Green Ramsey Newsletter - November 2017

Logo Update

Green Ramsey 

An Environmental Health Newsletter from Ramsey County - November 2017




Fix-It Clinic
Wentworth Library (Co-hosted with Dakota County)
Saturday, November 18
12 - 3 p.m.
199 Wentworth Ave. East, West St. Paul, MN 55118

Fix-it Clinic
Our Lady of Guadalupe Church (Co-hosted with Dakota County)
Saturday, December 16
10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
401 Concord St., Saint Paul, MN 55107

Find more Fix-It Clinic information online.

Household Hazardous Waste Collection
Saint Paul (Bay West)
Tues. - Fri.: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sat.: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
5 Empire Dr., Saint Paul, MN 55103



Educational Kits and Games
Teaching about recycling? Borrow an educational kit or game for your class or community group. Reserve online or call 651-266-1199.

Be Active! Be Green! Recycling Container Grants
Need a recycling container in a park or public building? Our Be Active! Be Green! grant program is available for public entities to purchase recycling containers. Help make recycling easier when on-the-go. Call 651-266-1179.

Recycling Bins for Events
Hosting an event? Call 651-266-1199 for temporary bottles and cans recycling bins and organics recycling bins, or reserve them online.

Partners’ Grants
Calling all business organizations in the East Metro! Got a great idea to get other businesses to go green? Use our green to get going.

Public Entity Innovation Grants
Do you have an innovative idea to increase recycling through your city, school, park board, library or watershed district? Grants are available to help kick-start your idea! Call 651-266-1199 or email .

Waste collected in Ramsey and Washington Counties and beyond is hauled to the Recycling & Energy (R&E) Center to be turned into fuel for energy. The R&E Center is owned by the Ramsey/Washington Recycling & Energy Board.



Green Ramsey is published by the Environmental Health Division of Saint Paul - Ramsey County Public Health.

2785 White Bear Ave. N.
Suite 350
Maplewood, MN, 55109












Main Photo

Success Stories:

IPS Cranes Saves Big by Recycling

Local business IPS Cranes wanted to improve recycling efforts at their corporate office and distribution warehouse in Vadnais Heights. They already had a single-sort recycling program in place, however they felt they could be recycling even more of their waste. They contacted BizRecycling for help. BizRecycling works with interested businesses of all sizes in Ramsey and Washington counties to start or improve their recycling or organics programs.

BizRecycling connected IPS Cranes with recycling experts who visited the business to do a complete waste assessment. The recycling experts found that a fair amount of recyclable material, including plastic film, was ending up in the trash. The recycling experts helped connect IPS Cranes with a local company that recycles plastic film. They also helped IPS Cranes apply for a BizRecycling Grant! The grant was used to purchase recycling bins for each employee's desk, and a recycling station for the staff break room.

IPS Cranes now collects close to 3,000 pounds of recyclables a year, with nearly 360 pounds of it being plastic film. With more recycling taking place, their trash volume has decreased. With less-frequent trash pickups, they are saving $150 a month on their trash bill! The company is so pleased with their recycling success that they encourage their customers and vendors to connect with the BizRecycling program to find ways they can recycle and save money. Recycling has truly become a part of the company culture at IPS Cranes.


White Bear Lake Schools Reduce Lunch Waste

White Bear Lake Area Schools have improved and expanded their food-to-hogs program at all 13 of their schools. The district has also made the switch to reusable lunch trays in every school and has even started milk carton recycling. Hats off to White Bear Lake Area Schools for making positive changes!

News You Can Use:

Give Clothes a Second Chance

Looking to get rid of the clothes you no longer wear? Or refresh your wardrobe? If you are a thrifty or eco-conscious shopper, you probably already take advantage of garage sales, local consignment stores and clothing swaps with family and friends. But what about online options? Most online consignment stores make shopping and consigning simple and convenient. In addition to the ever-popular eBay, there is ThredUp, which focuses on everyday brands for women, men and children. While Poshmark lets you manage your own listings, Vestiaire Collective and The RealReal, are geared for higher-end brands.  Whatever option you choose, choose to reuse! You will feel good about doing good for others and saving money, while keeping good clothes out of the trash.


Bright Idea from Right Light App

With many more options for LED (light emitting diode) lighting on store shelves, you may be overwhelmed with finding the right bulb. Luckily the Clean Energy Resource Teams and the University of Minnesota Extension teamed up to create the Right Light App, a free tool that helps people find just the bulb they need. It will take you step by step to choose the shape, color and brightness of the bulb and make helpful suggestions along the way. Check it out!


Master Plan Update

The Ramsey County Solid Waste Management Master Plan for 2018-2038 was adopted by the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners on October 10 and has been forwarded to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency for approval.

The Ramsey County Solid Waste Management Master Plan (Master Plan) is a policy-based community “blueprint” for the solid waste system that supports healthy people, a healthy economy and a healthy environment. The Master Plan guides how we reduce waste, increase recycling and divert waste from landfills and outlines how we work with residents, businesses and partners to meet state and county goals.

Don’t Trash It, Mend It!

Remember that beloved Hawaiian shirt you bought ten years ago? The one with the toucans that you ripped during the family reunion badminton tournament in 2009? Don’t let it sit in your closet torn and unworn any longer. Bring it to a Fix-it Clinic!

In addition to repairing general household items like toasters, lamps and radios, Ramsey County Fix-it Clinics offer FREE MENDING. At Fix-it Clinics, volunteer sewers repair broken zippers, mend tears, patch holes, hem jeans, replace zippers and more! They will also teach you valuable sewing skills, such as threading a needle, sewing on a button and ripping out a seam.

So, dig out that Hawaiian toucan shirt and bring it to the next Fix-it Clinic. We’ll help you repair it for FREE!

Wentworth Library
Saturday, November 18
12 – 3 p.m.
199 Wentworth Ave. East, West St. Paul, MN 55118

Visit to learn more about Ramsey County’s monthly Fix-it Clinics.


Asbestos in Homes

Asbestos is typically a word that can cause alarm. However, asbestos contained in building materials that are in good condition is not a health concern. Asbestos is a group of minerals that occur naturally in the ground. It’s commonly found in vinyl flooring and/or the Mastek glue under it, textured ceilings, window caulk, Transite siding, vermiculite insulation, air heating duct wrap/tape and hot water heat pipe insulation. While newer houses are likely to have less asbestos, it is still being mined around the world and used in common building materials that are sold at major home improvement stores around the U.S.

Again, asbestos contained in building materials which are in good condition are not a health concern.  However, when asbestos contained in building materials is disturbed during renovation and remodeling, or when a building is in poor condition, that’s when a significant health concern for you and your family may arise. Do not dispose of asbestos wastes in your household trash. Visit the Minnesota Department of Health for information on proper disposal and additional reading on asbestos.

Did you know?

Ramsey County Environmental Health staff conduct risk-based inspections at food establishments to ensure public health safety. Inspections are conducted to help prevent foodborne illness outbreaks. Trained inspectors look for employee hygiene and handwashing, cleaning, appropriate temperature ranges and basic operating procedures. Last year, staff inspected over 750 food establishments, including restaurants, gas stations, memory care units and daycares. While staff is vigilant, outbreaks can still happen. In fact, some outbreaks do not get reported because the person ill does not realize the illness was caused from a food they had previously eaten. If you suspect a foodborne illness from eating at a food establishment, call the Minnesota Department of Health at 1-877-FOOD-ILL (1-877-366-3455).


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