Tuesday, November 6, 2012

When will YOU get single-sort recycling?

The City of Minneapolis has posted a map on its web site showing which areas will get single-sort recycling during the phased roll-out.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Time to recycle your plastic flower pots

Sorry for the drought of posts this year -- I've had too much on my plate. We'll see if I can make up for lost time a little bit.

There's still time to recycle your plastic plant pots at Mother Earth Gardens in Minneapolis. This is from their website:

POT RECYCLING ends on Sunday, September 24th.
Good excuse to start the fall chores in the garage? The name of this game is cooperation. We'll take single growers pots, 4 and 6 pack cells, and trays sorted by size and free of debris. Please make sure the pots do not contain any wires, rocks, garbage, other plastics, or excessive dirt because this stuff wrecks the process downstream. We cannot take compostable pots or consumer plastic pots purchased empty. Feel free to ask us if your pots fit the bill, we need to work together to keep this program going!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Minneapolis going single-sort next year

The City Council and the mayor approved the switch. Here's the story on the city's website.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Eastside Food Co-op ending its plastics drop-off program

From their website:
After four years working with the City of Minneapolis, Eastside Food Co-op is ending its Plastics Recycling Drop-off Pilot Program.


Because the demand was so great that the City of Minneapolis has included plastics #1-7 in its expanded curb-side recycling program.

In other words, the pilot program was a success -- now the entire City will be able to recycle its #1-7 plastics curbside!

WE WILL CLOSE the Thursday plastics drop-off THIS WEEK on Thursday, April 12.
WE WILL CLOSE the Saturday plastics drop-off on SATURDAY, MAY 5.
We will not be able to accept plastics after those dates. For our patrons who do not live in Minneapolis, we encourage you to find options to recapture your plastics from the waste stream. For all of you who have rinsed, sorted, stored, and delivered your plastics over the past four years, Thank you so much for your support! It is because of your dedication that plastics recycling is now available to all residents of the City of Minneapolis. For more information, visit: www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/solid-waste/recycling

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Now's the time to downsize your Dex Yellow Pages

To reduce the directories you receive or stop delivery of those paper behemoths entirely, go to www.DexKnows.com/Green or call 1-866-60-MY-DEX (1-866-606-9339). Minneapolis residents should submit their requests by Feb. 20 to alter the May 2012 delivery of the Dex Minneapolis Yellow Pages.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Trashing your Christmas trees

We Minneapolis residents think that when we put our Christmas trees at the curb they're getting collected for composting just like yard waste in the summer, right? Well that turns out to not be the case. Apparently the city is allowed to throw those particular trees in with the trash even though it's illegal to do with yard waste. Why? They're considered 'ornamentals' and are exempt from the yard waste ban. There was some discussion about this at work, and hopefully the policy will change this year. We're keeping ours in our yard for now, and we'll put it out once yard waste season starts.

Monday, January 2, 2012

New materials being accepted at Coon Rapids Recycling Center

I know you all are going to be especially excited about this one: Styrofoam cups, plates, bowls, take-out containers, egg cartons!

Other new materials:
packing peanuts (for reuse)
fire extinguishers
propane tanks

Read all the details here.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

One-sort recycling pilot rollin' right along

Three months into the one-sort recycling pilot programs in the East Calhoun and Willard Hay neighborhoods, and residents are loving the programs and setting out lots of material.

Not uncommon to see the carts filled to the brim.

Can't recycle pizza boxes, though you can compost them, which is what this resident could be doing since East Calhoun has curbside composting service through the city.

For the first time, I got to go with the truck to dump its load of recyclables at Allied Waste's MRF in north Minneapolis.

Single-sort recyclables go here. Two-sort and multi-sort materials go elsewhere at the facility.

Here's the pit where it all gets dumped. Then a back hoe moves stuff to the sorting areas.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Keiko's zero-waste Christmas party

Meet Green Goddess Keiko. She's every bit as waste-reduction conscious as I am (she's responsible for getting the Linden Hills Festival to go zero-waste), and even more environmentally conscious. We went to her holiday party this year, and it was a nice change of pace to be attending an event without having to worry about the waste! No trash-digging for me tonight.

Her waste station.

Love that she taped examples next to the organics recycling sign!

Bins for plastic and glass

Next to the punch bowl: "Did you know ... these cups are compostable?? (they're made from corn)"

Moonshine made by her husband, Chance! Thanks for a wonderful zero-waste party, you two!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Home recycling consultation

Fellow Fulton resident Kathy was kind enough to bid on a home recycling consultation from me at the Fulton Festival's silent auction, so I went over to check out her set-up. Here's what she wrote me ahead of my visit: Currently, all we're recycling formally is cans, glass, plastic, newspaper and batteries. I'd definitely like to start recycling all mail/paper and as much food waste as possible in the back yard.

Her adorable elderly pup slept through most of the consultation.

Her collection set-up for metal, plastic and glass. We discussed using small bins rather than using a lot of paper bags, which yes, are recyclable and renewable, but if you can use as few of them as possible, that's fewer resources consumed.

Here's where boxes and mail get tossed before getting separated. I've heard anecdotally that a lot of people toss everything into one pile and then separate it the night before recycling day -- another reason for moving to single-sort or dual-sort recycling for the whole city. The convenience for residents would be much welcomed!

The newspaper collection area.

We sorted through her kitchen trash, pulling out all the recyclable paper, plastic bags and food waste. This was all that was left.

And here's where she'll put a compost pile in her back yard. Good southern exposure. And because it's right on the alley, her neighbors will see her composting, and maybe that'll spur them to consider doing it, too.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Free-range Christmas tree

We got our tree this year, as we do most years, at Mother Earth Gardens. We were delighted to find "organic free-range" trees this year. Ours was $20 for a cute 5-foot-tall tree with a skinny base.

The tag reads: Celebrate Christmas with an elegant, fragrant north woods Balsam fir, and you will be helping to protect our old-growth white pine forests from wildfire. Polar explorer Will Steger and author Jeff Forester have teamed up to offer these unique, pesticide-free trees. Northern Minnesota conifer forests are clogged with an understory of balsam fir that provide easy fuel for wildfires. By removing the smaller trees, we not only reduce fuel load but create openings for red and white pine seedlings. Proceeds from the sale of this tree will go toward replanting our native red and white pine forest.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Multi-sort recycling in Minneapolis

Those of us who live in Minneapolis have probably seen the compartmentalized recycling truck on our street, but what does picking up all that separated material involve? To do some research for a comparison of two-sort and single-sort recycling, I did a ridealong, and I have one word for you: strenuous.

I went with Pat, who also does the collecting for the two-sort recycling pilot program in the Seward neighborhood.

Don't set your recyclables out in plastic bags -- they get all tangled up in the machines at the recycling facility.

Why is multi-sort collection strenuous? Glass. Heavy glass.

Brown, green and clear glass bottles get separated by hand by the recycling collector.

The other strenuous part: paper. Also heavy. See how Pat is throwing the paper way over his head? He does that more than 100 times a day. And the panels on the sides of the truck raise as the paper compartment gets fuller and fuller, so the opening for throwing paper in becomes smaller and smaller.

Pat stomping on the paper to compress it in the compartment.

Lots of bending and lifting.

The plastics compartment is the last one in the trailer.

Two steering wheels!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Recycling in Millbrae, CA

I was at my mom's on recycling day, so I took some pics of Millbrae's collection service. The city does a 2-sort system, as you can see on this cart, which has a divider in the middle.

Then the recycling truck came by. Millbrae is serviced by SSF Scavenger.

And I was surprised to see the automated arm dump the cart's contents into one hopper ...

Maybe there's a divider in the hopper that keeps the bottles and cans separate from the paper? But if not ... why have residents sort their recyclables only to have them dumped all together?

The cul-de-sac seemed to be a real challenge.