Contact: Matt Laible, 612-673-2786

Minneapolis to switch to single-sort recycling in 2013

It’s time to take out less trash

May 25, 2012 (MINNEAPOLIS) Next year, recycling in Minneapolis will get easier, helping both residents and the environment. The Minneapolis City Council and Mayor R.T. Rybak today approved moving forward to implement a single-sort recycling collection program for City of Minneapolis residential recycling customers. Single-sort recycling is a system in which customers put all of their recyclables into one container for collection instead of separating glass from plastic from paper, etc. A study conducted for the City of Minneapolis compared single-sort, dual-sort (separating paper products from everything else) and our current “multi-sort” system, and it found that single-sort recycling is the most cost-effective of the three systems studied and the most convenient for customers.

Getting a new system in place will take time, and customers will see a changeover sometime in 2013. Until the new system is in place, Minneapolis recycling customers should continue separating their recycling. But once single-sort recycling starts, City of Minneapolis residential recycling customers will only need one container for all of their recycling.

“Minneapolis residents are already pretty good at recycling, but we need to recycle more – a whole lot more,” said Mayor R.T. Rybak. “Single-sort recycling will make it easy for folks who don’t recycle yet, and folks who do already recycle may start recycling more materials than they have been.”

“Today we took a big step forward to make recycling simpler and with the potential for a BIG increase in the resources saved through recycling,” said City Council Member Sandy Colvin Roy. “As chair of the Transportation and Public Works Committee, I watch cost closely and finally we can be sure that the money we receive for recycled commodities can continue to pay for system. I’m very excited about this plan because it is cost effective, it will dramatically increase the amount of recyclables collected, and it will make life easier. Win, win and win!”

Based on case studies, a single-sort system is projected to increase materials recovered by 60 percent and increase the Minneapolis recycling rate from 18.1 percent to 32 percent. It is also compatible with the possibility of the City collecting recycling from multi-unit housing, which is not currently under the City of Minneapolis recycling program, and the option to add organics recycling in the future.

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Published May 25, 2012