About the Recycling Education Committee (REC)

The Recycling Education Committee (REC) is a group of stakeholders that meets quarterly with the goal of increasing recycling and reducing recycling contamination by building consensus around recycling education and communication. Starting in June 2016, representatives from haulers, cities, counties, the state and other regional organizations and associations began discussions around how to improve recycling efficiency throughout the state of Minnesota. Recognizing the discord of recycling messages, the REC strives to improve recycling communication and outreach through coordinated and consistent messaging.

The Recycling Education Committee is a new and growing collaborative group with hopes to expand Minnesota’s recycling industry and work towards meeting ambitious state recycling goals. REC is committed to leveraging existing resources, using a sustainable materials management approach, and using an environmental justice framework to guide their work.

The purpose of the group is to seek understanding from key stakeholders on recyclable and compostable materials, build consensus on what is universally acceptable/not acceptable, and agree on consistent messaging to communicate in an efficient and coordinated fashion throughout the state.

In the group’s quarterly meetings, REC members collaborated to craft a “Always/Never in the Curbside Bin” list and identified other priority recycling messages to help guide future campaigns/outreach. Those messaging priorities are:

  • No Bags and Un-Bag Your Recyclables
  • Back To Basics (No Wishcycling; Here’s How the System Works Info-Graphic)
  • Stop Hazards (lithium batteries, etc.)
  • Universal Cart Tags and Trainings
  • Shredded Paper

The REC is currently working with The Recycling Partnership to create state-wide messaging for Minnesota, with funding through an EPA Environmental Education Grant. REC is also working on a Recycling Outreach Guide that Recycling Professionals and Educators across Minnesota may use to inform their recycling outreach tools.

More information about this committee can be found: REC White Paper

For questions or if you are interested in joining REC, please contact Kayla Walsh, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, kayla.walsh@state.mn.us.