On the 38th anniversary of Earth Day, I thought it would be appropriate to talk about a project underway at the House of Representatives designed to cut down on our waste.
Last summer a Task Force on Paper Waste Reduction was started to set goals for waste reduction within the Capitol and set an example for waste reduction throughout Minnesota.
Here are the goals
- Reduce overall House paper usage by 20% through various strategies of reusing, recycling, and conserving
- Increasing the Duplex Rate to 50%
- Giving paper a "second chance"
- Switch from legal to letter size paper for bills
Audits from the House found that in a 15-month session, the House purchased over 60 tons of paper, or over 12.6 million sheets. Several practical efforts are underway to bring that number down.
- Smaller amendments to bills are being printed on letter-sized paper and further transition is being considered
- Duplicating Center is testing 100% recycled paper, hopefully leading to fully implemented use of 100% recycled paper
- Increased recycling bins on the House Floor, and other areas of the Capitol and State Office Building
We are already seeing gains, but this is a work in progress. We will continue to work toward conservation-minded practices that are both cost-effective and environmentally friendly here at the Capitol.
Enjoy the rest of Earth Day and the budding spring.
Posted on Tuesday, April 22, 2008 by Erin Murphy,