Dakota County parks officials are trying to get more people to recycle, whether they’re hiking for an afternoon, renting a park facility for an evening or camping for a weekend.
As part of an effort to boost recycling and composting throughout county parks, campers at Lebanon Hills, Lake Byllesby and Whitetail Woods regional parks will get color-coded bags for trash, recycling and compost. The initiative is rolling out in all three parks this weekend, with the goal of being fully operational by the end of June.
“We do accumulate quite a bit of waste throughout the camping season,” said Jenny Kedward, an environmental specialist with Dakota County. “We wanted to start with how we could reduce that.”
The initiative, which so far has cost just $4,300, was modeled on a campground recycling program that the Three Rivers Park District implemented at Baker Park Reserve in western Hennepin County in 2013. Park operations supervisor Bruce Bolduan said visitors were quick to start recycling, but composting presented a bigger learning curve.
“Even if our results aren’t 100 percent, it’s creating the education so they do bring this into their regular life and their camping experience,” he said.