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.

Having 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.

Contact Andre Xiong at andre.x.xiong@hennepin.us or 612-543-1316 to discuss business recycling grant project ideas and funding opportunities.

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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.

Email andre.x.xiong@hennepin.us 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.

Apply for recycling grants

Funding options

All funds for 2015 have been granted. Additional funds may be available later this year.

Please contact Andre Xiong at andre.x.xiong@hennepin.us or 612-543-1316 to discuss business recycling grant project ideas and future funding opportunities.

Reporting information for current grantees

Grantees are to submit a final report (for Option 1 grant recipients) or both an interim report and a final report (for Option 2 grant recipients). These reports provide crucial information for Hennepin County to evaluate and continue the program

See the interim and final report guidelines (DOCX) for more information on completing your report.

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 andre.x.xiong@hennepin.us or call 612-543-1316.

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

Spring 2015

Accelerated grants awarded


Grocery and Food Production

  • CSM Bakery Products: $2,800 to start organics recycling and improve recycling at the site in Minnetonka.
  • Izzy's Ice Cream: $4,800 to improve recycling and organics recycling and reduce waste at their store in Minneapolis.
  • Shabelle: $1,900 to start organic recycling, improve recycling and reduce waste at its store in Minneapolis.

Multi-Unit/Property Development

  • Hillcrest Development: $6,700 for their COB building to start organics recycling in St Louis Park; and $8,745 for their 807 Revival building to start organics recycling in Minneapolis covering all the businesses in both buildings.
  • Pace Analytical Service: $1,270 to start recycling in Minneapolis.
  • The Colonnade: $9,100 to start recycling at their Golden Valley site.

Places of Worship

  • Mayflower Church: $7,520 to start organics recycling and improve recycling in Minneapolis.

Restaurants and Fast Food

  • Dunn Bros Coffee: $4,000 to start recycling and organics recycling in Eden Prairie.
  • Tin Fish: $10,000 to improve recycling and organics recycling at both of their restaurants one in Minneapolis and another in Edina.

Social Services/Non-Profit


  • Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers: $460 to improve recycling in Minneapolis.

Retail

  • Bobby and Steve's Auto World: $2,000 to improve recycling in Minneapolis.

Open competitive grants awarded


  • Al Vento, Rinata, and Sparks: $4,150 to start organics recycling and improve recycling in the three restaurants, all in Minneapolis.
  • Catholic Elder Care and ACE: $27,000 to start organics recycling, improve recycling, and reduce waste at its health care facility.
  • Colonial Warehouse: $17,900 to start organics and improve recycling at its office campus.
  • Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd: $9,997 to start organics recycling and improve recycling and is a place of worship.
  • Midtown Farmers Market: $900 to improve recycling and organics recycling.
  • Mill City Farmers Market: $3,000 to expand its recycling program and improve recycling and organics recycling.
  • Piedmont Office Realty: $36,100 to start recycling at its office campus.

Summer 2015

Accelerated grants awarded


Grocery and Food Production

  • Sun Foods: $10,000 to start recycling and organics recycling at their grocery store in Brooklyn Center.
  • Farmers Market Annex: $10,000 to start recycling, start organics recycling, and start a food-to-people program.

Multi-Unit/Property Development

  • Little Earth: $4,010 to improve recycling in Minneapolis.
  • New Concepts Group: $900 to start recycling in their St Louis Park site.
  • Nightingale Realty: $8,450 to start organics recycling and improve recycling at its location in Minneapolis.

Places of Worship

  • Northwest Islamic Community Center: $4,700 to start recycling and organics recycling and reduce waste in Plymouth.
  • Minnetonka United Methodist Church: $1,600 to improve recycling and start organics recycling at their location in Minnetonka.

Manufacturing

  • Japs-Olson Company: $9,400 to improve recycling at their site in St Louis Park.
  • MTS: $10,000 to improve recycling at its location in Eden Prairie.

Restaurants and Fast Food

  • Hamdi Restaurant: $500 to start recycling at its restaurant in Minneapolis.
  • La Hacienda: $3,750 to start recycling at its restaurant in Minneapolis.
  • Tortilleria La Poblianita: $595 to start organics and improve recycling in Minneapolis.
  • U Garden Restaurant: $360 to improve recycling in Minneapolis.
  • Maya Cuisine: $1,800 to improve recycling and reduce waste in Minneapolis.
  • Himalayan Restaurant: $6,025 to start organics recycling at its Minneapolis location.
  • McDonalds - Hyder Investments: $7,246.98 to start recycling and organics recycling at its nine stores in Brooklyn Park (4), Crystal, Golden Valley, Champlin, and Maple Grove.
  • McDonalds - YSH, LLC: $1,877 to start recycling and organics recycling at its location in Plymouth.

Social Services/Non-Profit

  • People Responding in Social Ministry (PRISM): $4,050 to improve recycling and organics recycling in Golden Valley.

Retail

  • Arc's Value Village Thrift Store and Donation Center: $4,260 to improve recycling at its four stores in Richfield, Bloomington, New Hope, Brooklyn Center.

Education

  • Plymouth Christian Youth Center: $865 to improve recycling at its locations in Minneapolis.

Open Competitive Grants Requested


Grocery and Food Production

  • Super Mercado La Mexicana: $13,125 to start organics recycling and improve recycling at its shopping center in Minneapolis.
  • Mercado Central: $5,661 to start organics and improve recycling at its shopping center in Minneapolis.

Multi-Unit/Property Development

  • African Development Center: $4,382 to start organics recycling and improve recycling at both the Afro Deli and its offices in Minneapolis.

Restaurants and Fast Food

  • Market BBQ: $6,530 to start organics recycling at its restaurant in Minneapolis.
  • Surly Brewing Company: $25,209 to start organics recycling and improve recycling at its breweries and restaurant/ food services in Minneapolis and Brooklyn Center.
  • Taco Bell: $12,500 to start recycling and organics recycling at four of its locations in Minneapolis.
  • Uncle Franky's: $8,705 to start recycling and organics recycling at its restaurant in Minneapolis.
  • Chipotle Mexican Grill: $26,623 to start organics recycling and improve recycling at four of its restaurants, one in Plymouth, Crystal, Golden Valley and Minnetonka.

Education

  • University of St. Thomas: $15,000 to improve recycling and organics recycling at its Minneapolis Campus.
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