Editor’s note: Last week we printed an incomplete version of the following letter. This week we’re printing it (hopefully) in full.

During Plastic Free July, members of “Go Plastic Free,” a local nonprofit working to minimize the impact of plastic on our lives, were invited to serve as “Bin Ambassadors” at Farmers Market. By standing near the trash collection bins and talking with residents trying to decide whether to put their trash in recycling, or compost, or landfill, we learned a lot.

Here is some of what we learned:

The most inspiring data: About 99% of the people we talked to were trying to make the right decision. Packaging materials for food products is a complex and rapidly changing technology. Even if you’re a chemical engineer, it can be really tricky to understand what makes an item compostable, or recyclable.

The donut team at Pilgrim Church has worked very hard to find compostable containers for donuts and coffee: Unfortunately, there are still a few items that are not compostable.

Bringing compostable items to the market: It was exciting to learn that some residents who don’t have composting available at their residence wrap up their food waste in newspaper and bring it to the compost bins at Farmers Market.

Bin Ambassadors are still needed for August, September, and October. If you are interested in volunteering, you can email directly to the village at: farmersmarket@oak-park.us

Go Plastic Free was thrilled to have this opportunity to contribute to our community, and we want to encourage everyone to continue to make careful decisions each time you put something into a trash bin.

The Bin Ambassadors from Go Plastic Free

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