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Fall 2013

The Greening of Maplewood

The Story of Stuff By Shann Finwall, Environmental Planner

Once we own stuff, it will eventually need to be discarded. Most of that stuff gets thrown away – on average Americans throw away 4.40 pounds of trash a day.* But is it really away? It might be away from you, but there is still a long process to ensure it is disposed of properly. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency did a study in 2008 to determine where all of our discarded stuff goes. In the Twin Cities, 28% ends up in landfills, 28% is converted to energy, and 44% percent is recycled (including recyclables and yard waste). Since Maplewood organized its trash hauling in 2012, all of our residential trash is kept out of landfills and diverted to the RamseyWashington Resource Recovery Facility in Newport. There the trash is sorted and recyclables are extracted. The rest is converted to refuse-derived fuel, which is used to create electricity. According to Maplewood’s June 2013 trash and recycling reports, 69% of Maplewood’s solid waste was converted to energy. The rest, 31%, consisted of recyclables and yard waste. Recyclables collected in Maplewood’s residential recycling

program are baled and sold to manufacturers who use the recyclables to make new products. Yard waste is collected curbside and brought to a site for processing into compost, which is used on lawns and gardens throughout the Twin Cities. This data demonstrates that there is plenty of opportunity for material recovery prior to disposal. One opportunity for material recovery is removing bulky items from the trash. Bulky items include such things as carpet, furniture, mattresses, tires, appliances, and electronics. These items are often reusable or recyclable. Furniture in good condition can be reused. Appliances and electronics are taken apart and many of the components can be recycled. Maplewood has been collecting bulky items during its annual Spring and Fall Clean Up events for years. Since 2010, Maplewood’s clean up events were attended by an average of 295 vehicles per event. Materials collected included an average of 94 appliances, 52 mattresses, 19.49 tons of construction debris, 31 tires, and 12,401 pounds of electronic waste per event. During the events the City made an effort to reuse or recycle as much of the stuff as possible - donating furniture and bicycles and recycling mattresses.

Did you know there is another more convenient method of disposing of bulky items? Just call the City’s contracted trash hauler, Allied Waste Services. The contract with Allied includes pricing for curbside bulky item pick up ranging from $5 to $30, depending on the item. Instead of our annual Fall Clean Up event this year, Maplewood will be sponsoring a Fall Clean Up Campaign where all bulky items will be picked up curbside by Allied for half price! (See page 2 for more details.) The next time you have some stuff to get rid of, give some thought into whether it can be reused or recycled, and where that stuff will end up once it is away from you. To find out more about reusing and recycling, refer to the articles on page 3. *U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (

Maplewood Fall Clean Up Campaign – 2nd and 3rd Week in October Receive 50% off all bulky items collected curbside through Maplewood’s residential trash program during the 2nd and 3rd weeks in October. Call Allied Waste Services at 651.455.8634 to schedule your bulky item pick up. See page 2 for more details.

Examples of Bulky Items Collected Curbside

Old BBQ Grill

Old Mattresses

Old Appliances

Old Tires

Maplewood Fall Clean Up Campaign - 2nd & 3rd Weeks In Oct. Bulky Item Collection 50% Off! The City of Maplewood is hosting its first annual Fall Clean Up Campaign focused on curbside bulky item pick up and household item reuse. The event will take place during the second and third weeks in Oct. (Oct. 7 - 11 and Oct. 14 - 18). The City is partnering with its contracted trash hauler, Allied Waste Services, for this event. All residents that have curbside trash collection are eligible to schedule bulky item pick up during the event (including townhomes and manufactured homes that have not opted into the City’s trash plan). The price for bulky items during the event is reduced by 50% from the City’s trash hauling contracted price. To schedule a pick up during the event, contact Allied at 651.455.8634. Residents with trash service through Allied will be billed for bulky items on their bi-monthly trash bill; others must pre-pay via credit card.

Bulky Items Price*

Bulky Items


Bathtub (cast iron) $12.00 Bathtub (steel or fiberglass) $10.00 Bed (headboard/floorboard) $6.00 Bed Frame $5.00 Book Case $7.00 Couch $9.00 Couch w/ hide a bed $12.00 Desk $7.00 Dining Room Table $10.00 Dresser $7.50 End Table $5.00 Grill (charcoal) $5.00 Grill (gas - no propane tanks) $7.50 Hutch $10.00 Kitchen Chair $3.75 Kitchen Table $10.00

Lawnmower or snow thrower $12.00 (liquids must be drained) Love Seat $10.00 Mattress or Box Spring (king size) $12.00 (queen size) $12.00 (twin size) $7.50 Office Chair $5.00 Recliner/ EZ Chair $7.50 Roll of Carpet (cut down so $2.50 one person can handle it) Tire $10.00 Tire with rim $12.00 Toilet $7.00 Appliances $15.00 Electronics $15.00

*50% Event Price Reduction Shown

*50% Event Price Reduction Shown

Townhomes and Manufactured Homes can opt into the City’s trash plan at any time. Visit the City’s trash webpage for information:

Yard Waste including leaves, grass clippings, trees and other types of plant waste are banned from the trash. Allied offers curbside yard waste pick up for $79.50 a year (weekly pick up from April through November). You can also

schedule one-time yard waste pick ups for $3.50 per compostable or paper bag. Contact Allied at 651.455.8634 for information. Ramsey County’s yard waste sites accept yard waste from residents at no charge ( or 651.633.EASY). Back Yard Composting is permitted in Maplewood.Compost bin or pile must be located in the rear or side yard, be at least 5 feet from the property line, and not pose a nuisance to the neighbors (

Electronics and Appliances cannot be placed in the trash. Allied collects appliances and electronics curbside for a small fee (see above). Retailers in the metro area will take back appliances and electronics for free or for a small fee ( or 651.633.EASY).

Household Hazardous Waste

products contain harmful materials and should be disposed of properly (including products used to clean or maintain your home and car or control animals and insects). Ramsey County has a year-round collection site at 5 Empire Drive, St. Paul or a seasonal site at Aldrich Arena in Maplewood every Fri. & Sat. in Oct. ( or 651.633.EASY). Seasons 2

Ramsey County A to Z Guide

outlines reuse, recycling, and disposal methods for items from A to Z.

Spring Clean Up

is scheduled for Saturday, April 26, 2014, at Aldrich Arena in Maplewood.

Finding A Second Life For Stuff

By Ginny Gaynor, Natural Resources Coordinator When the Reduce-Reuse-Recycle slogan was launched, the message to recycle came through strongly, but the reduce and reuse messages seemed to get lost in the shuffle. Collectors, garage sale aficionados, and antiquers are the heroes of REUSE. Some of us are unwitting collectors (okay, packrats) and wake up one day with 25 years of accumulated stuff. Earlier this year a small group of friends and I decided to work together to get a handle on our stuff. We were committed to finding new homes for anything that someone would find useful. Our “waste hierarchy” focused on REUSE and went like this: 1. Sell what we could. A teenager motivated by a commission volunteered to sell what he could on EBAY. Some items were worth the effort of a garage sale. Old books brought in a few bucks from a usedbook seller. And one in the group with high quality clothing was able to sell items to a second hand clothing shop. 2. Donate items. We decided to venture beyond Goodwill and pulled together a list of local shelters, church programs, reuse Second Hand Clothing Shop stores, and free stores for donations. A beloved Peugeot 10-speed is destined for a program where urban youth repair and sell bikes. 3. Recycle. Anything not good enough for reuse was a candidate for recycling. 4. Trash. On the lowest rung of our hierarchy was the trash can. Next time you’re cleaning out your closets and storage areas, consider the option of REUSE. Check out some of the agencies, companies, and programs in the Reuse Guide on this page.

Remember the Third “R” – Recycle

If you can’t reuse it, remember to recycle it. Did you know the City’s recycling contractor, Tennis Sanitation, collects a host of household items for recycling: old pots, pans, silverware, clothes and shoes. For more information, visit the City’s recycling webpage at

Your Guide To Reuse

Ramsey County publishes a reuse guide with a list of charities, non-profits, consignment stores, thrift shops, and antique stores. To view the guide, visit the Ramsey A to Z website ( Here are a few of the organizations listed in the guide that accept items for reuse: Bikes in any condition can be dropped off at the Express Bike Shop in St. Paul ( or 651.644.9660) or the Recovery (612.876.5356) or Re-Cycle (612.216.2072) bike shops in Minneapolis (information on both Minneapolis bike shops can be found at

Bikes in Any Condition

Large furniture and working electronics and appliances are accepted at the Salvation Army ( or 1.800.728.7825) and Bridging ( or 651.631.3255). Call ahead to arrange for drop off at their warehouse or curbside pickup. Cars, boats, RVs, and motorcycles are accepted at Disabled American Veterans ( or 866.920.7149) or Salvation Army ( or 1.800.728.7825). Call to schedule a free auto donation pick up.

Auto Donation

Clothes and small household goods are accepted at Goodwill and other organizations in the area. You could even earn some money selling them at a consignment store like Once Upon a Child. Some organizations, like The Epilepsy Foundation ( or 1.800.779.0777), will collect your unneeded household items at the curb. Or consider holding a garage sale (Maplewood hosts a City-wide garage sale in the summer) or posting items on an online exchange website like or Building tools and building materials can be dropped off at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore ( or 612.588.3820). For larger items like windows, doors, table saws, and large quantities of building materials you can call for a pickup. Eyeglasses are accepted at Lens Crafters, Pearle Vision, Sears, Target or any local Lions Club. The Volunteer Optometric Service of Humanity ( will also accept eyeglasses which are then sent to underdeveloped countries to help people in need.

Used Eyeglasses

Unwanted household cleaning supplies and paint can be dropped off at Ramsey County’s Reuse Center at 5 Empire Drive, St. Paul. While you are there, pick up products you need for free (

Seasons 3

Nature’s Law: Nothing Is Wasted By Ann Hutchinson, Lead Naturalist

Ecologist Barry Commoner once stated “In nature nothing is wasted!” This ecological “law” is another way of stating a basic law of physics – that matter is indestructible. Nature provides mechanisms for the reuse and breakdown of waste, as well as our physical bodies, replenishing the soil, and providing essential nutrients for others. Muskrat

Imagine the life and death of an animal such as a muskrat - the water “rat” that makes its homes in our backyard marshes. One third the size of a beaver, with a skinny tail, she thrives on the roots of lily pads, cattail shoots, and even an occasional bird egg, snail, or clam. Every breath exhaled in her effort to build her dome-shaped cattail lodge releases carbon dioxide - an essential nutrient for the very plants she depends on. In return, green plants emit the oxygen inhaled by our muskrat. As muskrat swims around the pond, her scat may end up in the pond floor, fertilizing the cattail she just ate! In the fall, young muskrats may disperse and unfortunately some become victims of cars as they meander across roads to look for their own marsh to colonize. In such cases, nature begins its own clean up campaign. Bacteria begins the decaying process; vultures, crows, coyotes, and other carnivores may stop for their pound of flesh. Blow flies such as the commonly seen blue bottle fly land next, depositing eggs that hatch into flesh eating maggots. Soil dwelling Dermestid beetles can take care of ligaments and skin, as well as muscles and other tissues - reducing a carcass to bones in a matter of weeks. But it doesn’t end there. Mice, voles, squirrels and other rodents will nibble on bones – getting much needed nutrients such as calcium.

Blue Bottle Fly

Reusing and recycling are all part of Nature’s Law. *The Closing Circle; Barry Commoner Rodent teeth marks on a bone




Answers: 1. Be smart and recycle. 4. Be a leader and recycle. 2. Recycle all that you can. 5. Recycle where you live, learn, and play. 3. I can recycle, so can you.

Sound out the pictures to form words. Each box contains a recycle message!



Perplexers Activity by CalRecycle:

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Seasons 4

Profile for Maplewood

2013 - Fall  

2013 - Fall

2013 - Fall  

2013 - Fall