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Need to Know

Hennepin County, Minn., Finds Success with Zero Waste Challenge

The county is working toward its goal of achieving a 75 percent recycling rate by 2030.

Hennepin County, Minn., launched a Zero Waste Challenge last September in an effort to find solutions for reducing waste and increasing recycling. And earlier this week, the county launched its second Zero Waste Challenge, which will track the waste reduction and recycling efforts of 50 more households.

The first challenge proved successful, with households diverting 62 percent of their waste on average. In addition, there has been an increased interest from residents and businesses in both recycling and waste reduction.

The county hopes that its second Zero Waste Challenge will push it closer to its goal of achieving a 75 percent recycling rate by 2030.

MinnPost has more details:

Just one year ago, Sheri Selton was indiscriminate with waste at her home in Crystal. From soda cans to food scraps, everything went into the trash. She had always wanted to recycle, but she found it confusing, and nobody ever taught her how.

Now, Selton diverts about 60 percent of her waste, sorting it into a solid recycling bin, a composting pile in her backyard, and two buckets for indoor worm composting that her sons, Prince Jr. and Joseph, tend to in their living room.

Selton learned her new habits by participating in Hennepin County’s Zero Waste Challenge. Starting in September 2016, county staff worked with 35 households throughout the area to help them increase the portion of waste they recycled and composted while decreasing the amount of trash they generated in the first place. In doing so, the county is getting a better handle on the challenges individual residents face and what policies and information would help households produce less waste.

Read the full story here.

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