Passing the BALL we are in this together

Green Partners May/June 2016

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Green Partners


provides updates about environmental education resources, tools, programs, grants and events to our environmental education partners.



Hennepin County has the following free environmental education resources available to partners.


Environment and Energy

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Hennepin County Environmental Education & Outreach Team

Angie Timmons

Alisa Reckinger

Angie Ziobro

Christina Schmitt

Jessica Arika

Mary Karius

Patience Caso


Please forward this email to interested individuals and encourage them to sign up.

Recycling 75% of waste by 2030 – what will it take?


Recycling progress report provides insights into trends

About 46 percent of the waste generated in the county was recycled or composted in 2015. The recycling rate has slowly and steadily increased in recent years, with recycling increasing 5 percent since 2010. However, we have a long way to go to reach our goal
of recycling 75 percent of waste by 2030. 

2015 Hennepin County Recycling Progress Report
provides an update on progress being made toward the county’s recycling and waste diversion goals. The report also outlines strategies the county will pursue to encourage waste reduction and recycling. All
of us – individuals, businesses and government – play a role in preventing waste and increasing recycling. 

Programs to increase recycling

Hennepin County is committed to making recycling as convenient as possible and expanding opportunities to compost by:

You can help by working to improve recycling and reduce waste within your organization, promoting waste reduction and recycling to your audiences, and helping to promote the programs and services that are available.

Sharps now accepted at Hennepin County drop-off facilities


The Hennepin County
drop-off facilities
in Brooklyn Park and Bloomington now accept sharps and needles at no charge from residents. Safely managing and disposing of needles, lancets and syringes safely is important to prevent injury and disease transmission.

Sharps should be stored and transported in a rigid, puncture-resistant, plastic container with a screw-on lid. Examples include empty laundry detergent bottles with screw-on lids or a sharps disposable container purchased from a pharmacy. Glass containers should
not be used.

Spread the word

The following resources are available to promote this program:

Recycle Everywhere campaign launches in July

Recycle Everywhere

Recycle Everywhere

Hennepin County’s 2016
Recycle Everywhere
campaign will build on the success of the 2015 campaign by continuing to focus on tips and tricks to help people expand their recycling habits to recycle in every room.

The campaign will feature ads on TV, online radio, digital billboards, websites, and social media. Ads will run in July and August.

Resources and promotional materials available

The county is continuing to offer free resources, including recycling labels, bags for collecting recyclables and a recycling guide, to help expand recycling habits. These resources can be ordered

. Use them in your home, share with family and friends, or distribute at events, at work or in your community.

We also have a newsletter article, social media posts, logo, images, videos, and recycling tips factsheet available to help you

spread the word

Raise awareness about air quality as an Air Aware employer

Air Aware

Scientists are finding that our health is affected by lower levels of air pollution than previously thought. As a result, state and federal air quality standards are tightening.

Air Aware gives businesses and organizations tools to empower their employees to improve air quality and protect their health. By taking the pledge, you’ll receive ideas on how you and your employees can minimize air pollution to protect the health of your
community through monthly e-newsletters and case studies.

Learn more about
becoming an Air Aware Employer
 or contact Rebecca Place at
 or 651-757-2807

Environmental education resources

Printed copies of the following new and update literature can be ordered for free from the
order form


New: Donation opportunities brochure

Donating usable items to charitable organizations is a great way to help your community. You’ll also save money and reduce waste. The new

Donation Opportunities brochure (PDF)
includes information about organizations that accept donations for a wide variety of items. 

Yard waste brochure

Updated: Managing yard waste brochure

Yard waste – such as grass clippings, leaves and branches – is a valuable resource that can add nutrients into your yard or be recycled into compost. It is illegal to put this kind of waste in your household garbage. The updated

Yard Waste brochure (PDF)
includes information about managing yard waste, yard waste drop-off sites, protecting land and water, and ash tree waste removal. 

Medicine flyer

Updated: Medicine disposal flyer

The Golden Valley Police Department, in partnership with Hennepin County and the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, recently opened a medicine drop box at their location at 7800 Golden Valley Rd in Golden Valley. The drop box is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a

Properly disposing of medicines is important to prevent poisoning and abuse and protect the environment. There are now nine

medicine drop boxes
located throughout the county. The
medicine disposal flyer (PDF)
has been updated with the new drop box location.

New articles available from Rethink Recycling

Rethink Recycling provides newsletter articles, blog posts and social media posts on monthly environmental topics for partners to share through their communication channels. The following new articles are available:

  • Oh,
    the Places You’ll Recycle! (May)
    : Summer is here, which means it’s time for summer vacations. Wherever you’re heading, have you thought about how you will get there, what you’ll bring and how you’ll recycle while you’re there? There are lots of ways
    to keep your commitment to reducing, reusing and recycling even when you are away from home.
  • The
    Great, Green Outdoors (June)
    Summer means warmer weather, more time spent out of the house and finding ways to recycle while away from home. It also means a variety of outdoor events including sporting events, trips, festivals, parties, weddings, and more. Whether you are hosting or attending
    an event, there are many ways to reduce, reuse and recycle.

all of the articles available and look for new articles on the first of each month

Events and learning opportunities


Green Partners Networking Meeting

Thursday, July 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Learn about community gardens and they’re being used to engage audiences in learning about the environment on a bus tour of local garden projects in Minneapolis. The bus will pick-up and drop-off at 701 4th Ave. S. downtown Minneapolis. Additional information
will be posted to the
Green Partners Networking Meeting web page

RSVP to Patience Caso at
or 612-348-9352.

Minnesota Association of Environmental Education conference registration open

Registration is now open for the 2016
Minnesota Association for Environmental Education (MAEE)
conference “Grow in the Open” August 5 and 6 at Saint John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota. The conference aims to nurture the growth of environmental educators in Minnesota through concurrent
sessions, field trips, and a keynote presentation. The registration deadline is July 15. Scholarships are available. 

For more information, contact Angela Ziobro at or 612-348-9850.

Fix-It Clinics

Fix-It Clinics

provide an opportunity to receive free, guided assistance from handy volunteers on disassembling, troubleshooting and repairing small household appliances, clothing, electronics, mobile devices and more.

Upcoming Fix-It Clinics are scheduled for the following dates and locations:

  • Saturday, July 16 from noon to 4 p.m. at Minneapolis Community & Technical College in the H Building (Helland Center) 
  • Sunday, August 14 from noon to 4 p.m. at the Champlin Ice Forum
  • Saturday, September 10 from noon to 4 p.m. at the Whittier Rec Center in Minneapolis

Volunteer fixers who have skills in electrical, mechanical or electronics repair, wood working, sewing or general tinkering are essential to making the clinics successful. For more information or to volunteer, contact Nancy Lo at or 612-348-9195.


Hazardous waste collection events 


Hennepin County organizes
collection events
to give residents more convenient local options for disposing of household hazardous wastes. Materials accepted include unwanted automotive wastes, household, lawn and garden products, batteries, mercury-containing items and more.

Collection events are held Thursday – Saturday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Upcoming hazardous waste collection events are scheduled for the following dates and locations:

  • July 7 – 9 at Jenny Lind School in Minneapolis
  • August 4 – 6 at Anthony Middle School in Minneapolis
  • August 18 – 20 at 340 27th Ave NE in Minneapolis 

Spread the word: Download a flyer, social media posts, newsletter article and images to

promote the hazardous waste collection events
– find resources under current campaigns.


Natural Resources Partnership meeting 

Tuesday, June 28 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Ridgedale Library

Learn about stormwater collection and reuse practices at the next Hennepin Natural Resources Partnership meeting. Speakers from Emmons and Oliver Resources, the City of Hugo, and the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization will provide an overview of
practices and highlight example projects.

Hennepin Natural Resources Partnership
provides a forum for a holistic and collaborative approach to managing and protecting our land and water. Everyone is welcome to attend, especially those from cities, watersheds, agencies and organizations involved
with or interested in natural resources management and protection.

RSVP to Stacey Lijewski at
or 612-348-9938.


Minnehaha Creek cleanup 

The Minnehaha Creek Watershed District is holding its 10th annual clean up this year on Sunday, July 24, and volunteers now have three cleanup locations to choose from – Minnetonka, St. Louis Park and Lake Hiawatha Park in Minneapolis. The expansion to Minnetonka
provides opportunities to clean the creek all the way from the creek’s headwaters near the Gray’s Bay Dam to Minnehaha Falls 22 miles downstream. This year’s goal is to collect 4 tons of trash.

Learn more and register to volunteer


Hopkins places third at Minnesota State Envirothon competition

Envirothon Hopkins

In May, high school and middle school teams competed in regional Envirothons, which are a natural resources competitions that test students’ knowledge of aquatics, forestry, soils and wildlife. A team from Hopkins High School advanced from the regional competition
to the
Minnesota State Envirothon
and finished in third place at the state level. Hennepin County provided transportation funding for the Hopkins High School team to attend the regional competition. 

Hopkins has been competing in the Envirothon since 2008 and has had teams advance to the state competition every year since 2009. After the metro-area Envirothon was cancelled this year, the dedicated teams traveled to Spicer, Minnesota to compete in the regional
competition. Congratulations! 

Green Partners project updates

The following projects are being funded through the
Green Partners Environmental Education program
. These groups have been busy engaging audiences in taking action to protect the environment. For more information about Green Partners grants, contact Patience Caso at or 612-348-9352.


Alliance for Sustainability


Alliance for Sustainability recently wrapped up a project engaging members of congregations in protecting water quality. Activities included a summer rain garden tour for congregations, congregation workshops on stormwater and rain gardens, and providing tools
to protect water – like leaf collection bags and sample Fescue Grass seed packets – for congregants at events.


Phyllis Wheatley Community Center


Phyllis Wheatley Community Center is engaging youth in waste reduction and recycling. Youth participated in a tour of the Hennepin Energy Recovery Center and workshops on recycling and waste reduction and reuse. Youth are training others in the community about
what they learned to help increase recycling in the community.


Rogers Elementary School


Students at Rogers Elementary STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) School engaged in environmental education by installing school gardens this year. They planted vegetables and flowers to attract pollinators in the new raised garden beds
and observed the plants from seeds. Students learned to pull the weeds out by their roots, made observations about the parts of a plant and used iPads to document their experience.  



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