Several McPherson Area Solid Waste Utility (MASWU) board members shared their experiences from the 2008 Wastecon conference and exhibition in Tampa,Fla., during the board’s regular meeting Tuesday. 
Bob Carlson, MASWU board chairman, shared information he gained from the conference.
Carlson said he was enthusiastic about the some of public education ideas to help children in the community learn the importance of composting and recycling, as well as how to implement waste diversion on a consumer level.
Carlson highlighted The Earth Machine, a waste diversion product to divert organics from the waste stream, on a consumer level.
Carlson said The Earth Machine, along with the Kitchen Collector, is something residents could use, as well as schools and business with kitchen facilities.
According to Norseman Plastics Environmental Divsion — the maker of The Earth Machine and Kitchen Collector — a resident who composts can divert approximately 650 pounds of organic matter per year from the solid waste stream.
Carlson noted that the machine is something the board might want to consider for purchase.
No action was taken on the topic.
Carlson also spoke to the board about Roberta Fernandez, president and founder of Planet Partnership, who gave the keynote presentation at the Wastecon conference.
In an effort to further public education in the McPherson area, Carlson spoke with Fernandez about coming to McPherson to speak at the schools.
Fernandez was personally trained by Al Gore to present his “acclaimed climate change message to the public.” Her message to individuals and organizations is “we are all in this together, every action that is positive and measurable is meaningful.”
Carlson told the board he would continue working with Fernandez to establish a time for her to travel to McPherson.
In other business:
•Landfill expansion project — The hydrogeological report was approved by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE). A public meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Nov. 17 at Greer Auditorium, Central Christian College.
•MASWU Green Team — A second Green Team meeting was held and included discussions on changes and plans to divert more materials from the waste stream. The Green Team plans to use its vermicomposting bin for food and paper waste. Vermicomposting is composting using earth worms.
Green Team is comprised of MASWU staff members. It’s goal is to divert waste created MASWU staff from the city’s water supply.
•A roll-off container for construction and demolition waste is now available for MASWU customers. The wood debris will be put through the shredder and added to the compost pile.
The next meeting will be at 5 p.m. Nov. 11 at the MASWU Transfer Station.