Jean-Jacques spent six weeks in Fairfax – which he calls aBohemian town – and sought to learn as much as possible about our greenmovement here and in the rest of Marin. In terms of a sense ofcommunity, of course he thought our town was the most thriving and authentic – MillValley didn’t have the same local feel.
He admired our Sustainability Center and Backyard – ourlending library, information on Water and other sustainability subjects, ourdisplays, and our wonderful garden with its rainwater harvestingsystem. He was impressed with the classes that we do on composting,toxins and seed harvesting, etc. While he visited with one of ourboard members at the Center, his children played at our crafts table and madenecklaces out of recycled glass beads and materials.
This summer, we had a special guest –
Jean-Jacques Fasquel from Paris, France, who has a job with the city as a ‘Compost Master.’ He has been encouraging residents to set up small composting bins in their courtyards and turned his efforts into a job with the city where he goes around helping residents get started
A Paris courtyard —
Garbage is collected every day!
In Paris, according to an article in TheGlobeandMail.com,“Most live in 19th-century apartment buildings that often share space with stores and restaurants, but were built without extra room to store garbage. Asa result, the city is forced to collect waste every day.” The article says that the city hopes to sell its project based on the notion that composting in the courtyard can improve relations between notoriously aloof Parisian neighbours just as much as it can help the environment.
His main take on Fairfax — and inevitably America, because if you only visit one area, it becomes America – was that we have the technologies in Fairfax but our behavior hasn’t changed. “Where are all the bicycles? There should be more people riding bicycles,” he says. Henotes that we do have a lot of recreational biking. He asked why it is such a good thing that we have green waste and kitchen waste picked up by a big gasguzzling truck vs. composting in our own yards. However he was impressed with our new green energy program and our sense of community, the friendliness. He left Fairfax with 10 Eco-friendly stickers from the Center stuck on his car.
He spent his last day in Marin taking his kids with him on a visit to the RecyclingPlant at Marin Sanitary Services – isn’t that the way you’d spend your family vacation? Leave it to Sustainable Fairfax to set up such a great outing for him.
For more information, here’s the link for an article in English about Jean-Jacques Fasquez’s ‘Compost Master’ job in Paris.
Also, here is a video about his program. Even if you don’t understand French, you’ll get the story in pictures.