Thanks to the work of Minnesota recycling stakeholders, residents have been able to access low-cost, recycled-content rain barrels.

The Recycling Association of Minnesota (RAM) is thrilled to welcome the Resource Recycling Conference and its national partners to Minnesota. This event will be marked by all-star collection of speakers, presentations, workshops and exhibitors.

This opportunity to increase our knowledge base and network – catching up with longtime colleagues and meeting many new ones – can only be achieved by attending a national conference of this stature.

I had a sneak peek at the attendee list and have already identified dozens of individuals and business representatives whom I have long wanted to meet (the only thing missing from the event is a few more hours each day to take full advantage all the learning and networking it has to offer).

And RAM is ready to show attendees from other parts of the nation and world all the ways the North Star State is pushing ahead recycling initiatives.

RAM will have an exhibit hall booth (No. 215) where we hope to meet many of you and share a few of RAM’s focus areas. Included in those areas are the following major projects and events:

  • This year, we again partnered with cities, counties and watershed districts to provide opportunities for their residents to obtain low-cost, recycled-content rain barrels and compost bins, augmenting water conservation and home-composting efforts while ‘buying recycled’.
  • We also partner with the Carton Council and other national and local organizations to help them increase recycling rates for specific materials by providing a local connection for education, referrals and identification of underserved locations in Minnesota.
  • In response to the need to find a way to recycle the ever-growing stream of waste agricultural and marine film plastics, RAM has worked for the past four years to identify the issues and build working relationships with farmers, plastic manufacturers, the dairy and beef and marine industries, MRF operators, haulers, state environmental and agricultural agencies and others in the recycling and environmental community. This past year, with generous support from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, we launched a large initiative with a nine-county coalition, Revolution Plastics and key agricultural organizations to begin recycling several million pounds of ag film statewide that had formerly been landfilled or burned on site.
  • Educational tours and forums, such as the one we organized in southwestern Minnesota hosted by Bedford Technology, are another part of RAM’s effort to assist the recycling community around the state by bringing multiple stakeholders together for education and networking.
  • By far, one of RAM’s largest projects is the annual RAM/Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) conference. That event is scheduled for Oct. 16-17 at the Minneapolis Marriott NW in Brooklyn Park, Minn. RAM invites everyone to join us this year for our 22nd-annual conference, where we’ll delve into many of the topics you will see and hear about in the Minnesota “Speed Recycling” session at the Resource Recycling Conference on Tuesday.

We look forward to meeting you and hope you enjoy your time here in sunny/rainy/snowy/beautiful Minnesota.

Brita Sailer is executive director of the Recycling Association of Minnesota (RAM).