MN Responding to Global Recycling Challenges

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China’s recent shift in policy regarding recyclable material has many state and local governments reexamining how they manage a growing influx of plastics, glass, and other recyclables. But Minnesota’s public and private sectors have made strategic investments in recycling over the past 30-plus years. The state has an opportunity to be a leader, as we are seeking to increase the number of businesses that use recycled materials. Minnesotans wondering about shifting world markets need to stay the course — keep recycling, but recycle right. Learn more by visiting the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s web site and searching for “recycle more.” (

While Minnesotans do better than most parts of the country at proper recycling, unrecyclable materials in recycling containers is still a huge problem. Recycled materials that are “contaminated’ with trash and the like create inefficiencies and reduce profitability for recycling facilities.

How can you help?

Avoid “wish-cycling” — Only include materials your hauler will accept in your bin. Don’t just throw it in and assume a processing facility will sort it out!

Don’t put plastic bags, garden hoses, toys, syringes, or diapers in your recycling container.

Do not use your recycling bin as a garbage overflow.

At Augsburg, make sure all plastics are CLEAN and EMPTY (no liquids or food) before they go into the BLUE BINS. A full list of all recyclable materials can be found on the Environmental Stewardship website: