March 17, 2010 > T.R.E.E. project replaces plans for educational center
T.R.E.E. project replaces plans for educational center
By Shavon Walker
Union City Council approved the redistribution of funds from the Alameda County Waste Management Authority (ACWMA) for the Tri-CED Recycling Environmental Education (T.R.E.E.) Trailer Project on March 9.
On September 13, 2005, Council approved the appropriation of $250,000 from the city's Import Mitigation Fund for the construction of an educational facility at Tri-CED's site in Union City. Contractually, the city required Tri-CED to use the funds within three years. The economic downturn has meant Tri-CED was unable to raise the additional $4M-$5M needed to build the educational center and, in late 2009, the project was terminated.
Tri-CED's latest proposal is for a mobile, educational facility. Its design would be similar to other mobile facilities all over the world, including those found in Long Beach (California) and the county of Cambridgeshire (United Kingdom).
The facility will be a trailer, 40-55 ft. long, and pulled by a full-size, tractor-like truck. It will be a traveling learning center visiting schools, parks and other public places and deliver environmental-education programs to students and the general public.
The interior will be fitted with 3-D wall panels with rainforest theme. The curriculum will be developed with the help of New Haven Unified School District and Chabot College. Tri-CED plans to bring its mobile facility to Hayward, too, and operate in both cities.
The T.R.E.E. trailer is a much more economically sound choice compared to the original idea for an educational center. Instead of spending $4M - $5M, the trailer will cost $250,000 - $500,000. Costs in excess of $250,000 are attributable to additional features and customization. The trailer is expected to be operational within a year of funds being made available.
ACWMA must also approve this re-programming of funds; preliminary consent has been given but official approval is necessary for the project to move forward. Council's decision will not impact the city financially since Tri-CED received the funding in 2005 and has kept the funds on deposit.
For more information visit www.UnionCity.org (Union City) and www.Tri-CED.org (Tri-CED Community Recycling).