What: Adding color coded recycling stations for single stream recycling and organics recycling meanwhile educating congregants to participate in these programs.
Why: To promote recycling and care for the environment.
How: Worked with the MN Waste Wise Foundation to audit the building and develop a plan for improving recycling collections and educating visitors and employees alike.
Results: Diverting an additional 9,828 pounds of recyclable material annually.
Faith Lutheran in Coon Rapids was referred to the MN Waste Wise Foundation through the Coon Rapids Recycling Center. Faith Lutheran had been recycling some of their organic material generated at coffee hours, luncheons and other gatherings but Coon Rapids Recycling Coordinator Colleen Sinclair suggested they could collect more recyclables by adding new receptacles and high quality labels.
Faith Lutheran gathered their facilities manager, business administrator, and Caring for Creation group for a meeting with Waste Wise to discuss opportunities for improved recycling activities. After meeting with Waste Wise, Faith Lutheran decided it would be a good idea to move forward with an Anoka County business recycling grant to obtain all of the tools they would need to collect as much organics recycling as possible and improve their standard recycling program at the same time.
At this point Faith Lutheran decided to obtain color coded trash, recycling, and organics recycling stations, put them on wheels for easy mobility, and equip them all with consistent signage also provided by Anoka County. These new recycling stations proved to be just the motivation employees, congregants and visitors needed to improve their recycling habits. The Caring for Creation team has been a key component of the recycling initiative by presenting during church services to engage everyone with the improved recycling programs. Additionally, facilities manager John Hofmann plans to present to various groups at upcoming meetings regarding the organics recycling program and what materials can be included.
Faith Lutheran is already diverting an additional estimated 9,828 pounds of recyclable material from the trash every year. As these recycling programs gain traction and Faith Lutheran considers purchasing more compostable materials they expect their waste diversion will increase even more. John Hofman is very excited about the new recycling receptacles and everyone’s participation in the program, “It’s been an easy transition and people have been saying nice things about the new recycling containers,” said Hofman. John is also very grateful for the grant program saying, “We wouldn’t have been able to make these improvements without the grant program, it’s good to know we’re doing the right thing and didn’t need to spend a lot of money to do it!”