Mandated recycling for business: New ordinance requires Minneapolis businesses to offer recycling


Most Minneapolis businesses already recycle, but a new ordinance taking effect September 1 will require all businesses in Minneapolis to offer recycling. This expands the same recycling requirement that is already in place for all residential property. For businesses that don’t already offer recycling, resources are available to help them set up a new system.

The ordinance puts in place the requirement that all nonresidential properties in Minneapolis that have garbage service will also have recycling service. “Throwing away” trash is expensive. Recycling takes two expensive problems – managing garbage and generating new material – and turns them into each other’s solutions.

“Soon, wherever you live, work, learn, worship, play or do business in Minneapolis, you will be able to recycle,” said Mayor R.T. Rybak. “This ordinance gives recycling the normal, routine status it deserves. Now it’s up to all of us to do our part to recycle.”

“The new ordinance supports our City goal around a healthy environment and sustainable future,” said Council Member Elizabeth Glidden, chair of the Regulatory, Energy and Environment Committee. “It also helps us move toward our target to increase recycling and composting of discarded waste to 50 percent by 2013.”

“We want everyone to know that recycling is simply the way we deal with waste in Minneapolis,” said Council Member Cam Gordon, vice chair of the City Council’s Regulatory, Energy and Environment Committee and chief author of the ordinance. “The broad-based support for this, from residents and business owners alike, demonstrates that the consensus we have is that we need to recycle more and send less trash to garbage burners and landfills. It is my hope that this will push us to do more to make this a greener, cleaner city.”

To help ensure that every property owner is able to offer recycling and comply with the new ordinance, Minneapolis is working with Hennepin County to provide information and technical assistance to those who need it.

Businesses are required to provide the following

  • Regular recycling collection (at least twice a month) for all materials generated onsite deemed recyclable in Minneapolis, including paper, cardboard, metal cans, plastic bottles, and glass bottles and jars.
  • Recycling containers.
  • Recycling collection and storage areas.
  • Written recycling information and instructions sent to tenants and/or employees annually or posted.
  • A written recycling plan.

Which businesses are affected?

The ordinance requires all commercial and business properties to offer recycling. (Apartment buildings already participate separately under residential laws.)

Property owners can find a simple, step-by-step guide to setting up a new recycling system at Hennepin County also provides technical assistance and education resources at

The complete ordinance 174.435 is online at

Property owners with questions about this new recycling requirement can call the City of Minneapolis at 311 or 612.673.3000.