The Zero Waste Packaging Ordinance went into effect on Jan. 1, 2017, and requires that all single-use food packaging used by licensed food establishments be recyclable or compostable. This includes packaging used to serve customers on-site or taken to-go. The ordinance applies to restaurants, bakeries, food trucks, grocery store delis and salad bars, gas stations and any other licensed food establishment.
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 products, such as a paper coffee cup, look for the word “compostable” or the BPI logo. Many paper food service items are lined with plastic, so unless there is a marking indicating 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.
Hennepin County keeps a list of haulers who provide collection for organics. Scroll down to "Organics recycling for composting" to view the list of haulers and their 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 ordinance.
Updates mailing list
Emily Barker, solid waste program specialist