What is zero waste?
Zero waste means setting a new standard for how we as a society view and treat waste. The goal of zero waste programs is to reduce—and eventually eliminate—what we discard in landfills and incinerators.
The City of Minneapolis is widely recognized as a regional and national leader in waste reduction and recycling. We can still do more. Achieving zero waste not only helps us serve as better stewards of our environment, it also can grow our economy and advance our work in environmental justice.
City Recycling and Composting Goal
In June 2015 the Minneapolis City Council established a goal to recycle and compost 50% of its citywide waste by 2020 and 80% by 2030. The resolution also called to achieve zero-percent growth in the City’s total waste stream from levels set in 2010. In 2015 the city of Minneapolis formed the Zero Waste Project Team to develop a plan to meet those goals and set new ones.
Bring your own Bag ordinance
City council members intend to amend the City's Bring your own Bag ordinance to require a fee on all carryout bags in the 2019. Residents were asked to take a short two-minute survey to share their current behaviors and feelings on carryout bags. Results of the survey will be shared with City Council and the public to better inform policy decisions.
History of the Bring your own Bag ordinance:
- 2016 - Bring your own Bag ordinance adopted by City Council (4.1.16). Effective date of June 1, 2017. Ordinance included a ban on single-use plastic bags and a $.05 fee on paper bags.
- 2017 - On May 30, 2017, State passed a law (preemption) banning the City's ability to ban on plastic bags.
- 2017 - Bring your own Bag ordinance brought back to City Council to put a fee on both paper and plastic bags. Ordinance amendments were not passed and staff were directed to receive more input from low-income community members and small businesses and to develop a recommendation for a revenue source for litter cleanup and environmental education.
- 2018 - Bills introduced at the State that would ban (preempt) the City's ability to put a fee on bags. These bills were not passed. Public input began to be received regarding fee on paper and plastic bags.
Please send any additional comments regarding the Bring your own Bag ordinance may be sent to [email protected].
Zero Waste Plan
The Zero Waste Project Team was comprised of staff from the offices of the Mayor, Council, City Coordinator’s; Department of Public Works and the Health Department.
The draft plan was released on September 6, 2017 and the final plan was brought to the City's Transportation & Public Works Council Committee on November 28, 2017 and adopted by the City Council on December 8, 2017.
Zero Waste plan documents:
When the Zero Waste Plan was adopted, Solid Waste & Recycling was directed to coordinate the development of a three-year implementation plan of priority strategies identified in the Zero Waste Plan. Representatives from Regulatory Services, Community Planning and Economic Development, and the Health Department were also directed to participate in the planning process and staff are to return to Council by June 2018 with the 2019-2021 zero-waste implementation plan.
The City continues to accept comments on strategies identified in the Zero Waste Plan. Please send any comments to: [email protected].
Past Zero Waste work
Stakeholder Engagement pre-Zero Waste plan development (September - October 2016)
The City of Minneapolis hosted several series of engagement sessions prior to the development of the plan. Three meetings were held, one for the residential sector, one for the multiunit sector and one for the commercial sector to educate stakeholders on the City's zero waste planning process and goals, and to obtain feedback from stakeholders on barriers and strategies to the City meeting it's zero waste goals. Feedback received from stakeholders was summarized and evaluated in the development of the zero waste plan.
Commercial Waste Collection Evaluation Study (May 2017)
In February 2015, the City Council approved acceptance of a grant from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) to complete an evaluation of the commercial waste system in Minneapolis. The study included an evaluation of existing conditions, a survey to businesses, a review of best practices from peer cities, and identification of the potential environmental benefits of program change. The study researched possible pathways to increase diversion of commercial, industrial, and multifamily waste through alternative commercial collection programs and approaches. The project team held a series of stakeholder engagement meetings for a presentation of the study's findings on March 23, 2017. The findings of this study assisted in the development of the City's zero Waste Plan.
Last updated Aug 12, 2019