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

Applications for both options are due by 5 p.m. on October 15, 2014. This is the final grant funding round in 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 (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.

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.

Recently awarded grants

Grants awarded in May 2014

In May 2014, Hennepin County awarded funding totaling nearly $200,000 to 21 businesses and organizations to start or improve recycling and organics collection programs.

Open competitive grants

  • American Family Insurance, Eden Prairie: $31,000 to start organics recycling.
  • Best Buy Headquarters, Richfield: $40,000 to improve existing recycling and organics recycling.
  • Birchwood Café, Minneapolis: $16,500 to improve existing recycling and organics recycling.
  • Bush Terrace, Minneapolis: $7,000 to start organics recycling at three of their multifamily residential buildings.
  • First Avenue Commons, Osseo: $8,000 to start recycling at three different adjacent buildings.
  • ICA Food Shelf, Minnetonka: $250 to start organics recycling at their new site.
  • Northeast Farmers Market, Minneapolis: $5,000 to improve existing recycling and organics recycling.
  • Sand Castle, Minneapolis: $10,000 to improve existing recycling and organics recycling.
  • The Bulldog Northeast, Minneapolis: $8,000 to improve existing recycling and organics recycling. 
  • Tiny Diner, Minneapolis: $10,000 to start recycling and organics recycling.
  • Westminster Presbyterian Church, Minneapolis: $24,000 to improve existing recycling and start organics recycling.

Accelerated grants

  • Community Action of Minneapolis, Minneapolis: $1,846 to improve their existing recycling program.
  • Donaldson Company, Bloomington: $10,000 to expand organics recycling.
  • Emerge Community Development, Minneapolis: $5,700 to start recycling.
  • Land Stewardship Legacy, Minneapolis: $2,000 to start organics recycling.
  • Lucia's Restaurant, Minneapolis: $445.42 to improve existing recycling and organics recycling.
  • Lutheran Church of Master, Brooklyn Center: $2,000 to start recycling.
  • Malabari Kitchen, Minneapolis: $1,000 to start organics recycling.
  • Mason’s Restaurant and Barre, Minneapolis: $5,429.03 to improve existing recycling and organics recycling.
  • Perrigo, Minneapolis: $7,331.05 to improve existing recycling.
  • Sea Salt Eatery, Minneapolis: $10,000 to start organics recycling.

Grants awarded in January 2014

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 and equipment.

  • 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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