Become a master recycler

Join fellow waste reduction enthusiasts and become an advocate for the three Rs in your community as a Hennepin County master recycler and composter. 

Master recycler and composters are trained on waste prevention, recycling and composting through an extensive six week course that features industry experts and field trips to local waste processing and recycling facilities.

Once training is complete, participants commit to volunteer 30 hours. Volunteer activities include staffing booths at events and designing and implementing waste reduction and recycling projects. When the 30 hour commitment is fulfilled, participants are certified master recycler and composters and encouraged to continue volunteer service.

Register now for the fall 2014 course

Registration is now open for the fall 2014 course, which will be held on Wednesday evenings in October in Minneapolis. See course topics, schedule and registration for more information and to sign up.

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What you gain from the program

As a Master Recycler/Composter, you will inspire others in your community to reduce waste, recycle more and compost. The purpose of the program is to create a volunteer pool of knowledgeable residents who inspire others in their community to reduce waste in the home and at work.

Through the Master Recycler/Composter program, you will gain knowledge from the experts, experience working in the field and the satisfaction of having an impact on these important issues. You will also meet others who are excited about waste reduction and join a growing community of Master Recycler/Composters.

You must live or work in Hennepin County to be eligible for this program.

Course topics, schedule and registration

Course topics

  • Waste prevention
  • Recycling processes
  • Household hazardous waste and alternatives
  • Organics recycling and home composting
  • Zero-waste events
  • Public engagement and the psychology of sustainable behavior

Classes are taught by professionals from the public and private sector who are working on innovative solutions to environmental challenges. 

Course graduates agree to volunteer 30 hours putting their skills to work to help others learn the three Rs: reduce the amount of natural resources used, reuse material and recycle what cannot be salvaged.

Course schedule

The fall 2014 course will be held:

  • Dates: Wednesday evenings, October 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, and November 5 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. 
  • Location: Matthews Recreation Center, 2313 28th Avenue South, Minneapolis

Field trips will take place on Friday, October 10 and Friday, October 17 from approximately 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Transportation for the field trips is provided.

All Wednesday classes are mandatory; Friday field trips are optional.


The course costs $30 and includes all course materials. A limited number of waivers are available on a demonstrated need basis. 


Registration for the fall 2014 class is closed. If you would like to be notified when the schedule and registration is open for the spring 2015 class, email the Master Recycler/Composter program coordinator at

Classes are limited to 30 participants. Applications will be accepted until the class is full, and applications will be processed in the order they are received. The $30 charge is not due until you receive notification that your application has been accepted. 

Get help from a Master Recycler/Composter

If you have a project or event that could use Master Recycler/Composter volunteers, email Carolyn Collopy at or call 612-596-0993. 

Applicable volunteer opportunities for Master Recycler/Composters include designing and implementing waste reduction and recycling plans, staffing booths at events, and creating educational resources and displays.

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