ANOKA COUNTY, Minn. — Of the county’s 21 municipalities, 13 met or exceeded their 2011 recycling goals: Andover, Bethel, Circle Pines, Columbia Heights, Columbus, Coon Rapids, Ham Lake, Hilltop, Lexington, Lino Lakes, Nowthen, Ramsey, and Spring Lake Park. Their achievements were recognized recently by the Anoka County Solid Waste Abatement Advisory Team, which advises the Anoka County board on issues related to recycling and solid waste management.
“We all recognize the benefits of recycling for our environment but recycling programs provide a big boost to our economy as well, said Anoka County Commissioner Jim Kordiak, who chairs the county’s Waste Management and Energy Committee. “Recycling programs add close to $8.5 billion to Minnesota’s economy each year, with 37,000 jobs and more than $1.96 billion in wages.”
The City of Andover received special recognition for having the most prolific municipal recycling program in Anoka County. Andover has consistently met its recycling goals every year since 1988. In 2011, Andover residents recycled more than 4,081 tons of materials and collected nearly 82 tons of problem materials for proper management. The city’s recycling rate of more than 260 pounds per person per year for all materials is the highest of any Anoka County municipality. Andover promotes recycling through the city newsletter and website, cable TV, ads in the local newspaper and movie theatre, and flyers. In 2011, the city began accepting number 1-7 plastics at their municipal recycling drop-off center and added a drop box for The Salvation Army.
The City of St. Francis was honored for having the most improved recycling program, increasing recycling amounts from 138.23 pounds per person in 2010 to 157.9 pounds per person in 2011. The city boosted its annual recycling amount by more than 78 tons over last year’s total.
A Lino Lakes couple was named “Recycling Champions” for their outstanding efforts and dedication to recycling. Ed and Mary Hemauer pick up and recycle aluminum cans and other materials on their almost-daily walks in the city of Lino Lakes and Rice Creek Chain of Lakes Regional Park. “Not only are Ed and Mary helping the environment, they donate the cans they collect to Gethsemane United Methodist Church in Lino Lakes,” said Anoka County Board Chair Rhonda Sivarajah. “They are true recycling champions!”
Is someone you know a recycling champion? Contact Anoka County’s Integrated Waste Management Department at 763-323-5730 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to nominate them for the Recycling Champion recognition.