Green Steps

A garbage/recycling/composting enclosure is under construction behind Marine Mills on 3rd St. in Marine on St. Croix.  The Village Center Task Force has been working with the Marine City Council and Planning Commission to revitalize areas of the downtown village center and take steps towards the city master plan laid out in the Comprehensive Plan. A Ramsey & Washington County grant, facilitated with the help from  Waste Wise, was brought to our attention by former Marine resident, Meg Anderson Brownson.  Brownson owns a business (Alfresco) in the Stillwater Business District and took advantage of the grant.

Kristen Klemestrud (former owner of Savories in Stillwater) came to Marine and gave a presentation to Marine businesses about the program and how it works in Stillwater. The grant funding is an incentive from the state and county to help businesses make the shift to more recycling and composting to reduce waste going to the landfills. A state mandate went into effect on January 1, 2016 which is applicable to businesses that generate more than 4 yards of trash  per week and states that they must now recycle at least three materials. As part of an educational grace period, the grant opportunity helps all businesses become mandate compliant before it is more strictly enforced. Businesses that do not fall under the mandate requirements are using this time to implement waste reduction programs BEFORE it becomes mandatory for all businesses in the state.

Meredith Moore from Waste Wise has been instrumental in helping each business analyze their recycling and composting needs and develop a plan for reducing waste by identifying more compostable/recycling opportunities.  This can be as simple as ordering new recycling bins, beginning a composting service or as elaborate as businesses collaborating to build an enclosure, as is happening behind Marine Mills (a good example of private/public partnership).  Colin and Lee (Reynolds) Faulkner, the owners of Marine Mills, saw the availability of grant funding as an opportunity to clean up the back of their businesses and to consolidate and enclose their dumpsters that were sitting out on the city street. The enclosure will discourage illegal dumping which has been a longtime problem.  They agreed to have a concrete enclosure placed onto their private property and encouraged the businesses on that block to take advantage of the grant by reducing trash, increasing their recycling output and start organics. This will save money in the long run because commercial trash is heavily taxed at 52% (17% state and 35% county) compared to recycling/composting at 0%.

Participating businesses include: St. Croix Chocolate Shop, The Marine Cafe, Tom Maakestad Studio, Edward Jones and Marine Mills.  Please thank them with your patronage for taking a progressive effort towards making a sustainable difference in our community by reducing garbage and increasing recycling and composting. This project is in keeping with Marine on St. Croix being a “Green Step City.”  

This project is using “local” businesses to design and build the  enclosures.  Tod Drescher (Tod Drescher Architecture) was the design architect and Dan Froiland (American Community Builders) is the contractor.  Roger Peterson (Peterson Excavating) is doing the excavation. The city clerk, Lynnette Peterson has been a valuable resource on this project.  The Marine maintenance staff and the city council have been supportive.

More Marine businesses are similarly taking advantage of the recycling grant funding.  Christ Lutheran Church has already been approved for grant funding, the Marine General Store and Camp Kiwanis are all starting commercial composting service.  The Brookside Bar & Grill, Ostlund’s Marine Garage and The Marine Landing are in the analysis process with our Waste Wise representative.

Security State Bank of Marine supports the program and will be donating reusable cloth bags to the Marine General Store after they receive their grant.

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