Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Minneapolis to Move Towards Single-Sort Recycling System

Despite the move by waste haulers across the metro area to single-sort recycling, Minneapolis has stayed with their original curb-sort recycling method. All that will change however thanks to the Minneapolis City Council's Transportation and Public Works Committee vote Tuesday to transition towards the single-sort system.

City of Minneapolis Recycling Box
An example of the type of recycling container currently used by Minneapolis residents
With the single-sort method, all recyclable materials such as paper, cans, bottles, and boxes are placed together in a single container. The material is collected and then sorted out at the recycling center or collection facility. Containers for recycling are typically larger than the 18 gallon bins Minneapolis currently uses. For example, Waste Management and Allied Waste both offer large carts, with recycling instructions on the lid, for collecting recycling.
Allied Waste Recycling Cart  Waste Management Recycling Cart

Currently, Minneapolis has some of the most extensive sorting requirements available for recycling curbside. There are nine categories, and little tolerance for improperly sorted material. 18 gallon bins with lids are issued for biweekly recycling per residence. The bins tend to fill quickly, which also may contribute to the poor participation rate of 18%.

WCCO TV recently covered the changes coming, and has a report along with this footage of the current system:

While it is ideal to try to produce less waste in the first place, it will be interesting to see if this new system leads to better participation and material recovery for Minneapolis, and Hennepin County.

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