Business recycling

The commercial sector generates more than half of the total waste in Hennepin County, and nearly two-thirds of the waste created at businesses and non-profits is recyclable.

Owners with commercial buildings in the seven-county metro area -- that also generate four cubic yards or more of trash per week -- must be recycling at least three materials by 2016. 

A strong recycling program conserves natural resources and reduces greenhouse gas emissions, can help your bottom line, and demonstrates your organization’s commitment to sustainability and the community.

Hennepin County offers grants, signage, technical assistance and case studies to help business and organizations start or improve recycling programs.

Submit a business recycling request form or call 612-543-1316 to discuss business recycling grant project ideas and funding opportunities.

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Apply for recycling grants

Funding options

You are encouraged to submit a business recycling request form for a waste assessment or to discuss grant project ideas with Hennepin County recycling staff prior to applying.

Business recycling information online request form

  • Option 1: Receive up to $10,000, primarily for recycling containers (apply any time)
  • Option 2: Receive up to $50,000, for large or innovative projects (applications due February 15, June 15 and October 15)

See the Business Recycling Grants flyer (PDF) and Business recycling grant guidelines (DOCX) to learn more about the requirements and to determine the best option for you.


Applications for business recycling grants are currently being accepted.

Complete a business recycling grant application. This includes three documents: the application, appropriate budget sheet, and your organization's current W-9 form.

Use the following templates to apply:

Organics recycling grant projects: Contacts for organics composting haulers and compostable bag vendors are available to help you determine the budget for your grant project. Learn more:

Contact us

Our staff is available to answer questions about the application, review project ideas, evaluate potential costs and savings, and offer resources to start or improve recycling and organics programs.

Email or call 612-543-1316.

Order free signage and request assistance

Recycling signage

Order free recycling, organics recycling and trash signs. A variety of signs that will work in office, cafeteria, commercial kitchen, public spaces and more are available. 

Request assistance

Our committed staff is ready to help you start or improve recycling at your business or organization. Free services include on-site assessments to determine your best options and necessary start-up steps and evaluation of potential costs and savings.

Submit a Business recycling request form or call 612-543-1316 to request assistance.

Best practices for business recycling

Business Recycling Best Practices Guide (PDF)

The Business Recycling Best Practices Guide will help your business implement a successful and sustainable recycling program. The guide includes information and tips on:

  • Assessing your current situation
  • Identifying the items accepted for recycling and organics recycling in various area throughout a business
  • Developing your action plan
  • Setting up your program
  • Kicking off and promoting your program
  • Reducing waste
  • Troubleshooting your program and frequently asked questions
  • Resources available from Hennepin County

Waste Assessment Checklist (DOCX)

Use this checklist to assess your current waste situation and identify opportunities for recycling and organics recycling in each of the main areas of your building.

Get recognized for your recycling efforts

The Hennepin County Environmental Partners program recognizes businesses for their efforts to recycle and divert organic waste, which includes food scraps and non-recyclable paper, from the trash through composting, sending food scraps to local farmers to feed animals, or by donating edible food. 

Learn more about participating businesses and how your business can get recognized.

What are businesses recognized for?

Businesses can be recognized for diverting wastes in the following categories:Hennepin County Environmental Partners

  • We recycle: Materials including paper, cardboard, cartons, glass, plastic and metal are sent to a recycling facility so they can be manufactured into new products.
  • We compost: Organic waste ,which includes food waste, non-recyclable paper and compostable foodware, is sent to a composting facility where it is recycled into valuable compost that is put to good use in landscaping and road construction projects.
  • We donate food: Leftover edible food, including unserved menu items, food from catered events and day-old baked goods, is donated to food rescue agencies to help people in need.
  • We feed animals: Food that is no longer safe for people to eat, including food prep waste, plate waste, spoiled or outdated food and unpackaged frozen food, is processed into animal feed.

Learn more about reducing, reusing and recycling

Start recycling

Many haulers in the county offer convenient, no-sort (or single-sort) recycling in which paper, cardboard, bottles, cans and cartons can all go in one container. See our recycling guide (PDF) (also available in Spanish (PDF)) for a list of the most commonly accepted materials.

Start recycling at your business in five easy steps.

Recycling resources

Recycle more

Learn about organics recycling for food, food waste and non-recyclable paper.

Specialized recycling is also available for plastic film, electronics, media, cooking oil, wood pallets and more.

Hennepin County drop-off facilities accept recycling from businesses.

Don't forget to reduce and reuse

Waste reduction is the easiest, most effective way to lower your disposal costs. Brainstorm with employees about your day-to-day operations. Find creative ways to reduce waste and substitute less hazardous products that pose fewer disposal problems.

Donating your used materials and equipment means you don't have to pay to dispose of them. As long as the items are in usable or working condition, consider the benefits of giving them away.

Recently awarded grants

They county awarded grants to 22 businesses and organizations to start or improve recycling and organics recycling programs in 2016:

Apartment building, townhouse or condo

  • Martin Luther Campus (Bloomington)

Congregation or faith-based organization

  • Calvary Lutheran Church (Minneapolis)
  • Christ Lutheran Church (Minneapolis)
  • City Church (Minneapolis)
  • Grace Center for Community Life (Minneapolis)
  • Minneapolis Seventh Day Advent Church (Minneapolis)

Entertainment, exercise or travel

  • Sun Country Airlines (Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport)

Grocery store, farmers market or food production

  • Whole Foods (Edina)

Hospital or clinic

  • Hennepin County Golden Valley Clinic (Golden Valley)
  • Methodist Hospital (St Louis Park)
  • Minnesota Health Nurse Practitioners Clinic (Minneapolis)

Non-profits or human services

  • Better Futures Minnesota (Minneapolis)
  • Minneapolis Urban League (Minneapolis)
  • Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity (Minneapolis)

Office, corporate building, or multi-tenant commercial property

  • Boston Scientific (Maple Grove)
  • Hamon Deltak (Plymouth)
  • Heating & Cooling, Two (Maple Grove)
  • Hines Global 50 South Sixth Building (Minneapolis)

Restaurant, coffee shop or caterer

  • Culvers on Peony Lane (Plymouth)
  • Tiny Footprint Coffee/Roastery 7 (Brooklyn Center)

School or education

  • Augsburg College (Minneapolis)
  • Learning in Style (Minneapolis)
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