Minneapolis Sets Zero Waste Goals

The Minneapolis City Council is considering steps that would increase the amount of its waste stream that gets recycled.

"A public hearing to ban hard-to-recycle foam takeout containers is scheduled for Monday and City Hall is drafting a plan to pick up food scraps and other organic items from every home by next year, something several metro-area cities already do," reports Maya Rao. Composting pilot programs have already begun in eight neighborhoods around the city.

"Minneapolis has a long way to go to catch up to the West Coast cities that have pioneered zero waste, meaning at least 90 percent of the garbage is recycled, composted or reused. Just 37 percent of its garbage is now recycled and composted, compared with 77 percent in San Francisco and 56 percent in Seattle — cities that require their citizens to do it."

Challenges for the city include expanding its recycling program to commercial garbage. But a bill in the Minnesota State Legislature could help with that—"granting $7 million more in recycling funding for counties and raising recycling in the metro from 50 to 75 percent of all waste." Also, the city has already seen evidence of low participation in the composting pilot program in the affluent neighborhood of Linden Hills. A ban on plastic bags and requirements for recycling of construction materials are also completely speculative at this point.

Full Story: Where has all the trash gone? Minneapolis eyes 'zero waste'

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