Now in our third year working with the Minnesota State Fair, my business partner Mark (with Connect Ecology) and I did what we do best - pulled together diverse partners to create a project with tangible environmental results, and cost savings for our clients.
The partnership connected the MN State Fair Foundation with resources from the MN Beverage Association and American Beverage Foundation for a Healthy America to increase the amount of recycling containers available for attendees by nearly 85%. From 435 containers in 2015, to 795 containers this year - 260 of them with updated signage. More access to containers, with clear messaging means more materials collected. And with a record setting attendance for the 2016 Fair, we hope for impressive results.
The partnership also saw the value in partnering with in Recycle Across America for the clear, consistent, nationally recognized standardized signage, teaching people to recycle right. If we see the same messages at each bin, in every city, it creates a consistent comfort in knowing how to properly sort. Creating a clean stream for processing (ensuring all items are recycled and not rejected) creates valuable material to be returned to the bottlers, who are vey interested in using post-consumer plastics whenever possible.
The project garnered 11 media stories - drawing more attention to the importance of recycling. Click here to read one of them!
Every step counts. There are always ways to improve. Increased access and visibility to recycling led the way this year. Keep an eye out for bigger things to come!