Rural Action Director Talks About Zero Waste

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When you get invited to the Clinton Global Initiative, you know you're doing something right.

The Clinton Global Initiative – founded by President Bill Clinton – "convenes global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world's most pressing challenges."

Michele Decker attended the annual event last month in New York City.

Decker is the Executive Director of Rural Action of Trimble and she was asked to share information about the  "Appalachian Ohio Zero Waste Initiative".

"We were recognized, along with seven or eight other global initiatives that are looking at local solutions to environmental problems," she says.

The Appalachian Ohio Zero Waste Initiative is a project that will focus "on eliminating waste in all forms by reducing, reusing and recycling materials."

"It's engaging businesses and haulers to think differently about how we produce materials, not put them in the waste stream," Decker says. "But if we have to, what are we going to do with them, and do we have an opportunity to create jobs and businesses with them."

By looking at the materials as resources, the Zero Waste Initiative, "can dramatically improve the local economy and help businesses and families save money on expenses that would otherwise be used to bury these resources".

"You can look at tires, you can look at wood, you can look at glass, you can look at cans, you can look at plastic," she says.  "People are looking at creative ways to reprocess those materials."

She says, "Our research is going to show us some of those directions."

Decker says the Clinton Global Initative audience provided positive feedback to the Rural Action project, which is also supported by Ohio University.