No Waste: Increasing Recycling at Lake Elmo Park Reserve Swim Pond
Washington County Department of Public Health and Environment (PHE) in Minnesota, partnering with the county Parks Department, identified a lack of accessible recycling at the Lake Elmo Park Reserve swim pond. An initial waste sort, where 3 days' worth of refuse was sorted into trash, recycling, and compost, found a recycling rate of only 1.9%. PHE had not partnered with the Parks Department on a large-scale project like this before and was looking forward to this collaboration.
Waste and recycling collection processes were mapped, and root causes were identified from all stakeholders. A consensus workshop determined priority areas and tasks, including working in tandem with a redesign project; allowing the new recycling bins to coincide with already planned construction; placing new, color-coded bins at the swim pond; combining trash and recycling collection; using new bin labels with pictures and multiple languages; and adding a new recycling contract to allow for dumpsters on site, eliminating the need to haul materials off site to a centralized collection location. A follow-up waste sort in 2016 indicated that the recycling rate increased to 21% as a result of these changes.
Giesen , J. Public Health Quality Improvement Exchange. No Waste: Increasing Recycling at Lake Elmo Park Reserve Swim Pond. Mon, 08/14/2017 - 09:02. Available at https://phqix.org/content/no-waste-increasing-recycling-lake-elmo-park-reserve-swim-pond. Accessed May 12, 2021.