Minnesota awards four groups with recycling grants

The grants range from $51,945 to $149,763.

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February 22, 2021

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has awarded four recycling market development grants to projects that will help to drive stronger markets for recycled materials while also creating about 200 jobs. The four grants total $400,000 and range from $51,945 to $149,763:

  • Employment Enterprises Inc., Little Falls, Minnesota, is working on a project that will convert 71 tons of glass to marketable sandblast grit in multiple sizes.
  • GreenForest Recycling LLC, Brainerd, Minnesota, is working to transform lower grade mixed paper and old newspaper (ONP) from material recovery facilities (MRFs) to a more coveted paper grade.
  • Northfield Curbside Compost Cooperative, Northfield, Minnesota, aims to double the volume of collected compostable material from its households that would otherwise go to landfills.
  • P.E.C.E. Recycling LLC, Cosmos, Minnesota, aims to expand operations to recycle vinyl tape into vinyl hose and other products.

This grant program was approved by Minnesota Legislature in 2019.

According to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the recycling industry in Minnesota contributes $15 billion to the state’s economy and accounts for 36,000 direct and indirect jobs.

“Investing in Minnesota companies while expanding recycling markets is a win for our environment and economy," says Laura Bishop, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency commissioner. "These four companies have developed innovative ways to drive higher values for raw materials while creating new jobs. We need to make more of these investments and help Minnesota companies grow."

“We are grateful to the [Minnesota Pollution Control Agency] and the legislature for supporting our industry,” says Pam Baltes of Employment Enterprises Inc. in Little Falls. “This grant is paying for equipment that means glass recycling collectors won’t have to pay expensive transportation costs to far off facilities. It’s a step toward making glass recycling work financially.”