Community Gem: Centerville man lives a nearly waste-free life

Mike Fanelli stands on all the trash him and his wife have produced in the past year and a half
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Mike Fanelli stands on all the trash him and his wife have produced in the past year and a half

Mike Fanelli is trying to serve the region by proselytizing the benefits of recycling, practicing what he preaches, and helping encourage others to do the same.

Fanelli, 72, is a Centerville resident and retired engineer for General Motors. He was nominated as a Dayton Daily News Community Gem by Centerville Communications Director and friend, Kate Bostdorff.

“Mike is a master recycler,” Bostdorff said. “He is just so passionate about our environment and teaching people how to take care of it.”

Mike Fanelli stands on all the trash he and his wife have produced in the past year and a half. CONTRIBUTED
Caption
Mike Fanelli stands on all the trash he and his wife have produced in the past year and a half. CONTRIBUTED

Fanelli’s passion for recycling started in 2006, when he took a Master Recycler Class offered through Five Rivers Metro Parks and the Montgomery County Waste Management. Since then, Fanelli has started the sustainability committee for the City of Centerville as well as the city’s annual styrofoam recycling event.

Along with his work in the community, Fanelli says he and his wife are trying to live as much as possible this approach - disposing of as little as possible.

“My wife and I live an almost completely waste-free life,” Fanelli said. “We have not emptied our trash can in a year and a half.”

Fanelli is planning to work with Montgomery County Environmental Services and Five Rivers Metro Parks to create a video series that helps educate people on what can and cannot be recycled, how to compost, and hacks on how to make recycling more efficient. He wants to reward participants in the program after they complete each video in the series.

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The Centerville resident said that he hopes his approach to environmental sustainability will inspire other creative minded people to take on the fun challenge of living a low-waste life.

“Recycling is confusing,” Fanelli said. “The biggest thing we can accomplish is spread the word and get the knowledge and information out there so that we can steer more people to reduced waste living.”

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