This month's featured member is the City of St. Louis Park. In April 2019 the City of St. Louis Park celebrated the 35th anniversary of its curbside recycling program. Over the years, the city has worked hard to help residents and businesses recycle better. However, the city now has a comprehensive plan and a climate action plan that seek significant reductions in waste. And while recycling and composting have environmental benefits, preventing and reducing waste offers the most significant impact. How, as a municipality, can we encourage residents to consider reuse and repair to reduce waste?
In October 2017, the city hosted its first clothing swap. 80 people attended and brought 920 pounds of clothing. The swap has been held annually since, with attendance reaching 190 people from 20 cities this July (and 2,315 pounds of clothing and accessories!). At the events, approximately 60% of the clothing is swapped and taken home by attendees. The rest is donated to local nonprofits, with a small amount being set aside for textile recycling. The St. Louis Park Emergency Program (STEP) comes at the end of each event to select items for their clothing and coat closets. The remaining items have gone to ARC Value Village, PRISM, and Old School by Steeple People.
Check out a video of a recent swap here!
The city hosted gardener’s swaps in spring 2018 and 2019, aimed at encouraging the reuse of yard and garden tools, while also providing space for swapping plants. The event provided a perfect space to match up people getting out of gardening with new gardeners and homeowners. The swap is now an annual event – mark your calendar for May 12, 2020!
Do you want to be a featured Member Highlight in upcoming newsletters? Join ReUSE Minnesota as an organizational member and you could be chosen!