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A. Johnson & Sons Florist is a 4th generation family run flower shop located on historic Grand Avenue in Saint Paul.

Challenge

A. Johnson & Sons’ owner, Tom Johnson, had started a single-stream recycling program at their flower shop in 2012 with the help of recycling experts from Minnesota Waste Wise. They also started composting plant trimmings through a yard waste program. The shop’s two highest-volume days (Christmas and Valentine’s Day) occur in the winter, so the seasonal yard waste program, which is only available April – November, was less than satisfactory. In 2013, the shop switched to commercial composting.

Although A. Johnson & Sons was doing a good job of diverting both recyclables and organic waste, they felt that they could be recycling better. When they learned about the BizRecycling Grant program, they contacted Waste Wise.

How We Helped

One of the biggest barriers that A. Johnson & Sons faced with their recycling efforts was inconsistent recycling containers and signage. They worked with Waste Wise to apply for a BizRecycling Grant. The grant allowed the shop to purchase consistent color-coded bins for use throughout the shop.

According to Johnson, the grant program was critical to their success. They couldn’t have afforded to purchase all of the bins they needed without the funding BizRecycling provided.

Outcome

Thanks to the new color-coded bins and the change to a commercial composting service, A. Johnson & Sons is able to divert over 38,000 pounds of materials a year. This has resulted in their saving over $1,000 per year on their waste hauling bill. According to Johnson, “the color-coded bins make all the difference. Now there are no excuses.”

The Grand Avenue Business Association located in Saint Paul formed a collaborative group, For Recycling on Grand (F.R.O.G.) to promote greater public and business recycling in the city.

In 2015, A. Johnson & Sons Florist was awarded the F.R.O.G. annual award for outstanding efforts in recycling. They have received a considerable amount of positive media attention due to their recycling and organics success, and have brought awareness of the many benefits of recycling to other businesses.