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PH Logo Ramsey County Going Green:  Inside and Out


photo:  going green collage 

We strive to create a healthy, safe environment for all people to live, work and play.  Find out what Ramsey County is doing to go green inside and out!

Sign up for Going Green Today e-newsletter, which is sent to your inbox every other month.  icon: govdelivery Subscribe to Going Green Today

Hmong Community Participates in HHW Collection
Environmental Health’s annual promotion of household hazardous waste (HHW) to the Hmong community was a big success, with the number of participants up 47 percent from last year. Through media promotion and word of mouth, members of the Hmong community were encouraged to participate in an October 11th HHW collection event at Aldrich Arena in Maplewood. Community organizations supported the event by staffing tables adjacent to the collection and offering raffle prizes. Of the 440 total participants, approximately 263 were Hmong. A total of 299 people participated in the event last year. Used motor oil was one of the top items dropped off for recycling.

Recycling to be Required for Most Businesses and School Athletic Venues
Two State laws enacted in 2014 require most metro area businesses, colleges and universities to begin or expand their recycling programs. BizRecycling has consultants who can work with businesses and organizations free of charge to design and implement a recycling and/or organics collection program. Organization may also be eligible for up to $10,000 in grants that can be used for bins, labels and even minor facility upgrades. Here are the law changes:

School Athletic Venues
Colleges and universities must recycle at least three types of material (e.g. paper, glass, plastic, metal, organics) by January 1, 2015 at any “collegiate sports facility at which competitions take place before a public audience.” That’s everything from a soccer field to a swimming pool.

Most businesses in the metro area will have to have recycling by January 1, 2016. Specifically the statute says the owner of a commercial building that contracts for four cubic yards or more per week of solid waste collection must ensure the building collects at least three types of material for recycling.

Visit and click on “Take Action” or call 651.299.1199 to arrange for a free consultation or apply for a grant.

Green Ramsey Video Series
Earlier this year, Environmental Health launched a weekly video series on social media called RECYCLE, TRASH OR ORGANICS. Each video is about 30 seconds long and highlights an item residents may not know how to recycle, like a restaurant coffee cup or a burrito bowl. To see what video is coming next, connect with Green Ramsey on any of the following social media channels:

Local Scout Helps with Waste Education
Environmental Health recently partnered with local Boy Scout, Charlie Smith, to build and install a “What Happens to Waste” message board at the White Bear Township yard waste site. The sign, which explains composting and the type of waste received at the yard waste site, was initiated by Charlie as a project to earn his Eagle Scout badge. Charlie organized the design and building of the sign, and worked with EH staff on the development of its information and graphics.

Free Recycling Education Resources for Apartments
Ramsey County is offering free educational resources to help residents of apartments and condominiums recycle more. These resources include posters, magnets, reusable bags, labels and door hangers. If you know someone who lives in an apartment or condo and could use these resources, please contact Jean Buckley at 651.266.1179 or Jean Buckley.

Greening Ramsey County Meetings
Greening meetings is easy when you plan ahead. That’s what Saint Paul – Ramsey County Public Health did when they started organizing an all-staff meeting. From the beginning, planning included discussion about selecting local venders, ensuring that the food packaging was recyclable, reducing the amount of paper handed out at the meeting, and providing compostable cutlery and cups. 

At the end of the event, all of the cardboard and plastic juice containers were recycled, and two large 45 gallon bags full of organics waste (food and soiled paper) were bought to a Ramsey County yard waste site for composting. Only one partially full garbage bag of waste was generated. Learn more about planning green events at

2015 Multicultural Calendars
Environmental Health is once again developing multicultural calendars to help Hmong, Latino and East African residents recycle more. Monthly topics cover how to get rid of recyclables, yard waste, organics, household hazardous waste and medicine the right way. Three versions of the calendar will be available later this year in Hmong, Spanish, and Somali/Oromo. For more information, contact Kaia Johnson at 651.266.1168 or Kaia Johnson.

Green Alternatives - An Environmental Newsletter for Ramsey County Employees

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