Wells Fargo Place: Single-Sort Recycling
In the spring of 2014, Wells Fargo Place, the tallest building in downtown Saint Paul, contacted BizRecycling to help them reduce their waste. An onsite consultation with BizRecycling associates Minnesota Waste Wise Foundation (Waste Wise) found that Wells Fargo Place could reduce their waste by up to 77%. Meeting this goal would be a dramatic improvement from their previous recycling program. Because of this goal, Wells Fargo Place property manager Heide Kempf-Schwarze decided to implement both a single-sort recycling program and an organics program.
To insure that the programs were successful, they were launched in two phases. The first phase introduced the single-sort recycling program. This means that instead of sorting recycling into separate bins for paper, plastic and cans, all recyclables are placed into one “single-sort” bin. Single-sort recycling is easier and less confusing, which helps employees recycle more materials.
With Waste Wise’s assistance, Kempf-Schwarze contacted their current waste hauler to begin single-sort recycling collection. Waste Wise also helped Kempf-Schwarze apply for a BizRecycling grant to offset the cost of new bins and labels. Once the bins and labels were ordered, all of the staff of the 33 building tenants had to be taught about the new system. Each Wells Fargo Place tenant received email updates, in-person trainings, and tenant manuals. A printed recycling guide was also delivered to each desk.
The single-sort recycling program resulted in improved recycling usage at Wells Fargo Place. After a month of single-sort recycling, Kempf-Schwarze noted, “It has been bananas how well the tenants are responding. We had to double our pick-ups (recycling) within a week of launching!”
Wells Fargo Place’s single-sort recycling program keeps about 26,400 pounds of waste out of landfills every year. Combined with their organics program, this amounts to a $200 savings every month on their hauling services. Not only that, but Wells Fargo Place’s tenants have been educated on the benefits of recycling.