Eastside Cafe co-owner Dorsey Barger describes herself as a fanatic when it comes to recycling. She sees to it that her staff recycles or composts everything possible: food trimmings, used cooking oil, plastic containers, boxes, cans, bottles, even used office paper. She knows that convincing her fellow restaurateurs to invest more money in recycling programs is likely to be a tough sell during this recession, but she’s leading by example and willing to share her know-how and contacts with anyone who asks. For example, when Art Alliance Austin realized the incredible popularity of its Art City Austin annual spring weekend art show and sale was causing an increase in the amount of garbage the event generated every year, its solution was to put Barger in charge of the event’s new Green Team. The team came up with the Eastside Cafe Recycling Challenge: Throughout the three-day event, six teams of volunteers from local nonprofits manned water refill and recycling stations for the opportunity to lessen the event’s environmental impact on the city while competing for cash prizes. The volunteer teams collected and sorted all the garbage and kept well over two tons of refuse from being sent to the landfill by the time the three-day party was over. Now that's a role model for fanaticism we can really get behind!
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