Contacts: Pam McCurdy, 651-215-0230
Saint Paul, Minn. -- The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the Recycling Association of Minnesota have launched a statewide educational effort to promote and reinvigorate recycling at home, at work and on-the-go. The state's rate of recycling -- 41 percent of trash -- is admirable, but hasn't increased significantly for the past 10 years. The goal of the Recycle MORE Minnesota campaign is to increase our recycling rate to 50 percent by 2011.
Minnesota's recycling rate is second best in the country, but the total tonnage of recycled material has increased only as population has increased. Estimates show that 1.3 million tons of paper, plastic, glass and other materials that could be recycled end up in the trash each year.
The Recycle MORE Minnesota campaign will encourage more aggressive recycling of familiar materials, educate consumers on the numerous economic, energy-related, and environmental benefits of recycling, and highlight additional recycling opportunities.
For example, paper products constitute almost one-third of all garbage, and can be recycled to significant environmental and economic advantages. American paper mills are competing with foreign facilities for this valuable material.
In addition, 20,000 Minnesota workers already depend on recyclable materials for jobs and increasing the rate of recycling would also generate $300 million in materials. Recycling also saves energy because producing goods from raw materials requires more energy. In 2006, recycling saved enough energy to heat more than 410,000 households for an entire year -- all of the homes in Duluth, Rochester, St Cloud, Minneapolis and St. Paul combined. Increasing the recycling rate would save enough energy to power another 375,000 houses each year, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 4.6 million tons.
To learn more about recycling and the Recycle MORE Minnesota campaign, visit www.recyclemoreminnesota.org.