New Recycling Program in Minneapolis is a Hit

Updated: 03/06/2013 11:33 PM By: Todd Wilson

Paul Wichser is halfway through shoveling his driveway. This self-proclaimed environmentalist lives in the Windom Park Neighborhood in Northeast Minneapolis. He says the day he got his blue One-Sort recycling cart it was a relief.

"It was so much easier than having all my different bags up in my apartment. All that space dedicated to that sorting area and being able to walk out the back door and dump a load," Wichser said.

One-Sort is the city of Minneapolis' new recycling collection program. Instead of sorting recyclables by category, all recyclables will go into one bin. The program puts the burden of sorting on the recycling facility and not on the resident.

The city rolled out the program last fall. They bought over a hundred thousand blue containers at a cost of $7 million. So far the program has exceeded their expectations.

"A look at last year and the tonnage that was collected in the multi sort showed an increase in the new one sort program of approximately 60%," Herberholz said.

David Herberholz is the director for the city's Solid Waste and Recycling Department. He says, the roll out of the program was route specific not neighborhood specific. Herberholz says he's not sure the program will ever pay for itself.

"We do pay a fee to initially get the material sorted but then we recoup 80% of the revenue from the sale of the material," Herberholz said.

Wischer says, one sort is a great idea. He says, it is a smart way to encourage recycling.