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Green Expo Hosted for White Bear Lake Area Businesses
The White Bear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce hosted their first Green Expo October 29 at Kellerman's Event Center in White Bear Lake. Over 75 local businesses attended to learn about best practices for reducing waste and improving recycling programs, as well as how to improve their bottom line by generating less trash. Minnesota Waste Wise also offered attendees free technical assistance (funded by Ramsey County) to assess current waste management practices and find recycling and reduction opportunities. Funding for the Green Expo was provided by Ramsey County through the Community Partners on Waste Education and Reduction (POWER) Grant Program.
High Turnout at October’s Household Hazardous Waste Collection
Ramsey County received far more participants than expected at the household hazardous waste mobile collection event, held October 5 at Aldrich Arena in Maplewood. This year 299 vehicles dropped off chemical waste, including a large volume of used motor oil. Much of this increase in participation can be attributed to extended outreach in the Hmong community. There was a live radio broadcast by Hmong MN Radio, performances by Center for Hmong Arts and Talent, and prize drawings from Asian Outdoor Heritage. The County will continue promoting safe household hazardous waste disposal among Hmong residents in various ways.
Greening Up Grand Old Day
A grant from Ramsey County helped the Grand Avenue Business Association (GABA) achieve amazing strides in lessening the carbon footprint of the 2013 Grand Old Day event. GABA reduced trash from 20 to 11 tons, and recycled 4 tons of waste. This dramatic change was achieved by hiring a company to coordinate all waste and recycling efforts. This year 300 pairs of carts were set up along Grand Avenue – one waste and one recycling – within easy reach of every attendee. These leased carts eliminated the need for 750 temporary cardboard boxes, which GABA used for collecting recyclables in previous years and had to be disposed of in the trash. Food vendors were also asked to use recyclable products whenever possible, instead of waxed paper or Styrofoam. This year's Grand Old Day was not only GABA's greenest but cleanest event, as well, with less littering along the street.
Minnesota Waste Wise Features Two Saint Paul Restaurants at Annual Meeting
Two Saint Paul restaurants recently shared their successes in reducing waste and increasing recycling at the annual meeting of the Minnesota Waste Wise Foundation.
The Ramsey/Washington Resource Recovery Project contracts with Minnesota Waste Wise, a program of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, to provide outreach and assistance to businesses in Ramsey and Washington counties. Minnesota Waste Wise works to help businesses reduce waste, increase recycling, and ramp up participation in organics recycling or composting programs. The Saint Paul Hotel, home to the Saint Paul Grill and M Street Café and host of this year's annual meeting, is a prime example of the fruits of this partnership. Operations Director Ken Wieber's presentation showcased how the hotel worked with Waste Wise to divert most of its waste into composting, reduce its trash service by more than 75 percent, and save thousands of dollars a year. Trent Taher of Taher, Inc., also presented on a successful organics diversion program developed with Waste Wise's assistance at Forepaugh's Restaurant. Zack Hansen, Director of the Environmental Health Section at Saint Paul – Ramsey County Public Health, also spoke to the nearly 100 business and recycling industry leaders who attended the annual meeting. Ramsey and Washington county restaurants or food service operations interested in reducing food waste and saving money can find more information and request free technical assistance at LessTrash.com.
Transforming the Historic Union Depot
The Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority is seeking LEED Gold certification to recognize innovative environmental techniques used in renovating and operating the historic Union Depot. The renovation included significant recycling of construction waste, energy efficiency improvements, mechanical system upgrades, installation of daylighting, connection to district heating and cooling, and extensive reuse of existing building materials. Day-to-day operations at Union Depot incorporate cutting-edge storm water management techniques, a comprehensive recycling program for paper, can and bottles, and LEED-compliant green chemicals and techniques for cleaning.
LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design which is designated by the United States Green Building Council. LEED Gold certification is designed to provide a standard for sustainable construction and indoor environmental quality by optimizing water, energy and material efficiencies.
2013: Spring | Fall 2012: Spring | Fall
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