We are a zero-waste organization located in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul with a wide range of initiatives focusing on reuse, recycling, composting, waste reduction, producer responsibility, and more.
On September 9, 2014 a host of zero waste advocates were welcomed to open the first phase of the Eureka Recycling Zero Waste Lab™. Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges, Representative Frank Hornstein, CEO Kevin Lynch of SEA, and Mike Gabriel of RSF spoke about the impact of the lab and shared their visions of a zero waste community.
Eureka Recycling released its newest report Zero-Waste Composting: How Food Scraps Can Help Conquer Climate Change and Disease, which is the first report of its kind to look at the human costs of notcomposting. The report looks at financial costs and quantifies human and environmental costs, providing a way for cities and communities to calculate the true potential of composting. It looks at all aspects of zero-waste composting for the greatest benefit to the environment and our community, including:
preventing wasted food
composting at home in backyards
collecting what is left
processing food scraps and nonrecyclable paper (like egg cartons and paper towels) into soil
how to use the finished compost
In conjunction with the release of Zero-Waste Composting, Eureka Recycling launched a new websitewww.MakeDirtNotWaste.org with free prevention tools. Download a meal planner, shopping tools, a food storage guide, and more. Watch helpful videos as well as join an online conversation to connect with others striving to reduce food waste and save money. Start preventing wasted food today in your kitchen!
Eureka Recycling joins UPSTREAM, 5 Gyres, Clean Water Action, Green America, National Resource Defense Council, Plastic Pollution Coalition, Texas Campaign for the Environment, and the Waterkeeper Alliance in the Make It, Take It Campaign.
These organizations who work on waste and recycling, plastic pollution, and resource conservation have come together to elevate the issue of packaging waste, put public pressure on consumer goods companies, and educate and mobilize citizens for sustainable packaging policies.
The campaign’s first target is the iconic Capri Sun juice pouch. Capri Sun pouches are a highly visible example of consumer packaging that cannot be readily reused, recycled, or composted. An estimated 1.4 Billion Capri Sun pouches are landfilled, incinerated, or littered each year in the United States. The Make It, Take It Campaign is urging Kraft Foods to change their packaging to be reusable, recyclable, or compostable and take responsibility for post-consumer collection and recycling.
According to Eureka’s CEO, Tim Brownell, “When we talk about Zero Waste at Eureka we don’t just focus on recycling, composting, or reusing things. As important as that work is, if that is all we focus on, we have a system managing discards. We also talk about design and packaging because despite our efforts there are items left that cannot be recycled. We see it in our Zero-Waste Lab every day. To reach zero waste, the producers of these items have to share in the responsibility so that they are financially incentivized and inspired to address packaging during the design phase and make products that are better for our environment. The marriage of producers’ fiscal interests with what is sustainable for our planet is the most socially responsible path forward for our communities, our environment, and our economy.”
To take action, please sign the petition http://makeittakeit.net/get-involved/take-action/ or post a message on KRAFT's Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/KraftFoods and their Twitter Page https://twitter.com/kraftfoods using the hashtag #makeittakeit.
This year, Eureka Recycling will be moving to single-stream recycling and adding many additional types of plastics. Until now, Eureka Recycling has maintained a two-stream system because of concerns about lowered material quality and higher costs to the community in single-stream systems. On the flip side, industry reports have stated that the number of people who participate will increase because of the easier sorting, and that single-stream recycling will increase collection efficiency.
Eureka Recycling is committed to improving single-stream recycling so that each bottle, can, and piece of paper can be put to its highest environmental use. We will track and report the impacts of single-stream recycling in our Zero-Waste Lab.
Click on the links below to learn more about:
Karen, Hmong, Somali, and Spanish Single-Sort Recycling Guides Now Available.
Single-sort recycling education now available translated into Karen, Hmong, Somali, and Spanish.
Saint Paul’s Compost to Zero Waste Plan
Last year, Eureka proposed a zero-waste plan for Saint Paul to bring us closer to zero waste. This plan included comprehensive composting--prevention education along with curbside collection--as well as switching to single-stream, and adding more plastics to Saint Paul's recycling program.
The City of Saint Paul wanted to conduct a public process to hear from residents before making decisions for the 2014 budget. This public process is now complete and the City is expected to release its recommendation soon. If you missed the opportunity to weigh in, contact Eureka so your input can be heard.
In 2012, some local recycling programs, including Minneapolis and Hennepin County,started collecting more plastics. But recycling isn't just collection- are all those plastics really being recycled into new products? Or are they just going into the trash somewhere else?
Eureka Recycling believes that people like you want to know the truth about what is recyclable and what is not. We understand that you can take action to change your purchasing habits and push back on producers, asking them to change the plastics they use. This year, Eureka Recycling will be adding some additional plastics to its recycling collection programs. Why not all?
Learn more about plastics. Do you have questions about plastics recycling? Are you frustrated or overwhelmed by so many plastic products and all that plastic packaging? Eureka Recycling can help you sift through this complicated issue! Susan Hubbard, Eureka Recycling’s former CEO, looks at these questions and more in this article for the Twin Cities Daily Planet.
We are grateful to the hundreds of generous donors—individuals and organizations—who provide direct financial support for Eureka Recycling's leading-edge work in zero waste. Our recycling operations are self-sustaining. However, Eureka Recycling raises money in order to break new ground on needed zero-waste initiatives. Learn how you can donate today!
Stuff: we all have it. We all need it (some of it, anyway). But what about the stuff we don’t want or need anymore? What do we do with it? Right now, consumers and governments are given the responsibility of dealing with it—with no say in how products are made or designed. Your best efforts (and ours) to recycle and compost everything we can will not stop our trash cans from filling up.
However, there are ways to change the way these products are designed and manufactured, and you have the chance to influence the process!
We can get to zero waste without sacrificing the stuff we really want and need. Find out how you can tell if the products and services you spend hard-earned money on are safe, non-toxic, healthy, and durable.
Reducing the trash we create and getting to zero waste takes all of us: individuals, communities, and companies that make products and packaging. We know inspiring people who are taking action every day to get as close to zero waste as they can!
Are YOU a Zero-Waste Hero? Send us your story and photo!
Check out this video, produced for our Nonprofit Mission Award for Advocacy, received in 2006 from Minnesota Council of Nonprofits/MAP for Nonprofits!
Read this article from "The Line": Eureka: The offbeat recycling company that wants to go way beyond recycling (November 2010)