Anoka County residents recycled nearly 34,000 tons of materials in 2012, exceeding their goal by 14 percent.
Of the county’s 21 municipalities, 13 met or exceeded their 2012 recycling goals: Andover, Bethel, Blaine, Centerville, Circle Pines, Columbus, Coon Rapids, Ham Lake, Hilltop, Lino Lakes, Oak Grove, Ramsey and St. Francis.
Their achievements were recognized recently by the Anoka County Solid Waste Abatement Advisory Team, which advises the Anoka County Board on issues related to recycling and solid waste management.
“It’s remarkable to look at the recycling totals countywide in 1988, when we were just getting started, and compare it with where we are today,” said Anoka County Commissioner Jim Kordiak, who chairs the county’s Waste Management and Energy Committee.
“We’ve gone from 4,734 tons of recycled materials back then to today’s impressive total.
“It has taken a lot of hard work and persistence to convey the message that it is well worth our time and efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle as many materials as we can.”
The city of East Bethel received special recognition for having the most improved municipal recycling program in Anoka County, increasing recycling totals from 158.32 pounds per city resident in 2011 to 176.61 pounds per resident in 2012.
The city’s recycling center is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In addition, the city holds special spring and fall recycling events and a once-a-month recycling drop-off event for appliances, auto batteries, computers/electronics/TVs and tires.
The city of Andover was cited for having the most prolific municipal recycling program in Anoka County. Andover has consistently met its recycling goals every year since 1988.
In 2012, Andover residents recycled more than 4,781 tons of materials. Its recycling rate of more than 312 pounds per resident per year for all materials is the highest of any Anoka County municipality.
Andover promotes recycling through the city newsletter and website, cable TV, ads in the local newspaper and movie theater, and flyers. In 2012, more than 411 tons of material was collected at the city’s drop-off recycling center and at spring and fall recycling events.
North Park Elementary School in Fridley was honored for enhancing its recycling efforts and establishing a composting program. At a sorting table in the school lunchroom, students separate compostable materials, recyclables, reusable items and garbage.