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RE: [greenyes] Sierra Club recycling link to Earth 911

Ann and other Recyclers,

Below is a series of emails - the dialogue I have been having with Sierra
Club. I think it would be great if the Sierra Club hears from other
recyclers about Earth 911. My experience is that their database is
incorrect, the methods for correcting information are ineffective and Earth
911 expects the "Users" to make it work.

Susan Hubbard
Eureka Recycling

My first response to seeing the Sierra Club newsletter:

Hello Recycling Advocates,
I was happy to see Sierra Club talking and promoting recycling but was
sadly disappointed when I followed the links to incorrect information about
recycling in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Earth 911 has been widely criticized
for incorrect recycling information and myself, like thousands of other
recycling coordinators across the country spend too much of our time trying
to correct information from folks like Earth 911 who are just trying to do
their best but can't keep up with the millions of pieces of information
that are necessary to do this right.

Ron, I hope that you will resend an email to your local Sierra Club members
and let them know that the info on the links are incorrect - at least for
Saint Paul. I haven't had time to check the other cities. Our nonprofit
organization answers over 50,000 calls a year from residents all over the
twin cities metro area about recycling and waste reduction. We have a staff
that does regular updating of the information that we provide to residents.
It is best to refer them to the local source rather than a national
clearing house where the information is incorrect and impossible to keep
updated. I hope you pass this on to other Sierra Club groups.

Thanks for thinking about recycling,

Susan Hubbard
Eureka Recycling
2828 Kennedy St., NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413


Susan -- Thanks for getting in touch with us about the Earth 911 results in
Zoomer. First I want to explain something, then I want to apologize, and
then I want to make a request.

1. Just so we're clear, the Zoomer tool links to third-party websites, so
we're not in control of what is posted on those sites. I believe you
understand this as your criticism is aimed at Earth 911 for not maintaining
current and useful information on its website. Sometimes I get emails from
people suggesting that we add a certain recycling location to the list, for
example, because they don't understand that we don't control the content. I
think you're clear about the difference.
2. I apologize that Zoomer is imperfect because it relies on the info
distributed by third-party websites. If you know of a different recycling
website that's zip-code based and better than Earth 911, then let me know
and we'll investigate using it!
3. My request is that you help make Zoomer more effective (in spite of the
weaknesses of third-party websites that it sends users to) by using the
"comment" feature. This is *exactly* why we added this feature, and you'll
see that two people have already made use of it if you "view comments." We
figured that people would know more specific info, such as, "The guy at the
recycling center at Fifth and Main doesn't really show up at 10, even though
that's the posted opening. He usually rolls in around noon, so wait until
then before you deliver your recyclables." If you post the info you've
provided below, it will make the Zoomer experience a lot more meaningful for
people. We can't visit the zip code for each of the websites that Zoomer
sends folks to, so we depend on the users to contribute and make it a
community of sorts.

I'd suggest that you or Ron post a comment telling folks that for the most
up-do-date recycling info in the Twin Cities can be found by calling xxxx,
or by visiting xxx website.

Does that make sense?

Jenny Coyle
Local Affairs Editor
Sierra Club Web Team
(415) 977-5533


I understand that Zoomer is linked to third party information but I think
Sierra Club's reputation is at stake here. Many recyclers (many, many
recyclers from all across the country) are very disappointed in Earth 911's
database. There is a national listserve (of recyclers) that just started
discussing serious concerns with this latest Earth 911 hit via Sierra Club's
newsletter. I think you will be hearing directly from many other recyclers
soon. It is awesome that Sierra Club wants to promote recycling - Sierra
Club can effectively help people with recycling without directing them to
Earth 911 and any bad information that is there.

2. There isn't a database that effectively lists every communities recycling
program information because that information can change daily and those
folks are busy updating their own information and keeping their own sources
reliable. Recycling is the living instance of THINK GLOBALLY - ACT LOCALLY.
A national database that is one size fits all is just an idea that sounds
good but doesn't work. If Sierra Club wants to help promote recycling -
there are many other effective ways to do it.

3. My organization and the 9000 plus other curbside programs and several
thousand drop off recycling programs don't have the time and resources to
make Earth 911's database correct/effective. Depending on the "users" to
make it effective is placing an unfair burden on the "users" and the folks
that lead recycling on a local level and it does not assure any reliable
information will result.

That said, we'd be happy to talk about how Sierra Club can help promote

Susan Hubbard
Eureka Recycling
2828 Kennedy St., NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413


Waste is Preventable Not Inevitable

-----Original Message-----
From: Jenny.Coyle@no.address [mailto:Jenny.Coyle@no.address]
Sent: Monday, January 10, 2005 5:48 PM
To: Susan Hubbard
Cc: 'Dianna Kennedy'; RONALD.WILLIAMS@no.address; webmaster@no.address;
Subject: Re: incorect information

"Susan Hubbard"
<susanh@no.address> To
01/10/2005 02:51 <webmaster@no.address>,
"'Dianna Kennedy'"
incorect information

Waste is Preventable Not Inevitable

-----Original Message-----
From: Ann Schneider [mailto:schneiderann@no.address]
Sent: Tuesday, January 11, 2005 2:55 PM
To: crra_members@no.address; greenyes@no.address
Subject: [greenyes] Sierra Club recycling link to Earth 911

Hi CRRA and GRRNers:

Sierra Club national sends out a weekly enewsletter. Today's enews talks
about finding recycling information by zip code. When I followed the
link, it brought me to Earth 911. Here is the link.

Since I am now off the CRRA Board I have been putting more time into my
local Sierra Club chapter, Loma Prieta's conservation committee as the
Recycling, soon to be Zero Waste Chair. I will be pushing National
Sierra Club's Solid Waste Committee to adopt Zero Waste.

How does this fit with this Zoomer link, sorry to say I am not sure. I
know some CRRA members are not too pleased with Earth911. And I am a bit
concerned that the Sierra Club took a short cut on educating our members
and visitors to the website by referring people to Earth911 while
providing no Sierra Club overview before it happens. But that is another
battle and will take quite some time to resolve.

At any rate, those of you who work on publice education may want to take
a visit to the website and the regular Sierra Club website and then
direct comments to Sierra Club National. or


Ann Schneider

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