Apartment, condo and townhouse recycling

Need help with your recycling program? Free educational materials and on-site assistance are available to property owners and managers.

Order free recycling storage bags, container labels, posters and flyers

Property owners and associations are required to provide residents with the opportunity to recycle. Recycling service should be equal in capacity to trash service to capture all of the recyclable material generated by residents.  

If you are a resident of an apartment building, condo or townhouse, call your city recycling coordinator if recycling service is not available.

Sign up here to receive our free monthly Apartments Recycle newsletter.

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Improving recycling and preventing waste

Property owners, managers and associations are required to provide residents with the opportunity to recycle. These tips can help you set up and maintain a successful recycling program at your building.

Need help? It's free!

Residents in multifamily buildings want to recycle, but they don't always do it right. Hennepin County can help you set up a recycling system and provide educational materials for your residents. Free assistance from Hennepin County can greatly improve recycling at your building(s) making it easier for both managers and residents.

Order free recycling storage bags, container labels, posters and flyers

Request assistance by emailing carolyn.collopy@hennepin.us or calling 612-596-0993.

How can I get my residents to recycle more?

Studies show that posting two or three recycling reminders throughout the year can increase participation by as much as 20 percent. Hennepin County can help you communicate effectively with your residents with free recycling storage bags, instructional labels for dumpsters and carts, presentations, posters and fliers.

Recycling guidelines

For detailed information about what's recyclable – and what's not – visit our main recycling page.

Recycle:

  • Paper – mail, magazines, newspaper, boxes, cardboard
  • Cartons – milk cartons, juice boxes, soup cartons
  • Plastic – bottles, jugs, cups, containers and lids
  • Metal – food and beverage cans
  • Glass – bottles and jars

 

Tips for a successful recycling program

These tips can help you set up and maintain a successful recycling program at your building.

Start with a good foundation

 

  • Clearly label all recycling and trash containers. Use labels that include pictures of the materials that your residents can recycle. Use signs to direct residents to the correct containers.
  • Give residents a recycling guide that includes a list of what can and can't be recycled when they move in.
  • If your building has trash chutes, add recycling bins next to the trash chutes to make recycling just as convenient as taking out the trash.
  • Post instructions in the recycling and common areas of your building (laundry room, community room, mailroom, bulletin board, etc.) showing residents how to recycle.
  • Provide enough recycling service to accommodate all of the recyclables generated by residents. Recycling service should be equal to trash service, if your trash dumpster is 4 yards and serviced twice a week, your recycling dumpster should be as well.
  • Provide educational materials in multiple languages if some residents do not speak English.
  • Neighbor-to-neighbor encouragement can be the best form of recycling education. Recruit enthusiastic residents to champion the recycling program and educate other residents about recycling. Consider providing an incentive such as a rent credit or a preferred parking space.

Provide reinforcement

  • Remind residents to recycle by giving information to new residents at move-in and by providing periodic recycling updates.
  • Inform your residents of the benefits of recycling and assure them that materials collected for recycling do get recycled.
  • Provide positive feedback to your residents who are recycling. Consider setting a goal for your building and tracking progress regularly. If you produce a building newsletter, consider adding a recycling section for regular updates and reminders.

 

Order free recycling storage bags, container labels, posters and flyers

Organics recycling for multifamily properties

Organics — which includes food scraps and food-soiled paper — make up about a third of residential garbage. Instead of going in the trash, organics can be recycled or reused. To learn more about organics recycling options at your property click here.

Composting and Organics Recycling

Properties have several options for recycling organics:

Set up an onsite compost bin

Does your property have a garden, or outdoor space? If you have the space and a caretaker or knowledgeable resident to manage it, some food scraps and food soiled paper can be composted onsite using a compost bin. Hennepin County sells compost bins at the Brooklyn Park transfer station.

Have residents use a drop-off site

Check with your city to see if they have a drop-off option. Some Hennepin County cities have organics recycling drop-off sites located throughout each city. There is no charge for your residents to use these drop-off sites but residents need to contact their city to sign up. Click here to learn more about different drop of sites that are available for residents or contact us to find the best drop-off option for you.

Sign up for organics recycling service

Properties can request organics hauling service from some haulers for a fee. Check if your current trash and recycling hauler provides organics for composting hauling service. There is assistance available to cover some of the startup costs through Hennepin County business recycling grants.

Tips for starting your organics recycling program (for organics recycling service)

Designate an area for organics collection.

  • Place containers wherever trash and recycling containers are located. Remember common areas such as party rooms and office spaces.
  • Use pictures of the materials accepted to convey information quickly to a wide range of language speakers.
  • Make sure your maintenance staff are trained on what materials are accepted and when collection occurs. Establish a cleaning schedule for the containers if needed.

Promote the new program to your residents.

  • Distribute organics recycling guides to all residents and let them know when the service will begin.
  • Give residents an in-unit collection pail and compostable bags(if funds are available).
  • Host a training or launch event and show residents what types of materials go into each container. County staff are available to help with trainings.
  • Remember to inform new residents of your organics recycling service and give them a tour of the waste collection area. Monitor bins occasionally to make sure residents are placing the correct materials in the organics containers.

Mattress recycling collection program

Most of the materials in a mattress can be recycled.

 Mattress drop-off sites

There are two drop-off sites for recycling mattresses, each charge $20 per mattress or box spring:

Hennepin County Recycling Center and Transfer Station
8100 Jefferson Highway
Brooklyn Park, MN 55445
612-348-3777

Second Chance Recycling
1179 15th Avenue SE
Minneapolis, MN 55414
612-332-0664, ext. 14

Mattress curbside pick-up

Curbside pick-up service for mattresses is available to Hennepin County residents and condo and apartment building managers in select cities. Learn more and request a pickup here. A flyer which includes a service-area map and more information is available here (PDF).

Move-out and bulky household waste reuse program

Moving can create a lot of additional waste. Instead of your residents trashing their old stuff, consider participating in Hennepin County’s move-out and bulky household waste reuse program.

Properties that participate are paired up with a local reuse retailer that will pick-up reusable household goods left behind by residents. There is no cost to participate.

Contact Kirsten Wahlberg at kirsten.wahlberg@hennepin.us to learn more and sign up.

Donation centers and charitable agencies

There are many charitable agencies in the region that are happy to take reusable household items and furniture in good condition left by your residents. Many even offer pickup service. Find charitable organizations that accept used items through the Choose to Reuse directory.

Electronics, hazardous waste and other items

Electronics and some common household products like batteries, CFLs, paint and cleaners can be hazardous if disposed of improperly and shouldn't be thrown in the trash. Safe disposal is free and easy for residents at Hennepin County drop-off facilities. Other items, like mattresses, appliances and tires, are accepted for a fee. Residents can find more information about specific items on the Green Disposal Guide.

Many electronic recycling companies in the metro will pick-up electronics for recycling. This includes broken, or unwanted electronics.

TechDump

  • Collection method: Pick up and events
  • Accepted: Anything with a keyboard or cord.
  • Not accepted: No appliances or hazardous materials
  • Contact: Amanda LaGrange, 763-432-3117, ext.2
  • Fee: Contact for more information

Recycle Technologies

  • Collection method: On call collection
  • Accepted: Fluorescent lights, batteries and unwanted electronics
  • Not accepted: No hazardous materials
  • Contact: Christine, 763-559-5130
  • Fee: Contact for more information

Retrofit Recycling

  • Collection method: Gaylord boxes available upon request. On call collection
  • Accepted: Unwanted electronics, chemicals, lamps, batteries and appliances
  • No accepted: If hazardous needs EPA id. No bio hazardous material
  • Contact: Jen, 651-717-4740
  • Fee: Contact for more information

The information above refers to residential hazardous waste. For information on managing hazardous items from businesses, like electronics, fluorescent bulbs and other chemicals, visit the Hennepin County Managing and Disposing of Hazardous Waste site.

Resources, grants and recognition

Apartment and multifamily resources

Order free recycling storage bags, container labels, posters and flyers

Sign up here to receive our free monthly Apartments Recycle newsletter.

Hennepin County recycling study reveals improvements needed at apartment and condo buildings

Hennepin County conductedwaste study (PDF) in 2017 to assess how well apartment and condo buildings were recycling. The study looks at the recycling diversion rate, contamination levels in the recycling, and the composition of what is being discarded as trash. The results highlight conclusions and next steps.

Business recycling grants

Hennepin County provides funding and assistance for businesses and institutions to start or improve programs to divert recyclables and/or organics. Learn more here about applying for a business recycling grant.

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.

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