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

Improve/organize residential trash, recycling and organics collection by private and/or public operations and offer significant volume-based pricing on residential garbage and/or incentives for recycling.

Require trash haulers to follow the city-organized recycling collection schedule; require organized collection of residential recyclables; publish hauler rates on city's web site & require waste/recyclables tonnage reports as a condition of licensing; assist residents on X % of city blocks to arrange for 75%+ of houses to contract with 1 trash hauler; set at least a 25% price differential among 3 cart size/frequency categories (~30, 60, 90-gallons); provide a financial or other incentive (e.g. larger container) for recycling. Report compostables collection under action 22.5 Note that pre-2018 entries of cities organizing their solid waste collection service are found under action 22.6
Offer bi-weekly trash collection, ideally paired with weekly recycling (and organics); organize city-wide collection of recyclables, yard waste, source-separated organics via RFP.
Organize trash collection; contract with one/multiple, zoned haulers for trash & multi-materials, either via RFP (if previous contract) or via hauler negotiations; note estimated cost savings to residents and to city (from decreased truck traffic); note if trucks use compressed natural gas (as city license condition?); achieve 50% recycling & 10% composting rate.


Date action report first entered:   01/18/2018
Date of last report update:   01/18/2018
Year action initially completed:   2015
Action completed after joining GreenStep?   No

Implementation details:
The City of Bloomington organized garbage, recycling and yard waste collection in October 2016. This program is provided to all Bloomington residents who live in single family homes. Collection is handled by a six member consortium, the Bloomington Haulers, LLC. Program administration and billing is handled by the City of Bloomington Public Works and Finance departments. The prices for garbage collection differ by cart size. The smallest cart at 35 gallons is $10.14/month, medium 68 gallon is $13.67/month and a large 90 gallon container is $17.18/month. These prices are less than the average price a Bloomington resident was paying before organized collection.

View All Bloomington Actions

Saint James

Date action report first entered:   11/06/2018
Date of last report update:   11/06/2018
Year action initially completed:   2019
Action completed after joining GreenStep?   Yes

Implementation details:
The City of St. James just accepted a contract with West Central Sanitation to pick up solid waste for its residents. Residents can choose from different sized carts for their garbage pick up. West Central only uses trucks that use natural gas, making it much quieter and greener.

Outcome measures/metrics:
The City of St. James partners with West Central Sanitation to ensure that every household in the city has garbage pick up. West Central provides the carts and they also do the billing.

            view file

For more information contact:
Sam Hansen (City staff)   |   Sam.Hansen@ci.stjames.mn.us   |   507-375-5090

West Central Sanitation

View All Saint James Actions

La Prairie

Date action report first entered:   01/04/2013

Implementation details:
Encourage recycling by developing our contract to include a recycle option.

Outcome measures/metrics:
Waste Management has provided special 64 gallon carts to each residence and picks up the containers bi-weekly. Additionally we have expanded the number of items that can be recycled. The economic incentive is that residents can reduce their garbage output from a large container to a small container which reduces their garbage expense from $19.04 per month to $12.30 per month. Furthermore, it allows residents to go from a once a week pckup to once every other week which reduces their cost from $12.30 to $8.98 per month. We educated residents about this recycling opportunity in our newsletter and at public meetings. The community response has been terrific and we estimate that we have improved our recycling by 80%. Currently we are in discussion with our contractor to expand this recycling effort to businesses and to expand the amount and type of materials that the contractor will agree to pickup.

View All La Prairie Actions


Date action report first entered:   03/22/2012
Date of last report update:   05/01/2015

Implementation details:
Part of the new single hauler waste plan is a use rate, where, with the monitoring of computer chips in the garbage cans, the hauler records the frequency of that specific bin is collection and determines the residences trash fee based on that data with residence getting breaks if they are gone 3 weeks or more. The price for pick up depends on the size of the bins. 95 gallon $13.32, 20 Gallon $9.52, and 20 gallon picked up every other week $7.02. There is a decrease in cost to the resident if they choose bi-weekly trash pickup instead of weekly.

Descriptive links: http://www.ci.maplewood.mn.us/index.aspx?NID=713

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

View All Maplewood Actions


Date action report first entered:   12/17/2017
Date of last report update:   12/17/2017
Action completed after joining GreenStep?   No

Implementation details:
The City implemented no-sort recycling on July 1st, 2017. As of November 2017, it has increased recycling rates by 56%.

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

View All Moorhead Actions


Date action report first entered:   05/07/2012

Implementation details:
City requires waste haulers to offer volum based rates that are significant enough to increase recycling without leading to illegal dumping

For more information contact:
Janet Anderson (Community volunteer)   |   janetanderson2840@gmail.com   |   5072190680


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Cottage Grove

Date action report first entered:   01/31/2014

Implementation details:
Cottage Grove has a Recycling Incentive Program. Every resident has an opportunity to win prizes for your recycling efforts. Each week City staff draws two residence addresses at random, checks to see if their recycling bin is out and has recyclable material in it. If it does, the City awards a prize to the resident.

For more information contact:
Ryan Burfeind (City staff)   |   rburfeind@cottage-grove.org   |   651-458-2899

View All Cottage Grove Actions


Date action report first entered:   01/30/2019
Date of last report update:   01/30/2019
Action completed after joining GreenStep?   No

Implementation details:
Information included on the City of Crosslake website.

Descriptive links: https://www.cityofcrosslake.org/vertical/sites/%7BFEA8DD90-54F2-4E30-BF15-72B67E6DC206%7D/uploads/CROSSLAKE_RECYCLING_DROP_OFF_SITE.pdf

For more information contact:
Martha Steele (Community volunteer)   |   steeles@brainerd.net   |   218-765-4041

View All Crosslake Actions

Elk River

Date action report first entered:   11/25/2010

Implementation details:
Residents can save $19 a year by switching from a 90 gallon trash can to a 60 gallon can plus a 32 gallon organics collection can. Thus, they receive more waste producing potential at a cheaper price provided they join the organics program. The City also offers a $25 yearly rebate for normal recycling and a $40 yearly rebate for normal & organics recycling.

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

View All Elk River Actions


Date action report first entered:   04/28/2016
Date of last report update:   04/28/2016

Implementation details:
The City's 1 waste hauler service offers volume-based pricing.

For more information contact:
Harold Langowski (City staff)   |   elyod@ely.mn.us   |   218-226-5474

View All Ely Actions


Date action report first entered:   04/10/2012

Implementation details:
The City owns and operates its own waste and recycling for residents. There are 30, 60 and 90 gallon waste containers available to the residents. The City has a volume-based cost.

Outcome measures/metrics:
There is a waste collection system in Farmington.

For more information contact:
Adam Kienberger (City staff)   |   akienberger@ci.farmington.mn.us   |   651-280-6820

View All Farmington Actions

Fergus Falls

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

Implementation details:
Smaller containers are available upon request.

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

View All Fergus Falls Actions

Grand Rapids

Date action report first entered:   12/20/2012

Implementation details:
In August 2012 a contract was signed with Waste Management for garbage removal and recyclable materials. Using a 64 gallon cart recycling volumes have increased typically 35%-40%. The old bins only held 18 gallons of material by going to 64 gallon carts every other week the availabe volume is almost quadrupled. Additionally, trash volume has decreased between 18% to23%.Byreducing the trash volume, residents are often able to down size to a smaller trash container, enabling a further reduction in their monthly rate.

For more information contact:
Julie Kennedy (City staff)   |   jakennedy@grpuc.org   |   218-326-7024

View All Grand Rapids 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:
Each of the city's licensed garbage haulers offers volume-based pricing dependent on size of trash can. Incentives are not offered for recycling.

Descriptive links: https://www.newhopemn.gov/cms/one.aspx?portalId=9826709&pageId=11182400

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

View All New Hope Actions


Date action report first entered:   04/03/2014

Implementation details:
Our refuse collection rates are structured to give a break for smaller container sizes.

Outcome measures/metrics:
Citizens have an option to reduce the size of their container allowing them to save money.

Descriptive links: http://www.ci.northfield.mn.us/index.aspx?nid=320

For more information contact:
Tim Behrendt (City staff)   |   tim.behrendt@ci.northfield.mn.us   |   507-645-3027

View All Northfield Actions

Red Wing

Date action report first entered:   06/28/2011

Implementation details:
THe city of red Wing is the residential waste collector and has volume based recepticles/ rates.

Outcome measures/metrics:
List the prices for the various recepticles.

For more information contact:
Paul Drotos (City staff)   |   paul.drotos@ci.red-wing.mn.us   |   651-410-6744

View All Red Wing Actions


Date action report first entered:   01/02/2019
Date of last report update:   01/10/2019
Year action initially completed:   2018
Action completed after joining GreenStep?   Yes

Implementation details:
In November of 2018, the City launched a two site drop-off organics recycling program for residents to participate in and reduce waste generation. Waste is brought to SET in Rosemount. Additionally, Randy's Environmental Services offers "blue bag" organics recycling services to their residential and commercial customers in the City.

Outcome measures/metrics:
As of Jan. 2nd, 2019, there were 560 households registered, exceeding the City's initial goal of 500 registrants overall. In the program's first 6 weeks, over 2.6 tons of organic materials were recycled and diverted from traditional waste streams.

Descriptive links: www.richfieldmn.gov/organics

For more information contact:
Karen Shragg (City staff)   |   kshragg@richfieldmn.gov   |   6128619366

Hennepin County

View All Richfield Actions


Date action report first entered:   10/17/2013

Implementation details:
The County provides incentives to encourage waste reduction through volume-based fees. By reducing the amount of waste produced, recycling, composting and utilizing the hazardous waste facility, citizens get the most for their money and can potentially reduce the amount they pay for disposal. The County intends to continue to be a positive example to local municipalities, businesses and residents by reducing waste generated from County sources and providing information and assistance to businesses and residents. The County encourages waste reduction and reuse through its educational outlets. Ongoing public education will continue to be provided to motivate businesses and citizens to reduce the amount of waste they produce and to support the Minnesota Materials Exchange and other waste reduction/reuse programs.

Descriptive links: page 4 http://www.co.olmsted.mn.us/environmentalresources/garbagerecycling/Documents/swdp12011.pdf

For more information contact:
Jeff Ellerbusch (City staff)   |   ellerbusch.jeff@CO.OLMSTED.MN.US   |   507-328-7132

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Saint Paul

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

Implementation details:
Saint Paul City Code 357 Section 357.05 c) Schedule of charges. Each licensee shall submit to the inspector a schedule of advertised charges in connection with his operation or service at the time of the application for license. Charges for mixed municipal solid waste services provided after July 1, 1991, must be submitted on a form provided by the inspector and based on the number of mixed municipal solid waste containers serviced by the licensee. Volume-based rates must be offered which limit the total amount of mixed municipal solid waste to be collected and shall be in proportion to the amount or weight of mixed municipal solid waste collected and shall differ significantly and incrementally one from another. At a minimum, volume-based rates must be offered for three (3) levels of single-family through four-plex residential service. The levels of service are for one (1), two (2) and three (3) containers of mixed municipal solid waste. Refuse haulers must provide written notice to their customers at least twice yearly of their volume-based rate structure and must provide information on their volume-based rate structure to new customers, including those acquired from other refuse haulers. The County Environmental Charge (CEC) is a fee billed by licensed haulers to their customers in Ramsey County. The fee is based on the amount of trash each customer produces. Because the CEC applies to trash and not recyclables, the CEC acts to reduce waste by getting people to recycle and compost more.

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

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Date action report first entered:   12/08/2017
Date of last report update:   12/08/2017
Action completed after joining GreenStep?   No

Implementation details:
Each of the City's four licensed haulers offer volume based pricing dependent on size of trash can. To encourage increased recycling many of the haulers do not charge for a larger size recycling can (e.g. 96 gallon vs 64 gallon).

For more information contact:
Nate Keller (City staff)   |   nate.keller@sartellmn.com   |   320-258-7316

View All Sartell Actions


Date action report first entered:   10/25/2011

Implementation details:
In 2010, Shorewood implemented a rewards program for residents participating in recycling.

For more information contact:
Julie Moore (City staff)   |   jmoore@ci.shorewood.mn.us   |   952.960.7906

View All Shorewood 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:
In place for non-tribal members at tribal transfer stations.

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

View All Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe 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