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Offices

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The Gilbert Building is a restored office space located in Saint Paul’s historic Lowertown district. Originally opened in 1893, the Gilbert Building is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Challenge

Vince King, one of the owners of the historic Gilbert Building in Saint Paul, wanted to start a recycling program for the building but was not sure where to begin. The building had a trash-only service, but King felt that adding a recycling program would provide a valuable service to his tenants.

King contacted BizRecycling’s Recycling Experts for help.

How We Helped

The Recycling Experts visited the Gilbert Building to explore opportunities for starting a recycling program. Working with King’s trash hauler, the Recycling Experts helped the Gilbert Building start a single-sort recycling program.

For the new recycling program to succeed, the Gilbert Building needed to create recycling collection stations, distribute recycling bins to tenants, and educate the building’s tenants and custodial staff on recycling.

Our Recycling Experts helped King apply for a BizRecyling Grant. Some grant money was used to buy office-sized recycling bins for each tenant. New signs and labels made it clear which items went where. The grant also paid for a collection cart for the custodial staff. There was also funding to cover the initial increase in cleaning hours.

Outcome

All twenty-four tenants are participating in the recycling program.

“When the bins were passed out to tenants they were all very happy that we were starting to recycle,” said Ian Hedstrom, property manager. “They enjoy knowing that they are having a positive impact on the world and the transition has been so easy.”

The building now diverts more than 12,000 pounds of waste from landfills each year. The decrease in their trash bill has helped offset the slight increase in custodial hours.

“The grant covered our start-up costs and we found that our vendor costs have stayed about the same” said King.