Waste Reduction & Recycling

Recycling & Solid Waste Program Assessment Underway


Help shape the future of waste management in St. Paul - Share YOUR ideas! The City of Saint Paul and our partners - district councils, Ramsey county, and Eureka Recycling - have long provided a high-quality, innovative, and cost-effective recycling program to residents. For 25 years, our recycling program has minimized costs to residents while expanding recycling opportunities and maximizing environmental benefits. Mayor Chris Coleman and City Council Members are committed to adding materials such as organics and other plastics to our recycling program, as well as to making other changes in the future. However, it is important that we step back, do our due diligence and assess a 25-year-old program. With that in mind, city staff is working with Wilder Research Foundation, City Councilmembers, neighborhood organizations, and community members to evaluate current programs and to make recommendations for improvements. Visit: Recycle it Forward web page to learn more and take an active role in shaping our waste management programs and services for the future. If you have questions or comments, please contact: Kris Hageman, Environmental Coordinator, 651-266-8866 - or Anne Hunt, Environmental Policy Director, 651-266-8520 - See draft project timeline. Updated 6/10/13

What is Saint Paul Doing?

  • Providing recycling services which helped residents and small business recycle over 19,70 tons of glass, cans, plastics and papers in 2012.
  • Benefiting the environment in many ways with recycling activities:
    • Reducing Green House Gas (GHG) Emissions by the equivalent of taking 8,517cars off the road
    • Conserving Energy equivalent to the energy consumption of 3,938 homes/yr
    • Conserving Natural Resources: equivalent to 108,140 barrels of oil, 324 acres of standing forest; 524 tons of iron ore; 293 tons of coal and 25 tons of limestone
  • Continuing to improve and expand recycling opportunities in public spaces including Mears Park, the Como Zoo and Conservatory, regional parks and athletic fields.
  • Assisting all District Councils in coordinating annual spring or fall community clean up events allowing residents to dispose of problem materials, recycle large items, and facilitate reuse of usable household items. Watch this short video to learn more about the community clean up experience.
  • Recycling paper, cans, plastic bottles, glass and cardboard in all City offices
  • Sending management reports electronically rather than using paper, thereby saving at least two reams of paper each month in the Finance Division of Public Works
  • Refurbishing and reusing light poles that have been knocked down in Public Works

Replacing cardboard temporary parking signs that are used for only one special event with reusable signs that are used for multiple special events in Public WorksReusing aluminum sign blanks by sanding and/or re cutting them - sign blanks that are not reusable are recycledReplacing the batteries in parking meters only twice per year and is testing longer-lasting batteries in Public WorksRecycling all steel and concrete from demolition projects in Public WorksRecycling the waste oil, oil filters, air filters, scrap metal, hydraulic fluids and batteries used in operationsUses washable rags to reduce waste in the Public Works repair shopsComposting leaves collected by Public Works during street sweepsPicking up, screening, and reusing all of Public Works' seal coat rock.

  • Converting trash collected from Parks and Recreation Centers into fuel for Xcel Energy power plant and does not go to landfills.
  • Using scrap paper for messages and notes
  • Composting and using tree material to generate heat and electricity.
  • Recycling materials from construction activities in Saint Paul Regional Water Services
  • Reusing asphalt and concrete as construction aggregate and road base
  • Requiring recycling and waste reduction strategies in demolition and new construction projects

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. We also like to support and celebrate when people and businesses in Saint Paul make efforts to reduce their own waste, as the RiverCentre has in their 50-50 in 2 program explained in the video below. What Can I Do?

    • Use Eureka Recycling as a resource for how you can help work toward a waste-free tomorrow