Organics collection at Excelsior & Grand condos
In fall 2018, City of St. Louis Park staff provided technical assistance to the condominiums in the Park Building at Excelsior & Grand to help them start an organics collection program. As the first multifamily building in the city to offer onsite collection of food scraps and other compostable items, we asked them to share more about their experience. Below is the feedback the city received from Jody Abramson, community manager.
Starting up an organics collection program in our condominium arose from a board member and our building manager’s interest in deepening our recycling efforts. We began educating ourselves by reaching out to two recycling specialists – Emily Barker with the City of St. Louis Park and Mallory Anderson with Hennepin County. We scheduled an evening information session in our building, and soon afterwards 35 residents signed up via email expressing an interest in participating in an organics program.
We approached our waste hauler, Republic Services, and determined that we would begin by using the smallest trash container available (a 2-yard dumpster) and scheduling weekly pickups for a relatively modest fee. We also applied for and received a grant from Hennepin County that included a limited supply of compostable bags to distribute to participating residents and payment toward three months of organics collection from Republic Services. Hennepin County also provided magnets with a list of acceptable materials for residents to keep on their refrigerators – a small but useful tool for educating residents about what is appropriate to put in organics recycling. We also have a lock on the dumpster, which is located in our underground garage, so that inappropriate items are not put in the organics. Participating residents receive information on how to open the lock. Educating residents is an ongoing process.
We know this is the right action to take for our building and for the community as a whole, and it’s our hope that over time we can significantly increase the number of residents participating in this recycling program.