Recycle Smart Minnesota

For further information, contact:                                                       
Roy Wallace, The Wallace Group, 651-452-9800,

Tim Wilkin, Recycle Smart Minnesota, (612) 554-7273



State is among national leaders in recycling, largely due to growing curbside single-sort pickup of recyclables which encourages participation by doing away with the need to separate items


Minnesota is doing a lot of things right with its recycling efforts, according to the newly formed coalition, Recycle Smart Minnesota, which congratulates the state on its achievements.

Minnesota has a recycling rate that ranks near the top in the nation, and residents can be proud of what they’ve accomplished. There is also room for improvement.

Minnesota is the leader in the region for recycling rates and can be expected to climb even higher as curbside single-sort collection expands in the state, said the group, a broad-based coalition of retailers, food and beverage businesses, farm organizations, grocers, restaurants and distributors.

“Single-sort collection, where all of the recyclable materials can be put in one large receptacle on wheels for curbside collection, makes it easier for residents to recycle,” said Tim Wilkin, Recycle Smart Minnesota spokesman. These systems are very popular with residents and research, including work in Minneapolis, shows that recycling rates go up significantly when single-sort is introduced. As new communities, such as St. Paul, implement these best practices, recycling rates will improve even more.

Additional progress could be made by building on Minnesota’s successes, said Recycle Smart Minnesota. For example, more cities could choose to adopt single-sort recycling, promotion of recycling could be improved and there should be broader access to recycling in public places.
“All of this progress in recycling has been accomplished without an onerous bottle deposit system, which places added costs and lots of inconvenience on the backs of consumers,” said Wilkin. “It should also be recognized that Minnesota is a leader and that a move to a deposit refund system would have an adverse impact on existing recycling systems, which consumers have already paid to build.”

Recycle Smart Minnesota suggests that we build on our solid base, and not use a deposit-refund system to place the burdens on consumers for sorting, cleaning, storing and then transporting containers to redemption centers. “This would be a step backwards in terms of cost-effectiveness, convenience and energy consumption,” Wilkin said.

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