Results are in: City collects nearly 400 more tons of recycling in first six weeks of one sort
Minneapolis residents have dramatically increased the amount they recycle, now that one-sort recycling is rolling out across the city. Results are in for the first six weeks of one-sort recycling: the four collection routes that switched to one-sort last fall show a 63 percent increase in recycling over the same period a year ago, when they still used the older multi-sort process. That’s 396 more tons of waste that was recycled.
One-sort recycling, where customers combine their glass, plastic, paper, aluminum and cardboard into one container when putting them out for collection, began in the fall for 30,000 Minneapolis residential recycling customers. The other 80,000 households will roll into the program this coming spring and summer. Crews drop off new blue carts for each residential customer, and as soon as they have the cart, they can start using it for one-sort recycling. By making it easier for folks who don’t use the multi-sort recycling system at all, or for those who don’t recycle as much as they could, the City hopes to double the 2012 recycling rate by 2015.
Although residents using one sort 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, Styrofoam, plastic foam or plastic bags.
Starting in late April, customers who don’t have the new blue, one-sort recycling cart yet will get one. They will receive letters in the mail with instructions about a week before the cart arrives. These customers will stay on the same schedule and keep the same recycling day as before. 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.
There is no change in the amount customers pay.
Expanding what we recycle
Just last 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; for instance, 95 percent less energy 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.
A chart of the data appears on page 14 of Public Works’ latest Results Minneapolis report.
Published Feb. 20, 2013