Greening Minnesota - September

There have been some interesting developments recently with the green movement occuring in the Twin Cities. Though there are a few less stories in this post than usual, they're all big news!

First, St. Louis Park loves its trees, but tight budgets have caused struggles to replace boulevard and park trees that die. In the faces of losing thousands of trees in coming years to emerald ash borer, that's not an option. A proposal that goes before the City Council in October would earmark money from the sale of city-owned and tax-forfeited properties for reforestation of public land. That could add at least $565,000 to a fund that provides about $60,000 a year to replace trees on city property.

Second, recycling in Washington County has resumed ever since the county opened its new environmental center in Woodbury earlier in September. The center replaces the county's household hazardous waste collection site in Oakdale, which closed in June. Located at 4039 Cottage Grove Drive, the center is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays and Thursdays, and noon to 7 p.m. Tuesdays. Useable household products such as paints, automotive products and cleaners are available for residents to take for free.

Maple Grove's experiment with a new sort-free recycling service has resulted in the collection of 71 more tons of recyclables per month between February through June.  Additionally, more households were recycling. From 60% in 2008 to 80% during the first half of 2009. The results show that mixed recycling is a hit with residents. Basically, as with recycling and many other things, the easier it is, the more people will do it. Similar programs have worked just as well in other Twin Cities communities, so this recycling option may be available in more places soon!

Finally, the Minnesota Vikings are turning to wind energy to power up the Metrodome during games this season. The Vikings will offset all the electricity used at home games by purchasing renewable energy through Xcel Energy's Windsource program. The program lets utility customers pay extra to help Xcel generate more of its power from renewable sources.

Tune in next month for the October edition of Greening Minnesota!

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