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Benefiting the Environment while Exploring Minnesota: Tourism industry can go green and save money by focusing on solid waste reduction
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Benefiting the Environment while Exploring Minnesota: Tourism industry can go green and save money by focusing on solid waste reduction

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When Minnesota’s tourism industry practices and promotes reduction, reuse, and recycling, not only are facilities benefited and the environment protected, but the state’s solid waste system is …

When Minnesota’s tourism industry practices and promotes reduction, reuse, and recycling, not only are facilities benefited and the environment protected, but the state’s solid waste system is improved. The Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTap) is helping Minnesota businesses prevent pollution by offering no-cost customized trainings and waste assessments.

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  • 1. ReduceReuseRecycleCompostIncineration/waste toenergyLandfillCommitted to the Future ofRural CommunitiesBenefiting the Environment while Exploring MinnesotaThis material is based upon work supported under a grant by the UnitedStates Department of Agriculture Rural Development. Any opinions,findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this materialare solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily representthe official views of USDA Rural Development.$1.8 billion: gross annual sales of the leisure and hospitality industry in 39 counties in northern and western MN40,500 people are employed by the leisure and hospitality industry in these 39 counties1.5-2 pounds of waste are produced per occupied room in lodging facilities60-70% of a hotel’s waste stream is recyclable or compostableThe industry plays an integral role in facilitating improvements to the solid waste systemin Minnesota by practicing and promoting reduction, reuse, and recyclingTourism industry can go green and save money by focusing on solid waste reductionWhy Go Green?The Three R’sNext, Reuse• Using an item again for the same or a better use. Includes rentaland repair• The Minnesota Materials Exchange (www.mnexchange.org) is afree exchange for businesses• Example: reusable dishes and utensils instead of disposablesFinally, Recycle• Breaking down a used item into raw materials used to make new items• In 2010, we trashed 1.2 million tons of recyclables in MN, which were valued at$285 million. Instead, we paid $200 million to throw them away• Recycling cost effective: MN has a Solid Waste Management tax that taxes trashbut not recyclablesProtect the EnvironmentConserve natural resources and prevent pollutionBenefit Your FacilityIncrease efficiency, reduce costs, gain recognition,attract customers and employeesMnTAP’s Solid Waste AssistanceSolid Waste Trainings and AssessmentsPollution Prevention and Energy Efficiency in MN’s HospitalitySector• Conducted 32 site visits• Identified 268,800 lbs. and $1,000,000 in annual savings• Three main solid waste issues• Recyclables: take full advantage of recycling opportunities• Food waste: manage food inventory and explore disposal options• Amenity bottles: bulk dispensers can reduce purchase costs by 70%• MnTAP is helping partners reduce waste and savemoney• USDA grant project in 39 northern and westerncounties, communities <10,000 people• Have conducted 5 trainings and 7 on-site wasteassessments• Seeking partners to host no-cost customizedtrainings and waste assessments• Sign up today! Contact Anna Arkin, Solid WasteSpecialist, at aiarkin@umn.edu or 612-624-0808MnTAP helps Minnesota businesses develop and implementindustry-tailored solutions that prevent pollutionFirst, Reduce• Preventing waste at its source• Greatest potential for cost savings, efficiencyimprovements, and environmental benefits• Includes reducing toxicity; reuse; and use of refillable,repairable, and durable products• Examples: non-toxic cleaners, bulk dispensing instead ofindividual packagingCollecting Organic Waste for Beneficial Reuse:Eagan Community Center Pilot Study (EPA)• Waste sort showed that over 70% of waste could be recycled orcomposted• Pilot included staff training, new collection systems, and public outreach• Results:• 27,000 lbs./year: organic waste diverted to compost• 18,000 lbs./year: recyclable material captured• 30,000 tons/year: CO2 release avoided• 3 lbs. of recyclables and organics for every 1 lb. of trashPast Projects