At the beginning of 2021, Cortec® Corporation, a manufacturer of corrosion inhibitors in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, started its own in-house organics recycling program. The unique aspect of this program was its use of commercially compostable Eco Film® bin liners produced at the company’s Cortec® Advanced Films extrusion facility in Cambridge, Minnesota. Thus, Cortec® became a regular user of its own products in yet another example of Cortec’s commitment to environmental responsibility. Cortec® has now expanded to the use of Eco Works® 10 certified commercially compostable bags for organics recycling and is now encouraging other businesses to implement similar programs at their own facilities.
Why Organics Recycling?
Organics recycling is becoming a more and more familiar term in today’s vocabulary, with everything ranging from optional to mandatory programs in different regions. While on the surface it may sound like just another “green” initiative, it has some practical benefits as far as keeping waste from actually going to waste. Hannah Bohn, a Senior Sustainability Specialist at MN Waste Wise, a program of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, explained the concept in an email interview, “Organics recycling is an impactful strategy to divert materials from incinerated or landfilled waste, and instead direct them to the higher purpose of becoming compost.” For Cortec®, this means sending paper towels, compostable plasticware, and everyday employee food waste to an industrial composting facility in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where the final compost is distributed for use as soil amendment.
In addition to the intrinsic value of recycling nutrient-rich waste into compost, organics recycling can also have some high monetary incentives. Bohn explained that “in Ramsey County where Cortec® Corporation is located, trash is taxed at a total of 70% between the county and state tax whereas organics recycling has no tax whatsoever.” At Cortec®, these fees can add up to several hundreds of dollars per trash disposal bill-a big incentive for making sure employees get organic waste into the proper receptacles.
How to Get Started with Organics Recycling
Launching an organics recycling program starts by motivating decision-makers to take the first step. Bohn says a good way to promote buy-in, both for leadership and staff, is to provide estimates on cost savings and how much waste could be accepted for organics recycling.
The next step is to get necessary materials such as organics receptacles and certified commercially compostable bin liners. Eco Film® and Eco Works® 10 are two such bin liners available from Cortec® Corporation.* Both are ‘OK compost INDUSTRIAL’ certified by TÜV Austria and can go-bag and all-along with the organics into the compost heap. Eco Works® 10 has the added feature of containing 10% biobased content for those that want an added boost to their sustainability profile.
Cortec® was able to launch its own organics recycling program with a grant awarded by Ramsey County to install a new dumpster mezzanine area, purchase new composting bins, and pay for organics recycling hauling services for three months and BPI certified compostable products for six months. Bohn encourages businesses to seek similar grant funding options in their localities. “In Ramsey & Washington County, this resource is BizRecycling, a program that connects skilled sustainability specialists with businesses to identify waste reduction and recycling opportunities and supports implementation of new projects with grant funding,” she shared.
If you are ready to take the leap into diverting your compostable waste away from the landfill and incinerator into nutrient rich soil amendment, or if you are simply interested in learning more about Cortec’s commercially compostable Eco Film® and Eco Works® 10 bin liners, contact Cortec® today:
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* These products are intended to be composted in a commercial composting facility operated in accordance with best management practices. Check locally to see if such a facility exists in your community and if they will accept this product. Not suitable for backyard composting.
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