The Hennepin County Zero Waste Challenge provides personalized help to households to assess the waste they generate, develop a customized waste-reduction plan, and make low-waste lifestyle changes.
Throughout the six-month challenge, participating households develop a personalize waste reduction plan, receive one-on-one coaching and support, attend educational workshops, receive waste reduction tips, get access to supplies and educational materials, and connect with other households.
Applications for the 2023 Zero Waste Challenge are closed.
Sign up below to be notified of future opportunities to participate in the Zero Waste Challenge.
What participants receive
- Receive hands-on, personalized coaching from a county waste reduction and recycling specialist or certified Community Recycling Ambassadors to assess the waste generated in their homes, develop a customized waste-reduction plan, and make low-waste lifestyle changes.
- Attend a series of virtual or in-person educational workshops on waste-reduction topics such as low-waste shopping, preventing food waste, and backyard composting.
- Evaluate their waste at the beginning, middle, and end of the challenge and submit their data to the county.
- Receive bi-weekly newsletters with waste reduction tips and get access to supplies and educational materials.
- Connect with other households striving to live lower waste lifestyles.
Participating households are expected to attend an introductory workshop and at least four additional workshops, as well as track their waste during the challenge.
Many of us intend to take action on issues we care about but struggle to figure out which changes or new habits fit into our busy lives. If you’ve ever wanted to reduce the amount of waste you create, this program is a great opportunity to learn more and get personalized help.
Additionally, your participation provides the county valuable insights into the opportunities, challenges and priorities to reach our recycling and waste reduction goals. The results and lessons learned are used to develop future programs.
Watch the video to learn more about the Zero Waste Challenge
Expectation of participants
Participants are expected to:
- Attend an introductory workshop.
- Attend at least four workshops to learn more about ways they can reduce waste. Workshops will cover a variety of topics and will be offered several times per month throughout the challenge.
- Have one initial home visit or one-on-one conversation with their liaison to check in on their progress and answer questions. Home visits will be virtual unless there is an option to be in-person while following health and safety precautions.
- Make their best attempt to adopt actions to reduce the amount of waste created in their households.
- Track and report the trash, recycling, and food waste their household generates for two weeks at the beginning, middle, and end of the challenge.
- Commit to participate in the entire six-month challenge.
Participation in the challenge involves about two hours of scheduled time each month for workshops and other check-ins. Additional time is spent on your own schedule to make progress on waste-reduction actions and track your waste.