Why is the cost of recycling going up?

Recycling commodity (aluminum, paper, glass, etc.) values have been fluctuating in recent years because of various factors, supply and demand fluctuations, stricter recycling policies regarding contamination of recyclables. Processing costs increase to when having to reduce the amount of contamination in the recycling.  The graph below provided by Hennepin County shows average recycling commodity values per ton from 2012 to the end of 2018. This means there is less value for the materials collected but it does not mean the materials are not getting recycled. 


What is China's National Sword and how has it impacted Minnesota's recycling programs?

China's National Sword is an initiative by China to improve the recycling materials they purchase from the U.S.   Here is an article from Minnesota's Pollution Control Agency regarding this issue: China recycling shift an opportunity for Minnesota

Why focus on waste reduction?

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has set aggressive objectives for waste reduction, recycling, and organics recovery in its master plan for 2016-2036.  These are important parts of the solid waste system to improve public health, reduce our reliance on landfills, conserve energy, and reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

Why is weekly recycling collection being considered?

Weekly recycling collection is being considered because residents have expressed interest in more recycling capacity and frustration with every other week pickup. In addition, a recent Hennepin County Waste Sort revealed that 14.6% of trash is made of recyclable material.  Weekly collection is an option to make recycling easier and more convenient for residents and reduce the amount of recyclables in the trash. The graph below from the Hennepin County Waste Sort shows the amount of recyclables that are captured through recycling or disposed in the trash.