Contacts: Pam McCurdy, 651-215-0230 Saint Paul, Minn. -- The Recycle MORE Minnesota campaign has been named the 2008 recipient of the National Recycling Coalition's (NRC) "Outstanding Public Education Award." A joint venture between the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the Recycling Association of Minnesota, the Recycle MORE Minnesota campaign is a statewide effort to increase recycling at home, at work and on the go. The focus is to improve the public's awareness of the economic, environmental, and energy saving benefits, to connect people with local recycling opportunities in their community, and ultimately to encourage people to Recycle MORE. Minnesotans recycled more than 2.5 million tons of material last year alone. The benefits to recycling that amount in one year equal: -- Saving enough energy to power over 400,000 homes for one year.
-- Reducing greenhouse gases equivalent to taking more than 1 million cars off of the road.
-- Adding nearly $3 billion to Minnesota's economy.
"The Recycle MORE Minnesota campaign was chosen for its comprehensive approach aimed at encouraging Minnesotans to recycle as much as possible," said George Dreckmann the NRC Awards Committee chair. "We were also impressed by how useful this approach will be for other states or communities looking to boost their recycling rates." The award will be presented at the NRC conference Sept. 22 in Pittsburgh.
Recycle MORE Minnesota is an ongoing campaign focused on several sectors including residential, commercial, schools and public entities, and away-from-home recycling. Beginning with a focus on residential recycling in 2008, the phases of the campaign will be incorporated during the next several years to meet Minnesota's goal of increasing recycling rates from approximately 40 percent to 50 percent by 2011 and 60 percent by 2025.
Minnesota currently has the second highest recycling rate in the nation. But every year, Minnesotans throw out 1.3 million tons of material that could be recycled. This includes paper, bottles, cans and other recyclables.
To date, the campaign has established a one-stop-shop for recycling information for all Minnesotans at www.RecycleMoreMinnesota.org. Other highlights of the campaign include:
-- Developing a multi-media toolkit of residential-themed recycling promotional materials for local government and businesses.
-- Sponsoring statewide radio and movie theater ads promoting the benefits of recycling.
-- Purchasing recycling bins for the Recycling Association of Minnesota's Message in a Bottle away-from-home recycling programs in many communities.
-- Sponsoring a statewide beverage container recycling bin grant program.
-- Supporting many other events in Minnesota such as the Cinco de Mayo Festival in St. Paul that collected more than two tons of recyclable material in one weekend.
To find out the latest recycling news and information in Minnesota or more about the Recycle MORE Minnesota campaign, go to www.RecycleMoreMinnesota.org