Hennepin County surveys residents on how to recycle more trash

For better or worse, garbage is something that we all deal with, but by reducing the amount of waste we create we can build a healthier environment and more vibrant communities.

Take survey by June 16 and help Hennepin County reach recycling goals

Hennepin County is currently in the process of writing the 2018 Solid Waste Management Master Plan, which outlines strategies for meeting the recycling goals. A key part of this process is gathering input on the plan from residents, businesses, cities, schools, haulers and other partners.

Take Hennepin County’s survey about reducing trash and tell them what would help you recycle more. Your input will help them figure out the best ways to reach their goal of recycling 75 percent of waste by 2030.

This survey can be found at Hennepin County’s website (see below) under solid waste management master plan. Inform the future of waste reduction and recycling in the county by providing your feedback by June 16.

A great opportunity for residents to provide feedback, the online survey “Reducing trash in Hennepin County — how low can we go?” asks residents to share their opinions on a variety of waste reduction issues, including:

  • Compared with two years ago, how much do you recycle?
  • What is one thing that would help you recycle more?
  • What is one action you take now to prevent waste?
  • Where do you currently place most of your household food scraps?

The current state of waste reduction in Hennepin County

The residents of Hennepin County are already doing a great job at reducing waste and building a sustainable future. In 2016, 82 percent of the waste generated in Hennepin County was diverted from landfills and reused, recycled, composted, or burned to create energy. This 82 percent diversion rate can be attributed to several factors.

First, the residents of Hennepin County are simply creating less waste. Waste generation per capita in the county has decreased by 20 percent since 2007, which is a much greater decrease than the national reduction of about four percent since 2007.

Additionally, recycling has increased slowly but steadily over the past few years, by about five percent since 2010. And newer areas of waste reduction such as organics recycling continue to grow. In May 2017, 42 percent of Minneapolis Solid Waste & Recycling customers had signed up for the organics recycling program.

Despite this significant progress in waste reduction, more work needs to be done. The county has the goal to recycle 75 percent of waste by 2030; this means only 25 percent of waste would be burned to create energy or landfilled. To achieve this goal, significant changes in behavior and waste management are still needed.

Waste reduction programs

Hennepin County already has several waste reduction programs in place that residents can take advantage of. These programs help interested residents reduce waste through reuse, recycling, and more.

  • Fix-It Clinics: Monthly item repair clinics that encourage reuse and teach repair skills.
  • Choose to Reuse: A reuse website that helps residents find reuse, repair, donation and rental opportunities. It also provides stories on reuse and lists local reuse events.
  • Green Disposal Guide: A website where you can find the most environmentally friendly disposal options for a variety of household goods.
  • Save the Food: A campaign that teaches you how to conveniently reduce food waste in your own home.
  • Organics recycling: Collect fruits, vegetables, meat, breads, eggshells, non-recyclable and food-soiled paper, and more for composting. This is a great opportunity to reduce your trash as food waste makes up about 20 percent of the average household’s garbage. See if your City or waste hauler provides organics recycling.
  • Master Recycler/Composter: A volunteer program that provides the opportunity to learn about waste topics and become a leader in your community. The next class will be offered in the fall.
  • Zero Waste Challenge: A challenge where households identify low-waste lifestyle changes they would like to make and track and report the amount of recycling and trash generated in their homes. Families can sign up to participate this fall.

 

Information provided by Hennepin County. Find the survey and additional information at www.hennepin.us/solidwasteplanning.