Timothy Schaefer to St. Cloud Times: ‘We need to stop creating things we can’t recycle’

Recycling rates are rising across Minnesota, but that only solves part of our waste problem.
That was the finding of a report released by Environment Minnesota Research & Policy Center, which was covered in a Nov. 24 article in the St. Cloud Times. “The State of Recycling in Minnesota” shows the state’s improvement on efforts to reduce waste and increase recycling rates, which is up to 44 percent with the most recent data. Throughout the article, State Director Timothy Schaefer emphasized that while improving recycling rates and programs is important, the key to our waste problem is reducing it at the source.

“A bigger piece of it is cutting things out of the waste stream that we can’t recycle or we can’t reuse or compost,” Timothy told the reporter. “Yes, we need to make a much bigger investment into the infrastructure of these things, but we also need to stop creating things we can’t recycle.”

Environment Minnesota is working to tackling the state’s waste issue moving into the next legislative session.

Photo: When not properly disposed of, plastic waste often ends up in our rivers, lakes and streams. Credit: Public Domain.