Commercial Recycling ordinance passes committee
The commercial recycling ordinance I have been working on for over a year has passed the Regulatory, Energy and Environment committee unanimously. A number of folks - Ross Abbey, chair of the Citizen's Environmental Advisory Committee, Adam Leusse, the constituent who first brought this issue to my attention, Magda from the Minnesota Public Interest Research Group and Leo Sanders, the operations manager for the Seward Co-op - came to testify in favor of it. No one spoke against it.
I think this sets the ordinance up well for the full Council meeting on June 17th. Once it becomes law, I will work with our Solid Waste and Recycling, Sustainability, and Regulatory Services staff to put together an implementation plan. Before we start enforcing this ordinance, I want the City to do some good outreach to businesses and offer technical assistance to the small number who are not currently recycling.
In some ways, this is a pretty small step towards making this a greener city; according to the surveys done by the Chamber of Commerce and Building Owners and Managers Association, the vast majority of businesses are already recycling. But I believe it's important that we change our mindset about solid waste, and I hope that this ordinance is helping to do that. Recycling isn't a new thing. It's not difficult. It's the baseline expectation for how we manage waste in Minneapolis.