Beginning January 1, 2016, a new recycling statute took effect in the Twin Cities 7-County Metro Area. Most businesses that produce at least 4 cubic yards of waste per week are now required to recycle at least three kinds of materials.. Whoever holds the waste service contract, whether it’s the business or a property manager, will be responsible for following these new guidelines.
So where does this put your business? Whether or not you’re affected by this legislation, there are several reasons to look into your current waste management system.
The first is simply cost. In addition to a 17% state tax on solid waste, counties may change an additional County Environmental Charge that can be as high as 53%. In contrast, there are no state or county fees on recycling or organics services.
Another reason is the environment. Despite our “out of sight, out of mind” tendencies, we all know that everything that goes in the trash has to go somewhere. Whether it’s being burned or thrown in a landfill, the bottom line is that our waste affects our environmental and public health. Nobody intentionally pollutes, but we could all be more diligent about reducing waste.
So what now? The options can be overwhelming and a true solution for your business is not a one-size-fits-all approach, especially for property managers and businesses with multiple locations. What we do (free of charge) is simply start the conversation about managing your waste to fit your company, your customers, your way. In particular, we can direct property management companies, chains, and businesses with multiple locations to the best technical resources that can analyze your waste stream and help with next steps. These resources may even include grants up to $10,000 to help offset the costs of beginning or improving your recycling system.
The best part is we can do this in a private, discreet, and non-regulatory way. Our organization is dedicated to building partnerships and developing collaborative solutions. The decision is yours, we’re just here to make the whole process as easy as possible.
Bjorn Olson is a Senior Environmental Project Associate at Environmental Initiative. He can be reached at 612-334-3388 x.108, or at firstname.lastname@example.org
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