Highlights of February 27, 2020 Meeting
President-Elect Dan Coons opened the meeting by thanking Shelly Romine for serving as greeter welcoming Rotarians and guests to the 4th-Thursday-evening meeting.  Jeanie Morgan offered the invocation and John Benedict led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Erwinn Reimann won the $5.00 attendance drawing prize on the third and final draw.  Chuck Flint explained that the holder of the winning raffle ticket would win $25 and a chance to draw the ace of clubs which, if drawn, would net a prize of $1,071.00.  Shelly Romine was the $25 winner.  She said, "It's exciting to be here and have a chance to win."  Unfortunately, she drew the two of diamonds.
The only guests present at the meeting were to be introduced later as our evening speaker and some experts he invited to participate in the program because of their expertise.
Happy Dollars
Erwin Reimann was happy he won $5.  He was also happy that he was able to return to playing tennis after being out of commission for quite a while.  He was also happy to report that he and his tennis partner won their match.  In addition, he was happy to report they got their tax stuff done.  Pam Cohen was happy to report her septic system at home was no longer backed up.  Polly Cady said their most recent cruise was in the western Caribbean, but they did not have an auction item from the cruise as they never got off the ship.  John Pennypacker was happy he had planted some red and white geraniums and snap dragons.  Polly Schumacher has one granddaughter studying in Italy and another in England and she is worried about the Coronavirus risks.  Andrea Murphy was happy to be able to attend the meeting.  Greg Okonowski had arrived at the Hilton for lunch.  That is when he discovered there would be no Rotary lunch.  He confessed he had not opened his Messenger on Wednesday, so did not see the bold red headline announcing the meeting would start at 6:00 PM.  Lola McClane contributed $.  She said it has been a pleasure to be able to find someone in the club who was able and willing to help with nearly any issue or question she has had to deal with.  Dan Coons contributed.  His mother passed away a couple of weeks ago in Illinois.  She had been ill.  She was 95 when she passed.  Dan was happy she had enjoyed a good life.  
Special Announcement
Andrea Murphy is a member of a vintage Volkswagen club.  They are a 501(c)(3).  They do a lot of work with Habitat for Humanity and do events to raise money for charities.  One relatively new project is  Sleep in Heavenly Peace, Phoenix Chapter.   They have built over 500 bunk beds.  All ages help build the beds from scratch.  Lowes donated tools and a truck for transporting.  They have a grant to pay for the materials to have another build date, which Andrea hopes will be in November, and that Mesa West Rotarians will be able to help build the 45 beds covered by the grant.  The yet-to-be determined November build date will be held at Westwood High School and Westwood HS staff will also participate.  Andrea said no skills are required.  It is an assembly line build and each step is simple.  She said one additional way that members could contribute would be to provide new pillows and twin-size bedding sets and comforters.  She said if anyone has available warehouse space, they could use some.  The philosophy of the program is that "No child should sleep on the floor."  Allan Cady put out a challenge.  He contributed the first $100 and hoped others in the club would match his donation.
Coons Comedy
Dan told of an elderly lady who needed to consult an attorney but had limited resources.  She made an appointment and stopped at the bank and withdrew $100 in cash - a brand new $100 bill.  After a very brief consultation, she handed the bill to the attorney.  After the lady left, the attorney noticed that she had actually given him two $100 bills which were stuck together.  The lawyer then had a moral dilemma.  Should he keep the extra $100 for himself or share it with his partners.
Rotary Minute
Greg Okonowski shared some interesting facts about The Rotary Foundation.  Since it was founded more than 100 years ago, the Foundation has spent more than $4 billion on life-changing, sustainable projects.  It is well managed - more than 90% of funds received are spent on programs, awards, and operations.  One interesting fact Greg shared is that over a quarter of the world population cannot read.  Illiteracy of adults and children is a global concern in both highly industrialized nations and in developing countries.  The number of adult illiterates in the world is increasing by 25 million each year.  In the United States, one quarter of the entire population is considered functionally illiterate.  In 2018 (the most recent year for which these facts were published) the Foundation awarded $86,677,399 in funding to 1,306 grants.  $35,660,96 was spent to prevent disease.  $18,761,791 was spent to provide clean water.  $10,998,136 was spent supporting education.  $10,503.910 was invested to grow local economies.  $7,204,677 was spent saving mothers and children, and $3,547,899 was spent promoting peace.  
Lola McClane introduced Clark Landrum from Waste Management as the speaker.  Clark is with Public Sector Solutions.  He has over eighteen years' experience in waste and recycling.  He loves Arizona.  He has been married twenty-six years and is the father of two sons.  He is a triathlete.  He likes to hike with his wife and two dogs.  Clark brought two City of Mesa employees, Lauren Whitaker and Marian Reyes to answer questions specific to the City of Mesa's recycling program.
Before getting started talking trash, Clark had a story to share about a man who called a dental facility to ask what the cost would be to have two teeth extracted.  He was told that would be $3,000.  The man then asked if it would be less if the cleaning and prep work done by an assistant was eliminated.  He was told that would reduce the cost to $2,000.  The man then asked what it would cost if the Novocain were not used.  After some time, he was told the extractions would be down to $1,500.  He then asked what the cost would be with no laughing gas or other similar product were used.  After some time, he got an answer that under those conditions the two extractions would be down to $500.  The man then asked how soon he could get his wife scheduled for her extractions.
Waste Management is a big company.  Nationally, they employ over 45,000 individuals.  With an acquisition they are currently involved in, they will acquire an additional 20,000 employees.
They believe in giving back.  They sponsor the greatest event on grass in Arizona - the Waste Management Golf Tournament.  They have raised over $14,000,000 for Thunderbird Charities.
Clark serves on the Arizona Recycling Coalition.
Recycling ordinances vary from one municipality to another.  Some have eliminated residential recycling altogether.  The recycling world has dramatically changed.  While recycling still provides environmental benefits, several markets are no longer accepting material from the United States.  Some materials currently have such low demand that the volatility of their market value is jeopardizing the financial stability of recycling programs across the country, including Mesa.
After the contents of the recycle bins are picked up at the curb, they go to a transfer station where manual labor and robotics sort the materials received.  Cardboard and plastic is baled and shipped to China to be remanufactured.  Because there is nearly always some trash in the bales there is resistance.  They are increasingly more firm in taking a stand that they are "not going to take the world's trash."
Contamination is a huge issue.  For years, individuals have been placing non-accepted or heavily contaminated recyclable items in their recycle containers.  Nationally speaking, approximately 25% of the items placed in the recycle containers are not accepted.  Despite attempts at education and even warnings about discontinuation of service for non-compliance, recycling behaviors have not changed.  Consequently, markets that at one time accepted our material have opted to no longer purchase it.  Because of this resistance huge amounts of some materials have built-up.  Markets for the materials are growing in the US and Mexico.  In some cases, the recycling costs are greater than the cost would be to bury the materials in a landfill.  
The advantage of recycling environmentally cannot be argued against.  It saves trees and improves water resources and carbon emissions.  Inspectors and blue barrel enforcement can help.  Cause for immediate removal from blue barrel pickup would be hazardous waste, human waste, food waste and animal waste.  Their drivers can help report non-compliance.
During Q&A, some interesting facts were shared.
  • Even though plastic bags and foam containers are made from recycled materials, neither are able to be recycled.
  • There is no outlet for the plastic clamshells in which fresh produce is often sold.
  • Mesa has a "three strikes and you are out" rule.
  • They have smart trucks - cameras on the trucks.
  • They have been the sponsor of the Waste Management Golf Tournament for seventeen years  Last year the $14,000,000 raised was the highest amount ever raised for charity at the tournament.
  • Twenty-five cents from each ton sold is paid to the State of Arizona to provide education to residents with the hope of changing behaviors.
  • The numbers shown in the triangle on containers are misleading.  There is a demand for numbers 1, 2, 4 and 5.  There is no current demand for 3, 6 and 7.
  • The fire that many remembered took place in a recycle storage facility was caused by a lithium battery that should not have been there.
  • Items should not go into the bins in plastic bags.  That will cause a production shutdown.  
  • Shredded paper should be put in the trash.  It would fall through openings in the recycling sorting/processing equipment at the station.
  • They are no longer shipping plastic internationally.
  • Aluminum turnaround is the fastest.  
  • If you recycle a bottle cap, leave it on the bottle.
  • Prescription pills can go in the regular trash, but a much better choice is to take them to one of the deposit containers located at all Mesa police stations.  Do NOT flush them.
  • A good rule to remember about recycling specific items is "When in Doubt, Keep It Out!"
Mesa West Sponsored YE Student is Front Page News
On February 27, 2020, Marcela Sousa was on the front page of the Arizona Daily Sun which serves Flagstaff and northern Arizona.
Marcela is a Rotary Youth Exchange Student who is studying at Flagstaff High School this school year.  Mesa West Rotary is sponsoring Marcela's monthly allowance for personal expenditures while she is in our district.
The photo shown in the article was taken when Marcella was the featured speaker at the Rotary Club of Flagstaff's February 4 meeting.  At the meeting, Marcella talked about her homeland of Brazil as well as her aspirations of becoming either a journalist or an attorney.  During her presentation, she told about her family and travels she's enjoyed with other Rotary Youth Exchange students and with her host families.  During the course of the school year, she will stay with three different host families.
In providing information about their featured speaker at their meeting the Flagstaff Rotary Club did a great job of turning her story into a public relations outreach opportunity by including the following facts:
  • Rotary clubs throughout the United States and the world are dedicated to "bring together business and professional leaders in order to provide humanitarian service and to advance goodwill and peace around the world."
  • President-Elect Carla Viola was quoted saying "We're a multi-generational, diverse group, and we're about fellowship and service.  Come visit.  There's a little something for everybody."
  • Karl Eberhard, a Flagstaff architect, who has been a Rotarian for nearly thirty years was quoted saying, "I like doing community service, and I like to give back.  It's a nice, varied way to serve."  He added that one week he might be doing something locally, and another week, he could be in another country lending a helping hand.
Mesa West Rotarian, Donna Goetzenberger, is the Youth Exchange Chair for our District.  She may not be able to attend many of our meetings, but she puts in countless hours managing this program and seeing that it is a quality experience for the students who have travelled her as well as the families who host them.  
Being a host family is a wonderful way to enrich a Rotarian's family and friends with cultural diversity and inter-country friendships that can last a lifetime.  Too often, older Rotarians who are empty-nesters don't even entertain the idea of being a host family since the inbound student would not have any schoolmates in the household.  The truth is, the students have many experiences with peers in their own age group, but also enjoy forming bonds with American "grandparents" or "aunts and uncles."
It is already time for Donna to be recruiting host clubs for next year.  Mesa West would need to have three host families - ideally in the same school district - willing to become involved in Rotary Youth Exchange more experientially than we are this year.
Sad, but true...
March is Water and Sanitation Month in Rotary
Clean water, sanitation, and hygiene education are basic necessities for a healthy environment and a productive life.
We support local solutions to bring clean water, sanitation, and hygiene to more people every day. We don’t just build wells and walk away. We share our expertise with community leaders and educators to make sure our projects succeed long-term. 
When people have access to clean water and sanitation, waterborne diseases decrease, children stay healthier and attend school more regularly, and mothers can spend less time carrying water and more time helping their families.
The Most Efficient Way to Support The Rotary Foundation
The Rotary Foundation is the charitable arm of Rotary that enables the amazing work we, as Rotarians, are all proud to be a part of.  Every Rotarian is strongly encouraged to support TRF every year by donating to the General Fund of TRF.  The target gift is $100 per year per member.  That has been the target for a very long time and in the US the average family income has multiplied a few times since that target was set.  Many Rotarians who have the means to do so have set their personal target at the $1,000 per year mark making them eligible for the Paul Harris Society level of donor recognition. 
The End Polio Now campaign is a separate fund to which gifts are matched two-for-one by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  Many Rotarians choose to support both the general fund and the fight to end polio.
No matter what level you decide to donate, please support the Foundation by giving through Rotary Direct.  CLICK HERE to get answers to commonly asked questions about this program.  DOWNLOAD A FORM to authorize your Rotary Direct donations.  By giving through Rotary direct, the opportunity for human error is eliminated and recognition credit for the Rotarian and their club is much more accurate and timelier.
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