Organics recycling is beginning in ECCO. Neighborhood residents received a letter in early July from Susan Young, Director of Minneapolis Solid Waste and Recycling Services, inviting them to participate in the voluntary, free program. As of mid-July, around 80 households had signed up. (There are over 800 eligible households in ECCO, including single-family homes, duplexes, tri- and four-plexes.) Carts will be delivered in late July, with weekly pick-up starting in August.
ECCO is part of a pilot program to test residential organics collection on a small, neighborhood scale in order to assess the feasibility of broadening the program citywide. Examples of other large cities that offer comprehensive organics collection include San Francisco and Toronto.
Over 30% of what we presently throw away with our garbage is compostable, comprising food scraps and non-recyclable paper products such as paper towels, tissues, refrigerator packaging and pizza boxes. When burned in the downtown incinerator, this organic matter produces CO2 and other greenhouse gases. When collected by city trucks and delivered to commercial composting facilities, our organic material will instead be turned into a valuable commodity for improving the health of our soil and reducing demand for chemical fertilizers. Furthermore, recycling organics into compost reduces waste-related greenhouse gas emissions. With this program, Minneapolis takes a critical step toward addressing climate change.
To sign up for the organics collection program, email Susan Young at firstname.lastname@example.org, call Solid Waste and Recycling at 612.673.2917 or call 311. Questions? Contact Sarah Sponheim at 612.824.2613.
Sarah Sponheim lives in ECCO, chairs the ECCO Environment Committee and blogs at www.greenseachange.blogspot.com.
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