Steve Alderman, a native to Athens County, has quietly been making strides towards zero waste in Glouster. His desire to promote zero waste in his home and community stems from his intrinsic desire to “do the right thing”.
“I have been doing it for so long; it is just the right thing to do. The future of the planet is critical and I am just trying to do my part,” said Alderman of his recycling and composting efforts.
Alderman was born and raised in Athens. He graduated from Ohio University in 1970 and now resides in Glouster. We discovered Alderman at an Appalachia Ohio Zero Waste Initiative (AOZWI) community meeting in Trimble, Ohio. The meeting was a collaborative effort of Rural Action and the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs at Ohio University. The meeting aimed to find out what recycling and waste needs residents believe need to be addressed in their communities.
“I have been wanting to get involved with Rural Action… and when I heard about this I just decided to go!” said Alderman about his attendance at the meeting. “I try to learn something new every day… It was nice to talk and to get involved with people who are interested in the same issues”.
Alderman was an energetic and spirited participant who had great ideas to contribute to the discussion. An idea, among many he shared, was that recyclers should benefit from their efforts through significantly decreased trash bills.
Both in and out of his home, Alderman finds way to eliminate waste from going to a landfill by using the recycling roll-off provided by the Athens Hocking Solid Waste District (AHSWD). The recycling roll-off container was secured through a grant written by AOZWI on behalf of the AHSWD.
For example, when Alderman takes household items to the recycling roll-off, he stops at a local gas station and the Family Dollar to pick up cardboard and other recyclables to take to the recycling trailer.
“Some people have called me a dumpster diver, but that is something that I am proud of. I will probably do it for the rest of the weekend, just to make sure enough stuff gets recycled instead of going to a landfill”.
In his home, Alderman has virtually no trash. He claims that his secret to zero waste in the home is separating all items right away, into separate containers. He also composts because he wants to make his own soil amendment, with no chemicals, for his personal garden.
Alderman describes his efforts towards a zero waste lifestyle as simple, easy, and important. When given praise for his fantastic efforts, Alderman simply states “I am not doing anything outstanding or out of the ordinary. Everyone should do it. It’s the right thing to do”.
-By Kathryn Warren
To find out more about the AOZWI community meetings, dates, and locations please visit Rural Action’s Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/ruralaction?sk=events. AOZWI is building a community of people who are doing fantastic zero waste work in Appalachia Ohio. If you know of a person we should interview, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.