Hennepin County touted on Monday a 1 percent gain in recycling and composting in 2012 from the previous year, primarily by reversing a downward trend in curbside recycling.
Curbside recycling rose by 3 percent from 2011. The county also expanded the materials that can be recycled, adding plastic containers and paper cartons. The county decreased the amount of sorting consumers must do, making it less cumbersome to try to group like items.
By the end of this year, all Hennepin County cities are expected to have single-sort recycling.
The county adopted a Solid Waste Management Master Plan last year that aims for a 48 percent composting and recycling goal by 2025 and 65 percent by 2030.
County Board Chairman Mike Opat said the goal is to hit 50 percent and build from there. The county’s outreach plan is at www.recyclehalf.com. This year, the county is focusing on increasing organics recycling and improving collections from businesses.
The county’s news release said “significant progress” had been made in the first year of the plan, including helping multifamily housing increase collections and working with schools. Organics recycling is in place at 70 percent of schools.
Recycling options have been expanded at events and in parks and the county launched Fix-it Clinics where residents bring in broken or non-functioning items and volunteers help them make repairs, thus saving residents money and keeping items out of the trash. Almost 75 percent of the items brought in were repaired, reducing waste by one ton.