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Zero Waste Packaging

Zero Waste Packaging Ordinance

The Zero Waste Packaging ordinance went into effect on January 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. This is only possible when we put recyclable items in the recycling and compostable items in the organics recycling.
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.
Businesses and residents with questions about the new ordinance are encouraged to visit

2017 Zero Waste Packaging flyer
The ordinance language can be found here.
Packaging lists and exemptions approved for 2017 are found below and here.
Administrative rules developed by the Public Works Division can be found here.

Looking for compliant packaging options? The City of St. Louis Park has created a list of wholesalers, distributors, and retailers who sell packaging that is in compliance with the ordinance. The City does not endorse any specific business, but provides this list solely as a resource for businesses. If you have questions about products available, please contact suppliers directly.

Looking for a hauler to provide organics recycling? Hennepin County keeps a list of haulers who provide organics recycling throughout the county, or in certain areas of the county. Select "Organics Composting Haulers" to view the list and hauler contact information.

Businesses with questions about the new ordinance are encouraged to contact Emily Barker, solid waste program specialist, at 952.924.2187 or
Packaging Fair - May 17, 2016
Beth El Synagogue - St. Louis Park
During the recent Packaging Fair, the following presentations** were given to help food establishments understand the requirements of the Zero Waste Packaging Ordinance, learn about resources available from Hennepin County, and gain insight on local composting and recycling industry perspectives. Packaging manufacturers and distributors also showcased items they sell which are in compliance with the ordinance.
**Local businesses and business associations may contact Public Works to request a presentation for their next meeting.
Ordinance History
  1. Study Session Discussion – Zero Waste Packaging Experts/Stakeholder Panel – July 27, 2015
  2. Study Session Discussion – Zero Waste Packaging Check-in – August 10, 2015
  3. Public information process to inform stakeholders – August through September 2015
  4. Listening Session – Receive public comment – October 12, 2015 
  5. Study Session Discussion – Proposed policy recommendations – November 2, 2015
  6. Study Session Report - Updated policy - November 23, 2015
  7. City Council Meeting - Public Hearing and 1st Public Reading of Ordinance - December 7, 2015
  8. City Council Meeting - 2nd Public Reading of Ordinance - December 21, 2015
As part of the decision making process, a panel of industry experts, local and regional solid waste experts, and business trade associations provided input to City Council during an experts panel held July 27, 2015. View the Zero Waste Packaging Panel Discussion video here.
City Council received public comment during a public listening session on October 12, 2015. View the Zero Waste Packaging Listening Session video here.

What should residents know?
Residents are encouraged to recycle food and beverage packaging whenever possible. Some businesses already provide to-go containers that are accepted in recycling or organics recycling programs. Refer to the city’s Recycling, Organics Recycling and Garbage Guide or the city’s website for recycling information. Certified-compostable containers are accepted in the Organics Recycling Program which is available to all St. Louis Park residents that have the city’s garbage and recycling service. To sign-up for organics recycling or find more information visit

Emily Barker, solid waste program specialist
952.924.2187 or

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More Links

Municipal Service Center
7305 Oxford Street
St. Louis Park, MN 55426
Phone: 952.924.2562 Email: