Phase two of Coon Rapids recycling center expansion planned

Armed with state recycling dollars distributed by Anoka County, the Coon Rapids Recycling Center plans to complete a two-phase expansion project.

The Coon Rapids City Council has accepted a grant from Anoka County in the amount of $25,620.74 awarded through the county’s recycling enhancement grant program.

Coon Rapids was one of eight cities to receive funding this year from the county’s program. In all $245,55.94 in state dollars were allocated by the county.

“While we were not able to fully fund all the requests, we believe that these allocations will provide needed resources to further our goal of increasing the amount of material recycled in the county and providing innovation and efficiency for our recycling activities,” Anoka County Commissioner Jim Kordiak, chairman of the county board’s Waste Management and Energy Committee, wrote in a letter to the city announcing the grant award.

No match is required from the city, according to Colleen Sinclair, city recycling coordinator.

The city also received dollars through the recycling enhancement grant program last year with which phase one of the recycling center project was completed.

A new building and parking lot were constructed at the recycling center, which is located at the City Garage on 111th Avenue.

With the new grant, the city will finish with concrete and blacktop a small section of gravel inside the recycling area, according to Sinclair.

“This section holds many roll-off containers used for various items accepted at the recycling center,” Sinclair wrote in a memo to the council.

Finishing the area will allow for “flexibility of container replacement and allow for future growth of the recycling program in the city,” she wrote.

The cost of the project is estimated at $20,124.

With the balance of the county grant allocation, Sinclair plans to boost marketing the recycling center to residents.

That’s key to the recycling center’s long-term success and continuing to meet the recycling goals set by the county, she wrote in her memo to the council.

“With the growth of new materials accepted, our marketing materials have become outdated,” Sinclair wrote.

“While our user base is growing, many residents do not know we are here.”

Sinclair is planning a door-knocking campaign in Coon Rapids this fall.

A civic or nonprofit group will be chosen and trained by Sinclair and will also receive some training from the Coon Rapids Police Department.

The group, along with parents or chaperones, will go throughout the city handing out new marketing materials.

“The door-to-door portion of this project will be studied to see how face-to-face contact versus direct mail works,” Sinclair said.

The project has a $5,496.74 budget, which will include payment to the volunteer group of $3,500, comparable to the cost of bulk mailing postage, she said.

According to Sinclair, the state of Minnesota SCORE (Governor’s Select Committee on Recycling and the Environment) program is increasing recycling goals for counties and cities.

“To meet these new upcoming goals, cities need to take an outside the box approach to bring in new users as well as increase the amount of recycling collected per person in our city,” Sinclair said.

“Both of these projects pave the way to a more successful recycling program in our city.”

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Peter Bodley is at [email protected]