Friday, September 30, 2011

Composting in Duluth

Holy cow, I haven't blogged in a long time! I've got some catching up to do!

Recently I was in Duluth with my mom, and we ate at At Sara's Table/Chester Creek Cafe (which still has the old Taran's MarketPlace signage up, so the place essentially has three names). The food was soooo yummy, and, bonus, they strive to use local ingredients and double bonus, they compost! And they're a drop site for residents to bring their compostables! So of course I took pics for you.

Lake Superior whitefish, wild rice and green beans sauteed in garlic and butter.

Pulled pork sandwich with Indian curry veg soup

And then there was the PIE! Oh my ... strawberry rhubarb

Devoured within seconds.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Guest recycler Barbara

Neighbor Barbara was kind enough to take a huge vanload of Styrofoam to the Coon Rapids Recycling Center for me because she was going to be in the neighborhood. We crammed in as much as we could, leaving just enough room for her two sons. I heard that the morning ride was quite hilarious with the squeaking of the Styrofoam and that everyone laughed the whole time, which is exactly what you want when someone's doing you a huge favor. Barbara then brought home another full vanload, this time egg cartons and chip bags and candy wrappers. What a pal!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Fulton Festival and Farmers Market

It was a gorgeous day for Fulton's neighborhood festival and farmers market (above is the lovely display by Patisserie 46), and so many of my wonderful friends turned out to help me by monitoring the waste stations. Thanks to them, it went fantastically! Here are the numbers:

organics/compostables: 147.5 lbs
cans: 10.1
plastic bottles: 5.4
glass: 7.7
plastic film/bags: 2.7 lbs
cardboard: 40.9 lbs
trash: 12.9 lbs

for a total diversion rate of 94%!

It was crucial that we didn't have plastic tablecloths this year, which made up the bulk of our trash last year, and we asked vendors to not give away candy in plastic packaging. And last year we had baked potatoes wrapped in foil (with sour cream and butter in plastic cups), which we eliminated this year. Last year's trash was 22 lbs.

Here're all my disposal monitors, all of them quite green-minded. This is Jon.


Here's Madalyn, standing behind Hennepin County's portable recycling units. Also featured are Carolyn's new stickers and signs.


Marc and Tinzing
4 64-gallon carts filled

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Midtown Farmers Market

I really think our farmers markets are the perfect spot to offer away-from-home organics (compostables) recycling. So much of what's generated there is compostable, and it's a nice way to expose people to the idea of recycling their food waste and non-recyclable paper. That's why whenever I go to a farmers market, I check out their waste situation. I went to the Midtown Farmers Market for the first time last weekend, and it had a great community vibe and nice selection of produce and prepared food.

I was glad to see a recycling bin prominently placed next to the trash can.

Fireroast Mountain Cafe (delicious tamales) collects their organics (see the compostable bag tied to their booth below), and one of their employees also goes through all the market trash at the end, sorting out the organics to take back to the cafe for composting. A fellow dumpster diver/waste diversion enthusiast!

At the market, I saw J.P., who I met when he was an AmeriCorps VISTA member working with Nellie Stone Johnson school. Here he is at the school media composting event back in May.

And he made this cool pouch! J.P., the Renaissance man. And I thought only TerraCycle made these ...

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Great Minnesota Get-Together

Yes, of course I'm going to say it: There is a TON of compostable material at the State Fair. I hadn't been to the fair for at least 5 years, but I went with Carolyn and her family this year and had a great time. Lots of good eats! So far the fair is composting corn cobs/husks and animal bedding, but that's it.

Here is only one of hundreds of trash cans at the fair. I did see recycling bins for bottles and cans, which is great, but they weren't paired with every trash can, unfortunately.

The modern-day 4-Her: texting from her animals' pen.


Wrangling kids.

We took home all our compostables, but our party of 5 adults and 1 child did have a number of plastic and Styrofoam cups, too. We brought reusable utensils, napkins and water bottles from home.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Minneapolis' single-sort recycling pilot program

Here are the carts! Same 96-gallon trash carts but with a bright blue lid and plenty of stickers. ECCO (East Calhoun) and Willard Hay are the two neighborhoods in the single-sort recycling pilot program.

The ideal set-up! Jumbo recycling cart, medium-sized organics (compostables) cart and small trash cart!