Block Leader Profile: Aaron Cleaver

Jul 7, 2017 - 11:00 am

Block Leader Profile: Aaron Cleaver

For twenty-eight years, this network systems analyst turned urban-gardener operated a business of developing frameworks for companies that allow computers to communicate and work together. Now, Aaron Cleaver is growing and sharing his gardening expertise as a Travis County Master Gardener and helping to push his neighborhood towards Zero Waste. 

We chatted with Aaron about recycling, gardening and more!

Why did you decide to become a Zero Waste Block Leader?

As a long term resident of the City of Austin, I have been involved in many community and city activities to plan for the future and preserve our quality of life in Austin. I have watched the garbage mountain on 290 East grow since the 1960s and Resource Recovery’s quest for Zero Waste has made me excited about the future of waste management.

What are some fun ways you introduce zero waste to your neighbors?

Composting ImageI have interactions with my neighbors for many reasons. Politics, Neighborhood development and management issues, and the quest for green composting containers. My neighbors find me interesting because I always have something going on and signs in my front yard. I spend a lot of time outside and make a point of getting eye contact and speaking to walkers, bikers, and drivers. I attend as many community events as I can and connect with neighbors through neighbors.

Which do you prefer more – recycling, composting or reuse?

I like composting the most. The green trash can has become an appliance in our daily activities. We could almost go without a trash can.

What are some challenges you face trying to live a Zero Waste lifestyle and how do you overcome them?

Time is the biggest challenge. Items that cannot go in one of the containers tend to collect in challenging quantities. Plastic bags being one of them. HEB provides plastic recycling and we go to HEB every day.

How have you made the zero waste lifestyle easier to follow in your home, for your family, or with your neighbors?

Conveniently located recycling containers throughout the house gets the best response. Neighbors rely on each other to remember to get their containers to the street and lending a hand on getting them back in.

Reuse Pro Tip: Repurpose plastic bottles into mini-greenhouses for seedling growth.

Which part of your house do you get the most recyclables from?

Home office and kitchen

What do you look forward to the most this coming year?

More availability of composting containers. My neighbors are very enthusiastic about receiving the service!