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.

Recycling grants

Grants of up to $50,000 are available to help businesses, non-profit organizations and institutions start or improve programs to divert recyclables and organics from the trash.

Free signage and assistance

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

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Apply for recycling grants

Funding options

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

Applications for both options are due by 5 p.m. on June 15, 2014. There will be one more solicitation period in 2014, with grant applications due October 15, 2014.

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


Use the following documents to apply:

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.

Email or call 612-543-1316 to request assistance.

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 (also available in Spanish) 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.

Case studies

Learn how local businesses have made recycling a part of their daily operations and business philosophy:

Business of the month

Marsden Building Maintenance, L.L.C. is committed to providing healthy indoor spaces for building occupants while protecting the environment through its high-performance cleaning program designed to comply with LEED requirements. Since 1952, Marsden has dedicated itself to providing its customers with an always-expanding list of cleaning, building maintenance and specialty services.

"Marsden is locally owned, and its workforce has grown to more than 2,500 associates who clean and maintain more than 85 million square feet of space in a variety of buildings ranging from small banks to large office towers and 50,000-seat sports stadiums. At the Marsden Headquarters in Saint Paul, we recycle 76 percent of our waste. Our internal recycling serves as a daily example to our employees and clients that we care about protecting the environment. Clients in Hennepin County include Coloplast, The Weidt Group, Ford Center, Bloomington Health Partners, Target Field, and Target Corporation — all have organics recycling in addition to recycling."

"We’re knowledgeable about what it takes to improve a basic program and to implement innovative new programs such as organics recycling for composting. We inform our customers about Minnesota’s waste and recycling goals and help them contribute to those goals with programs that benefit their own businesses at the same time."

Recently Awarded Grants

In January 2014, Hennepin County awarded funding to 11 businesses or organizations to start or improve programs that divert recyclables and organics (food and non-recyclable paper) from the trash. These grants will help with the purchase of recycling containers, equipment, hauling services and minor improvements to loading docks and waste enclosures.

Grants awarded in January 2014

  • International Dairy Queen, Edina: $10,000 to add organics recycling at their research and development lab and employee areas.
  • 50th & France Business Association, Edina: $10,000 to add organics recycling to four large businesses: Edina Cinema, Edina Grill, Cocina Del Barrio and Salut Bar Americain.  
  • Cookie Cart, Minneapolis: $10,000 to improve recycling, collect organics and prevent waste by replacing disposable serviceware with reusable plates, utensils and cups.
  • Wedge Co-op, Minneapolis: $38,864 to improve recycling and organics recycling. This project will use a new kind of roll-off container that allows the Wedge to store more organic waste for longer periods of time with minimal odor issues and reduce hauling costs.
  • CROSS, Rogers: $10,000 for new recycling programs as well as an upgrade to its freezer to prevent waste. 
  • Mill City Clinic, Minneapolis: $550 to expand recycling collection.
  • Bakken Museum, Minneapolis: $6,387 to add more containers to increase recycling by employees and guests.
  • City Food Studio, Minneapolis: $2,271 to add recycling and organics recycling. 
  • Friendship Village, Bloomington: $30,304 to add organics recycling and improve recycling. 
  • Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital, St. Louis Park: $19,220 to buy a compactor to increase cardboard recycling.
  • Solhem, Minneapolis: $5,180 to construct a recycling chute at a new multifamily property and make recycling available on every floor to increase recycling participation by tenants.
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