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Become a Master Recycler

Join fellow waste reduction enthusiasts and inspire others to reduce, reuse and recycle as a Hennepin County Master Recycler/Composter!

Master Recycler/Composters are trained on waste prevention, recycling and composting, and effective communication skills through a six-week course, with one class each week, taught by industry experts and community leaders. The training also includes field trips to local waste processing and recycling facilities when possible.

Once training is complete, participants commit to volunteering 30-hours putting their skills to work on projects and activities that minimize waste and provide waste reduction, recycling and composting education. MRCs have the flexibility to pursue and create waste-reduction focused volunteer opportunities that interest them and serve their communities’ unique needs.

2022 Class schedule

Hennepin County will hold two rounds of Master Recycler/Composter trainings in 2022.

The Spring 2022 class will be held every Thursday from February 17–March 24, from 6-8 p.m. The class will take place virtually via Microsoft Teams. The Summer 2022 class will be held on Wednesdays in May and June. Details to be announced.

Registration for the Spring 2022 class will open on January 24 and close on February 4. Check back here for the link to apply or add your email to the notification list at the bottom of this page.

Before applying, please ensure that you meet the following requirements:

  • You are 18 years of age or older
  • You live and/or work within Hennepin County
  • You are available for all six class sessions
  • You can commit to 30 hours of volunteering after the class completes
  • You have access to internet and a computer or similar device to attend class virtually
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As a Master Recycler/Composter, you will support and inspire others in your community to reduce waste, recycle more and compost. You will also gain knowledge from experts, get experience volunteering in the field, and join a large community of volunteers who are enthusiastic about waste reduction and helping others.

Course topics

  • Waste prevention and thoughtful consumption
  • Recycling process and sorting information
  • Organics recycling and home composting
  • Addressing bias and privilege when volunteering
  • Public engagement and the motivating behavior change

This course gives participants the tools and education they need to be successful Master Recycler/Composter volunteers; no prior knowledge about waste or recycling is required. Hennepin County provides ongoing support, resources and continuing education to volunteers.

Participant commitment

Participants agree to attend all six class dates and to dedicate approximately 1-hour per week of independent study outside of class. Any field trips are optional but highly encouraged.

Participants commit to volunteer 30-hours of public outreach after graduating from the class. When the 30-hour commitment is fulfilled, participants are considered certified master recycler/composters and are encouraged to continue their volunteer service.

The commitment to use their newfound knowledge and skills to give back to their community is what make Master Recycler/Composter volunteers so special!

If you have a project or event that could use Master Recycler/Composter volunteers, email Kaitlin Steinberg at

Applicable volunteer opportunities for Master Recycler/Composters can include:

  • Designing and implementing waste reduction and recycling plans
  • Staffing booths and monitoring waste at events
  • Creating educational resources and displays
  • Giving educational talks/presentations to all ages
  • Food rescue activities
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