Inside Cortec's Organics Recycling Program

Stefanie Valentic, Editorial Director

November 12, 2021

2 Min Read
AnSyvanych/Getty Images

St.Paul, Minn.-based Cortec Corporation is making its headquarters greener with the implementation of an organics recycling program.

The company provides corrosion control technologies for packaging, metalworking, construction, electronics, water treatment, oil & gas and other industries. It initiated the project after a "few years" of discussion about how Cortec could better reduce its environmental impact.

"Instead of sending waste materials to landfills, we can migrate the waste to a beneficial resource like compost which can be used by the local community,"  said Corey Cremers, Senior Environmental Specialist at Cortec. "It is cool to see all facets of employees from the office to the production floor participating in the program and adding value to our environmental management system.”

The organics recycling program officially launched in January 2021 with the help of BizRecycling, a public program through Minnesota's Ramsey and Washington counties aimed at providing free resources and assistance to businesses that want to improve their waste management practices. The two counties joined together to meet the states 75 percent recycling goal. 

Food and paper waste that was usually thrown into the facility’s garbage is now sent to compost at a local industrial site. The compost is sold to local residents or used in commercial applications. 

The $5,000 grant covered the upfront costs of a new dumpster mezzanine area, purchasing new composting bins, training employees and paying for disposal hauling services and compostable products such as cups, plates and utensils. The company is on track to divert 5,200 lbs. of trash within its first year.

One unique feature of the program is the opportunity to test its own Eco Film commercially compostable bags. The items are manufactured at Cortec's film extrusion plant in Cambridge, Minn. Bringing the use of its own product in-house will allow the company to reduce its trash hauling services by 33 percent by the end of 2021.

"By developing Eco Film bags, we are providing industries and consumers with a viable product to use in their commercial composting and organics waste diversion initiatives. By using these bags ourselves, we are also able to show that it can be and has been done and serve as an example for other industries to follow, said Julie Holmquist, content writer, Cortec. 

In the future, Cortec hopes to establish similar programs at other local facilities where organics services are not currently available. Holmquist noted that the company's Eco Film bags assisted the Minnesota Zoo with its in-house organics recycling program in 2011.

About the Author(s)

Stefanie Valentic

Editorial Director, Waste360

Stefanie Valentic is the editorial director of Waste360. She can be reached at [email protected].


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