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Hennepin County: recycling rate hits 40 percent

Overall, county residents generate 20 percent less waste per capita than six years earlier.

Hennepin County officials say the amount of waste diverted from landfills rose to 80 percent in 2013, up from 78 percent the year before.

Recycling by homeowners and businesses hit 40 percent, up from 39 percent a year earlier. Other diverted waste was reused, composted, or burned to create energy.

The county will have to improve that 1-percent-per-year recycling gain, since its new waste report notes 2015’s goal is 45 percent.

Says the report:

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In 2013, 1.364 million tons of solid waste was generated, which is nearly the same as 2012. The amount of waste generated per capita has decreased by 20 percent since 2007, after having increased annually prior to 2007.

Recycling increased, the report says, because all cities had converted to single-stream recycling by the end of 2013. That was the year the county’s biggest city, Minneapolis, made the switch.

The county has two strategies to improve in 2014:

  • Continue to work with under-performing cities to improve program promotions and recycling performance.
  • Work with the City of Minneapolis to target promotions to lower-performing areas of the city.