ANOKA — Naser Abed, owner of Shell Gas in Anoka, met with Waste Wise in late 2016 to identify opportunities for waste reduction and recycling improvements. Following this meeting, Naser was eager to begin a recycling program and quickly completed an Anoka County grant application to get free bins to pair with all of his existing trash cans. After receiving new recycling bins, Naser added a single stream recycling service, allowing Shell to collect all cans, bottles, containers, cardboard, and paper in the same dumpster for recycling. After Waste Wise visited to help Naser place the bins and signs, the gas station’s recycling program kicked off.
Naser quickly saw a dramatic change in the amount of recyclables collected. “Before we started recycling, our trash dumpster was overflowing. Now we have spare room in there and need to get our recycling picked up every week,” said Naser. This change has resulted in an estimated 15,000 pounds of recyclable material being diverted from the trash every year. On top of this impact, customers have been receptive to the recycling program. “Many [customers] have given us compliments about the recycling and are happy that we’re doing it,” Naser added. “We wouldn’t have been able to do this without the free bins and signs from the grant and the help from Waste Wise. We’re very happy we’ve made this improvement.”