APRIL 2010

Partnership expands recycling in Minnesota

The Recycling Association of Minnesota (RAM) and Minnesota Waste Wise announced new recycling opportunities in the Waseca area.

Message in a Bottle™ (MIB), an away-from-home bottle and can recycling program managed by RAM, and It’s in the Bag™ (IITB), a plastic bag recycling program managed by Waste Wise, began at the Holiday Station Store in Owatona and the Kwik Trip in Waseca as well as many other area businesses on February 3, 2010.

Both of these recycling programs have been highly successful at convenience and grocery stores in the Twin Cities, St. Cloud, Mankato, Duluth, Hutchinson and Hinckley. Success is partly due to the eye-catching recycling containers used by the programs. MIB containers are shaped like soda bottles and IITB containers are clear, making it easy to see what’s inside. To date, MIB has recycled more than 500,000 pounds of beverage containers and other plastics. IITB has recycled more than 5.5 million pounds of plastic bags and shrink film.

The programs will be partnering with the Minnesota Beverage Association, the USDA Rural Development, Steele County Environmental Services and Jobs Plus-a local vocational center employing adults with disabilities in the Waseca area. Jobs Plus employees will pick up recyclables at participating businesses such as the Holiday Station Store in Owatonna, and then sort and package them for transport. The program is projected to create 10 full-time positions at Jobs Plus.

The program expansion is possible in part to a grant from U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development’s Solid Waste Management which will provide funding to launch the programs in 10 additional areas throughout Minnesota.