Making Democracy Work

Natural Resources


For Eastern Pima County - Drachman Institute Workshop, August 15, 2014
Notes by Carol West, League of Women Voters of Greater Tucson
The University of Arizona's Drachman Institute commissioned a study on affordable and mixed income housing in transit oriented development in eastern Pima County, Arizona. Funding came from the AZ Department of Housing. A presentation of the initial findings was held on August 15 at the Drachman Institute (DI), a part of the UA's College of Architecture. The final document will be on the DI website. (full report)

The Drachman Institute (DI) web site is

Neighborhood Preparedness for Climate Change Emergencies

Climate Smart Southwest: Ready or Hot? (This is our current study topic)
Southern Arizona has been identified as a significant "hot spot" for climate change, where the highest temperatures in the U.S. will continue to intensify, according to Arizona Physicians for Social Responsibility. (AZPSR)

Our community is unprepared to address the resulting impacts. A community-wide response is needed, and the LWVGT is committed to being a part of this. A neighborhood inventory will allow us to know our neighbors and what their needs might be in an emergency. Social gatherings and monthly neighborhood meetings are a good way to work together on this important endeavor.

Neighborhoods on the west side of Tucson recently had a power outage of several hours. When this occurs, we are inconvenienced, but there is a greater impact when power outages could occur in the summer for several days when temperatures are well over 100 degrees.

Imagine the impacts: no power for cooking, lighting, or cooling; water pumps cannot bring us water; gas pumps and ATM machines won't work. Phones will be out of service. Basic needs wouldn't be met, and people would become vulnerable.

Factors for heat casualties include neighborhood poverty, isolation, aging alone, homelessness, and border migration.

The time to prepare for this is now: Plan for this with your neighbors. Gather battery powered fans and flashlights, solar ovens, gas camping stoves and outdoor barbecues, water storage, spray bottles, shade cloth, and a gas powered generator. For more information, go to

  • Community Cohesion Scale (view)
  • Self Assessment Tool (view)
  • Building Neighborhood Resiliency Notes 12/12/13 (view)

Our Affair with Plastic Bags

Why aren't single-use plastic bags recycled? Efforts to recycle these bags have not been effective. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that nationally the recycling rate is 4.5%. This is partly due to the complexity of sorting and processing the bags, plus, these bags do not biodegrade. Should we ban or prohibit single-use plastic bags? More than 51 U.S. communities have either banned

See the "Our Affair with Plastic Bags - Part Two" story on page 5 in the November/December 2012 Newsletter for more details.

Other Information: Learn the Facts web site

Disposing of Toxins

City and County waste management programs are making it increasingly easy to recycle a wide range of materials. By keeping items out of the landfills, we help the environment. Yet there remain substances that cannot be recycled or taken to the landfill, including medications and hazardous waste materials.

See the "Disposing of Toxins" story on page 4 in the November/December 2012 Newsletter for more details.

Hazardous Collection Centers

Main Site -2440 W. Sweetwater Dr., Friday and Saturday, 8:oo a.m. + 12:00 noon

Los Reales Landfill - 5300 E. Los Reales Rd., Monday through Saturday, 6 a.m - 5 p.m.

Eastside City Hall -- 7575 E. Speedway Blvd., 1st Sat. of each month, 8 a.m. + 12 noon (except holidays)

Tucson Water Plant #2 -- 1102 W. Irvington Rd., 2nd Sat. of each month, 8 a.m. + 12 noon (except holidays)

Antifreeze, Batteries, Oil, and Paint Sites: Sahuarita Landfill, 16605 S. La Caņada Dr., M-Sat, 7:30 a.m. + 3:00 p.m.

Tangerine Road Landfill, 10220 W. Tangerine Rd., M-Sat, 7:30 a.m. + 3:00 p.m.

Catalina Transfer Station, 14425 N. Oracle Rd., Thurs. + Sat., 7:30 a.m. + 3:00 p.m.

Ryan Field Transfer Station, 6455 S. Continental Rd., Thurs. + Sat., 7:30 a.m. + 3 p.m.


The average American family's daily trash weighs about 4.5 pounds. About 3 pounds or 67% of this is recyclable materials. Many of the materials that are not recyclable can be avoided by not purchasing or using them. A good example is plastic grocery bags and styrofoam containers.

Some materials that everyone knows are recyclable, like glass, may be too heavy for profitable reuse due to the high shipping costs. In Tucson some of the recycled pulverized glass is used locally to mix with dirt for landfill cover material.

See our Links page for many of the Greater Tucson area recycle centers and lists of materials that are recyclable.

For some Recycle Links, click (here)