River Country Coop


What: Implemented a Single Stream recycling program at pump islands and inside the convenience store.

Why: In order to extend their recycling program to customers and increase the amount of material being recycled.

How: Worked with the MN Waste Wise Foundation to secure grant funding for bins and signs to fully equip their recycling program.

Results: Diverting an additional 10,625 pounds of recyclable material from the waste stream every year.

When Minnesota Waste Wise first met with Amy Tamblyn, manager of River Country Co-op in East Bethel, her gas station and convenience store was doing a great job recycling their cardboard, but had a big opportunity to expand their recycling of other recyclable materials like cans and bottles. After visiting the store and hearing from employees, Waste Wise suggested pairing all of their trash cans with recycling options, both outside at the pumps and inside the store. Waste Wise also provided the Anoka County business recycling grant as an avenue to make these improvements without spending their own money on bins and signs.

woman using outdoor recycling bin

With recommendations in place and the grant program available, Amy was eager to get going on their recycling project and quickly completed a grant application. Within just a couple of weeks all of the recycling bins were delivered, equipped with color coded industry standard labels and placed beside all existing trash cans.

The results of this work have been wonderful. “The recycling bins get filled up quickly and our customers do a good job with it,” commented Alissa Cook who works as a teller at River Country Co-op. Amy also mentioned how quickly the recycling dumpsters are filling up stating, “We’re going to have to expand our recycling service to make sure things don’t blow away!” Aside from getting all of the cans and bottles into recycling streams by the gas pumps and store entrances, employees are also recycling a lot of paper since they added the recycling bin by the register. “We recycle tons of cigarette boxes now,” said Gabrielle Ford.

By getting all of these cans, bottles and other recyclables out of the trash, River Country Co-op will be recycling more than 5 tons more material than in previous years. Manager Amy Tamblyn is proud of these results and grateful for the Anoka County business recycling grant saying, “We wouldn’t have done this if we didn’t get the grant, so we’re happy we can be recycling without spending extra money.”