Address concerns over consumer products and packaging through encouragement/implementation of one or more of:
a. Education on needless consumption, waste prevention and alternatives, including product stewardship / producer responsibility.
b. Reuse options.
c. Recycling / composting options.
d. Credits, fees.
e. Mandates, bans.
Learn more about how we make, use, and throw away stuff at the Story of Stuff project. For the best, most educational household-level consumption-based GHG calculator, suitable for posting on city waste management/reuse/recycling pages, see the CoolClimate Network carbon footprint page.
Product stewardship means that all parties involved in designing, manufacturing, selling and using a product take responsibility for environmental impacts at every stage of that product's life. Cities, acting through their county, have played a role in state legislation requiring manufacturers to share in the financial and physical responsibility for collecting and recycling products - including electronics and paint - at the end of their useful lives. When manufacturers share the costs of recycling products, they have an incentive to use recycled materials in new products and design products to be less toxic and easier to recycle, incorporating environmental concerns into the earliest phases of product design.
See for example the St. Louis Park Zero Waste Packaging ordinance of 2017 that mandates food establishments to place take-out food in packaging that can be recycled or composted. State law is evolving in this area and includes 2017 state legislation prohibiting cities (and a Minneapolis ordinance) from banning any type of bag — paper, plastic or reusable.
During 2019 Lyon County will be working with the city of Marshall to collect clean Styrofoam from businesses and industry and then prepare it for transport/recycling by use of a polystyrene densifier.
Product Bans and Restrictions (MPCA: 2016) is a guide for local policy-makers and examines impacts of bonuses, fees or bans on the sale or distribution of specific products from an environmental perspective.
NOTE: Under the Who's doing it section below, cities that have no star next to their entry are cities that entered, before 2018, an internal city operations recycling/composting action, which is now covered by BPA 22.1 and has been replaced by this current action on consumer products/packaging.
Post the CoolClimate household-level consumption-based GHG calculator on a city solid waste/reuse/recycling page; education on reuse, recycling, organics collection for composting; public drinking fountains that encourage refilling water bottles; in-store recycling of thin plastic bags & sale of reusable bags; non-traditional recycling/collection for reuse (e.g., ink cartridges, shoes, batteries, clothes).
City ordinance on in-store fees on plastic & paper bags; credits for use of reusable bags.
City mandated recyclable/compostable egg cartons, to-go packaging; bans on plastic straws; county or city collection of clean Styrofoam from businesses and industry and use of a polystyrene densifier.
Who's doing it
Rush City - 3 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2021
The Rush City GreenStep team and the Rush City Area Chamber of Commerce began working together in March of 2021 to collect plastic in the Rush City community for Trex Company, Incorporated. We are collecting plastic shopping bags, Ziploc bags, salt and wood pellet bags, bubble wrap, produce bags and other plastic items Trex uses to construct composite deck materials. We have partnered with a local beer distributer that bales the plastic we collect with the plastic they have from their daily operations and brings it to Merrick Community Services for sorting. We have approximately 10 collection bins in Rush City for the community to bring their plastic for recycling.
City Hall has become a drop off location for Chisago County's battery recycling program. The batteries that are accepted are single-use lithium, button, rechargeable, and sealed lead acid batteries weighing 10 pounds or less. Devices with embedded batteries may also be turned in. They are then taken to the Household Hazardous Waste Facility for recycling.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
In approximately 1 year, we have turned in over 20,000 pounds of plastic to be used in the making of composite decking. Many businesses and residents are able to recycle plastic items that would have otherwise ended up in a landfill.
A Zero Waste Packaging Ordinance went into effect on January 1, 2017, and requires that all single-use food packaging used by licensed food establishments be recyclable or compostable. The City has been recycling in our parks for over 6 years with much success. We hired Randy's sanitation to pick up a dumpster (whenever full) of park recycling gathered from most City parks.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Tonnage of recycling collected from parks per year.
A 15% municipal waste reduction goal is sought. To determine how effective Edina's waste reduction strategies are and to establish a baseline, City Council updated city code 1300 on 11-15-11 to require all licensed haulers to report quarterly the pounds of waste being removed from Edina. Edina will begin to have an estimate of its baseline waste in April 2012, when the first waste reports become available. Municipal waste reduction strategies include:
1) Establishing a Recycling Bin Task Force in February 2012, which recommended recycling bins in all major parks (these were provided in Lewis Pk and Pamela Pk as well as scattered areas of Braemar Pk prior to the task force)
2) Complete - Reduce municipal paper use & junk mail by the City Recycling coordinator requesting that the City address be removed from mailing lists
3) The City began organics recycling at some facilities in 2012. Effective 1-1-13 organics recycling will be included in the municipal facility solid waste and recycling contract
4) Implement a facility-wide policy to reduce the use of bottled water. The City Purchasing Policy discourages the use of bottled water.
5) Implement facility-wide policy on using compostable table ware once the new municipal facility contract including organics is implemented on 1-1-2013.
The new new police station/city hall is equipped with several water bottle filling stations that count and display the number of plastic bottles that have been saved as a result of its use. A similar model was installed at the Public Works Central Garage in 2020.
The City posted the CoolClimate household-level consumption-based GHG calculator on the city website.
Hydration stations are present at the City Hall, Public Works, the Fire Station, Community Center, and the Ice Arena to reduce the use of disposable water bottles and encourage the refilling of water bottles. The Community Center has four bottle fill stations, the most recent being installed in 2018; City Hall has a bottle fill station; the Ice Arena has three fill stations and combined they have diverted 1,229,716 plastic bottles from the waste stream
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Combined the public fill stations have diverted 1,229,716 plastic bottles from the waste stream.
The Duluth City Council is considering an ordinance that would add a 5 cent fee to plastic bags, excluding SNAP or WIC recipients.
Western Lake Superior Sanitary District (WLSSD) provides a detailed disposal guide for most household items on their website. They also have basic How-To guides for recycling household organic waste, and for people who don't want to compost themselves there are 7 drop off points for organic waste throughout the city of Duluth.
Whole Foods Coop in eastern Duluth and the Miller Trunk Highway Target as well as other businesses recycle plastic bags. WLSSD accepts printer ink cartridges, rechargeable batteries, lithium ion batteries, and many other materials at their Household Hazardous Waste Facility, in addition to recycling bins at certain retailers.
b. Reuse options: Mendota Heights hosts annual collections for athletic gear and clothes for reuse by the Heroes League and USAgain, respectively. The city has also hosted a number of repair and reuse themed classes for the community such as sewing/mending classes and fix-it clinics.
c. Recycling/composting options: Mendota Heights hosts one of Dakota County's organics drop sites in Mendakota Park which is free for residents to use. The city also hosts annual collection and recycling of shredded paper and mattresses. Finally, recycling and organics collection is available for staff at every city building.
Target in Richfield provides in-store plastic bag/film/wrap and MP3, cellphone, and ink responsible recycling. Wood Lake Nature Center provides year-round battery recycling as well as various events which facilitate the collection and re-use or recycling of old shoes and clothes.
The City hosts Recycle day, an annual event promoting various ways residents can recycle materials. The City collects yard waste, appliances, electronics, and other miscellaneous items. Hosting these events promotes recycling and minimizes the amount of material that might get a place along City right-of-ways.