What is zero waste?
Zero waste means setting a new standard for how we as a society view and treat waste. The goal of zero waste programs is to reduce—and eventually eliminate—what we discard in landfills and incinerators.
The City of Minneapolis is widely recognized as a regional and national leader in waste reduction and recycling. We can still do more. Achieving zero waste not only helps us serve as better stewards of our environment, it also can grow our economy and advance our work in environmental justice.
City Recycling and Composting Goal
In June 2015 the Minneapolis City Council established a goal to recycle and compost 50% of its citywide waste by 2020 and 80% by 2030. The resolution also called to achieve zero-percent growth in the City’s total waste stream from levels set in 2010. In 2015 the city of Minneapolis formed the Zero Waste Project Team to develop a plan to meet those goals and set new ones.
Bring your own Bag ordinance
In November 2019, City of Minneapolis passed modifications to the Bring your own Bag ordinance to require a $0.05 fee be charged on both paper and plastic carryout bags. The ordinance is effective January 1, 2020 with a six-month educational period. Stores must be on board by June 1, 2020 or they could be fined for non-compliance. Businesses with questions and residents with complaints should contact 311.
History of the Bring your own Bag ordinance:
- 2019 - City of Minneapolis pass modifications to Bring your own Bag ordinance that put a $0.05 fee on both paper and plastic carryout bags. The ordinance is effective January 1, 2020 with a six-month educational period. Stores must be on board by June 1, 2020 or they could be fined for non-compliance.
- 2018 - Bills introduced at the State that would ban (preempt) the City's ability to put a fee on bags. These bills were not passed. Public input began to be received regarding fee on paper and plastic bags.
- 2017 - Bring your own Bag ordinance brought back to City Council to put a fee on both paper and plastic bags. Ordinance amendments were not passed and staff were directed to receive more input from low-income community members and small businesses and to develop a recommendation for a revenue source for litter cleanup and environmental education.
- 2017 - On May 30, 2017, State passed a law (preemption) banning the City's ability to ban on plastic bags.
- 2016 - Bring your own Bag ordinance adopted by City Council (4.1.16). Effective date of June 1, 2017. Ordinance included a ban on single-use plastic bags and a $.05 fee on paper bags.
Zero Waste Plan
The Zero Waste Project Team was comprised of staff from the offices of the Mayor, Council, City Coordinator’s; Department of Public Works and the Health Department.
The draft plan was released on September 6, 2017 and the final plan was brought to the City's Transportation & Public Works Council Committee on November 28, 2017 and adopted by the City Council on December 8, 2017. A three year action plan was developed and adopted by City Council in November 2019 that includes priority strategies for 2020-2021.
Zero Waste plan documents:
The City continues to accept comments on strategies identified in the Zero Waste Plan. Please send any comments to: [email protected].
Past Zero Waste work
Stakeholder Engagement pre-Zero Waste plan development (September - October 2016)
The City of Minneapolis hosted several series of engagement sessions prior to the development of the plan. Three meetings were held, one for the residential sector, one for the multiunit sector and one for the commercial sector to educate stakeholders on the City's zero waste planning process and goals, and to obtain feedback from stakeholders on barriers and strategies to the City meeting it's zero waste goals. Feedback received from stakeholders was summarized and evaluated in the development of the zero waste plan.
Commercial Waste Collection Evaluation Study (May 2017)
In February 2015, the City Council approved acceptance of a grant from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) to complete an evaluation of the commercial waste system in Minneapolis. The study included an evaluation of existing conditions, a survey to businesses, a review of best practices from peer cities, and identification of the potential environmental benefits of program change. The study researched possible pathways to increase diversion of commercial, industrial, and multifamily waste through alternative commercial collection programs and approaches. The project team held a series of stakeholder engagement meetings for a presentation of the study's findings on March 23, 2017. The findings of this study assisted in the development of the City's zero Waste Plan.
Last updated Mar 17, 2020