Annette ingeniously enlisted the help of more than 130 citizen volunteers or “Recycling
Block Captain Program” resulting in many successes. Annette’s believes that education through personal contact is paramount to their success. She has created a “tipping point” by empowering many to serve as their community’s conservation leaders. In her words, “The most effective models are those people who are actively working together to build relationship with each other and the natural environment”.
Ms. Mills leads by example. Attending lunches, outside events or meetings, she brings her own reusable glass, plate, utensils, and napkin. Also, Annette’s programs are fiscally conservative. To quote one of the City’s council members, “…many of these programs have resulted in little extra cost and in many cases cost reductions.” Ms. Mills demonstrates frugality from another perspective. Her City’s solid waste management budget was reduced from $1.05 million in 1990 to $630,000 in 1997.
Annette helped initiate curbside collection of 14 types of recyclable materials and including various types of yard debris. The City saved more than $420,000 by implementing their curbside recycling program. Also, yearly she holds “Recycling Extravaganza” where residents drop off a range of specialty recycling items, including eye glasses, hearing aids, clothing and textiles, bicycles, printer cartridges, and electronics.
Annette makes it happen. One council member calls the community volunteers “Annette’s Army” because she brings them out in full force for community programs related to environmental education and stewardship. Ms. Mills has interconnected various positive environmental messages together. She has made saving resources attractive and easy whether it is planting a tree, composting at home or restoring wildlife habitats. Annette has initiated many successful public awareness programs welcoming citizens to show greater reverence for our earth. Annette not only walks her talk but has recruited numerous others to benefit with her. On your departure, Annette thanks for the many happy returns you have blessed both Falls Church and this region!