Tech Dump, located in Golden Valley and St. Paul will recycle your electronics quickly, securely and most items are recycled for free. Their security technic for swiping information from hard drives meets the department of defense standards.
Golden Valley St. Paul
825 Boone Avenue North 698 Prior Avenue North
Learn more at www.techdump.org or call 612-424-8860
Organics Facility Tour
Because Mount Olivet now separates our waste into three categories (organics, recyclables, and trash), we wanted to know what happens to the organic waste when it leaves our site, so a group from Mount Olivet toured the Empire Compost Facility (known as “The Mulch Store”) in Rosemount. Organic waste now accounts for over 1/3 of Mount Olivet’s waste saving the church hundreds of dollars a year. While a backyard compost pile is limited to what organic waste can be decomposed, a commercial compost facility can process all types of organic waste (including meat, bones, and fats). At the mulch store the compost becomes so hot that snow melts on the piles, even in the middle of winter! We watched as a large “mixer” was filled with the perfect ratios of brown and green organic waste and then mixed together. The mix generated heat so fast that we saw steam rising from the mixture within just a few minutes. The mix is put into long rows where it starts to decompose. The rows have pipes underneath them to allow air to circulate in the rows and they are watered as needed. When ready, the mixture is screened of debris and at the end of the process, we saw “black gold”. This rich compost is so potent and nutritious that it needs to be mixed with soil or it would kill the plants that try to grow in it. What a wonderful, natural fertilizer ready for our gardens. The Mulch Store sells mulch in bags or in bulk.
Minneapolis Campus Parking Lot Remodeled
When Mount Olivet decided to add an elevator to our existing building the city of Minneapolis required a complete renovation of our parking lot. The project included a complete overhaul of our storm water run-off system. The original blacktop was ground up and reused as part of the fill for the lot. Beneath our new parking lot are storm water retention pipes that are 5’ in diameter and permeated with thousands of holes. Deep trenches were dug throughout the lot and these large pipes were laid on a foundation of rock, linked together with large brackets, wrapped in a black mesh fabric, and then more stone was filled in around each pipe. These pipes serve as a holding tank and with heavy rains or other run-off, the water sits or holds in these large pipes and eventually is filtered into the ground water instead of running into the main sewer system and ultimately into the creeks, rivers and lakes.
The Minneapolis Best Practices (MBP) also required a 7’ green band around the lot. In addition to helping with water run-off, the green border provides space for specific plantings and shrubs which also provide a more attractive parking lot. The city also requires a tree within 50’ of any parking spot in the lot. The trees in the lot are surrounded by permeable pavement allowing water to seep through those areas around each tree.
The MBP also required the south end of the lot to be permeable pavement. During rain or snow melt the design of this portion of the lot allows the water to seep through the much rougher courser looking pavement. Although very ecological it is challenging to maintain. Mount Olivet is not allowed to use salt or sand on this area of the lot as it clogs the porous openings and defeats the draining of the lot.
Between the regular pavement and the pervious pavement there is an “infiltration basin”. The purpose of this space is again to allow water/snow to collect in this area and the various plantings and grasses filter the water as it seeps into the ground.
Attached to our Minneapolis water bill is a significant monthly storm water run-off fee. We are currently in the process of working with our engineer of the project and the City of Minneapolis to apply for a storm water credit of up to 50% of our annual bill due to the many upgrades that have transpired in the church parking lot above ground with our green spaces and permeable pavement and underground with the enhanced drainage system. This could save the church close to $9,000 annually on our water bill.
We love the fact that our new parking lot is beautiful and better for the environment.
New Plantings around the parking lot at the Minneapolis campus
Once the new parking lot curbing had been poured, the perimeter was ready for planting. Our gardener, Laura Morrill, specifically requested plants that contain no pesticides, herbicides or neonicotinoids as this is very harmful for the bee population and other wildlife. This means more work for Laura’s team to try to keep the area weed-free. Laura and her volunteers transform the gardens and green spaces at Mount Olivet every year and mindfully care for God’s outdoor creation at Mount Olivet. For more information on safe plants can be found at beeaction.org.