‘Free range’ recycling: Pilot launched in two neighborhoods


A pilot program in two Minneapolis neighborhoods will evaluate a different way to collect recyclables from residential customers. During the pilot, about 470 households in the Willard-Hay neighborhood and about 560 households in the East Calhoun neighborhood will not need to sort their recycling. They will simply separate the bottles, cans and papers from their trash and place them in a new recycling cart.

The “one-sort” pilot kicked off on August 15 in Willard-Hay and August 23 in East Calhoun. The program will measure the amount of recyclables that residents set out, the marketability of the recyclables collected, and the costs of this type of recycling program compared with the current multi-sort recycling program. The results of the pilot program will be presented to the City Council for consideration in future recycling operations.

This pilot is an effort to identify the most suitable recycling program for Minneapolis residents. Another recycling pilot is taking place in the Seward neighborhood to assess “two-sort” recycling, where paper products are separated from all other recyclables. The City of Minneapolis supports these pilots as a way to examine options to produce less waste and provide efficient service.

Hennepin County has provided technical assistance and the education materials; MRI, a consortium of small haulers under contract with the City, is conducting the pilot. The City of Minneapolis is providing support with the new recycling carts, data collection and administration of the pilot.