Zero Waste Packaging Ordinance

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The Zero Waste Packaging Ordinance went into effect on Jan. 1, 2017. Throughout the fall, city staff were busy meeting with food establishments to assist them in making changes to packaging that can be recycled or composted. Many businesses have made the switch, though you will notice some places that are still in transition. The city is continuing to work with these businesses to ensure dining out in St. Louis Park will be a zero waste experience in the near future!

Each food establishment has made packaging choices based on what works best for their business, so be sure to ask if the packaging you get can be recycled or composted. The goal of the ordinance is to reduce the amount of trash created by food and beverage packaging.

Not sure if something is recyclable or compostable?

Sometimes the packaging itself will hold the key. On plastic, look for the “Resin ID Code” (sometimes mistaken for a recycling number). Plastics #1 (PET), #2 (HDPE), and #5 (PP) can go in your recycling. Anything #6 is polystyrene (PS) and should be thrown in the trash. On paper, such as a paper coffee cup, look for the word “compostable” or the BPI logo.

Unfortunately many paper food service items are lined with plastic, so without a marking that it is compostable or other indication it is not lined, these items should go in the trash. If you’re not sure, look for signage or ask restaurant staff. If you take something home, residents can always contact public works at 952.924.2562 with questions as well.

Business resources

Looking for a hauler to provide organics recycling?

Hennepin County keeps a list of haulers who provide organics recycling. Select organics composting haulers to view the list and hauler contact information.


During a packaging fair in 2016, a Zero Waste Packaging Ordinance overview presentation was given to help food establishments understand the requirements of the Zero Waste Packaging Ordinance. Local businesses and business associations may contact Public Works to request a presentation for their next meeting.

Updates mailing list

Sign up for Zero Waste Packaging updates.


Businesses with questions about the new ordinance are encouraged to contact Emily Barker, solid waste program specialist, at 952.924.2187 or