By Madi Sundlof, Kraus-Anderson sustainability intern
In August 2015, Kraus-Anderson rolled out an organic recycling program in its Minneapolis and Circle Pines offices to help encourage environmental awareness as well as financial benefits. Since the program has begun, the company has realized drastic cost savings as well as diverted a large amount of waste from the landfill. In the last five months, each individual location has produced 2.71 tons (5,420 lbs) of organic waste that would have otherwise been collected with the trash. Combined, that means KA has prevented the weight of about two pick-up trucks from becoming waste. By diverting these materials from a landfill, KA is decreasing the amount of methane, a toxic greenhouse gas, released into the atmosphere, as well as producing soil enriching compost.
The compost is being collected and distributed to a location in Rosemount which then sells the rich soil to gardeners, farmers, and commercial businesses. Due to the large benefits seen from this process, the cost of organics is considerably lower than trash, at $.078 per pound compared to $.242 a pound, over three times as much money. The cost savings are realized through reduced taxes from the counties and a lack of waste fee from the state.
The organics program is not only beneficial to the planet, but shows potential clients that Kraus-Anderson is committed to sustainable initiatives. The program depends on continued employee participation for its success, and employees have been quick to adapt to the new recycling options.
“The transition to adding composting to our building has gone smoothly and we have seen an increase in use tot the point where we needed to change our collection to weekly,” observed Dave Kummer, director of Yard operations. “I have seen participation in the office and it has appeared to be self explanatory with little confusion.”
“I have seen people making efforts to compost in the office,” agreed Angela Lakedon, accounting. ” I think their knowledge and understanding is progressing.”
Employees, please refer to the signs above all compost bins and think before you toss. If you have any questions about how to dispose of an item, feel free to ask members of the Green Team and they will help to instruct you in the right choice. Thanks for keeping KA green!