On Monday, May 1st, 2017, the Coon Rapids Campus of Anoka-Ramsey Community College instituted a brand new Organics Recycling program, with assistance from Anoka County, MN Waste Wise Foundation, the ARCC Facilities Department, and Lancer Catering. Organics bins were placed in the cafeteria, all restrooms, the Student Center and the science labs, and Lancer Catering switched to using compostable service ware in the cafeteria and coffee shop.
Although the Sustainability Committee encountered some hurdles along the way in making organics collection a reality on campus, the program has proven to be a success. The Facilities Department has had to increase the frequency of organics recycling pick-up by our organics hauler, Republic Recycling, by one day per week, while at the same time decreasing landfill (trash) pick-up to three times a week from the previous five day a week pick up. It is estimated that we are currently diverting 52,800 pounds of compostable material every year, which is equivalent to roughly four African bush elephants in weight! An added but unexpected benefit of this program has been increased regular recycling as well, where pick up has had to been increased from once to three times per week.