FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 17, 2011
Minnesota Public Interest Research Group (MPIRG)
Contact: Adam Luesse, 612-532-6990, firstname.lastname@example.org
Council Member Cam Gordon, 673-2202, Cam.Gordon@ci.minneapolis.mn.us
Magda Bilska, 701-373-5453, email@example.com
Minneapolis City Council Unanimously Passes Business Recycling Ordinance, Bringing the City One Step Closer to Its Goal of Going Green!
Earlier today, the Minneapolis City Council voted unanimously to require that all commercial buildings implement recycling programs to reduce the solid waste that ends in the garbage stream. The Minnesota Public Interest Research Group (MPIRG) joins thousands of community members in applauding the decision, which brings Minneapolis closer to its goal of becoming a sustainable city.
“There has been broad support for this proposal throughout Minneapolis. We have received letters of support, for example from both the Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce and the SIERRA Club. I see this as a major step forward for waste reduction and greening our city, and think that it helps set a baseline expectation that recycling is not new and not difficult, but simply the way that we deal with waste in Minneapolis." said Council Member Cam Gordon.
The ordinance had a simple beginning. While working at a local bar during college, University of Minnesota student Adam Luesse noticed the establishment was not recycling. “I thought it was just common sense, so I brought my concern to a MPIRG chapter meeting. Together we met with Council Member Gordon, who jumped at the opportunity to work with stake holders and develop a recycling solution that businesses could support.”
Minneapolis joins cities across the country in business recycling programs, including Washington, D.C and Portland, OR. When San Fransisco, CA implemented the program, they reduced more than 75% of waste created by commercial buildings just six months after implementation.
“Over the year MPIRG's field canvass has spoken with over 11,000 Minneapolis residents about the Ordinance, gained 3,500 members able to help, and collect over 200 calls to action to the Council. The supportive response has been overwhelming...most people we spoke with were not aware this was not already a law and wanted to help any way they could,” said Magda Bilska, Canvass Director of MPRIG.
In addition to the out pour of support from Minneapolis residents, the Minneapolis business community’s commitment to commercial recycling is staggering. In a questionnaire the Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce sent to member businesses, 90% of respondents reported recycling at least part of their waste. Recycling is now seen as part of the operating cost of running a business in Minneapolis.
“This vote proves once again Minneapolis’ commitment to becoming a green city. We are excited for the many options to continue reducing solid that are gaining support, such as organic recycling” said MPIRG Executive Director Josh Winters.
The new law will go in to effect on September 1, 2011.