Waste Reduction

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While many of the City of St. Louis Park's programs focus on recycling and organics, we know that the best way to reduce your impact on our planet is by preventing and reducing waste in the first place. Reuse is a great way to keep existing items out of the trash, while also reducing the demand for new products. The city regularly hosts swap events to support reuse efforts.

Upcoming events

WASTED! The Story of Food Waste Documentary Showing

Wednesday, November 13, 2019
Lenox Community Center Little Theater, 6715 Minnetonka Blvd

Join the City of St. Louis Park for a free screening of the 2017 documentary WASTED! The Story of Food Waste. There will be two showings, with seats available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Run time is 90 minutes, followed by a short discussion.

  • Showing 1: 3:30 - 5:30 p.m.
  • Showing 2: 6 - 8 p.m.

One-third of the food grown annually for human consumption is never eaten – for one reason or another, it ends up in the garbage or compost. That’s $218 billion – or 1.3 billion tons – of food annually. In America, families toss about 25 percent of the food and beverages they buy at a cost of $1,365 to $2,275 annually. Yet at the same time, 800 million people around the globe are food insecure. It’s a problem – but one with no shortage of solutions.

The Rockefeller Foundation supported Zero Point Zero Films and Anthony Bourdain to expose the magnitude of this problem globally, while showing changes we can all make to eat more and waste less. WASTED! The Story of Food Waste stars chef-heroes like Anthony Bourdain, Dan Barber, Mario Batali, Massimo Bottura and Danny Bowien, and shows how any action – no matter how small – can lead to new ways of using more food, feeding more people, curbing environmental damage, stimulating technology and business, and ultimately improving the health and well-being of all citizens worldwide.

Questions? Contact Emily Barker at recycling@stlouispark.org or 952.924.2187.

Media and Entertainment Swap

Wednesday, Jan. 22, 5:30-7 p.m.   
The Rec Center Banquet Room, 3700 Monterey Drive

Start the new year off right by “resolving to reuse” in 2020! Clean out the bookshelf, dust off the CD cases, say goodbye to unwanted movies, set aside the games you no longer play, and join the City of St. Louis Park at our first ever “media and entertainment” swap. When you arrive, you will place your items on marked tables and then browse items brought by other attendees. Everything is free! This event is a great way to find fun “new” items to keep you entertained all winter and to reduce waste. Open to everyone (you do not have to be from St. Louis Park to participate).

Items accepted
All items must be in usable condition.

  • Books: children’s, adult, fiction, nonfiction, cookbooks, magazines, etc.
    • Please NO damaged items that are unreadable (e.g. missing pages) or outdated textbooks (older than 10 years).
  • Games: board games, puzzles, video games, handheld electronic games
    • Please NO puzzles with missing pieces or video game consoles.
  • Movies: VHS, DVD, Blu-ray
    • Please NO home recorded items, VCRs or DVD players.
  • Music: CDs, vinyl records, cassettes, battery-operated CD players 
    • Please NO home recorded items (e.g. mixed tapes/CDs) or stereos. 

Items may not be dropped off early. Items remaining at the end of the event will be donated or recycled.

Questions? Contact Emily Barker at recycling@stlouispark.org or 952.924.2187.

Gardener's Swap

Tuesday, May 12, 5:30-7 p.m.   
Recreation Outdoor Center (ROC), 3700 Monterey Drive

The city invites you to attend our third annual Gardener’s Swap! This is a great opportunity to clear out gardening tools you no longer use and take home new treasures. Invite your friends and neighbors; this event is free and open to all! No items may be sold at this event; everything must be given and taken freely.

What to bring

  • Garden and yard tools (shovels, trowels, rakes, pitchforks, hoses, etc.)
  • Pots and planters (wood, terracotta, decorative plastic; please NO black plastic pots or multi-packs)
  • Gardening and plant books
  • Garden art and décor
  • Bird houses and feeders
  • Plants (perennials and annuals; please label)
  • Seeds

What not to bring 

  • Chemicals of any kind (fertilizers, pesticides, etc.)
  • Broken items

Choose to Reuse

Hennepin County hosts a Choose to Reuse website to help residents find places to buy, sell, donate, rent or repair items. The mission is to keep usable items out of the trash and to encourage reuse before buying new. Questions? Call 612.348.3777.

Building materials donations

Have extra materials from your latest building or remodeling project? Maybe you have leftover tile or hardware you don’t need but can’t return to the store? Or, maybe you removed old cabinets, but they are still in good condition. Don’t throw them out!

Better Futures Minnesota and Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity ReStore accept and sell usable building materials.

Opt out of phone books

If you don't use phone books anymore, you can opt out of phone book delivery by going to the Yellow Pages opt-out site.

If you haven’t opted out and have unwanted phone books, place them in your recycling cart for collection.