Waste

How recycling, composting, byproduct re-newables, smarter packaging and other re-use products are making us Green

The Nuance of Plastic

One of the goals of MPLSGreen.com has been to explore the choices we have around the many issues that do not have black-or-white solutions. With all the decisions we make in a day, we do tend to want an easy “right” and “wrong” choice — but sometimes that isn’t possible. In the case of microbeads, there has been a…

Minneapolis Composting

Special thanks to Lynnhurst Neighborhood Association for its excellent Minneapolis composting and recycling forum in 2015, where much of this was discussed The mixture of nitrogen-rich greens from food waste, and carbon-based browns from yard waste, combine over a six- to nine-month period to create useable compost for landscaping and road construction projects. But even…

Eureka Recycling: “There is no such thing as waste”

Eureka Recycling tipped its 1 billionth pound of recyclables onto the floor of its Northeast Minneapolis recovery center today – according to its data from 15 years of collection efforts. Nearly half of that material has been recycled into new products in Minnesota. For example, paper and cardboard becomes boxboard at WestRock in St. Paul, “and is back…

Thriving in a Land of No Waste

— Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac, 1949 It is a romantic notion that all the elements of our world are interconnected, as Wisconsin author Aldo Leopold captured in his 1949 ode to our ecology. But, it is also an accurate notion. This is, after all, how the cycles of our world have survived, century…

Action: How Can We Reduce Waste?

There were several focal points at the November 2015 “Sustainable We” forum that lend themselves to action steps Minneapolis residents can take to reduce waste. 1. Think About Your Buying Habits Recognize that waste is less about what you throw in the trash and more about what you buy. See this story for more on that conversation. As…

Sustainable We Forum: Putting a Value on Waste, by Design

At the second Sustainable We forum, in November 2015, the take-away from the group conversation seemed to come down to three bullet points: Minneapolis has the capacity, if not yet the policies, to emphasize even more sustainable social values; Minneapolis has the innovators, if not yet the awareness about them, to lift up stronger design…

RESULTS Sustainable We #2: The Life Cycle of Waste

Our city-wide series of “Sustainable We” conversations  continued November 16 with a group discussion at Lake Harriet Spiritual Community center in Linden Hills about Minneapolis garbage. Overview: Putting a Value on Waste, by Design Amanda LaGrange explained the work TechDump does, not only giving new life to electronics, but training and hiring those who have had trouble finding employment. Read more about TechDump…

What Gives Us Cancer? A Primer on Indoor Air Toxins

In educating myself about air quality issues in Minneapolis (see below for links), I’ve become more aware of what most of us don’t realize — how much toxicity we are exposed to in our own homes. Low-income communities in particular tend to be vulnerable because of multiple exposure: 1) they live in areas that have worse outdoor…

TechDump: The Electronic Waste Land

During a recent visit to TechDump‘s St. Paul location, 17-year-old Julian and 11-year-old Dylan got a tour by CEO Amanda LaGrange. She offered a snapshot of what the company does with massive mounds of e-waste, and why. Older models especially used more precious minerals in its larger components. Step 1: Collection Residents can drop off electronic waste at…