Paul's Note - January 17th, 2020

One of the frustrations with our plastic containers is that, for the most part, can’t be used over again. We use a lot of natural resources (namely oil) not to actually make a product but to make something that a product is stored in. We then toss that container away and it ends up in a landfill.

And that brings us to plastic pill bottles. Most of us have a prescription to something, and when we are done, we throw the bottles away. The thing is, those bottles are, unlike plastic bags and plastic water bottles, quite durable and can be used many times over.

The type of plastic used in these bottles is recyclable, however, our Environmental Services Department would prefer that they are not disposed of as part of your curbside recycling. Because of the way the recycling processing and sorting size works, smaller objects often don’t make it through. The guideline I’ve been given is that they’d prefer objects larger than your fist.

Maybe not recyclable, but they are definitely reuseable. I’ve seen people use them for hobbies, storing everything from nails to buttons to dice in them. If you haven’t found another use, however, my staff will take them here at the office. Just make sure that the bottles are clean, empty and free from identifying stickers.

Environmental Services has been encouraging people to donate them to the Pima Animal Care Center. PACC is located on Silverbell Road, which is quite a drive for us here in Ward 2. My staff and I want to make it convenient for Ward 2 residents to donate so we are making that opportunity available.

PACC can use the bottles to store medicine for cats and dogs in their care. Not only will this help our environment with less trash to deal with, but will help PACC (funded by your taxes) to save on expenses.

Keep in mind, we are collecting empty bottles. If you have medicine from an old prescription that you would like to dispose of, you can take it to any police station. The two closest to most Ward 2 residents are the Eastside-Rincon Substation (9670 E. Golf Links) and Midtown Substation (1100 S. Alvernon Way). My staff will not collect medicine for disposal.

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Monday will be the day that we remember the life of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. I’ve been honored in my life to know a few people who either worked with Dr. King or in his movement. I’m continually inspired by one of his favorite Bible verses, which is from the Book of Amos:

Let justice roll down like water and righteousness like a never ending stream.

As we have for a few decades now, even before it was a legal holiday in our state, Tucson will be honoring Dr. King’s birthday with an annual march on Monday. All members of the public are invited to the march, which starts near South Campbell Avenue (on the recently named Martin Luther King Boulevard) at 8 am and ends with a public festival at Reid Park that will run until 3 pm.

There are also service opportunities. One is being hosted by Ben’s Bells: Their studio at Main Gate Square, 816 E. University Blvd., is open on Monday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for drop in volunteering where you can help make and paint kindness coins or the kindness organization's signature bells.