What: Improving single stream recycling and adding a plastic film recycling program.
Why: To reduce their environmental impact by reducing waste and increasing recycling.
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 estimated 22,269 pounds of recycling from the waste stream each year.
Cell Culture Company manufactures diagnostic and therapeutic single-use bioreactor systems. These products help people around the world maintain and improve their health and wellbeing. As part of this commitment to ongoing health and wellbeing, Cell Culture Company was interested in meeting with the Minnesota Waste Wise Foundation to identify opportunities to improve their company’s impact on the environment.
In early 2016 Waste Wise met with a group of Cell Culture Company employees who expressed an interest in improving the environmental impact of their workplace. During this meeting Waste Wise was able to provide a number of recommendations to reduce the amount “trash” leaving the premises and increase recycling. The first step in this process proved to be adding single stream recycling.
Waste Wise was able to get Cell Culture Company in contact with their waste hauler Walter’s Recycling and Refuse to switch their existing cardboard only recycling dumpster to a single stream recycling dumpster. This change means that now all plastic bottles, glass bottles and jars, office paper, aluminum cans, and cardboard can be collected together in the same dumpster. With improved waste and recycling hauling in place, Cell Culture Company was able to utilize Anoka County’s business recycling grant program to get all of the bins and signs that they needed to make recycling available and highly visible throughout their facility.
In addition to adding single stream recycling, Cell Culture Company made the decision to collect plastic shrink wrap, plastic bags, and other plastic film that is generated from deliveries and employees’ daily activities. Two large bags of plastic film are collected each week and taken to a local “big box store” where they are included in a plastic film recycling program.
Now that Cell Culture Company has made improvements to their internal recycling collections, educated their staff via email and ongoing encouragement, and met with their custodial service they are diverting an estimated 22,269 pounds of recyclable material each year. “Every week it looks like our recycling bins are getting used more and more,” commented Renee Thurmer a Cell Culture Company scientist. With single stream recycling already a success, Cell Culture Company is looking forward to potentially adding a recycling program for their single use lab coats, hair nets, boot covers, and gloves. “These recycling improvements have been really wonderful, everyone has been very receptive of the new program,” added Thurmer.