Feed My Starving Children
What: Finding outlets for a variety of unique waste stream items including woven plastic “Super Sacks,” old paint, electronic waste, and cardboard.
Why: To create space, save money, and ensure that they are disposing of their waste in the most responsible way possible.
How: Partnering with Waste Wise and a number of MN businesses to find uses and recycling outlets for their unique waste.
Results: Diverting an estimated 3264 lbs. of waste annually, and an additional 2017 lbs. of one time diversion waste diversion.
Feed My Starving Children is a non-profit organization that utilizes volunteers to hand-pack meals that are specifically designed for malnourished children. These meals help save children’s lives in nearly 70 countries throughout the world. In making this nutritional formula, organizing volunteers, and executing global distribution Feed My Starving Children has created a very unique waste stream. To address their unique waste, Feed My Starving Children chose to meet with the MN Waste Wise Foundation to look for alternative recycling outlets which could improve their environmental impact. After conducting a thorough site visit, Waste Wise was able to provide a number of recommendations and industry connections to find outlets for many of these unique waste stream materials.
Feed My Starving Children was immediately interested in finding a replacement outlet for waste cardboard as they had recently lost their long-term partner. Additionally, their woven plastic Tyvek Super Sacks, electronic waste, and plastic pallets were all proving to be recycling challenges. Following a site visit, Waste Wise was able to recommend a number of paper producers and recyclers who routinely pay for old corrugated cardboard. Feed My Starving Children was able to form a relationship with RockTenn a MN based paper recycler who is now paying Feed My Starving Children for this material.
Additionally, Waste Wise identified the non-profit human services organization PHASE in Sandstone, MN as a user of the Super Sacks that Feed My Starving Children consistently had in their waste stream. PHASE is able to come to Feed My Starving Children’s multiple metro area locations to pick this material up at no cost. PHASE will be giving these Super Sacks new life by utilizing them in part of their recycling operations.
Waste Wise then put Feed My Starving Children in contact with a handful of metro area businesses that recycle electronic waste, old paint and even encouraged them to find more environmentally friendly solutions for their plastic pallets. Following these recommendations, Feed My Starving Children was able to recycle five pallets full of electronic waste with Tech Dump of St. Paul, a pallet of old paint, and are now partnering with a local business who can re-use the approximate 8 plastic pallets per month.
All of these non-traditional waste and recycling efforts have helped Feed My Starving Children divert 3,264 pounds annually and another 2,017 pounds of one time waste diversion. These efforts are also saving money on waste hauling services affording them the opportunity to feed more children throughout the globe. Feed My Starving Children is now demonstrating a commitment to the health and wellbeing of the planet on a more local level by implementing environmentally friendly business practices and partnering with other businesses to extend the useful life of many of their materials that were previously bound for the waste stream.
Lisa Ellis, Site Supervisor for Feed My Starving Children’s Coon Rapids location was excited about working with Waste Wise saying, “It was great to find ways to extend the lives of our waste, save money, and help other Minnesota businesses.”