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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Apply for recycling grants

Funding options

  • Option 1: Receive up to $10,000, primarily for recycling containers
  • Option 2: Receive up to $50,000, for large or innovative projects

Grants will be awarded in three funding round in 2015 with applications due March 15, June 15 and October 15.

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

Apply

Applications for business recycling grants are being accepted for 2015. Applications for the current round are due June 15. 

Use the following documents to apply:

Applications for additional 2015 funding rounds will be due June 15 and October 15.

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.

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.

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

In January, 2015, Hennepin County awarded grants totaling $247,820 to 42 businesses and organizations to start or improve recycling and organics recycling programs. Of the grants awarded, 35 will be used to improve existing recycling or organics recycling programs, five will start recycling, 17 will start organics recycling and one will reduce waste by purchasing reusable service ware. 

Accelerated grants awarded

  • Basilica of Saint Mary, Minneapolis: $6,403 to start organics recycling and improve existing recycling.
  • Canadian Pacific Plaza, downtown Minneapolis: $7,900 to improve existing recycling.
  • Creation Audio, Minneapolis: $807 to improve existing recycling.
  • Hines Global, downtown Minneapolis: $9,815 to improve existing recycling.
  • Jefferson Lines: $1,438 to improve existing recycling.
  • Life Links III, Minneapolis: $3,290 to improve existing recycling.
  • Linden Hills United Church of Christ, Minneapolis: $2,373 to improve existing recycling.
  • Masjid An-Nur, Minneapolis: $2,926 to start organics recycling and improve existing recycling.
  • Masters: $9,973 to improve existing recycling.
  • MN Lice Lady, Minneapolis: $893 to start organics recycling and improve existing recycling.
  • Park Nicollet Health Services: $6,350 to improve existing recycling.
  • Phygen, Minneapolis: $350 to improve existing recycling.
  • Plymouth Creek Christian Church, Plymouth: $5,000 to start organics recycling and improve existing recycling.
  • Prospect Park United Methodist Church, Minneapolis: $1,966 to start organics recycling and improve existing recycling.
  • Rand Tower, downtown Minneapolis: $4,600 to improve existing recycling.
  • Redeemer Center for Life, Minneapolis: $2,134 to improve existing recycling.
  • REIT Management & Research, downtown Minneapolis: $7,484 to start organics recycling and improve existing recycling. The property includes several food establishments among its tenant businesses.
  • ROTH Corporation: $2,800 to start organics recycling and improve existing recycling.
  • Solhem, Minneapolis: $5,062 to improve existing recycling and organics recycling in their apartment properties.
  • St. Olaf Catholic Church, Minneapolis: $501 to improve existing recycling.
  • Sunshine Tree Child Development, Minneapolis: $400 to improve existing recycling.
  • Tech Dump, Golden Valley: $2,200 to start recycling.
  • Temple Israel, Minneapolis: $10,000 to start organics recycling and improve existing recycling
  • Valhalla Place, Brooklyn Park: $1,700 to improve existing recycling.
  • Volunteers Enlisted to Assist People, Bloomington: $1,867 to improve existing recycling.
  • Washburn Center for Children, Minneapolis: $10,000 to start organics recycling and recycling.
  • Wellington Management: $7,000 to start organics recycling and improve existing recycling.
  • Western Communities Action Network, Mound: $2,113 to start organics recycling and improve existing recycling.
  • White Castle, various locations: $10,000 to start organics recycling and improve existing recycling in seven restaurants in Hennepin County.

Open competitive grants awarded

  • Brooklyn United Methodist Church, Brooklyn Center: $10,000 to start organics recycling and improve existing recycling.
  • Children’s Dental Services: $16,000 to start organics recycling and improve existing recycling.
  • ChinDian Restaurant, Minneapolis: $550 to start recycling.
  • Community Covenant Church, Minneapolis: $5,700 to start recycling.
  • Daikin Applied, Plymouth: $6,500 to improve existing organics recycling.
  • Double Tree Hotel, St. Louis Park: $10,000 to improve existing recycling.
  • Gastrotruck: $9,125 to improve existing recycling and organics recycling.
  • Joe's Building, Minneapolis: $41,000 to start recycling and organics recycling at its new restaurant near Lowry Park.
  • Loaves and Fishes MN, north Minneapolis: $6,700 to reduce waste through replacing disposable food serving ware with reusable silverware and serving ware at one of its dining sites in north Minneapolis.
  • McDonalds, Minneapolis: $2,200 to start organics recycling and improve existing recycling at a restaurant on East Lake Street.
  • Mount Olivet Lutheran Church, Minneapolis: $10,000 to improve existing recycling and organics recycling.
  • Pub 819, Hopkins: $2,000 to start organics recycling and improve existing recycling.
  • Shir Tikvah, Minneapolis: $700 to start organics recycling and improve existing recycling.
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