Success Story – 2014 Sustainable St. Paul Award Winner

SAINT PAUL – The Saint Paul Hotel was recently honored with the 2014 Sustainable St. Paul award in waste reduction, composting, and recycling category.

Working in partnership with the Ramsey/Washington County Resource Recovery Project (RRP), Xcel Energy, the Minnesota Waste Wise Foundation (MWWF), the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce (MCC), and Troje’s Trash and Recycling, The Saint Paul Hotel launched a very successful organics recycling program in August 2013. Improvements were also made to the hotel’s existing recycling program and energy efficiency initiatives.

As of January 31, 2014, 359,380 pounds of food waste and other compostable materials has been diverted from the waste stream and delivered to a composting site in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. The hotel has also realized a savings of $5,000 in waste hauling costs in the first six months of the program.  Improved training and right-sizing of the hotel’s single stream recycling service has also increased diversion rates for these materials by an estimated 156,675 lbs/year. All told, The Saint Paul Hotel is now achieving a 90% recycling rate. It’s also estimated that the organics diversion and recycling program has reduced carbon emissions by 159 metric tons which is equivalent to taking 410 cars off the road.

Hotel staff are also keenly aware, excited, and more educated about waste reduction/recycling, and energy efficiency than ever before. The hotel has even implemented a monthly “Trash Trophy” award that is given to a staff member who has done the most to foster the hotel’s recycling programs.

This project serves as a model for how diverse organizations throughout the City can partner to overcome barriers to organics, recycling, and energy efficiency program implementation. In addition, the waste related projects demonstrate how commercial solid waste generators can be engaged to help achieve State mandated municipal solid waste goals. Due to the success of the project and the synergies created among the partners, work continues daily to replicate this model within partner service areas.

Waste Wise program services were provided under a contract with Ramsey and Washington County.