Waste Reduction & Recycling


In the City of Saint Paul, like our partners at Eureka Recycling, we believe that waste is preventable, not inevitable. We strive to improve City operations to minimize waste and encourage citizens, workers, and visitors to do the same.

What is Saint Paul Doing?

  • Paper, cans, plastic bottles, glass and cardboard are recycled by all City offices.
  • The Finance Division of Public Works sends management reports electronically rather than using paper, thereby saving at least two reams of paper each month.
  • Two divisions of the Public Works Department and the Finance Division are using 100% post-consumer content recycled paper.
  • The Department of Planning and Economic Development and the Office of License Inspections and Environmental Protection use exclusively 30% recycled paper.
  • Public Works refurbishes and reuses light poles that have been knocked down.
  • Public Works is replacing cardboard temporary parking signs that are used for only one special event with reusable signs that are used for multiple special events.
  • Sign materials and ink that Public Works uses last 15-18 years, much longer than materials used in the past.
  • Public Works reuses aluminum sign blanks by sanding and/or re cutting them - sign blanks that are not reusable are recycled.
  • Public Works replaces the batteries in parking meters only twice per year and is testing longer-lasting batteries.
  • Public Works uses recycled concrete as the base material for bridge approach pavement.
  • Public Works recycles all steel and concrete from demolition projects.
  • Public Works recycles the waste oil, oil filters, air filters, scrap metal, hydraulic fluids and batteries it uses.
  • The Public Works repair shop uses washable rags to reduce waste.
  • Parks and Recreation recycles a variety of materials used in operations, including motor oil and paint thinner.
  • Leaves collected by Public Works during street sweeps are composted.
  • Public Works picks up, screens, and reuses all its seal coat rock.
  • All asphalt collected as waste is recycled.
  • Trash collected from Parks and Recreation Centers is converted into fuel for Xcel Energy power plant and does not go to landfills.
  • Parks staff use scrap paper for messages and notes.
  • All City tree material is composted and used to generate heat and electricity.
  • Saint Paul Regional Water Services requires its janitorial service to recycle and recycles its spent fluorescent lighting fixtures.
  • Saint Paul Regional Water Services recycles materials from construction activities.
  • Saint Paul Regional Water Services reuses asphalt and concrete as construction aggregate.

What Can I Do?

  • Check out Ramsey County's websiteto see how you can responsibly dispose of brush, yard waste, and compost.
  • Check out Twin Cities Free Market to connect with people who have free reusable items and with people who want them. Twin Cities Free Market has resulted in over 2,000 tons of reusable goods being diverted from landfills and incinerators.
  • Use Eureka Recycling as a resource for how you can help work toward a waste-free tomorrow
  • Contact your District Councilto find out how you can get involved in your annual neighborhood clean-up!