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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 4      [ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 ]       [all actions]

Publicize, promote and use the varied businesses/services collecting and marketing used, repaired and rental consumer goods, especially electronics, in the city/county.

  • Help is available from ReUSE Minnesota, a non-profit organization who goal is to increase the visibility of MN's reuse sector by highlighting its economic, social and environmental benefits. Rental and sharing businesses arbitrage surplus capacity, increasing the productivity of existing goods and services. Examples include tool and house rental/sharing, coupon businesses helping fill unused restaurant/event seats, shared office and kitchen space, and bike/car rental/sharing. See 32 recommended Policies for Shareable Cities that enable cities to benefit from the sharing economy in the areas of food, jobs, housing, and transportation. The term collaborative consumption describes the shift in consumer values from ownership to access, and how promoters around the world are using network technologies to do more with less by renting, lending, swapping, bartering, gifting and sharing products on a scale never before possible.
  • 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.
  • See, for example, Hennepin County's Choose to Reuse directory and their fix-it clinics that pair volunteer repair people with community members who bring in broken household items.
Identify and provide city economic development support to relevant businesses; promote events such as fix-it clinics; encourage community members to shop at and donate to such businesses; post the CoolClimate household-level consumption-based GHG calculator on the city solid waste page. Report under action 25.4 efforts to strengthen value-added businesses utilizing local "waste" material.
Publicize and promote reuse/repair/rental businesses on your city website, in newsletter articles; facilitate neighbor-to-neighbor reuse of large items before annual 'curbside cleanups.'
Document increased use of these businesses; organize volunteers (or support others) to run at least one "fix-it" clinic for community members.

Coon Rapids

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

Implementation details:
Coon Rapids works to promote reuse and repair services to residents especially for problem materials that are difficult to recycle. Coon Rapids helped to promote Anoka County's first Fix-It Clinic in October 2014. Coon Rapids has a relationship with Bridging, a nonprofit that works to provide reused furniture for local families in need and works to promote this service to residents. The city also works with A Greener Read to reuse all books, CDs and DVDs whenever possible and recycle as a second option. The city website also promotes other options for reuse including problem materials and links to the Anoka County Recyclopedia which has other helpful information for local reuse and repair services .

Outcome measures/metrics:
From April-September 2014, approximately 5,000 lbs of books, CDs and DVDs were collected for reuse when possible and recycled as a second option.

View All Coon Rapids Actions

Elk River

Date action report first entered:   11/25/2010
Date of last report update:   12/29/2014

Implementation details:
The City of Elk River's website features an updated disposal/recycling guide as well as a link to Earth911.com which provides further information for recycling. The City of Elk River hosted their first Fix-It Clinic in the fall of 2014 and plan to host two clinics annually.

Outcome measures/metrics:
The Fix-It Clinic had a wildly successful inaugural event with a 92% success rate by weight, or 325.8 pounds saved from the landfill.

Descriptive links: http://elkrivermn.gov/index.aspx?nid=664             view file

For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff)   |   ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov   |   763-635-1068

Sherburne County SCORE Grant

View All Elk River Actions

West Saint Paul

Date action report first entered:   01/23/2019
Date of last report update:   01/23/2019
Year action initially completed:   2017
Action completed after joining GreenStep?   Yes

Implementation details:
City of West St. Paul partners with Dakota County to host Fix-It Clinics at the local library, and to help spread the word to residents about this valuable opportunity. Social media is used by the city as well as flyers and posters provided by the County.

Descriptive links: https://www.co.dakota.mn.us/Environment/Residential/Reduce/Pages/fix-repair.aspx

For more information contact:
Cassandra Schueller (City staff)   |   cschueller@wspmn.gov   |   16515524118

View All West Saint Paul Actions


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

Implementation details:
City businesses include a second-hand shop (Sibley Seconds), a consignment shop (Hip Hop Family Shop) and a shabby chic occasional shop (Two Old Goats):all of which promote donating and/or purchasing used goods.

Outcome measures/metrics:
Arlington has a strong downtown shopping appeal which includes these three anchor shops. City Staff recently took pictures of its area businesses and will update the City's website with contact information, summary of service, etc.

Descriptive links: http://www.arlingtonmn.com/community/businesses/

For more information contact:
Annie Shotliff (City staff)   |   ashotliff@arlingtonmn.com   |   507-964-2378

Arlington Chamber of Commerce

View All Arlington Actions

Big Lake

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

Implementation details:
The City is hosting its first ever fix-it clinic this summer. The event will be staffed by volunteers and put on for community members. The City has also publicized and promoted reuse/rental/repair businesses through the monthly environmental education newsletters, the link to which is attached.

Descriptive links: http://www.biglakemn.org/405/Environmental-Education-Information

For more information contact:
Katie Stelzner (City staff)   |   kstelzner@biglakemn.org   |   763-307-6040

View All Big Lake Actions

Golden Valley

Date action report first entered:   04/25/2017
Date of last report update:   11/16/2017
Year action initially completed:   2015
Action completed after joining GreenStep?   No

Implementation details:
The City annually hosts “Mighty Tidy Day” to provide residents with a monitored site to dispose of items that cannot be donated such as old mattresses and sofas, broken bicycles, unwanted tires and outdated electronics. Residents who bring furniture and household items in good condition can donate them to Bridging, a non-profit organization that provides quality goods to people transitioning out of homelessness and poverty. There are also several second-hand shops in the City, including Empty the Nest, Tech Dump, and the PRISM thrift store, where residents can bring gently used goods. Recycling information and links to Hennepin County materials, including the A-Z disposal guide, are available on the City website and in the bimonthly newsletter.

Outcome measures/metrics:
In 2017, during the Mighty Tidy Day event, 584 residents dropped off 84 appliances, 15,008 pounds of electronics and 9,503 pounds of paper to be shredded. Republic Services filled five dumpsters of miscellaneous debris and garbage. In 2016, residents disposed of the following items at the Mighty Tidy Day event: 6,976 pounds of paper (to shred), 520 light bulbs, 87 flat panel TVs/monitors, 94 small appliances, 37 large appliances, 73 pieces of scrap metal, 60 mattresses/couches, 61 box springs/chairs, 6 tires with rims, 21 tires without rims, and 106.5 cubic yards of miscellaneous debris. The total tonnage of scrap metal, mattresses, couches, box springs, chairs, and miscellaneous debris hauled away by Republic Services was 25.95 tons. Shred-N-Go, Tech Dump, and Better Futures provided recycling services for all paper, light-bulbs, and appliances respectively.

Descriptive links: http://www.goldenvalleymn.gov/recycling/mightytidyday/

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

View All Golden Valley Actions

Grand Marais

Date action report first entered:   11/04/2015
Date of last report update:   11/04/2015

Implementation details:
Recycling programs. The County manages solid waste for the City, and runs the recycling center located by the hospital. The recycling center takes plastics (#1&2), cans, glass, cardboard, mixed paper, and waste oil. The county runs computers/electronics collection twice a year, and has hazardous waste collection days twice a year. The county and city supported the development of, and promote on the County web-site, a second-hand store (the Budget Shop) at the recycling site to facilitate reuse. To facilitate recycling by tourists and visitors, the City has placed recycling receptacles throughout the downtown/harbor/tourist area, immediately adjacent to the waste receptacles. Senior center – 1st and 2nd – volunteers who earn money for non-profits of their choice. Odd & Ends – volunteer run facility for furniture recycling and reuse. The city also provides recycling services at its campground, collecting a variety of recyclables that enter the County recycling system.

Descriptive links: http://www.co.cook.mn.us/index.php/living-here/recyclinggarbage

For more information contact:
Shane Steele (Contractor)   |   shane.w.steele@gmail.com   |   507-884-5790

Cook County

View All Grand Marais Actions


Date action report first entered:   10/10/2012

Implementation details:
The Recyclopedia is a waste reduction guide published every few years by twelve cities, including Hopkins, in the west metro area and mailed to all postal customers in western Hennepin County.It is also featured on the Hopkins Web Site and is handed out at City events. It features an alphabetical index of common items and how to dispose of them locally without throwing them away. There are also many local businesses that collect used and repaired goods such as clothing, books and toys. These stores include Shop Again, Something Safari, Nine, and Steve's Train City. Hennepin County also has a choose to reuse program. http://hennepin.us/choosetoreuse There is no way to track the impact on City businesses, since they do not report sales, etc to us.

Descriptive links: http://www.hopkinsmn.com/waste/accepted.php             view file

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

View All Hopkins Actions

Inver Grove Heights

Date action report first entered:   05/24/2016
Date of last report update:   07/05/2017
Year action initially completed:   2010

Implementation details:
Fix-it Clinics have been held within the City of Inver Grove Heights by Dakota County. The City has promotes these events to city residents, where they can bring in items that need repair. Annually city-wide garage sale is held, where residents are encouraged to host a garage sale on their private property over the same weekend. The City advertises their address on a map created for those interested in attending the garage sale. This event typically occurs a month before the City's annual Clean-Up Day. The City of Inver Grove Heights also hosts a community sale at the Veteran's Memorial Community Center, where residents reserve a table to sell their unwanted items.

For more information contact:
Ally Hillstrom (City staff)   |   ahillstrom@invergroveheights.org   |   651-604-8511

View All Inver Grove Heights Actions


Date action report first entered:   04/19/2014
Date of last report update:   05/01/2015

Implementation details:
The city has a webpage devoted to recycling and collection of goods for the purpose of re-use of those materials. On that webpage they have a link to Ramsey counties's very expansive list of re-use, recycling, and safe disposal companies. For 2013, instead of the traditional fall cleanup event the city partnered with Allied Waste/Republic Services, the city's trash collector to host the Fall Cleanup Campaign. For two weeks in October the vendor collected large bulky items curbside from residents for 50% reduced fee. In conjunction with the bulky trash item collection the city also provided residents a list of organization that would accept gently used furniture, clothes, and household material. For all the city cleanup events the city has partnered with various organizations to promote reuse. The city has worked with Bridging, Goodwill, Disabled American Veterans, Re-cycle, Local Shredding Companies and a few small engine mechanics to recover as much material as possible from the waste stream. Since 2011, Re-Cycle, the city' bike recycling vendor has recovered over 438 bikes for a total of 11,000 pounds of material collected at the annual cleanup events. The city of Maplewood has also increased the amount of recycling available for businesses. During 2014 there were 16 new businesses signed up for the recycling program which diverted 30,000 lbs of recyclables from the waste stream.

Descriptive links: http://www.ci.maplewood.mn.us/index.aspx?nid=384

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

View All Maplewood Actions

New Hope

Date action report first entered:   04/02/2015
Date of last report update:   11/19/2018
Action completed after joining GreenStep?   No

Implementation details:
City businesses include several second-hand shops, including Unique Thrift Store, Arc's Value Village, and SCOUT Vintage Collective, all of which promote donating and purchasing used goods. New Hope is part of the three city Hennepin Recycling Group (HRG). The HRG does an annual collection of products not suitable for weekly garbage collection as well as an every-other-year curbside collection of such goods. The three HRG cities have curbside single-sort recycling collection for all single-family homes. The Environmental Quality Commission does an annual collection utilizing Tech Dump for collection and recycling of old electronic equipment.

Descriptive links: https://www.ci.new-hope.mn.us/work/businesses

For more information contact:
Jeff Alger (City staff)   |   jalger@ci.new-hope.mn.us   |   763-531-5119

Hennepin Recycling Group

View All New Hope Actions


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

Implementation details:
The recycling section of the city's website contains details on what can be recycled, how to recycle,an A-Z disposal guide, re-use businesses and charities, along with information on how to generate less waste.

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

View All Roseville Actions


Date action report first entered:   12/21/2011

Implementation details:
The city provides reuse information on the web site and publishes information in support of reuse month in the newsletter. The web site also includes information about reduce/reuse/recycle programs including places to take problem materials.

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

For more information contact:
Julie Moore (City staff)   |   jmoore@ci.shorewood.mn.us   |   952-960-7906

View All Shorewood Actions

Apple Valley

Date action report first entered:   03/21/2012

Implementation details:
Dakota Valley Recycling, a JPO, that administers the City's recycling actions, offers a fact sheet Donate Items for Reuse, which includes the Goodwill in Apple Valley. Other locations throughout Dakota County that Dakota Valley Recycling has promoted in the past include the Chap Value Store in Burnsville, Salvation Army in Burnsville, Building Materials Outlet in Eagan and the Recycling Zone.

For more information contact:
Charless Grawe (City staff)   |   CGrawe@ci.apple-valley.mn.us   |   952-953-2508

View All Apple Valley Actions


Date action report first entered:   01/03/2015
Date of last report update:   04/19/2016

Implementation details:
Crystal is part of the three city Hennepin Recycling Group (HRG). The HRG does an annual collection of products not suitable for weekly garbage collection as well as an every other year curbside collection of such goods. The three HRG have curbside single sort recycling collection for all single family homes. The Environmental Quality Commission does an annual collection utilizing Tech Dump for collection and recycling of old electronic equipment.

Descriptive links: http://www.crystalmn.gov/docs/phamplets/garbage_phamplet.pdf

For more information contact:
Anne Norris (City staff)   |   Anne.Norris@crystalmn.gov   |   763-531-1140

View All Crystal Actions

Eden Prairie

Date action report first entered:   01/17/2014

Implementation details:
The City of Eden Prairie hosted a Hennepin County Fix-it Clinic at the Eden Prairie Senior Center on August 10, 2013. The City promoted the event on the City Website, in the Senior Center newsletter and class program guide, and Living Green news.

Descriptive links: http://www.edenprairie.org/index.aspx?page=17&recordid=1657

For more information contact:
Tania Mahtani (City staff)   |   tmahtani@edenprairie.org   |   952-949-8413

Hennepin County

View All Eden Prairie Actions

Elko New Market

Date action report first entered:   04/30/2018
Date of last report update:   04/30/2018
Action completed after joining GreenStep?   Yes

Implementation details:
This service is provided Scott County and is marketed thru the City's website, newsletter and ocasional Facebook postings.

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

Scott County

View All Elko New Market Actions

Fergus Falls

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

Implementation details:
Otter Tail County operates a household hazardous waste product exchange facility in Fergus Falls. Free books and a materials exchange list is promoted on the county’s website, but most of the businesses using the facility are located within Fergus Falls.

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


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

Implementation details:
The City of Hastings municipality helps advertise opportunities for reuse and repair in Dakota County, including monthly Fix-It Clinics to assist residents in repairing household items; reuse area of The Recycling Zone; and, the Dakota County Reuse Guide, which lists donation resources.

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

View All Hastings Actions

La Prairie

Date action report first entered:   12/12/2011

Implementation details:
Re-use of building materials, furniture and appliances.

Outcome measures/metrics:
Habitat for Humanity established a RESTORE operation in the city of LaPrairie. The purpose of this facility to gather and resale the above mentioned items. The city encourages residents and businesses to donate items and shop at the RESTORE. Funds collected for the re-purchased items are used for Habitat for Humanity projects.

View All La Prairie Actions


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

Implementation details:

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

View All Lexington Actions

Saint Paul

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

Implementation details:
The City continues to promote recycling, composting and reuse opportunities in Saint Paul. Examples include promoting Recycle Your Holidays, local recycling drop offs, Fix-it Clinics, Twin Cities Market, Ramsey County A to Z recycling Guide and Reuse & Donations Guide and more.

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

View All Saint Paul Actions


Date action report first entered:   05/01/2013

Implementation details:
Yes, the City's webpage hosts many options for residents and businesses to recycle items properly. The City also reprints/advertises additional recycling options in the City's newsletter, such as electronics recycling at private collectors like Best Buy, Staples, and Retrofit Recycling. The City also offers a clean up day twice a year and collected approximately 12 tons of electronics from residents in 2012.

Descriptive links: http://www.shoreviewmn.gov/resources/recycling-and-garbage-collection

For more information contact:
Ellen Brenna (City staff)   |   ebrenna@shoreviewmn.gov   |   651-490-4665

View All Shoreview 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