Column: Recycling Restauranteur


Mikki Perrine, owner of Ginger’s Café (Submitted photo)

Mikki Perrine, owner of Ginger’s Café (Submitted photo)

Commentary by Cindy Benedict

“I earnestly recycle.” Simple words from an amazing woman who is always helping others. Meet Mikki Perrine, Ginger’s Café owner and an avid recycler, philanthropist and wonderful comfort food cook.

I learned about Perrine’s recycling passion when she called to help with the city’s recent recycling event. She donated coupons for free biscuits and gravy to all 100 participants. Intrigued, I stopped by to learn more about her environmental efforts.

It began 23 years ago when her twins were born. Dreading the thought of many diapers in landfills, she used a diaper service. But it started much earlier when she was taught to never let things go to waste and always give back to your community. She started with small steps after the diapers and made each a part of her daily life.

So what does “daily” look like? First, every table and chair at Ginger’s is different, having been donated or found. Take the 1924 table donated by a family. When they come in and ask to sit “at their table,” they mean it literally! That is a lot of furniture that isn’t in a landfill and many stories kept alive at the restaurant.

Perrine also uses food wisely, using the right parts to make wholesome soup and the less desirable ones going to composting or for rural friends’ chickens. Coffee grinds and eggshells go to Hamilton County Master Gardeners. Extra prepared food goes to a variety of charities at the end of the day. Paper is shredded and used in a number of ways, while extra coffee filters are used to clean windows or line plant pots. Newspapers go to the bin by Kroger to help charity, and cardboard goes to the Senior Center. Any recyclables left that can’t help a cause go in the recycle bin. She also provides recycling bins at parties.

“I figure if we all do just a little bit, we’re all better off,” she explains. Indeed we are, and thank you for being our inspiration.

Cindy Benedict is the community engagement manager for the City of Noblesville. She may be reached at 770-2007 or