in-depth exploration of issues facing cities today in respect to how waste is treated, and seeks to inform the general public of the policies and programs currently in place to make San Francisco, CA, the first large “waste-free” city in the U.S. by 2020.

Following the film will be a community discussion facilitated—no doubt—in order to dissuade any stubborn newspaper reporters in the audience that the horrible little animated paperclip Windows XP’s version of MS Word doesn’t count as “E-Waste,” nor is he—the paperclip—really the issue here, nor does it matter that his—again, the paperclip’s—grasp of how to use a semicolon is “foggy and amateurish at best.”

According to Old Pasadena’s official website, the screening will begin at 7 p.m. at 145 N. Raymond Avenue. No word as to if snacks will be available, but if you do feel like eating during the film and want to bring something from home, the Independent suggests you wrap your sandwiches (or whatever) in brown paper bags, as doing otherwise might be a case of inadvertently leading a polyethylene elephant into a markedly elephant-free forum.

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