In less than five minutes, Ben Haggerty can explain all the eco-friendly happenings at the B-List
, his bar in Bellevue, Kentucky. It has the attention of artists, home brewers and lamp makers.
40, married and father of two, lives in Mount Auburn. He and co-owner
Kevin Feldman opened the B-List eight years ago, and Haggerty has been
at the helm of its green projects. Between bar duties, he manages Green Streets
a storm water mitigation company. (Soapbox recently profiled the
Sustainability Partnership of Cincinnati, with which Green Streets is
affiliated. Read that story here
the bar at least twice a week, Haggerty finds re-uses for what some
might consider garbage. Peanuts are free here, he says, and patrons are
allowed to throw shells on the floor. It's for a good cause.
peanut oils help keep dust down on the floor," he says. "We sweep up
the shells, box them up and take them to the neighborhood compost.
Peanut shells make absolutely wonderful compost."
Really, his garbage is gold for others.
instance, our beer boxes go to a Dayton (Kentucky) pantry for food
deliveries," he says. "I was throwing out thousands of pounds of
cardboard and glass, but now we look for any way we can to find homes
for that stuff."
Haggerty doesn't stop there. "We donate all of
our liquor bottles to a company that makes oil lamps," he says. "We
probably donate 15-20 cases every month or two months."
He doesn't ask for names. "This is all very grassroots."
bottles are difficult to recycle because they're made of low-quality
glass, Haggerty says. "The only folks that have stepped up are folks
looking to make home brew. They take pop-top bottles."
And those bottle caps aren't wasted.
"All of our bottle caps are saved for metal recycling, or we save them for artists," he says. "We give them boxes upon boxes."
says an occasional visitor named Bridget (that's all he knows) ships
bottle cap-loaded boxes back to the New York for "some massive art
project … I know she's been working on it for a few years."
less mysterious but perhaps equally creative terms, local jewelry
designer Abbie Turner is making bottle cap earrings, affectionately
"I plan to sell all of these in my Etsy shop
and to the lovely locals," she says. "Also thought they may be cool as part of the uniform for the girls at local bars."
By Rich Shivener