2016 Business Recycling Law
New Recycling Requirement for Businesses
Starting January 1, 2016, recycling will be the law for many businesses. Commercial building owners operating or leasing to a retail establishment, restaurant, educational or professional service, health care service or any other business with a North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) code between 42 and 81 and contracting disposal of at least four cubic yards of solid waste per week must recycle at least three materials, such as paper, glass, plastic, metal and organics (food waste and soiled paper).
5 Tips to Green in the New Year
The New Year is a time for resolutions that are made to bring about positive changes in your life. This year, make a difference in your community and start off the New Year right by adding some easy green resolutions to your list. Here are five ideas to help you get started:
- Reduce your food waste: 40% of food is currently being wasted in the United States. That means wasted resources, time, energy, and money. Reducing your food waste might be as easy as making smaller trips to the store with a clear list in mind, or just storing your food properly to make it last as long as possible. For more tips, visit our Reduce Your Food Waste Guide.
- Reuse with ease: Why buy something new when you can fix something you have for free? This year, resolve to attend a Dakota County Fix-It Clinic when you have something in need of repair. Clinics are offered every month in cities around Dakota County and you can bring up to five small household items such as torn clothing, broken vacuum cleaners, and more.
- Recycle everything you can: This year, recycle more by using the hauler specific recycling guides found here. While you’re at it, make sure to recycle the things that can’t go in your curbside bin such as electronics by taking them to the Recycling Zone!
- Ditch the plastic: Approximately 50% of the plastic we use, we use once then throw away. Make 2018 the year you make a conscious effort to bring a reusable bag shopping and a reusable water bottle whenever possible.
- Recycle your organics: Organic material such as food scraps and food-soiled paper don't have to end up in the landfill. Instead turn them into a rich soil amendment by recycling them. Dakota County now has two free drop sites for your household organics. You can also resolve to backyard compost this year too! Find out how using our Backyard Composting Guide here.
Ames Center Begins Recycling Organics
The Burnsville Ames Center continues to "wow the crowds" with its newest venture: organics recycling. Guests at the Ames Center may notice the new, brightly colored bins around the venue that feature traditional recycling, trash, and a special spot just for organic waste.
To make recycling easier, the new containers have labels showing what can be thrown where, and most of the items in the concession/bar have been switched to BPI-Certified compostable alternatives. While bottles, cans and paper handouts can continue to go in the regular blue recycling bin, things such as cups, plastic forks, napkins, apple cores, and most food containers can go into the green organics bin. Other items such as candy wrappers or chip bags should still go in the trash.
Many of these new BPI-Certified compostable items are made of a plant based plastic and look like they could go in the recycling bin. However, in order for them to be turned into compost, they will need to go in the green bin with other compostable items. If you are unsure if the item you purchased is compostable, check the item for the BPI Logo or just ask any staff member at the Ames Center.
Organics recycling plays an essential role in keeping valuable materials out of landfills. Organics collected at the Ames Center will be brought to a local organics recycling facility to be turned into compost, a valuable soil additive. Compost improves soil quality, reduces erosion, reduces greenhouse gases, and decreases the need for chemical fertilizers.
So, next time you’re at the Ames Center, grab an ice cold refreshment and make to sure throw the whole cup in the green bin when you’re done- straw too!
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