City encourages sustainability for National Night Out

Minneapolis is offering residents suggestions on how to reduce waste on National Night Out, set for Aug. 1.

The city’s Sustainability Office is suggesting residents serve food and beverages in reusable, recyclable or compostable containers. It’s also suggesting residents offer containers for guests to recycle and compost, clearly label those containers and organize waste-station monitors.

Grocery stores and big box retailers sell unlined paper plates like Chinet and other brands. Food co-ops and specialty event stores like Moss Envy and Litin’s Party & Paper also sell compostable serving ware. Decorative and lined, shiny serving ware is not compostable (Visit BPI’s website to verify if a product is certified compostable).

The city suggests lining the organics cart so organics can be placed directly in it. Cart liners can be 33-gallon paper lawn and leaf bags or compostable plastic bags. Paper lawn and leaf bags can be found at all hardware stores, and compostable plastic liners can be found at some hardware stores or can be purchased online.

Clearly labeling recycling, organics and trash containers is a key step, the city says. People can download and print free signs for events here.

The city also suggests having volunteers stand by sorting stations to help attendees recycle correctly.

Minneapolis Recycling Coordinator Kellie Kish said her department is trying to encourage people to bring their own plates to events or at the very least use compostable items and bring their organics carts.

The pretty plates have to go in the garbage, she said, but people can get compostable ware at the aforementioned stores.