Page One

Resident gets cash for trash

Daily Planet Staff
Friday May 18, 2001


The money – $2,700 – fell from the sky for southwest Berkeley resident Romy Falck. 

Well, not exactly from the sky – it came from the hands of recyclers at the Ecology Center. Falck won this week’s Cash for Trash Contest on Thursday for having no items in her garbage that could have been otherwise recycled. 

“That’s so cool,” said Falck, a psychotherapist at Alta Bates Hospital. People from the Ecology Center came by Falck’s house and took her garbage, with her permission, early Thursday morning, then told her later that she was a winner. She had been randomly selected. 

Falck said she had heard about the contest, into which the Ecology Center deposits $250 each week, but she said she made no special recycling efforts because of it. “I recycle everything,” she said. “I’ve been in that habit as long as I’ve lived in Berkeley.” 

The Ecology Center puts $250 weekly into a fund and goes through a randomly- selected person’s garbage once each week. The kitty grows when there are no winners. 

The Cash for Trash Contest is an outreach project of the Ecology Center and the city of Berkeley and funded by the Alameda County Source Reduction and Recycling Board. Since February, $3,650 has been awarded to Berkeley residents for recycling well. Another $2,850 will be distributed before the contest ends in mid-July.