Apartment, condo and townhouse recycling

Property owners and associations are required to provide residents with the opportunity to recycle. 

If you are a resident of an apartment building, condo or townhouse, call your city recycling coordinator if recycling service is not available.

Need help with your recycling program? Free educational materials and on-site assistance are available to property owners and managers. We also have resources available for apartment residents that want to help make recycling a success by becoming a recycling advocate.

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Information for property owners and managers

Property owners, managers and associations are required to provide residents with the opportunity to recycle. These tips can help you set up and maintain a successful recycling program at your building.

Need help? It's free!

Residents in multifamily buildings want to recycle, but they don't always do it right. Hennepin County can help you set up your recycling system and provide educational materials for your residents. Free assistance from Hennepin County can greatly improve your recycling system, making it easier for both managers and residents.

Order free recycling storage bags, container labels, posters and flyers.

Request assistance by emailing carolyn.collopy@hennepin.us or calling 612-348-3777.

How can I get my residents to recycle more?

Studies show that posting two or three recycling reminders throughout the year can increase participation by as much as 20 percent. Hennepin County will help you communicate effectively with your residents with free recycling storage bags, instructional labels for dumpsters and carts, presentations, posters and fliers.

Hazardous waste and other hard-to-dispose-of items

Electronics and some common household products like batteries, CFLs, paint and cleaners are hazardous and shouldn't be thrown in the trash. Encourage your residents to safely dispose of these products at Hennepin County drop-off facilities. Residents can drop off these items for no charge. Drop-off facilities also accept bulky items such as mattresses and appliances for a fee. Building managers and owners - and residents - can find more information on the A to Z How-to-Get-Rid-of-It Guide.

Donation centers and charitable agencies

There are many charitable agencies in the region that are happy to take reusable household items and furniture in good condition left by your residents. Many even offer pickup service. Find charitable organizations that accept used items through the Choose to Reuse directory.

Tips for a successful recycling program

These tips can help you set up and maintain a successful recycling program at your building.

Start with a good foundation

  • Clearly label recycling collection containers. Use labels that include pictures of the materials that your residents can recycle.
  • Post instructions in the recycling and common areas of your building (laundry room, community room, mailroom, bulletin board, etc.) showing residents how to recycle.
  • Give residents a recycling guide that includes a list of what can and can't be recycled when they move in.
  • Neighbor-to-neighbor encouragement can be the best form of recycling education. Recruit enthusiastic residents to champion the recycling program and educate other residents about recycling. Consider providing an incentive such as a rent credit or a preferred parking space.

Provide reinforcement

  • Remind residents to recycle by giving information to new residents at move-in and by providing periodic recycling updates.
  • Inform your residents of the benefits of recycling and assure them that materials collected for recycling do get recycled.
  • Provide positive feedback to your residents who are recycling. Consider setting a goal for your building and tracking progress regularly. If you produce a building newsletter, consider adding a recycling section for regular updates and reminders.

Get all the resources you need from the Multifamily Recycling Order Form, including free container labels and posters, a brochure to recruit recycling advocates, and recycling guides (or download pdf versions in English (PDF) or Spanish (PDF).

Information for building residents

Contact your building manager or association to find out where recycling bins are located and what type of sorting system is used at your property. Property owners are required to provide residents with the opportunity to recycle. Call your city recycling coordinator if this service is not available.

Recycling guidelines

For detailed information about what's recyclable — and what's not — visit our main recycling page.

Recycle:

  • Paper — mail, magazines, newspaper, boxes, cardboard
  • Cartons — milk cartons, juice boxes, soup cartons
  • Plastic — bottles, jugs, cups, containers and lids
  • Metal — food and beverage cans
  • Glass — bottles and jars

Drop-off facilities for electronics and household hazardous waste

Electronics and some common household products like batteries, CFLs, paint and cleaners can be hazardous if disposed of improperly and shouldn't be thrown in the trash. Safe disposal is free and easy at Hennepin County drop-off facilities. Other items, like mattresses, appliances and tires, are accepted for a fee.

Additional disposal options

Some things cannot be recycled curbside but also cannot be thrown in the trash — either because they are too large or need to be managed in a special way. If you need to know how to dispose of something, check the A to Z How-to-Get-Rid-of-It Guide. If your items are still in good shape, look for donation opportunities.

Become a recycling advocate for your building

Do you love recycling and want to help others recycle more? Consider serving as your building's recycling advocate.

Information for recycling advocates

Do you love recycling and want to help others recycle more? Become your building’s recycling advocate! Help your neighbors by answering questions and educating other residents about opportunities to reduce, reuse and recycle.

How recycling advocates can help

  • Putting up posters and placing educational stickers on recycling carts
  • Creating a lobby display about recycling
  • Talking to your neighbors about recycling
  • Organizing a recycling challenge
  • Monitoring recycling areas and keeping property management informed

How to become a recycling advocate

Step 1: Tell your landlord, building manager or association that you would like to help promote recycling to your neighbors.

Step 2: Have your landlord, building manager or association order free educational materials and resources through Hennepin County.

Step 3: Use the county-provided resources to show neighbors how to reduce, reuse and recycle.

Additional Hennepin County resources

Get assistance

To get these resources and for additional information, contact the multifamily program coordinator at carolyn.collopy@hennepin.us or 612-596-0993.

Recycling resources

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