East Ridge at Cutler Bay, an active life plan community in South Miami-Dade, has been embracing recycling efforts for the past seven years.
On November 15, when the country celebrates America Recycles Day, East Ridge residents and employees already know they are doing their small part in helping the environment.
“At East Ridge, residents are sensitive to the environmental impact of the community and want to help minimize their footprint on the environment,” explained Anthony Taborda, Environmental Services Manager. “They have readily embraced suggestions for recycling and East Ridge works to make these efforts more accessible for them. Recycling bins, for example, are conveniently located in community laundry areas and shredding bins are in multiple locations.”
The community, located on 76 acres, began adopting single-stream recycling practices in 2010. The program also includes repurposing through the community’s popular thrift store.
“Our thrift store is one of the most effective repurposing projects underway,” he said. “East Ridge residents manage and operate the thrift store that is only open on Tuesdays to the general public. Residents and their families donate items including unwanted furniture, clothing, books and household items which are then sold. It’s the best-kept secret in Cutler Bay and antique dealers and collectors line up on Tuesday to get the first crack at the merchandise.”
While the recycling program incorporates residents’ homes, it is also embraced by operations and management of East Ridge. The community has adopted innovations from using electronic files and e-mail to paperless operations. Hard plastic water bottles are provided to staff to discourage the use of Styrofoam cups.
Energy conservation is practiced as well, from shutting off lights in unused common spaces and unoccupied offices to purchasing Energy Star appliances and CFL light bulbs
East Ridge has various recyclables collected every Friday including glass, paper, plastic, aluminum, cardboard, batteries, fluorescent light bulbs, and cell phones and works with Progressive Waste Solutions in the “one-bin” approach to make it easier for residents to participate rather than require sorting.
“It takes everyone believing that living green is vital to our future. Resident committees evaluate our programs and make viable suggestions. We want to create the healthiest possible atmosphere for residents and employees without harming the environment,” he said.
The Environmental Services Department also practices Green Cleaning Policies which includes purchasing green seal and environmentally preferred cleaning products to selecting vendors that are environmentally cautious and support the sustainable initiatives.
Living at East Ridge offers the advantage of weekly housekeeping and yearly deep cleaning so residents are assured that the Green Cleaning program is carried out.
“What we are accomplishing at East Ridge can show other communities it can be done,” he added. “It takes a commitment to embrace the change.”
About East Ridge
Celebrating over 50 years serving Miami-Dade County, East Ridge at Cutler Bay is a unique life plan community incorporating eight components of wellness: social, vocational, intellectual, spiritual, physical, emotional, and environmental and health services in every facet of its lifestyle. The community draws from the rich neighborhood charm of suburban Cutler Bay and the vibrancy of Miami in a lush tropical environment. East Ridge, located at 19301 SW 87th Avenue, offers a continuum of care, including independent and assisting living, memory support, respite and skilled nursing care and rehabilitation. For more information, please call (305) 256-3564 for a personal tour or visit www.eastridgeatcutlerbay.com.