New business recycling requirements now in place

New business recycling requirements are now in place for most businesses and for sports facilities and stadiums.  Businesses and sports facilities are now required to recycle at least three types of materials.

Examples of those materials include:RGlassMetalPlasticPaper

  • Paper: Office paper, cardboard, newspaper etc.
  • Glass: Container glass
  • Plastic: #1 to 7
  • Metal: Cans, scrap, etc
  • Organics: Food waste, non-recyclable paper
  • Other recyclables that may require specialized collection,
    such as textiles
  • Single sort recycling meets the requirement

What types of businesses will be affected? Businesses that fall under the new law are primarily service industry businesses, a few examples include:

  • Retail
  • Information
  • Education and Health
  • Leisure and Hospitality
  • Restaurants
  • Real Estate
  • Nonprofits
  • Multifamily Housing

Who is responsible for compliance with the new legislation? 
Statute states that the owner of a sports facility or a commercial building shall ensure for the collection of recycling.  If owner does not provide recycling hauling services for tenants already it may be prudent to include requirements for that tenant to contract for recycling in their lease.

How can my business get help?  There are many resources for business to increase their recycling.  RAM has several programs to help businesses recycle more and the seven metro counties are beefing up efforts to do business outreach and education.  Grants may also be available to businesses to buy recycling bins and more from the counties and cities.  RAM also has free recycling bin signs that are free to download and use.

Why is business recycling important?  The most recent waste characterization study done for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency shows that Minnesotans are still throwing out material that can be recycled and composted.  According to the study, 25% of our waste is paper, 18% plastics, and 31% is organics.  The state has a goal to recycle 75% of the overall waste by 2030.  Having businesses recycle more is the key to reaching that goal.  Reaching the state recycling goal of 75% is important because recycling provides economic boosts for our local economy, it takes less energy to create new products from recycled materials compared to virgin materials and it greatly reduces greenhouse gas emissions when compared to landfilling those same materials.