“SCCA is my way to give back and help grow our local business community, which is key to keeping Seward as a sustainable neighborhood.”
SCCA Member: Tracy Singleton, Birchwood Café

Recycling Resources

April’s SCCA meeting raised some important issues and shared information with each other.

Batteries: You probably know that used batteries should never be thrown in the garbage. Some recycling haulers will take them if you put them together in a plastic bag in your recycling. You can also drop used batteries off at the Lake Street Target. They will also take cell phones and plastic bags.

Compost: Organics recycling is taking root across the metro. Businesses are seeing the benefits of managing orghanic waste through other means than simply disposing of it as trash. Shop around to see which waste haulers offer the service at a price that works for you, or ask your neighbors. There are a few small local groups that will pick up organic waste for no charge. Pizza Luce’s food waste gets taken every other day to a pig farm. Precision Grind sends all its coffee grounds to a group that uses it in their compost. Do you have a creative solution? Share it with our members in the comments section!

Hazardous Waste: If your business regularly produces hazardous waste, Hennepin County can help you understand the rules about how to dispose of it.

Sorting Requirements: Though there are dozens of haulers, they all take their materials to just a few “material recovery facilities” which manage the process of sorting. Those facilities are mostly equipped to do single-sort or dual sort (cardboard & paper vs. bottles and cans). However, haulers tend to have very different rules about how recycling needs to be sorted, and which plastics they will take. If your hauler requires more detailed sorting, ask them whether they have a plan to simplify. If they don’t, you might consider switching to a different company to make it easier for your employees to keep recycling out of the garbage without a lot of extra work.

Construction Debris: Buck Brothers works with Atomic Recycling to go through all the construction debris they produce in their remodeling projects. Atomic provides detailed reports about what happens to the different materials.

Items that can be Reused: Don Barton from Barton Player Pianos had a great story of selling old piano parts to an artist who used them to create a sculpture that has been shown in museums across the country – one man’s trash is another man’s treasure! That’s also true at new member organization Free Geek, which takes old computers and rebuilds them, or uses them as training tools in their classes and then recycles the parts.

Hammer Family

Allen Christian’s creative use of old piano parts that would have gone to the landfill.

RESOURCES:

Hennepin County has lots of great resources, and we are hoping to find new ways to partner with them in the future. You can order free signs for your recycling and garbage containers here. Or just email Renee at info@sewardbusiness.org, and we can get a larger order together. Hennepin County also features businesses of the month. Nominate yourself or a neighbor who does a great job, and we’ll repost here if a Seward business gets the award!

There were definitely some issues that members raised that SCCA might be able to help resolve. For example, Pizza Luce would really benefit from Saturday pickup from their recycling hauler, specifically for cardboard. Hennepin County representative Andre Xiong suggested that getting businesses together to demand certain services of their haulers can actually be very effective. Do you know anyone who would also benefit from Saturday pickup? Let us know. If you have a great experience with your hauler, or a question about a service your current hauler doesn’t provide (Compost or batteries? Higher plastic categories?), email us at info@sewardbusiness.org and we’ll work to get you the right answers!

 

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