What: Implemented a Single Stream recycling program at all three Anoka County Locations.
Why: To improve their environmental impact and extend recycling services to their customers and employees.
How: Worked with the MN Waste Wise Foundation to obtain grant funding for bins at store entrances, pump islands and behind the counter.
Results: Diverting approximately 30,420 pounds of recycling from their waste stream annually.
Kevin Amundson is a hands-on owner of three Neighbor Stop gas stations and convenience stores in Anoka County. Kevin is focused on providing a positive environment for both his customers and employees. So when he first heard of the potential for recycling to improve the experiences of his everyone involved while also benefiting the natural environment, it was an easy decision to add recycling at his stores.
Kevin chose to meet with the MN Waste Wise Foundation to identify the specific opportunities at Neighbor Stop that would help them to recycle more and waste less. Ultimately, Neighbor Stop developed a plan to offer its customers with recycling options at the gas pump islands and store entrances, while also ensuring employees have easy access to recycling throughout the stores.
Neighbor Stop was able to utilize Anoka County’s business recycling grant program to obtain all of these new bins and signs for free. This ensured all trash cans are paired with industry standard recycling receptacles and that high quality signage is in place to encourage everyone to recycle as much as possible.
With bins in place Kevin had Waste Wise come out to a managers meeting to go over the new recycling program and give his managers the information they needed to lead their employees as they adapted to the new recycling program. Store Manager, Alicia Buckner, commented “Most employees have taken a liking to recycling and are pretty in tune with it.” Even when her employees do make a mistake, Alicia commented she is equipped with the knowledge to correct them and encourage them to break down boxes and recycle as much as they can.
Combined, the three Neighbor Stops in Anoka County are now recycling an estimated 30,420 pounds of material every year. Previously, this 15 tons of recyclable waste would have gone to landfills or waste to energy facilities, but is now being made into new products helping to preserve our natural environment and save energy. Kevin is very pleased with how the recycling program is going. “I think more about recycling at home now that we’ve been focusing on it at the stores,” remarked Kevin, “and our customers really like the addition too!”