Captions: Upper left - Left to right; Lena Schaumburg - MSOCS, Kirk Grandell - Coca Cola, Ellen Telander - executive director RAM, and Olaf Urban Coca Cola and Mike McGrath. Lower - The Message in a Bottle container to recycle bottles away from home. (Photos by Naomi Yaeger-Bischoff)
Lots of people clean out their cars when they refill their tanks at the gas station, but many stations do not provide recycling options. Now when people go to a Little Store convenience store and gas station in Duluth, they will see a four-foot tall plastic bottle beside the trash cans. These bottles are actually containers to place plastic recyclable beverage bottles.
This afternoon I attended a kick-off event at the Little Store on 1831 W. Superior St. The purpose of the event was to introduce the concept of recycling away from home and to catch people in the act of recycling. Prizes of soda pop, bumper stickers, t-shirts and products made from recyclable materials were given away. I met several people including Ellen Telander of Recycling Association of Minnesota (RAM), a non-profit organization which encourages people to recycle. RAM is working in partnership with Minnesota Waste Wise and Western lake Superior Sanitary District with two programs - "Message in a Bottle" and "Its' in the Bag"
An organization which employs developmentally disabled people, AirPark Products & Services (APS), will collect the containers of plastic recyclables so that they can use them to make recyclable products. APS is a division of the Minnesota State Operated Community Services (MSOCS) programs. APS employees will sort and package the recyclables for transport. The program is projected to create more than 20 full-time jobs at APS.