In January, a law went into effect requiring commercial property owners in the Twin Cities region to have recycling and garbage programs in place. Any buildings that collect more than four cubic yards of waste a week is subject to the rule.
Politics Minnesota checked in to see how the program is working.
While there may be complications concerning compliance in multi-tenant retail strip malls or smaller structures, the reality is “the law says most buildings have to have recycling,” said Emily Barker, organics and recycling specialist with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA).
Part of the reason for the mandate, she said, is the state’s goal of recycling 75 percent of waste by 2030. It sits at 48 percent now. “That’s a goal we cannot achieve without the involvement of the business sectors — we need them to be partners,” she said.
It’s not just a good thing for the region and the environment, Barker noted. The more businesses recycle, the less tax their haulers pay. In Ramsey County haulers pay a 53 percent county tax and a 17.5 percent state tax on the cost of garbage collection.