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Big parties in Duluth area now required to have recycling bins

  • Associated Press
  • April 8, 2013 - 11:09 AM

DULUTH, Minn. - Throwing a big party in Duluth? Don't forget the recycling containers.

Just about every event in the Duluth area with 100 or more guests now is required to have recycling bins available under a new ordinance recently enacted by the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District, which is expanding recycling to non-traditional locations.

The law applies to any function at a community hall, park or business. It even applies at homes if there is a business involved, such as a caterer, the Duluth News Tribune reported Monday ( http://bit.ly/Xz64Bw).

"It's aimed at the bigger commercial events, but it applies to all of them with 100 people or more," said Karen Anderson, WLSSD community relations director. "Some of them already offer recycling. But a surprising number still do not."

The change is part of the district's ongoing efforts to reduce the amount of recyclable materials — food, yard waste, cans, bottles, paper, cardboard and more — that ends up in the garbage stream and then buried in a Superior, Wis., landfill.

The district took a closer look at the refuse it processes in late 2011 to see just how much recyclable material was getting trashed. Officials found lots of food waste that could be composted, tons of paper that should be recycled and even appliances.

But it was the number of plastic bottles and aluminum cans that stunned the survey crew. They estimated that 18 million pop and beer cans and another 19 million plastic bottles are being trashed each year in the Duluth area.

"Now we're forming our policy to deal with those crazy numbers," Anderson said.

Other efforts to improve bottle-and-can recycling are focused on apartment complexes, gas stations and convenience stores.

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Information from: Duluth News Tribune, http://www.duluthsuperior.com

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