As of January 1, 2016, all commercial properties in the seven-county metro must have recycling services along with garbage collection. This new law (Minn. Stat. 115A.151) applies to businesses that have service for four cubic yards or more of trash per week. The requirements states at least three materials types be recycled.
Value of Recycling
Recyclable materials have a significant environmental and economic value. Recycling directly and indirectly supports nearly 37,000 jobs, and the materials have a value of over $250 million. In Minnesota there is a 17 percent state tax on garbage, meaning trashing recyclables can be expensive. Many businesses find recycling good for business, as customers increasingly support companies committed to sustainable practices in their operations.
What Must Be Collected
If your business contracts for four cubic yards or more of trash collection per week, you must collect a minimum of three materials:
- Paper: office paper, cardboard, newspaper, etc.
- Glass containers
- Plastic: ranging from 1 to 7
- Metal: aluminum, tin-coasted steel, ferrous, non-ferrous
- Organics: food waste and non-recyclable paper
(does not include yard waste)
- Other specialized recyclables such as textiles
Single-sort (collecting multiple recyclable material types in one container) also meets the requirement as long as three or more materials are collected.
Getting Started and More Resources
Work with your hauler to figure out what will work best for your individual needs. Anoka County offers technical assistance, signage, training and a grant program to purchase recycling and organics collection containers. Please refer to them with further questions. Minnesota Pollution Control Agency also provides more details about requirements, enforcement and additional resources.