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Solid Waste & Recycling


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Business Recycling

Recycling is the right thing to do, can save your business money and it’s also the law. Minneapolis passed a commercial recycling ordinance in 2011 and a multifamily recycling ordinance in 1991. Furthermore, the State of Minnesota passed a law mandating commercial recycling in 2014. The commercial recycling law is effective January 1, 2016 and more information on who is required to comply can be found on their Recycling at your business webpage.

Why Recycle?

Saves Natural Resources & Energy: Recycling creates jobs - manufacturing image
It takes 95% less energy to recycle aluminum than it does to make it from raw materials. Making recycled steel saves 60%, recycled newspaper 40%, recycled plastics 70%, and recycled glass 40%.  These savings far outweigh the energy created as by-products of incineration and landfilling.

Each ton (2000 pounds) of recycled paper can save 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, three cubic yards of landfill space, 4000 kilowatts of energy, and 7000 gallons of water. This represents a 64% energy savings, a 58% water savings, and 60 pounds less of air pollution! 

Creates Jobs: & Improves the Economy:
Public sector investment in local recycling programs pays great dividends by creating private sector jobs. For every job collecting recyclables, there are 26 jobs in processing the materials and manufacturing them into new products.

Improves the Economy:
Not recycling costs money: another 1.2 million tons of recyclable material was thrown away, but could have been easily recycled for an additional estimated value of $285 million dollars.  Instead, it costs Minnesotans $200 million to throw it away.

Recycling generates profit: Our recyclable material has tremendous economic value. In 2010, Minnesota recycling programs collected approximately 2.5 million tons of material worth $690 million.

How can recycling save my business money?

Waste Station (Garbage, recycling and organics containers)State Solid Waste Management Taxes and County Fees are imposed on collection, transportation, processing, and disposal of garbage.  The State Solid Waste Management tax on garbage is 17%; the County Solid Waste Management Fee is 21.5%. In total, commercial businesses are taxed 38.5% on their garbage service.  There are no taxes or fees for recycling or organics.

Diverting materials from the garbage to recycling or organics can allow a business to reduce the size of their garbage dumpster and/or reduce the frequency of their garbage collection service. Both of these actions have the ability to help a business save money. 

Where can I get assistance?Free container signs available from Hennepin County

Hennepin County has grants to help businesses add or improve recycling and/or organics management programs.  Free assistance includes: signage, assistance with collection set up, evaluation of waste stream and potential cost savings, and a supply educational and promotional materials. 

Hennepin County also has grants for business to apply to get free containers and upgrade their products, system and facility to minimize waste and improve recycling and organics programs.  For more information visit: or call (612) 348-3777.

City’s Commercial Recycling Ordinance

As of Sept. 1, 2011, all Minneapolis commercial and business property owners are required to offer recycling, and there are resources to help those who need to set up a new system.  Most Minneapolis businesses already recycle.

Under the ordinance, commercial property owners and managers are required to provide:


The fire marshal and authorized representatives and designees shall enforce this ordinance.  Failure to comply will result in a warning notice.  If a recycling system is on in place within 10 business days, an administrative penalty may be issued. Additionally, failure to comply with this section may constitute good cause for the denial, suspension, revocation or refusal to issue the certificate of commercial building registration.

Which businesses are affected?

The ordinance requires all commercial and business properties to offer recycling. For questions about this recycling requirement, call the City of Minneapolis at 311 during business hours.

Can the City of Minneapolis collect recycling from my business?

Businesses that can utilize carts for once weekly garbage collection and once every other week recycling collection may be able to opt-in to Minneapolis Solid Waste & Recycling garbage and recycling service. Businesses that need more frequent collection and/or larger containers must contract with a private hauler for the service.  For more information about Minneapolis Solid Waste & Recycling commercial service, contact our office.


Last updated Jan 3, 2020



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