Monday, January 25, 2010

Treasuring Waste: MIMO & Yogurt Cup Collection

Americans are hooked on garbage, 4.5 pounds of it generated per day per person according to EPA 2008 estimates (pdf). Sadly, 60-85% of that is recyclable! Somehow, our society tolerates throwing away materials that can be reused or regenerated into new products. Garbage is a resource, which does not need to include waste-to-energy power plants. Grass-roots neighborhood level activities can urge the reversing of this trend. For example in SE Como, this neighborhood is trying to reduce the amount of reusable furnishings lost to the trash during college move-out schedules in fall and spring. SECIA has coined this as "MIMO" or move-in/move-out. The organization has a grant from the MPCA to work on a pilot that redistributes usable items left on curbs and alleys. The program will feature a re-use "store" that will be set-up during key weeks when college students are on the move.

Further, in the Midway area of St. Paul, neighbors are setting up yogurt cup collection, another example of reuse! The collected cups will be made into seed starting kits. In both cases, community members are deciding to take the issue of waste into their own hands and find a better solution. Presently this is the answer to institutionalized waste; personal choice and action! Here is the yogurt cup collection announcement:

HMEG Announces a Yogurt Cup Re-Use Collection in the Midway at Shirtz Unlimited on Snelling Avenue. The Hamline Midway Environmental Group (HMEG), in partnership with the Recycling Association of Minnesota (RAM), invites you to recycle your large and small yogurt cups (with lids) to reduce waste! HMEG has arranged a neighborhood drop-off location at Shirtz Unlimited, a locally owned shirt screening business, on Snelling Avenue near the intersection of Minnehaha Avenue. The yogurt cup recycling is sponsored by the Recycling Association of The yogurt cups will be re-used to make seed starter kits for sale to the public. To recycle your yogurt cups and cottage cheese containers bring them to the Shirtz Unlimited store (755 Snelling Ave N, 651-645-3311). The pilot re-use program accepts only CLEAN single serving (6oz) and 32oz containers for recycling. Don't forget the lids! Please, no Yoplait brand or six-pack containers.

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