photo courtesy of Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

Summer 2019 Newsletter: Food Waste Recycling

Hennepin County has maintained the same recycling laws for over 30 years, until last November when the County Board of Commissioners approved updates to their ordinance. These big changes will provide big opportunities, many of which focus on “organics recycling,” known to most of us as composting. Organics make up 30% of our trash and provide the biggest opportunity to reduce the amount of waste we send to landfills.

Under the new ordinance starting on January 1, 2020, Hennepin County businesses that generate large quantities of food waste—such as restaurants, hotels, and grocers—must implement food waste recycling. Conservation Minnesota saw an opportunity to help put the ordinance into action. Our West Metro Regional Manager John Anderson—along with a group of Eden Prairie residents called the Eden Prairie Sustainability Group, Hennepin County, and the City of Eden Prairie—organized an informational workshop for local businesses.

On Tuesday, April 9th, Eden Prairie Mayor Ron Case welcomed stakeholders to the City Hall to learn about the new ordinance, hear best practices, ask questions, and discuss resources available to make the transition as seamless as possible. Two businesses already implementing organics collection, including the senior general manager of the Eden Prairie Mall, shared their experience and insight. The event also gave community businesses a chance to network with each other and local policy makers.

“It’s an exciting change and a real way to reduce the amount of waste we landfill,” said Conservation Minnesota’s John Anderson. “And local businesses are eager to learn what it means for them.” Attendees gave positive evaluations and appreciated learning about the requirements and their implementation. In fact, it was so successful John is exploring holding similar events in other Hennepin County communities.

To learn more about how you can reduce your waste visit Hennepin County's zero-waste guide.