At Blessed Tomorrow, we emphasis the importance of faith leaders, leading by example; and 74 year-old Deanna Spatz, coordinator of Beyond the Bin, is a shining example of such efforts. With the assistance of St. Anthony Parish, Spatz has instituted a recycling program that focuses on repurposing materials that would normally find their way into the landfill. According to the National Catholic Reporter's article, Cincinnati Parish Program Gives Trash Second Life, when the city of Cincinnati announced that the local landfill could only sustain 11 more years of rubbish, Spatz rolled up her sleeves and began sorting through the communities trash, looking for answers.
In her initial sifting, she discovered that trash destined for the overflowing landfill consisted of nearly 42 percent paper, 15 percent plastics and another 15 percent compostable food waste. Instead of simply recycling the materials, she began reaching out to other organization that might repurpose the materials in a more immediate and efficient method.
She quickly discovered that prescription and vitamin bottle pull tabs could go to the Ronald McDonald House, and corks from old bottles could be used by Whole Foods. As a result, St. Anthony Parish supplied a 96-gallon bin for repurposed items, which the retired social worker sorts through every three weeks by herself.
According to the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Spatz efforts could reduce the rector's greenhouse gas emissions by 37 percent!
For ways to start your join recycling program, visit Blessed Tomorrow.
For 22 months now, people have been bringing their trash to church at St. Anthony Parish in Cincinnati’s Madisonville neighborhood. The at-first odd practice isn’t due to overflow in their own bins, but rather meant as a way to give certain items a second life beyond the garbage dump.
Old toothbrushes. Empty lipstick tubes. Batteries. Kitty litter buckets. Beverage can pull tabs. Corks. Prescription bottles. Plastic salad containers and planting pots. Those items and more have found salvation through St. Anthony’s Beyond the Bin program.
Deanna Spatz, coordinator of Beyond the Bin, initiated the recycling program in 2013 through the parish’s four-member creation care team after discovering that more than 50 percent of all trash can have useful life beyond the landfill. As far as she knows, St. Anthony is the only area parish with such a ministry.