Bill Frederick, Facilities Manager for the Travelers Building in downtown St. Paul contacted Minnesota Waste Wise for help identifying strategies and techniques to improve their existing trrecycling and organic waste programs. Waste Wise and Bill Fredericks were able to meet on site in early May of 2014 in order to tour the 12 million square foot facility and allow Waste Wise to provide recommendations for further improvements.
After receiving Waste Wise’s recommendations, Travelers was very interested in pursuing grant assistance from Ramsey and Washington Counties’ BizRecycling program. Waste Wise assisted Travelers in assessing what materials would have the greatest impact on waste and cost savings and aided them through the grant application process. Once the funding was received, Travelers got to work adding paper towel collection to their existing organic waste program and installing a single stream recycling compactor. They also improved recycling and organic waste signage throughout the building to more effectively encourage employees to engage in the programs.
By collecting paper towels in all of the bathrooms and kitchens on campus, Travelers effectively doubled their collection of organic waste. The addition of a recycling compactor allowed Travelers to realize cost savings in the form of transportation costs. These savings proved important because enhanced signage throughout the building meant that more recyclable material was being diverted from the trash and ending up in the recycling compactor.
In total, Travelers is now seeing approximately $18,000 per year in cost savings as a result of the improvements. They are diverting an additional 74,500 of material annually. This volume of additional waste diversion is truly astounding because Travelers already had a successful recycling and organic waste diversion program in place. It goes to show that Waste Wise can add value to businesses small and large, even those that are already successfully recycling and diverting organic waste.