First phase of one-sort residential recycling begins in Minneapolis

One-sort recycling, where customers combine their glass, plastic, paper, aluminum and cardboard into one container when putting them out for collection, is about to begin for Minneapolis residential recycling customers. Every residential customer will start one-sort recycling when they get the new blue cart. One sort is easier for customers than the previous multi-sort system.

In the first phase of Minneapolis’ one-sort residential recycling rollout, about 30,000 City of Minneapolis recycling customers will get new blue recycling carts between Nov. 12 and Dec. 1. All will receive letters in the mail with instructions before they get their carts. These customers will stay on the same schedule and keep the same recycling day as before. A second phase will bring the new blue recycling carts to the rest of the 110,000 City of Minneapolis recycling customers in the spring. When they get the new cart, customers may choose to leave their old bins out to be recycled or keep them for other uses such as garage storage or for carrying the recyclables outside to the new cart.

Although residents no longer need to separately bag their recyclables, they need to make especially sure they recycle properly. Proper recycling will keep the materials valuable; it is important to rinse recyclables and not to mix in garbage or other materials such as yard waste.

In addition to the new recycling carts, the City will be using some new and retrofitted recycling collection trucks. These trucks look just like City garbage trucks but will be identified by signs as recycling trucks.

The two-phased approach will keep the recycling pickup service quality high; it also allows the City to retrofit some of its existing fleet and save about $450,000. One sort recycling is rolling out in pockets all over the city. This is the most efficient way to roll out, because it keeps existing routes and current collection days intact.

There will be no change in the amount customers pay.

Expanding what we recycle

Earlier this year, Minneapolis expanded the types of plastics and paper it collects. Minneapolis recycling customers can now include plastics numbers one through seven, which includes yogurt, pudding and fruit cups; disposable cups and bowls; margarine, cottage cheese and other containers; and produce, deli and takeout containers. New paper items accepted include milk cartons, juice boxes; and soup, broth and wine cartons.

Making products from recycled material rather than virgin material conserves natural resources and creates less waste. It also causes less pollution and uses less energy; 95 percent less energy, for instance, is used to make a can from recycled aluminum than from raw materials.

For more information about one-sort recycling in Minneapolis, visit www.minneapolismn.gov/onesort.

Published Nov 8, 2012