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Final Report MDEP 221
Final Report MDEP 221
Final Report MDEP 221
Final Report MDEP 221
Final Report MDEP 221
Final Report MDEP 221
Final Report MDEP 221
Final Report MDEP 221
Final Report MDEP 221
Final Report MDEP 221
Final Report MDEP 221
Final Report MDEP 221
Final Report MDEP 221
Final Report MDEP 221
Final Report MDEP 221
Final Report MDEP 221
Final Report MDEP 221
Final Report MDEP 221
Final Report MDEP 221
Final Report MDEP 221
Final Report MDEP 221
Final Report MDEP 221
Final Report MDEP 221
Final Report MDEP 221
Final Report MDEP 221
Final Report MDEP 221
Final Report MDEP 221
Final Report MDEP 221
Final Report MDEP 221
Final Report MDEP 221
Final Report MDEP 221
Final Report MDEP 221
Final Report MDEP 221
Final Report MDEP 221
Final Report MDEP 221
Final Report MDEP 221
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Final Report MDEP 221

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  • 1.         Analytic Report SOCY 234 / MDEP 221 – Winter 2009 Professors R. Day & C. Baillie Technology Action Group (TAG) & Queen’s Recycling Group (QRG) Marianne Bulger, Kevin Burman, Samantha Coutu, Emilie Hamel, Lyn-Marie Sealy & Jason Sharp March 30th, 2009
  • 2.             EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The Queen’s Recycling Group is a team of six Queen’s University students working with the Technology Action Group and the Kingston, Ontario 80 Daly Community to implement a recycling program and create recycling awareness. The group was formed through the interdisciplinary course MDEP221/SOCY234 where engineering students and students from social sciences faculties learn together about social justice and the human technological footprint. The students that comprise QRG are motivated by both the need for a greener world and the desire to work within the Kingston community. This project involved many key players, some of who are Dr. Baillie, Dr. Chris Beeman both active members of the Technology Action Group, Mr. Derek Ochej from the City of Kingston, and Ms. Brigid Steel the Vice Principal of Rideau Heights. Various initiatives were set up for the community such as a Recycling Day & Swap Meet, the creation signage to deter illegal dumping of waste from other Kingston residents and an in school presentation for the children at the Rideau Heights school. One of the major successes of this project was our ability to engage with the community. Throughout this initiative, the concerns of 80 Daly were our top priority. Understanding the value of situation and the obtaining of knowledge, through constant communication with the community, we were able to work together to build solutions that benefitted everyone involved. The Queen’s Recycling Group was extremely excited about the enthusiastic participation from various member of the 80 Daly Community. II | P a g e    
  • 3.   TABLE OF CONTENTS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY .................................................................................................................... II  TABLE OF FIGURES ........................................................................................................................... 2  1.0  INTRODUCTION ........................................................................................................................ 3  2.0  DISCUSSION ............................................................................................................................... 5  80 Daly Community .................................................................................................................. 5  2.1  Key Players Outside the Community ........................................................................................ 6  2.2  2.3  Community Interaction ............................................................................................................. 9  3.0  APPROACH ............................................................................................................................... 11  3.1  Dumping by Outsiders ............................................................................................................ 11  3.2  School Presentation Project .................................................................................................... 12  3.3  Community Swap Meet .......................................................................................................... 13  Why would this be beneficial? ........................................................................................ 13  3.3.1  3.3.2  Getting Community Input ............................................................................................... 14  3.3.3  Logistics .......................................................................................................................... 14  3.4  Recycling Fair ......................................................................................................................... 15  Ethical Issues and Concerns ............................................................................................ 16  3.4.1  4.0  THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK .............................................................................................. 18  5.0  ETHICS  ...................................................................................................................................... 20  . 6.0  CONCLUSION ........................................................................................................................... 22  7.0  WORKS CITED ......................................................................................................................... 23  8.0  APPENDICES ............................................................................................................................ 24  APPENDIX 1.0 – INVOLVEMENT MAP ........................................................................................... 24  APPENDIX 2.0- SCHOOL PRESENTATION ..................................................................................... 25  APPENDIX 3.0 – PHOTO OF ACCUMULATED FURNITURE ....................................................... 25  APPENDIX 4.0 – SWAP MEET FLYER ............................................................................................. 26  APPENDIX 5.0 – RECYCLING FLYER ............................................................................................. 28  APPENDIX 6.0 – COLOURING PAGES FOR CHILDREN ............................................................... 29  1 | P a g e    
  • 4.   TABLE OF FIGURES Figure 1 - Involvement Map ................................................................................................................. 24  Figure 2 - School Presentation ................................................................ Error! Bookmark not defined.  Figure 3 - Furniture left by former tenants ........................................................................................... 26  Figure 4 - Swap Meet Flyer handed out to all residents of 80 Daly ..................................................... 27  Figure 5 - Blue/Grey Box Guide  ......................................................................................................... 28  Figure 6 - Six of the twelve recycling colouring pages ........................................................................ 29  2 | P a g e    
  • 5.   1.0 INTRODUCTION For this project, the team, Queen’s Recycling Group (QRG), worked with the Technology Action Group (TAG), and the community of Kingston residents located at 80 Daly Street, situated in the city’s North end. This community represents a small population of economically marginalized individuals who also suffer from an over-representation of crime, particularly by teenagers in and around the community. Currently, the community does not participate in any recycling programs and the Kingston Area Recycling Committee (KARC) does not include them within their scheduled pick-up zone. This has therefore resulted in all of the community’s waste, including recyclable materials, being disposed of in landfills. Due to the large volumes of waste collected at 80 Daly, the City of Kingston spends a lot of money towards the disposal of this waste (TAG, 2009). The aim of this project was to successfully develop a technology or recycling system that would effectively reduce the waste being transported to the landfills and would equally benefit the 80 Daly Community. In hopes of eliciting maximum commitment to the 80 Daly Project, the City of Kingston, in association with KARC, agreed to donate finances equivalent to the sum saved from the reduction in costs from currently disposed waste. The finances would be used to construct a children’s playground in the center of the housing complex. This was requested by the parents of the community, as it would help to provide safety in the form of constant supervision for the children (TAG, 2009). Although the project had much electronic correspondence with KARC and the City of Kingston, most of the techniques utilized were by hands on, face-to-face interactions with the community and surrounding areas (school, community center, etc). It was essential that interaction with the community was frequent and informal, as it lessened the perceived socio- economic difference, and potentially exploitative power imbalances associated with Queen’s University, and the City. It was paramount that the needs of the community were communicated to be the most important factor of this project, closely followed by the reduction of waste and the associated costs. 3 | P a g e    
  • 6.   Working along with TAG, QRG was able to develop various contacts which are outlined in Section 2.3. Along with the City of Kingston, QRG organized a Recycling Fair and Swap Meet. This fair introduced recycling initiatives to the community, distributed bins to every household, and gave the community members an opportunity to bring unwanted lightly used articles to swap between the neighbors. Furthermore, QRG has planned an educational recycling day at Rideau Heights Public School. It is here that many of the community’s children currently attend classes as it is located down the street from the housing complex. The recycling day will allow QRG to inform the children about environmentally friendly alternatives to waste disposal. The team hopes that it will aid in the success of the project by maximizing the messages received at any level. Lastly, as QRG and TAG moved forward with this project with the assistance of KARC and the City of Kingston, it was paramount that project members and individuals of the community became aware of the social responsibility each of us has to our homes and environment. Our principle objective was to allow 80 Daly to gain control over the technology in their community and use waste-reduction techniques to receive the play structure. This report will outline the plans that have or will be implemented by QRG. 4 | P a g e    
  • 7.   2.0 DISCUSSION 2.1 80 Daly Community QRG worked with individuals from 80 Daly to develop a more sustainable community while incorporating their needs and goals. Our initiative utilized participatory-action research. This research method was extremely useful for the 80 Daly project as it helped to work towards change within the community, while ensuring that the recycling project reflected the desires of the community. Collaborative methods incorporate direct participation and action from the community and employ principals of bottom-up planning. As we maintained a potentially exploitative relationship with the community, this method helped to guarantee that any changes implemented through the project were mutually beneficial to the community of 80 Daly, the City of Kingston, and all other invested parties. What was particularly successful about this approach was that, combined with our use of feminist standpoint epistemology, we avoided the conventional extraction methods of study, where researchers enter a community as “experts” and simply observe the local people. Rather this project was done by local individuals for local individuals. Our project involved a variety of small initiatives which attempted to address a plurality of community concerns. Due to the constraints of the 4 month term, many of the projects are still in progress. Nonetheless, we have collectively made significant developments which have helped the community move towards their goal of achieving a play structure. Many members of QRG are graduating this year, and unfortunately may not be able to be in direct contact with the community after the term. However, as our project has been done in partnership with TAG, they are able to carry on, and further develop our plans to ensure that the community is able to succeed at achieving their final goal. Furthermore, several members of the community have emerged as strong representatives. These individuals are committed to the goals of the project and will be useful in ensuring that the project continues to prosper after individuals from Queen’s leave the community. 5 | P a g e    
  • 8.   One initiative in particular that requires further attention is the issue of dumping by individuals from outside 80 Daly. During our most recent site visit, we were able to observe, first hand, other Kingston residents leaving approximately 10 garbage bags at the dumping site of 80 Daly. This issue has significant consequences which are preventing the community from accomplishing their target goal. Our team has contacted the housing committee and expressed our suggestion to post a sign warning perpetrators that they are being monitored. QRG has encouraged TAG follow up with Scott Vanderschoor of the housing corporation, to see that this objective is accomplished. Furthermore, QRG strongly recommends that this issue continue to be monitored, and additional actions be taken if the problem is not rectified. The average cost of a play structure in Ontario is approximately $8000, and the community needs to reduce their waste by $4000 in order to receive the structure. Therefore, it may take a few years before the community is able to fully reach their goal. Consequently it is important that representatives from TAG continue to communicate the members of the 80 Daly Community, so that all parties remain committed to the project and the practice. Unlike many other initiatives, the members of the community will be able to directly observe some of the progress made by the increased presence of recycling in the community. The use of bar graphs and flyers indicating changes the amount of money earned towards the play structure across time is a useful method to help the community visualize progress. It is essential that 80 Daly is aware of the outcomes of this initiative, as it will have direct implications for the lived-experiences of the community. The team set up various initiatives over the course of the semester, which are discussed later in the report. The team believes that these would contribute to the overall success of the project. These initiative included the implementation of signage to deter illegal dumping from outsiders, a Recycling Day & Swap Meet in the community and an in-school presentation at the Rideau Heights Elementary School. All of these initiatives would not have been possible without the help of some key players which are outlined in Section 2.2. 2.2 Key Players Outside of the Community The TAG project was initiated by various members of Queen’s University and the Kingston community prior to the formation of the QRG group in January 2009. Many 6 | P a g e    
  • 9.   connections had been developed between the TAG team and organizations involved in recycling, waste management, and housing. From the beginning of the project, the group was told about various companies and organizations that were interested in the 80 Daly Project. These companies are outlined in Appendix 1.0. Prior to QRG entering the community, the members of 80 Daly expressed that other organizations did not allow them a voice in the activities and policies that would have a direct effect on their living experiences. Rather than allowing the community to articulate their issues and concerns, many of the other parties simply took a top-down approach, and have failed to address the needs of 80 Daly. One of principal objectives of QRG has been to ensure that the needs of the community were our first priority. Our participatory action project allowed the community to actively voice their ideas of what is, and is not, most beneficial to them. Local- based community planning also lends itself to community empowerment. The integration of resident’s opinions builds individual’s confidence, capabilities, skills and ability to co-operate. Not only does this enable the community to successfully deal with other issues, but it also helps to develop a sustainable community. We hope to allow this project to illustrate to individuals and organizations that have failed to include local opinion in the decision making process that the success of most community based initiatives depends on its ability to continue to serve the needs of the community across time. Once City officials and other organizations leave the region, a successful community will be able to continue to work and grow self-sufficiently. Individuals are more likely to development a commitment to an environment they that they helped to create. Through empowering the local people, and creating a program that meets the needs of the population, individuals will better manage and preserve the space. QRG has made contact with a number of these parties working in/with the 80 Daly Program. Below is a list of individuals who were actively involved in the project. • Dr. Caroline Baillie, the course coordinator and active member of TAG was contacted first in order to determine the scope of the project and to access contacts that would be useful for the development of the project. • Dr. Chris Beeman also an active member of TAG helped the team to successfully carry out site visits to the 80 Daly Community, to meet and discuss the situation with members of the community and to provide the team with useful information for the project. 7 | P a g e    
  • 10.   • The Kingston Frontenac Housing Corporation (KFHC) is the manager of 1,500 rent- geared-to-income and rent-supplemented housing units in the City of Kingston and Frontenac County in Ontario Canada. As shown in Figure 1, the main contact from this corporation was Mr. Vanderschoor. He was contacted to discuss the possibility of implementing a sign near the garbage bin to deter the illegal dumping problem that the community is currently facing. • Mr. Derek Ochej is the Public Education & Promotion Coordinator of the Solid Waste Division at the City of Kingston. His job is to coordinate and deliver educational programs and events to children and adults of all ages regarding to importance of recycling. With regards to the 80 Daly Community, Mr. Ochej is our main contact to KARC and has facilitated the ease of pickup of blue and grey bins for the program. He is also helping with the school presentation and with the Swap Meet and Recycling Day for the community, by supplying the team with resources. • The Kingston Community Health Centre (KCHC) is an organization that cares for individuals and families and responds to community concerns to improve individual health and to build healthy communities. Marijana Matovic was the main contact person for this organization. Advice was sought out from this individual in terms of how to approach the community and measures that should be taken in order to have success in the groups endeavors. • Vice Principal Brigid Steel is assisting us in the coordination of the elementary school presentation. She has helped us to determine which age group is most appropriate. Furthermore, she has informed us which size of group works best. We have decided to present to two groups. This will allow us to customize the presentation and make the material and style of presentation appropriate for the group. • Ms. Lisa Evans, the marketing coordinator from Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association (ONPHA), sought out the help of QRG to develop a newsletter for distribution to housing providers as part of the organizations “Going Green” initiatives. 8 | P a g e    
  • 11.   2.3 Community Interaction As the community’s involvement is a crucial aspect to the success of this project, the members of QRG deemed it a priority to visit the 80 Daly Community. The group hoped to be able to speak with residents, to gain their feedback on potential problems they recognized in the way both recycling and garbage disposal is being handled in their area. As earlier discussed, the success of community projects depends on the involvement of all members of the community. When individuals are involved in shaping their local surroundings, the character of the community better reflects the needs and interests of the various populations residing in it. There are several advantages to community building initiatives that incorporate local opinion. Local municipalities rarely have sufficient recourse to address all the problems of a particular community. Enthusiastic involvement from the community has increase the pool of resources available to concentrate on a greater variety of community needs. For example, many of the residents of 80 Daly have expressed interest in participating in the waste-reduction initative. By working with these individuals, they are likely to be more able to mobilize their neighbours than QRG or TAG, as they some form of social bond based on spatial relation that our team is unable to achieve with the community An additional strength of inclusive local-based community projects is related to authority of decision making. The individuals living in a community may be more adequately qualified to speak to the issue of a particular area than an “expert” outsider. Local residents, particularly those residing in a region for extended periods of time, can be considered the best source of knowledge. If the local wisdom about the community is utilized, better making can occur. Additionally, the UK Centre for Community Planning asserts that this can result in better use of the resources. Local involvements allows for proposed ideas to be negotiated and refined before they are adopted, guaranteeing a greater potential for success than other top-down initiatives. Furthermore, it is often the most time efficient way to proceed with development. By developing an understanding of the opinions prior to developing a community plan, conflicts that consume time and delay development can be largely avoided. It is important, however, to recognize the potential conflicting conceptualizations that competing populations have. It is essential to include a variety of perspectives, in the process of 9 | P a g e    
  • 12.   community planning. It is imperative to have a sense of democratic credibility. This implies that every member has equal opportunity to participate and voice their opinions in the decisions that will affect their lived experiences. Initial site visits of 80 Daly were our first form of contact with the community. They were performed in two groups of three students, accompanied by our contact and TAG member Dr. Chris Beeman. The group had decided to break into two smaller groups as it would be less intrusive to the community and in the hopes that it would allow the residents to be more comfortable speaking to fewer people. The site investigations gave the group an excellent opportunity to gain a better grasp of the residents’ living situations and garbage disposal situation. During the site visit, Dr. Beeman introduced both groups to various residents of the 80 Daly Community, and carried the groups to the Wally Elmer Recreational Center which lies adjacent to the town houses. The Recreational Center acts as a hub for the community, as it is centrally located between the neighborhood of Rideau Heights and the local public school. Dr. Beeman explained that it is in this location where members of TAG had attempted to hold meetings for the community, but with very few to no residents attending, the meetings were halted. Possible explanations for why the residents were not attending the scheduled TAG’s meetings range from apathy of the situation at hand to not trusting individuals from outside the community. It is not known with complete certainty what caused the residents to not attend considering their high level of interest in the play structure for their children. After the site investigations were completed, the two groups came together to discuss their conclusions. Although the group had hoped to speak with more residents of the community, the group was able to identify some key problems at the housing complex and developed a number of solutions to meet the needs expressed by the community. 10 | P a g e    
  • 13.   3.0 APPROACH 3.1 Dumping by Outsiders One of the most pressing issues observed was Waste Management’s large garbage container. This large bin is located in the resident parking lot and is very accessible to members and non-members of the community to dump their garbage. The community has expressed concerns that a large proportion of the waste being produced is in fact being dumped by individuals outside the community. The problem arises when the city must pay for the garbage removal and the bins are said by residents to be being filled by non-members more and more frequently. QRG has developed an inexpensive deterrent for such an act. A sign, stating “No Dumping” accompanied by a number to call if someone from outside the complex is seen dumping their garbage, could be placed near or on the garbage bin. Rational choice theorists recognize that the threat of punishment may discourage people from illegal behaviour and that simply signifying that a behaviour is being monitored may aid in the reduction of the frequency of that event occurring. In addition to the sign a recycling initiative should be put in place. If effective, would be able to reduce the amount of waste collected by the City of Kingston as well as reduce the amount of excess garbage put into the large Waste Management bins. These two activities have the potential for the members of the 80 Daly Community to achieve their goal of reducing their waste and would then result in a play structure for the resident children. Alternative approaches, as suggested by individuals from the community, would involve the installation of a surveillance camera around the bin, or having the area regularly patrolled by the Kingston Police. The current budget for the community does not allow for these measures at present; however, these may be necessary if the problem is not rectified or worsens. Furthermore, our team brainstormed moving the bin to an alternative location, making it less accessible to individuals from outside 80 Daly. This option is somewhat limited as the bin needs to remain in a location which is easily reached by the Waste Management pick-up service. There are several ethical considerations which we have observed during this initiative. For example, as in every stage of our project, we were critically reflexive. The idea for this section of our project emerged out of the community’s concerns; therefore, it was essential that we worked with the community’s suggestions. Rather than simply imposing our ideas and 11 | P a g e    
  • 14.   solutions, we listen to what they had suggested, and worked together to create the sign option. To avoid power imbalances, we did this through informal conversations with individuals from 80 Daly. Members were excited about the opportunity to contribute to finding a solution to the problem, and we were able to avoid many of the negative consequences of more formal data collection measures such as surveys or structured interviews. Focus group may also been a viable option, however, they would be have too difficult to organize, as many individuals have other responsibilities which would have interfered with their participation. As earlier discussed, members of QRG observed, first hand, individuals from outside the community leaving garbage in and around the 80 Daly waste bin. This has detrimental consequences for waste reduction as any community decreases will be offset by others garbage. We have expressed to TAG the communities concern for this issue, and they have agreed to investigate alternative options and approaches for addressing this problem. 3.2 School Presentation Project In order to persuade the community of 80 Daly to recycle, we decided that the first step in doing so would be to engage the children on what recycling actually is and what good comes from it. This was important to us because we truly wanted the children to understand the process of recycling and to be able to help their parents and contribute in reducing waste. Rideau Heights Public School is located right near the 80 Daly houses. After sending out emails inquiring more information on this project, TAG got in touch with Ms. Brigid Steele, vice president of the school. We decided that we wanted to give a lively presentation to the children during assembly or class time. In order to prepare for this day, we met with Mr. Derek Ochej who is a public educator and promotion coordinator for solid waste and transit for the City of Kingston. Mr. Ochej had mentioned that he often gave presentations on recycling to local schools. His expertise and his willingness to help us was a great asset to our project. We decided to adapt Mr. Ochej’s school presentation on recycling to our needs and what we thought would be enjoyable for the children of Rideau Heights Public School and went on to create our own slide show using the basis of Mr. Ochej’s presentation. The main goal of the presentation will be to educate the children on the basics of recycling; ideas such as what is recyclable and what is not, where waste goes and various issues around the 12 | P a g e    
  • 15.   topic. It is important that the presentation be fun and interactive, so that the children retain a positive experience and are able to bring their new knowledge home to their parents. TAG’s main goal is waste reduction in the 80 Daly Community. Therefore, if the children of the housing community start getting involved in the process along with their parents, there are more chances that recycling will be effective in the complex and be long lasting. Our group was extremely thrilled with the idea of meeting young students and educating them but a few problems were encountered while attempting to do so. Time constraint was a big issue, and coordinating a date with the school was difficult. The children have a spring break for a week in March which took away possible dates. Ms. Steele emailed us asking if it would be possible for us to give our presentation on April 22nd which happens to be Earth day at the school. We agreed to go to Rideau Heights Public School on that day and give our presentation twice, once to the children from junior kindergarten to grade 3 and then to grades 4 to 6. 3.3 Community Swap Meet 3.3.1 Why would this be beneficial? Dr. Baillie and the TAG team expressed their interest in organizing a community Swap Meet for the 80 Daly Community. Due to the nature of the housing in this community, many individuals are forced to leave very quickly without the opportunity to arrange other housing options. Consequently, many individuals leave furniture, and other items behind. Additionally, it is often more affordable to simply purchase new furniture at a second hand store than pay for a moving truck. As a result, many of the units in 80 Daly are extremely crowded with furniture and other items left by previous residents (Appendix 3.0 illustrates the unwanted items accumulated in the units). At the 80 Daly Community Swap Meet, members of the community had the opportunity to bring any gently used, unwanted items to the centre of the cul-de-sac, and exchange them with their neighbours. We had arranged for any unwanted items to be removed and donated to Value-Village, however, this did not follow through as planned. Instead, we as a team took it upon ourselves to make trips to Value-Village and deliver any of the unwanted items to the Value-Village Location ourselves. 13 | P a g e    
  • 16.   3.3.2 Getting Community Input In addition to face-to-face discussions with the community, we created a flyer to hand deliver to the members of 80 Daly detailing our objectives of the event (see Appendix 4.0). On Saturday, March 21st, 2009, one week before the Swap Meet, we brought our flyers door-to-door and discussed with the community the logistics of the event. This gave the residents the opportunity to express their concerns, and needs regarding the Swap Meet. Furthermore, through these talks, our committee was able to get an idea of the types of items individuals have to donate, as well as the things they are looking to acquire. 3.3.3 Logistics When picking the date for the Swap Meet event, there were several things we had to consider. We decided to wait until the end of March as the constraints of the weather prevented us from having the opportunity to organize this earlier in the term. Moreover, as many members of 80 Daly work shift work, we understood that hosting the Swap Meet on the weekend would allow us to involve as many individuals as possible. We also decided that in addition to our school presentation, we could use this opportunity to engage the youth of the community in the recycling and waste reduction initiative. Therefore, we decided to choose a time that the students would not be in school. Initially we were hoping to host the Swap Meet after we gave our presentation in the school; however, Rideau Heights thought it would be more appropriate for them and their curriculum if we presented on Earth Day. This scheduling conflict was not detrimental to our project as we had decided to incorporate interactive kids recycling activities to the Swap Meet and Recycling Fair. In order for the item exchange to be successful, Dr. Baillie warned that it is essential that the furniture and items being swapped are in good condition. During our March 21st visit, we volunteered to help residents clean and repair any items prior to the Swap Meet. As earlier discussed, many of the units have been collecting furniture for several cycles of residents, and consequently, much of the unwanted items are not in the best condition. This allowed us to evaluate how many tarps we will need to supply for the event, and the amount of space we should allocate for people to bring their unwanted items. 14 | P a g e    
  • 17.   A group of graduate students interested in our initiative volunteered to lend us tarps and folding tables to display the goods during the exchange. The community centre located next to the community had also offered to loan us tables for the day. This helps to reduce the cost associated with the event. One of our principal concerns was regarding what to do with any of the items left untaken at the end of the day. The North West Centre had agreed bring their donation truck on Saturday evening to transport the remaining items to Value-Village second hand store, however, as noted before, this plan fell through and we took it upon ourselves to transport the items. 3.4 Recycling Fair The recycling fair was an initiative being done with the Swap Meet on Saturday March 28th, 2008. At this event we brought the new recycling supplies to the community. Organizing the grey and blue bins was the biggest challenge for this section of our waste reduction initiative. The first thing we needed to do was estimate the amount of bins we needed to order from the city. While there are only 20 unit in the community, members of 80 Daly informed us of the frequency of bin theft. One step we have taken to address this issue is leaving a supply of extra bins at the community centre for individuals to acquire if needed. Additionally, we spray painted the unit number on the boxes to discourage individuals from taking boxes that do not belong to their household. Due to the lack of involvement with the Kingston recycling program in the past, the city no longer collects in this area. We have arranged for recycling pick up to begin the week following the Recycling Fair. The city has provided us with flyers indicating what is, and is not recyclable (see Appendix 5.0). We included these with the bins to the residents of 80 Daly. This allowed us to inform the residents, in a non-condescending way, what they are and are not able to recycle. Additionally, we distributed similar information in magnet form in each bin. Furthermore, for the first 2 weeks, a representative of the TAG/QRG will visit the community on garbage pickup day, and assist the members in sorting their recycling and bringing their bins to and from the curb. One of our goals for this event was engage the youth of community. We believed that if we are able to get the youth excited about the project, they may be able to encourage other members of the community to join the initiative. We had a KiD ZoNe set up that included a 15 | P a g e    
  • 18.   variety of recycling themed activities for the 80 Daly youth. Since there is a large age range in the community, we understood the need to develop a variety of different activities. Appendix 6.0 illustrates the craft, recycling games, and colouring sheets we included at this event. The Kid ZoNe was an extremely successful aspect of the event. KARC provided us with miniature recycling bin piggy banks to hand out to the kids and the proceeded to decorate them at the craft table. The kids also were very interested in helping us distribute the bins. 3.4.1 Ethical Issues and Concerns For both components of our initiative it is essential that we remained critically reflexive. This involves our team being continuously aware of the potential power dynamics that can transpire. Through open, two-way communicating with the community, we have been able to develop strong relationships with several members of 80 Daly. Certain residents have proven to be more enthusiastic about our initiative than others; however, they operated as effective gatekeepers to the community and recruited and encouraged others to share their concerns and goals for waste reduction in the community. Furthermore, through our site visits, it has become evident that this community does not have a homogeneous population. Some individuals are dedicated to the goal implementing a recycling program and receiving the play structure, while others have different priorities and obligations that prevent them from being actively involved in this project. Throughout our entire project, we have ensured that our actions reflect the needs of the populations, not the needs we perceive the community to have. The Swap Meet and Recycling Fair would not have been possible without the help of the community. During this event we understood the danger in lecturing about the need to recycle. Rather, we simply provided the residents with the resources needed to set up a system that works for them and is able to continue to operate after leave the community. In terms of sustainability, the steps taken to provide information and resources will help to ensure that we are creating a program that the community operates, not something that is continuously run and regulated by individuals outside the community. However, as the population of the community is not stable across time, we understand the value of developing a program that is self-sustaining. The majority of the community members have expressed a strong 16 | P a g e    
  • 19.   dedication to the goal. Therefore new individuals moving into the community will likely be encouraged to participate by the active members. 17 | P a g e    
  • 20.   4.0 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK Technology can be defined as physical objects or artifacts, activities or processes, knowledge or know-how (Knox, Marston & Nash, 2007: 149). The relationship between nature and society is two-way: society shapes people’s understanding and uses of nature at the same time that nature shapes society. The mutually dependent relationship between humans and their environments is usually mediated through technology. In the historic past, technology has always appeared as a solution to our environmental and social issues. What has become more apparent in recent years is that the application of technology does not seem to solve anything. What has resulted is an array of questions regarding what kind of a “solution” technology provides; in other words, what kind of an impact does it actually produce. It is essential today to approach technology and problem solving as a process by which nature, society, and technology are united as interactive components of a complex system. Technology is part of this complexity because it can work in two ways, as both a problem and a solution. When a new technology is produced as a solution, it is likely the cause of yet another problem. There are profound ways in which technology can impose changes to the culture of a social group. Technology is such an important part of the growth process, and can be of invaluable assistance (Baillie & Catalano). Prior to any consideration of the multifaceted impact of the technology, consideration for the micro level, “community” based social interaction with technology was largely left unnoticed. Recycling programs have been put in place across vast geographical regions with little regard for micro level differences in cultural, economical, political, and social life. In order to accurately and appropriately introduce a new technology and social practice into the 80 Daly Community, it is necessary that we consider the broader political and cultural context in which these people live. The feminist standpoint epistemology will guide our participation in this project. As discussed in early in the course, when analyzing and participating in social initiatives of this sort, it is essential that the participants constantly evaluate and acknowledge the strengths and weaknesses their own paradigms in relation to that of others. Donna Haraway (1988), a social feminist, maintains that natural, social, and human sciences have always been about a search for translation, convertibility, mobility of meanings, and universality (p.580). However, a constant search for universality excludes the objective reality of meaning. We need to learn how to attach 18 | P a g e    
  • 21.   the objective to our theoretical and political paradigms in order to name where we are, and are not, in dimensions of mental and physical space (Haraway, 582). Haraway contends that ‘situated knowledge’ allows one to challenge the idea of essential truths and breakdown hegemonic power relations by considering excluded perspectives. It gives one the ability to become answerable for what one learns how to see (Haraway, 582). KFHC and KARC have made judgments regarding the failure of the recycling program in this community based on their own assumptions and paradigms. They have failed to consider the community’s needs, perspectives, and challenges. Feminist standpoint epistemology has allowed us, the TAG recycling team, to take into consideration the perspectives of all players involved in this project and allow the members of 80 Daly to have a voice in the project that will directly affect their lived experiences now and in the long term. It is our goal to provide them with the support and tools necessary to exercise their concerns and needs. We have sought to mediate the conflicting and contrasting epistemologies of all players associated with the TAG initiative. The very nature of feminist standpoint epistemology requires us to think and act outside of our own personal paradigms. Feminist theory asks us to not only question our assumptions but consider why and how our assumptions contrast or conflict with others. Each person has their own visual system, a technical, social, physical, and psychological system of meaning, and feminists standpoint theory challenges one to understand how and why these systems work the way they do. It is easy to assume that the practice of recycling is innate and simplistic in the present day. The social, cultural, and political challenges faced by the community of 80 Daly contribute to their low levels of recycling practice. Similar to the “well example” in our second week of readings, it has been essential for us to consider the difficulties faced by the residence of 80 Daly before and whilst introducing any new recycling initiatives or technologies. The challenge lies in looking beyond our own lenses. Our lens initially tells us that recycling, as a practice, is simple, easy, and applicable to any given community. Standpoint epistemology has allowed us to look within and overcome this barrier. We have come to realize that the best way to approach the reconstruction of recycling technology at 80 Daly is by working with the needs and wants of the community, as well as the needs and wants of the individuals involved. This is why we chose to not only organize a ‘Swap Meet Day’ but also a presentation at the local school, as these activities target both the adults and children involved in the project. 19 | P a g e    
  • 22.   5.0 ETHICS It is important that our initiative reflects the needs of the population of 80 Daly. For this reason we have to develop a common understanding about the perceived problems and issues of recycling in this community. Furthermore, we have been able develop a mutually agreeable time- frame for our projects. First step in learning about the community was to critically review secondary data. With assistance from Dr. Baillie, this helped to establish the direction of the project and played an important role in identifying where other organizations have left gaps. Secondly, Dr. Beeman has acted as a gatekeeper to the community by putting us into contact with individuals from 80 Daly interested in the initiative. Through an initial site visit with him, we were gain the opportunity to meet with the members of the community, and began to develop an understanding of the community’s concerns and needs. Having causal and informal conversations with the community has allowed us to generate and evaluate the community’s goals without the constraints and power relations of formal interviews or focus groups. The use of open-ended questions and key probes such as “what would you like to see happen in the community?” has assisted in identifying the local rationales of recycling issues. It is important to recognize that the interactions that occur between two individuals always transpire in a societal context. The social norms and structures of power play a significant role in how these relations materialize. As Queen’s students we are attempting to participate in a project where, in relation to social structure, we are differently situated than the members of the 80 Daly Community. In the TAG project, our committee maintains a potentially exploitive relationship with the members of this community. This power relation is typically entered into one group “is perceived to be in a position of greater power than the other” (Hay, 2005: 23). In the context of Kingston, Queen’s students generally do not employ a reputation of being active members of the community and are frequently not met with a warm reception. Furthermore, power must be understood as more than simply the direct relationship between residents of 80 Daly, and ourselves. Rather it is also useful to acknowledge how our actions will have indirect results on the lives of individuals in this community. The reports about the participant’s actions, perceptions and lived experiences have the potential to change, both positively and negatively, the way that others in the Kingston community understand this population. This has proven 20 | P a g e    
  • 23.   already problematic, when a local reporter attempted to publish a discriminatory report about the community and our project which had the potential to jeopardize the success of the initiative. Fortunately, Dr. Baillie was able to persuade the reporter to not publish the article. Additionally, this information may also be utilized in future policy making, and therefore it is essential that we recognize the consequences and potential severity of all our actions. While power difference cannot be eliminated entirely, there are several measures we have taken to ensure a more reciprocal relationship. The most important method is critical reflexivity. This approach requires us to be aware of, and understand power imbalance throughout the initiative and take action to it in a self-critical introspective way. These include questions such as: Do I understand the needs of this population? What would I like to do differently? What can I do to promote a more participation from the diverse members of this community? Secondly, it is essential to avoid any status symbols, such as association to Queen’s University. This prevents the community from identifying our help as a “project” and aid in allowing us to gain access to them. Furthermore, it is critical to involve the community in all stages of design and conduct of the TAG projects. This will encourage social participation and unity, and allow us to reflect the actual needs of the community, rather than that needs us as outsiders perceive them to have. These measures have allowed us to develop a strong rapport with the neighbours and promote a productive interpersonal climate that allows the community to feel comfortable and confident that we are working with them. Unlike many other initiatives, members of 80 Daly are able to directly observe the progress of this project by the increase presence of recycling in their community. However, it is essential that we communicate the progress directly to the community through means of flyers, bar graphs showing changes in the recycling trends, and identify how close they are to reaching their goals of a play centre. QRG thinks that it is important to continue to follow up in the future with the community to ensure that they are aware of the recycling progress and how close the community is to reaching the goal of receiving the park. 21 | P a g e    
  • 24.   6.0 CONCLUSION   Our involvement in the TAG recycling project has been both inspiring and eye-opening. We have learned a great deal about our own recycling knowledge and practices, but how different perspectives are dispersed throughout the Kingston community. We hope that our presentation to Rideau Heights School and both the Swap Day and Recycling Day will help boost recycling knowledge and motivation in the surrounding communities, and particularly 80 Daly. We will provide recycling bins to the area and hopefully work with KARC in the upcoming month to arrange a few pick up days to get the project started. The recycling project taken on by QRG and TAG recycling team has proven much more difficult than initially perceived. What was originally a simple implementation of technology and routine practice is clearly a much more complicated issue. A seemingly routine and mundane task to most of us becomes much more complex in social groups tied down by variables of much greater concern. The multitude of players involved in making this project work, such as KARC, City of Kingston, the landlords, and the tenants, has proved more difficult than initially conveyed. The course material as well as our own hands on involvement has shed light on the complexity of social relations and the use of technologies of this kind. Although this project is coming to its conclusion without a play structure for the children of 80 Daly in place, the group is very pleased with its ability to aid the community in the commencement of the recycling program. In addition, following up with the community will be a crucial step in the sustainability of this initiative. The group is confident that the recycling program will be a success with the help of the community, especially the enthusiastic local children, the 80 Daly complex is progressing towards reducing its waste, helping the environment and receiving their play structure. 22 | P a g e    
  • 25.   7.0 WORKS CITED     City of Kingston. (2004). Retrieved 2009, from City of Kingston: (http://www.cityofkingston.ca/residents/waste/recycling/blueboxes.asp) Haraway, Donna. (1988). “Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective”. Feminist Studies, Vol. 14, No. 3 (Autumn, 1988), pp. 575-599. Feminist Studies, Inc. Knox, Paul L., Sallie A. Marston & Alan E. Nash. (2007). Human Geography: Places and Regions in Global Context. Toronto, Canada: Pearson Education Inc. TAG. (2009). 80 Daly Community. (QRG, Interviewer) Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. (2007). Retrieved 2009, from Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources: http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/caer/ce/eek/cool/NRcolBk.pdf 23 | P a g e    
  • 26.   8.0 APPENDICES APPENDIX 1.0 – INVOLVEMENT MAP Professor of Engineering  Professor from the  Education and Professor  Faculty of Education  of Materials Engineering  Dr. Chris Beeman  Dr. Caroline Baillie  Kingston Frontenac  Housing Corporation  Technology Action  Scott Vanderschoor  Group/Queen’s  Recycling Group 80 Daly Community Health  Ontario Non‐ Kingston Area  Marijana Matovic  Profit Housing  Recycling Centre /  Association  City of Kingston  Lisa Evans  Derek Ochej  Figure 1 - Involvement Map 24 | P a g e    
  • 27.   APPENDIX 2.0- SCHOOL PRESENTATION       APPENDIX 3.0 – PHOTO OF ACCUMULATED FURNITURE 25 | P a g e    
  • 28.     Figure 2 - Furniture left by former tenants APPENDIX 4.0 – SWAP MEET FLYER 26 | P a g e    
  • 29.       Figure 3 - Swap Meet Flyer handed out to all residents of 80 Daly 27 | P a g e    
  • 30.   APPENDIX 5.0 – RECYCLING FLYER   Figure 4 - Blue/Grey Box Guide (City of Kingston, 2004) 28 | P a g e    
  • 31.   APPENDIX 6.0 – COLOURING PAGES FOR CHILDREN   Figure 5 - Six of the twelve recycling colouring pages from: (Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, 2007) 29 | P a g e    
  • 32.   Figure 7 – SWAP Meet Photo Journal Visiting KARC to pick up the recycling bins   30 | P a g e    
  • 33.   Setting up and distributing boxes at 80 Daly 31 | P a g e    
  • 34.   Swap of Items 32 | P a g e    
  • 35.   Pizza and Refreshments Value Village Drop-off 33 | P a g e    
  • 36.   QRG Group Photo 34 | P a g e    

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