Green Ramsey Newsletter - November 2018

Logo Update

Green Ramsey 

An Environmental Health Newsletter from Ramsey County - November 2018






Fix-It Clinic 
Ramsey County Library - Maplewood
Saturday, November 17
10:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
3025 Southlawn Drive

Fix-It Clinic
Our Lady of Guadalupe
Saturday, December 8
11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
401 Concord Street
Saint Paul

Household Hazardous Waste Collection
Year-Round Site – Nov.
Saint Paul (Bay West)
Tues. - Fri.,
11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Sat., 9 a.m. - 4 p.m
5 Empire Dr.
Saint Paul



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.

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.



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 Story:

Sunray BP Uses Grant to Expand Recycling and Saves Money

The Sunray BP gas station in Saint Paul has a strong commitment to the environment. From updated LED lighting in the store to a waste-oil heater to keep the shop and store warm, Sunray BP leads the pack with sustainable business practices.

To further their efforts, Sunray BP worked with BizRecycling to develop a custom waste management plan. Using a $10,000 grant they received from BizRecycling, Sunray BP made their waste enclosure large enough to add a recycling dumpster to collect recyclables. They also added recycling containers at the pump, which provides a great opportunity for customers to clean out their vehicles and recycle those empty bottles and cans while they fill up their gas tanks.

By recycling better, Sunray BP has reduced their trash significantly—downsizing from a 6-yard trash dumpster to a 2-yard trash dumpster. That adds up to a yearly savings of $3,000 on trash hauling!

Watch their video story here.

BizRecycling works with interested businesses of all sizes in Ramsey and Washington counties to start or improve their recycling or organics programs. To find out more about the BizRecycling program, visit or call 651-266-1199.


Sunray BP

News You Can Use:

Get Started Today Collecting Organics Recycling

Good news! Organics recycling starter kits are back in stock! With the holidays coming up, now is the perfect time to get started collecting food scraps and plate waste. It’s easier than you think! Follow these three steps:

  1. Visit a Ramsey County yard waste site to pick up a free starter kit. The starter kit includes a small kitchen caddy, compostable bags and tips for success.
  2. Fill up your compostable bags with organics recycling.
  3. Bring it back to a drop-off site for free disposal. In addition to the free compostable bags that the county provides, you can also receive a free t-shirt when you drop off your organics recycling five times, while supplies last.

Visit for more information.


Starter Kit (green)

Safely Dispose of Unwanted Medicines

Now is a good time to clean out your medicine cabinet before the cold and flu season hits. Safely dispose of unwanted, expired and unused medicines for free at one of six convenient medicine collection sites in Ramsey County. You will help prevent crime, drug abuse and accidental poisoning, as well as protect our environment. Our drop boxes are open to all. You do not need to be a Ramsey County resident, so spread the word!

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Keep medicine in their original container for legal transport.
  2. Put loose medicines in a clear plastic bag and label it with the medicine name.
  3. Seal all containers in a clear plastic bag.
  4. Place bag into drop box.

If you have empty or uncapped needles or syringes, bring them to our free household hazardous waste collection site.

Please note that we do not accept medicines from businesses, healthcare facilities, long-term facilities, pharmacies, doctor’s offices or veterinary clinics.

Medicine Collection 2 (Tangerine)

Scrap Metal Causes Concern at Recycling Facilities

While you can include metal cans in your recycling cart, any type of scrap metal like metal rods, shelves and pots and pans are not permitted.

When your recyclables are picked up at the curb, the recycling truck brings them to a sorting facility where they are put on a conveyor belt. At that time, employees try to quickly pull off materials that may cause damage to sorting equipment. Scrap metal is one of those dangerous materials. And unlike metals cans, scrap metal does not squish to make a bale. 

So instead of putting it in your recycling cart, save it in a box and take it to a company that accepts scrap metal. You can find several options on our A to Z Recycling and Disposal Guide.

Pots and Pans


Keep Food Safety in Mind for Thanksgiving

While you’re preparing your turkey for Thanksgiving, keep food safety in mind. Avoid foodborne illnesses by following these food safety tips:

  • Always wash your hands thoroughly before handling any food.
  • Never thaw a turkey at room temperature—the safest method is in the refrigerator. Allow approximately 24 hours for every 4 to 5 pounds, meaning a 12-pound bird may take 2 ½ days to thaw and a 16-pound bird can take up to 4 days.
  • Buy a food thermometer which accurately measures temperature. Place the thermometer into the thickest portion of the meat. Cook the turkey until it reaches 165°F and remains at 165°F for 15 seconds. Do not judge doneness by the appearance of the meat. Use the temperature as a guide. The stuffing must reach 165°F, as well.
  • Refrigerate the leftovers as soon as possible. Use the leftovers within 3 days to ensure the safety of the food.

If you have questions about handling, preparing or storing your turkey, call the USDA Meat & Poultry Hotline at 1-888-674-6854.


Turkey Cooking

Did you know?

Did you know? “Asthma Triggers” is a term that refers to substances, activities or environmental factors that can bring on an asthma attack. Asthma triggers can be found inside or outside the home. Some common in-home triggers might be:

  • Tobacco smoke.
  • Household chemicals.
  • Pet dander.
  • Roaches.
  • Dust mites.
  • Mold.
  • Fragrances.

If you have a child with asthma, Ramsey County can send an environmental health specialist and a public health nurse to your home to offer a free home assessment. They can also provide products that help reduce or eliminate your child’s asthma triggers. Last year, Ramsey County helped over 40 children!

If you are interested in learning more about this free program, or want to schedule a visit, please email or call us at 651-266-1199.

Asthma 2

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