Waste Reduction: Maintain and expand opportunities to reduce waste and properly dispose of waste to meet the City’s zero-waste goals.

In June 2015 the City established a zero-waste goal to recycle or compost 50 percent of its overall waste stream by 2020, 80 percent by 2030, and to achieve a zero-percent growth rate in the total waste stream from 2010 levels. The adoption of the zero-waste goal was driven by the City’s commitment to foster sustainability through an increase in waste diversion, decrease in vehicle miles traveled on the city’s roadways, reduced greenhouse gases, greater rate equity for customers and other similar objectives. The Zero Waste Plan addresses solid waste generated from all sectors within the city and serves as a road map for the City to achieve its overall sustainability goals, including but not limited to its zero-waste goal.


The City will seek to accomplish the following action steps to maintain and expand opportunities to reduce waste and properly dispose of waste to meet the City’s zero-waste goals.

  1. Encourage waste reduction including less wasted food and donation of edible food.
  2. Educate residents, businesses, and institutions on the benefits of reducing waste, recycling, and composting.
  3. Discourage and put a stop to illegal dumping.
  4. Develop additional opportunities for residents to properly dispose of household hazardous waste.
  5. Provide incentives for residents and businesses to divert materials from the trash.
  6. Leverage partnerships with Hennepin County and other organizations to combine resources, expand existing programs and develop new programs.
  7. Modify the existing multifamily recycling ordinance to provide the opportunity to participate in an organics recycling program when requested by multi-unit tenants.
  8. Support priorities defined in the MPCA Solid Waste Management Policy Plan and Hennepin County Solid Waste Management Master Plan.
  9. Increase recycling opportunities at commercial and industrial properties.
  10. Develop an incentive program for businesses to divert organic materials from the trash.
  11. Enforce existing ordinances and provide assistance to schools and commercial buildings by using partnerships with Hennepin County and other organizations.
  12. Promote Minneapolis as a good business location to businesses that use recyclable materials as raw materials.
  13. Improve opportunities for people to recycle in public spaces (parks, event spaces, special service districts, bus stops).
  14. Encourage waste reduction habits by promoting the purchase of needed items only, the purchase of used items first, renting, and repairing or donating items before disposing of them.
  15. Demonstrate sustainable consumption, sustainable building practices and zero-waste behaviors in the design and expansion of City operations.
  16. Implement a mandatory recycling program that includes audits, outreach, and education, in multiple languages. 
  17. Encourage retailers and manufacturers to reduce and eliminate packaging. 
  18. Explore additional ways to disincentivize or prohibit disposable packaging, containers, and single-use carryout bags.
  19. Encourage deconstruction and reuse of materials in order to reduce construction and demolition waste. Work 
    with partners to increase parity of dumping fees.
  20. Explore organizing collection of solid waste generated by commercial, multifamily, and industrial generators.
  21. Help develop and grow re-use and recycled material markets.
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