Home   |   About   |   Best Practices   |   Steps 1-5   |   Recognition   |   All Cities   |   Ordinances   |  City log-in   |   Contact           Stay Connected
GreenStep City Best Practices Environmental Management

Sustainable Consumption and Waste
no. 22

Increase waste prevention, reuse and recycling, moving to a lower-consumption, more cyclical, biological approach to materials management.
  Best Practice Action 2      [ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 ]       [all actions]

Address concerns over consumer products and packaging through encouragement/implementation of one or more of:

a.  Education on needless consumption, waste prevention and alternatives, including product stewardship / producer responsibility.
b.  Reuse options.
c.  Recycling / composting options.
d.  Credits, fees.
e.  Mandates, bans.
  • Learn more about how we make, use, and throw away stuff at the Story of Stuff project. For the best, most educational household-level consumption-based GHG calculator, suitable for posting on city waste management/reuse/recycling pages, see the CoolClimate Network carbon footprint page.
  • Product stewardship means that all parties involved in designing, manufacturing, selling and using a product take responsibility for environmental impacts at every stage of that product's life. Cities, acting through their county, have played a role in state legislation requiring manufacturers to share in the financial and physical responsibility for collecting and recycling products - including electronics and paint - at the end of their useful lives. When manufacturers share the costs of recycling products, they have an incentive to use recycled materials in new products and design products to be less toxic and easier to recycle, incorporating environmental concerns into the earliest phases of product design.
  • See for example the St. Louis Park Zero Waste Packaging ordinance of 2017 that mandates food establishments to place take-out food in packaging that can be recycled or composted. State law is evolving in this area and includes 2017 state legislation prohibiting cities (and a Minneapolis ordinance) from banning any type of bag — paper, plastic or reusable.
  • During 2019 Lyon County will be working with the city of Marshall to collect clean Styrofoam from businesses and industry via a polystyrene densifier.
  • Product Bans and Restrictions (MPCA: 2016) is a guide for local policy-makers and examines impacts of bonuses, fees or bans on the sale or distribution of specific products from an environmental perspective.
Post the CoolClimate household-level consumption-based GHG calculator on a city solid waste/reuse/recycling page; education on reuse, recycling, composting; in-store recycling of thin plastic bags & sale of reusable bags; non-traditional recycling/collection for reuse (e.g., ink cartridges, shoes, batteries, clothes). Note that, under the Who's doing it tab, cities that have no star next to their entry are cities that entered, before 2018, an internal city operations recycling/composting action, which is now covered by action 22.1 and has been replaced by this current action on consumer products/packaging.
Public drinking fountains that encourage refilling water bottles; city ordinance on in-store fees on plastic & paper bags; credits for use of reusable bags.
City mandated recyclable/compostable egg cartons, to-go packaging; bans on plastic straws; county or city collection of clean Styrofoam from businesses and industry via a polystyrene densifier.

Saint Louis Park

Date action report first entered:   10/08/2013

Implementation details:
The City has been recycling in our parks for over 6 years with much success. We hired Randy's sanitation to pick up a dumpster (whenever full) of park recycling gathered from most City parks.

Outcome measures/metrics:
Tonnage of recycling collected from parks per year.

Descriptive links: http://www.stlouispark.org/be-a-steward/recycle-in-your-parks.html             view file

For more information contact:
Jim Vaughan (City staff)   |   jvaughan@stlouispark.org   |   952-924-2699

Hennepin County, RAM

View All Saint Louis Park Actions


Date action report first entered:   04/13/2018
Date of last report update:   04/13/2018
Year action initially completed:   2018
Action completed after joining GreenStep?   Yes

Implementation details:
The City of Fridley has information within the Recycling section of its website on how to recycle items that are not accepted curbside such as styrofoam and plastic bags. The City also has a staff person able to answer questions on how to dispose of certain items. Approximately 2 questions are answered per week. The City increased its bulky item recycling events from 3 per year to 6 per year in 2018 and incorporated free, secure paper shredding.

Descriptive links: http://fridleymn.gov/448/How-to-Get-Rid-of-Stuff; www.fridleymn.gov/recycling

View All Fridley Actions


Date action report first entered:   12/13/2017
Date of last report update:   12/13/2017
Action completed after joining GreenStep?   Yes

Implementation details:
On November 15th, 2017, the City's A Day Without a Bag Campaign promoted reusable bags as well as highlighted where plastic grocery bags can be recycled at Cash Wise Foods in Moorhead.

For more information contact:
Dan Mahli (City staff)   |   dan.mahli@cityofmoorhead.com   |   218-299-5314

View All Moorhead Actions


Date action report first entered:   02/19/2016
Date of last report update:   01/28/2019
Action completed after joining GreenStep?   No

Implementation details:
Target in Richfield provides in-store plastic bag/film/wrap and MP3, cellphone, and ink responsible recycling. Wood Lake Nature Center provides year-round battery recycling as well as various events which facilitate the collection and re-use or recycling of old shoes and clothes.

For more information contact:
Karen Shragg (City staff)   |   kshragg@richfieldmn.gov   |   612-861-9366

View All Richfield Actions


Date action report first entered:   11/01/2017
Date of last report update:   11/01/2017
Year action initially completed:   2017
Action completed after joining GreenStep?   Yes

Implementation details:
1 Star - Educational outreach on waste prevention and new city-wide recycling program -Implementation of a city-wide curbside recycling program

            view file

For more information contact:
Shannon Mortenson (City staff)   |   shannonm@warrenminnesota.com   |   218-745-5343

View All Warren Actions

Coon Rapids pending

Date action report first entered:   10/27/2014
Date of last report update:   10/27/2014

Implementation details:
Coon Rapids has various initiatives to increase the amount of waste diverted into recycling and organics collection. Recycling containers are offered at 20 parks throughout the city in order to reduce the amount of recyclable material being put into trash containers due to lack of access to recycling. This program continues to expand and adapt each year to meet the needs of the park system and events. Coon Rapids operates a residential recycling drop off center providing options for recycling household items that cannot be recycled curbside including carpet, tires, used oil, fluorescent bulbs and more. In 2013, Coon Rapids began collecting organic materials from residents at the recycling drop off center. Materials included all household food waste and non-recyclable paper products.

Outcome measures/metrics:
During the first six months of the program, roughly 10,000 lbs of organic materials were collected and diverted from landfills.

Descriptive links: http://www.coonrapidsmn.gov/recycling/recyclecenter.htm

View All Coon Rapids Actions

Elko New Market pending

Date action report first entered:   12/28/2015
Date of last report update:   01/22/2016

Implementation details:
The City of Elko New Market has in place the means to measure and audit waste generated. In order to better achieve the goal of overall waste reduction, the city's public parks have receptacles in place for the collection of any recyclable materials on-site. Although organics are not processed as recyclable at this time, beverage and other recyclable items of every sort is collected from public properties and placed into the city's recycling process.

Outcome measures/metrics:
Our goal as a city at this time will be to measure the amount of waste diverted and prove a reduction in waste diverted into recycling (and compostable) collection.

Descriptive links: http://www.ci.enm.mn.us

For more information contact:
Mark Nagel (City staff)   |   mnagel@ci.enm.mn.us   |   952-461-2777

Lakeville (Dick's) Sanitation, Waste Management, Buckingham Disposal

View All Elko New Market Actions

Golden Valley pending

Date action report first entered:   04/25/2017
Date of last report update:   04/25/2017
Year action initially completed:   2016
Action completed after joining GreenStep?   No

Implementation details:
The City recycles at our public buildings and facilities as well as at 5 parks throughout the City. In 2016 additional recycling bins were added to 3 parks to accommodate the amount of plastic bottles and aluminum cans that were being thrown away. The City has also taken steps to make recycling more convenient for visitors of the parks by adding more signage and larger recycling containers for easy dumping of material. Additional recycling carts are available for special events such as the farmers’ market, festivals, or other City events. Woody organic material and yard waste produced by the City is trucked to the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community Recycling Facility that turns this waste into compost and compost blends for retail and wholesale purchase.

Outcome measures/metrics:
In 2016, Public Works staff collected 447.7 tons of leaves from City properties.

For more information contact:
Tom Hoffman (City staff)   |   thoffman@goldenvalleymn.gov   |   (763) 593-8044

View All Golden Valley Actions

Hastings pending

Date action report first entered:   04/27/2016
Date of last report update:   04/27/2016

Implementation details:
According to Dakota County, the City of Hastings should have a goal to recycle and compost 75% of its waste by 2030. Recycling must be available for city employees. Public entities in Minnesota must comply with MN Stat 115A.151 to maintain recycling program for facilities under the municipality’s control.

For more information contact:
Paige Marschall (City staff)   |   pmarschall@hastingsmn.gov   |   651-480-6182

View All Hastings Actions

Hopkins pending

Date action report first entered:   10/10/2012

Implementation details:
The City's solid waste collection system encourages residents to reduce waste through our mandatory recycling ordinance, volume-based pricing structure, and added fees for extra refuse and bulk. Additionally the City regularly provides promotional materials and activities to educate residents on waste reduction, reuse, recycling and purchasing recycled products. Our current in-house purchasing policy advocates the purchase of products made with recycled content. There is also an organics recycling program in place. In January of 2010 Hopkins was awarded a grant from Hennepin County to implement an organics collection program and to reenergize“traditional” single stream recycling practices in the city facilities.The overall goal was to reduce waste generated from all internal city operations combined through organic and “traditional” recycling methods by 50%.The collection took place in city lunchrooms, meeting rooms, at public events,etc.

Outcome measures/metrics:
To measure the 1st year results of the program an audit was completed in November 2010. The results revealed that 69.15% of the waste was diverted to either traditional or organic recycling. A follow up audit was done in November of 2011. The results showed 48% of the waste was diverted to either traditional or organic recycling. The program was adopted into the solid waste program for city operations with the 50% diversion rate as the goal.City staff continues to explore ways to sustain and to increase the diversion rate.

Descriptive links: http://www.hopkinsmn.com/waste/reduce.php, http://www.hopkinsmn.com/development/plan/pdf/10-solid-waste-plan.pdf

For more information contact:
Pam Hove (City staff)   |   Phove@hopkinsmn.com   |   952-548-6351

View All Hopkins Actions

Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe pending

Date action report first entered:   04/16/2015
Date of last report update:   04/16/2015

Implementation details:
Reduction of waste throughout the reservation is continuously in process with a goal of 25% waste decrease.

For more information contact:
Brandy Toft (City staff)   |   air@lldrm.org   |   218-335-7429

View All Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Actions

Lexington pending

Date action report first entered:   08/19/2015
Date of last report update:   09/28/2015

Implementation details:
We are currently above the required 50% and on well on our way to 75% that will be required by 2030 imposed by Governor Dayton as of 1/1/2016

For more information contact:
Peggy McNamara (City staff)   |   pmlexington@comcast.net   |   763-784-2792

View All Lexington Actions

Maplewood pending

Date action report first entered:   04/10/2014
Date of last report update:   05/01/2015

Implementation details:
The city has had a recycling in the parks program since 2011. Every trash bin in all Maplewood parks has a recycling bin placed next to it. The parks maintenance crew collect the recyclable material and brings the material to 3 larger recycling dumpster collection area. The city has collected over 10,000 lbs of recyclable material since the start of the recycling in the parks program. Maplewood did a waste sort at the city facilities in 2008 and found that a large majority of the material in the trash was recyclable or compostable. Another city campus waste sort was done during March of 2015. It was discovered that 71% of the cities waste could be reused, recycled, or composted. This will guide further decisions on waste management in the city. Since that time the city has set up an internal city facility recycling program and collects around 5000 lbs of recyclable material a year. For 2015, the city will be setting up a compostable waste program at the Maplewood Community Center in the new city facilities trash contract. The grant for this composting program is currently being reviewed by the county.

Descriptive links: http://www.ci.maplewood.mn.us/index.aspx?nid=167

For more information contact:
Shann Finwall (City staff)   |   shann.finwall@maplewoodmn.gov   |   651-249-2304

View All Maplewood Actions

Roseville pending

Date action report first entered:   01/13/2015
Date of last report update:   02/11/2015

Implementation details:
The city has set recycling goals for city operations.

For more information contact:
Ryan Johnson (City staff)   |   Ryan.johnson@cityofroseville.com   |   651-792-7049

View All Roseville Actions

Saint Paul pending

Date action report first entered:   12/23/2014
Date of last report update:   12/23/2014

Implementation details:
In the last two years, the City of Saint Paul has increased opportunities to recycle away from home by adding additional recycling bins to park and recreation buildings, as well as libraries. The number of recycling bins the City has put on the public right of way has also increased. In winter of 2013, the City also participated in the Recycling Association of MN’s Recycle Your Holidays program. Over 340 pounds were collected from City employees. In Spring 2014, Ramsey County started accepting source-separated organics (SSO) at their four yard waste sites within Saint Paul. Macalester Groveland Community Council (MGCC) also hosted a SSO drop off location with 24 hour access. While this is available to residents, city employees have been able to take advantage of the opportunity to dispose of SSO after hosting Zero or low waste event. Furthermore, the Dept. of Public Works has issued a 100% PC recycled content copier paper directive and a green meeting and gathering directive.

For more information contact:
Kurt Schultz (City staff)   |   kurt.schultz@ci.stpaul.mn.us   |   651-266-6590

View All Saint Paul Actions

Bloomington pending

Date action report first entered:   01/31/2018
Date of last report update:   01/31/2018
Action completed after joining GreenStep?   No

Implementation details:
The City of Bloomington provide resources on options for reuse and recycling. Additionally, the City will be opening three organics drop-off locations in April of 2018.

Descriptive links: https://www.bloomingtonmn.gov/cob/recycling-resources

For more information contact:
Steve Gurney (City staff)   |   sgurney@BloomingtonMN.gov   |   952-563-4606

View All Bloomington Actions

Fergus Falls pending

Date action report first entered:   01/14/2016
Date of last report update:   01/14/2016

Implementation details:
The Otter Tail County Solid Waste Department is working with businesses to recycle cardboard. The City of Fergus Falls operates a curbside recycling service that picks up office paper/cardboard products.

For more information contact:
Len Taylor (City staff)   |   len.taylor@ci.fergus-falls.mn.us   |   218-332-5418

Otter Tail County

View All Fergus Falls Actions

pending means a star rating has not yet been assigned to this city

greenstep advisor
Tim Farnan, Waste Prevention Specialist, MN Pollution Control Agency: 651/757-2348, timothy.farnan@state.mn.us, http://www.pca.state.mn.us/ktqh87d