Anoka County Brotherhood Council
What: Adding single stream recycling and increasing food waste recycling by adding service with Barthold Farms.
Why: To make the most responsible and caring decisions when it comes to waste and conservation.
How: Worked with Waste Wise to identify opportunities for recycling improvements and utilized Anoka County grant funding to get all of the bins, signs, and educational tools in place to collect various recyclables.
Results: Diverting an additional 28,314 pounds of waste from the landfill every year.
The Anoka County Brotherhood Council (ACBC) provides emergency food and clothing assistance to local individuals and families in need. In addition to extending excellent care to people, ACBC is focused on ensuring that they make the most of the donations that they receive and that they waste as little as possible. With this philosophy of care and responsibility in mind, ACBC met with the Minnesota Waste Wise Foundation in early 2016 to see if they could improve upon their current waste and recycling practices.
When ACBC’s Director, Jerri Loughry initially met with Waste Wise, she was already making extra efforts to recycle their plastic bags, cardboard, and even a portion of their food waste with a local farmer. Following recommendations from Waste Wise, Jerri was able to take advantage of opportunities to expand their food waste recycling program and also add a single stream recycling program. The additional “Food to Hogs” recycling program with Barthold Farms ensures almost all of the food waste from ACBC finds a second life as animal feed. Additionally, the implementation of a single stream recycling program means much of the packaging that was containing this food waste is now being recycled too!
To make sure that their recycling improvements wouldn’t incur large expenses, ACBC was able to utilize Anoka County business recycling grant funding to obtain the bins and signs they needed to collect all of their various recycling streams and communicate their recycling programs to their volunteers. Jerri has been very pleased with the results stating “all of our volunteers agree that recycling is important.” Jerri has also noticed the benefit of having industry standard containers and labels commenting “this makes it easier to recycle our food waste and plastic food containers.”
All told, ACBC’s recycling improvements have resulted in over 28,000 pounds of material being diverted from ACBC’s trash stream into responsible recycling outlets.
Jerri, her staff and volunteers are continuing to collect their plastic bags for recycling at local grocery stores and are actively seeking new opportunities for waste diversion. Jerri is excited to notice that her trash dumpster is considerably less full than it previously was and hopes to reduce service in order to save money on overall waste and recycling bills.