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Recycle it Forward Results
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Declining recycling numbers, wavering participation and changing demographics are just a few of the reasons why the City partnered with Wilder Research Foundation in 2012-13 to conduct a comprehensive community assessment about residential solid waste and recycling programs and services. The project was called "Recycle it Forward."
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A variety of assessment tools were used to gather input regarding waste management programs and services (including recycling, composting, bulky wastes, litter and garbage issues) from the community including surveys, focus groups, Open Saint Paul (an online comment tool), key stakeholder interviews and community meetings.

After a year-long process listening to the community and working with Wilder Research on the comprehensive recycling assessment, we heard that Saint Paul residents wanted:
  • The ability to recycle more plastics
  • Recycling to be more convenient
  • More opportunities for composting organic materials
  • More options for handling bulky waste items

We also learned that there is a need for more education and outreach related to basic recycling opportunities.

Key Findings and Reports

Changes in 2014

Based off the Recycle it Forward research, the City made the following changes to the recycling program in 2014:

Single Sort Recycling

Residents can now put all recyclable materials into one bin – separating is no longer required.

More Plastics Accepted
In addition to plastic bottles, yogurt, butter and produce containers, transparent deli and “to go” containers can also be recycled with Saint Paul’s residential recycling program. Plastics marked as #1, #2, #4, #5 and #7 are all accepted. Click here to learn more.

Citywide Community Cleanup Events
The City is coordinating six “Citywide Community Cleanup Events.” These events give residents an opportunity to dispose of items such as furniture and construction materials and recycle items like mattresses, appliances, electronics and scrap metal. Plus, residents may donate usable household items for reuse. Resident may use any (or all) of the Citywide Cleanup Events. Click here for details.

Organics Drop off Locations Available
Source separated organics are now accepted at local Ramsey County Yard Waste Site locations during regular site hours. In addition, the Macalester Groveland Community Council also hosts a drop off location on Grand Avenue. To register and find more information, visit

2015 and Beyond

Wheeled, Lidded Carts
It was the City’s goal to roll out wheeled, lidded carts to all Saint Paul households in the spring of 2015. However, the plan has been temporarily delayed due to an unexpected increase in costs proposed by the City's recycling vendor, Eureka Recycling. 

City staff is developing a Request for Proposal (RFP) for recycling services, as Eureka Recycling’s contract ends Dec. 31, 2016. A new program will be in place in January of 2017.

The City remains committed to providing the best, most convenient service possible – including the collection of wheeled, lidded carts from alleyways. The roll out of the carts will be included in the RFP and is expected to be part of the program beginning January 2017.

Organics Collection
The City also remains committed to adding organics collection to the recycling program, as well as to making other changes in the future. Organics collection will be included in the RFP and is expected to be part of the program beginning January 2017.

Questions? Please contact:

Kris Hageman, Environmental Coordinator, 651-266-8866 -

Anne Hunt, Environmental Policy Director, 651-266-8520 -
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