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Washington County pilot program leans heavily on recycling

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Washington County is getting more into the green movement, starting with its government offices.

The government center is implementing a project called “Divert 70,” referring to a revelation that more than 70 percent of what’s thrown in the trash is compostable or recyclable.

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The pilot project allows for color-coded, sorting stations for composting, single-sort recycling and trash.

Lowell Johnson, Washington County’s director of public health and environment, said the Divert 70 is an example of what can be done as a collaboration between the county other public entities.

“This is the kind of work we should be doing in our parks, this is the kind of work we should be doing in our cities, and townships, school districts,” he said.

After conducting an employee survey, the county discovered that 69 percent support the compost program and wanted containers that are easy to use.

Desk-side trash containers have also been removed to encourage county employees to use the sorting stations located at various work areas.

“If you have just garbage, people are going to resort to garbage,” environmental planner Judy Hunter said, adding that a seamless system may eventually be added to public libraries as well.

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Riham Feshir
Riham Feshir has been a reporter/ photographer with the Woodbury Bulletin since 2011. She covers Woodbury City Hall, Washington County Board of Commissioners and business news around the city. Riham holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked for two other Forum Communications newspapers in Central Minnesota. Follow Riham on Twitter @RihamFeshir for the latest updates.
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