Public space recycling grants

Hennepin County provides grants to improve public access to recycling while away from home. Funding is available to public entities to begin or expand recycling and composting programs at parks, sports venues, special events and along commercial districts. 

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Apply for grants

Applications are not being accepted at this time. Applications are typically accepted in the fall. Check back for updates or subscribe to the Green Notes e-newsletter to be notified when applications are being accepted.

Eligible recipients
Municipalities, park districts and other special taxing districts in Hennepin County are eligible to apply.

Eligible expenses
Funding is intended for new projects or to expand the scope of existing waste abatement efforts.

Eligible expenses include:

  • Development and production of educational or promotional materials
  • New supplies or equipment
  • Staff time (only if it is an addition to regular staffing levels)

Funding available
$100,000 is available annually. The amount of funding per project varies depending on the size and scope of the project.

Proposals of $10,000 or less require no matching funds. Matching funds of 25 percent of the total project costs are required for proposals over $10,000; in-kind staff and other expenses are eligible for use as matching funds.

Project examples
Grants are awarded on a competitive basis. Priority is given to projects that:

  • Collect recyclables at away-from home locations, including athletic facilities, community centers, parks, public plazas, farmers markets, business districts, etc.
  • Collect organics for delivery to a composting facility.
  • Convert events or event venues to zero-waste by reducing waste and generating only recyclable or compostable materials.

For more information
To ask questions about the grant program, discuss your project ideas or get tips for how to best complete your application, contact Carolyn Collopy at or 612-596-0993.

Recently awarded grants

In December 2015, the county awarded eight grants totaling $97,786 to improve recycling in parks, at recreation centers, along business districts and in other public spaces. The projects will add 270 recycling containers in parks and public spaces, expanding opportunities for the public to recycle while on the go. Several of the projects will add recycling containers and service in parks and public spaces where recycling has never been offered before. 

The following projects were awarded: 

  • City of Bloomington: $6,500 to purchase and install 15 new recycling containers at the Bush Lake, Normandale Lake and Moir Park picnic areas. These are heavily used areas where a lot of waste is generated, and the city hopes the project will increase the effectiveness of its recycling efforts at Bloomington parks.
  • City of Brooklyn Park: $18,750 to purchase 50 recycling containers and expand recycling access in several high-use parks. Recycling is currently limited to a small number of parks in Brooklyn Park, and this project will provide recycling at Noble Sports Park, Zane Sports Park, Northwoods Park, Central Park, Oak Grove Park, River Park and Willowstone Park.
  • City of Minneapolis: $31,500 to purchase 30 recycling containers for two heavily used special service districts, Eat Street and Uptown. The city will purchase an additional 15 containers for its special service district program. This project is building on a successful pilot project at the Lyndale and 54th special service district.
  • City of New Hope: $5,960 to purchase and install 26 recycling containers in Civic Center Park and Hidden Valley Park. Recycling is not currently offered in any parks in New Hope.
  • City of St. Bonifacius: $2,100 to purchase and install 18 recycling containers in all nine city parks. Recycling is not currently available in any city parks.
  • City of St Louis Park: $15,190 to purchase and install 108 recycling containers in the city's 60 parks and public spaces. Only 16 of the 60 sites currently have recycling, and trash bins currently outnumber recycling bins by a ratio of 1:4. This project will increase the recycling-to-trash bin ratio to 3:4 at St Louis Park’s parks and public spaces.
  • City of Tonka Bay: $8,336 to purchase and install eight recycling containers at the city's five parks. None of these parks currently have recycling.
  • University of Minnesota: $9,450 to expand organics collection to public events hosted at the student unions, auditoriums, atriums and large conference rooms on campus. The university holds about 1,800 events on campus that serve 216,000 people annually. This project aims to capture an additional 80 tons of compostable material each year.
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