United Way leadership program to host 'No Trash Bash'

Event is last project in five-month program to bring together community leaders

Posted: Sunday, June 07, 2009

The 2009 Leadership Juneau graduates are out to change the city, starting with the way we do potlucks.

The group, sponsored by United Way of Southeast Alaska, will host a "No Trash Bash" potluck from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center. Attendees bring their own dishes, cutlery, napkins and a side dish.

The purpose of the potluck is "to highlight the importance of reducing trash generated by Juneau residents and show that it is possible to have a community meal without using disposable products," according to a Leadership Juneau press release.

The bash will feature the local Glory Hole Mission Band and speeches by Leadership Juneau participants and Mayor Bruce Botelho. There will also be a 50th statehood anniversary cake by Capital City Celebrations.

The members of Leadership Juneau decided to do a trash-less potluck after meeting with the Waste Management's local manager, Eric Vance.

"We here in Juneau have a very unique relationship to our dump and the geographical constraints in dealing with the garbage," said Nate Heck, a Leadership Juneau graduate. "If we manage our garbage in a responsible way and pre-sort items that can be recycled and reused or composted, we can extend the life of our dump by as much as 20 years."

Leadership Juneau, which started in January 2008, invites organizations interested in sustainability to set up booths and needs volunteers for set up and clean up.

Program Director Scott Ciambor explained that the idea behind Leadership Juneau was to bring "together community leaders from all walks of life: nonprofits, business community, government, to get some more leadership training and to experience the community in a more in depth fashion than perhaps they get solely through their jobs."

The program runs from January to June, and this year's class has six graduates: Cachet Garrett, Christa Shier, Gail Tharpe-Lucero, Katie Spielberger, Katy Jordan and Nate Heck.

During their five months in the program, students attended a Chamber of Commerce and a Rotary Club lunch, met with Rep. Cathy Muñoz and Eric Vance at the landfill and even had a ride-a-long with the Juneau Police Department.

The potluck is their Community Impact Project, the program's final step.



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