9/20/2012 10:04:00 AM Got a waste-related dilemma? GreenCorps is on its way
by DENISE MARTIN
Area schools will benefit from a new program offered through the state Pollution Control Agency, modeled after the VISTA volunteers. The five-county East Central Solid Waste Commission region will have a GreenCorps intern on duty this year. The intern will have a background in institutional waste, recycling and will be available to advise schools in taking a fresh look at preventing waste and re-using materials, at no cost to the schools. The East Central Solid Waste Commission won the state grant and acts as “host site.” Chisago county’s Household Hazardous Waste Facility provides the office space and supervision for the intern as a secondary host site. The intern is paid a stipend and benefits through the MNPCA, which is also responsible for doing the hiring. Lisa Thibodeau, Chisago County’s Solid Waste Coordinator, will also act as the intern’s regional contact and supervisor. Information from the state PCA describes GreenCorps as designed to help organizations reduce waste and promote compost and recycling efforts. The intern will complete 1,700 hours of service. Some of the tasks include helping to form green teams and to serve as a resource for teachers who want to incorporate reduce, re-use and recycling messages and activities into curriculum. Thibodeau said so far the Chisago Lakes Schools facilities manager has expressed interest in the program. The GreenCorps intern can work with any school in all five counties. The goal is to increase the capture of reuseable materials, improve waste prevention practices and mobilize volunteers when possible.