City encourages recycling habits

by Daily Editorial Board

Minneapolis may be recycling, but it could be doing better. However, improvements are on the way, as the City Council recently passed a resolution defining more tangible goals for composting and recycling in Minneapolis. 
Some of the city’s goals are ambitious, like developing a plan by spring 2016 for achieving zero waste. Shorter-term goals include attempting to bump up recycling and compost waste to 50 percent by 2020 and 80 percent a decade later. 
While feasible, without the cooperation and support of tenants and homeowners in the surrounding community, the city likely will not reach its goals. Critics have pointed out a number of potential issues, such as a lack of recycling options provided by landlords, shared containers that are too small and the difficulty of changing residents’ existing mindsets.
Minneapolis is beginning to address these concerns by fining errant landlords, and it will offer a new organics recycling option starting in spring 2016. This will be used for food refuse and pizza boxes, among other typically discarded trash items — however, initial access to the service will be limited to single-family homes, duplexes and triplexes, excluding apartment buildings. 
We feel that these measures are, at least, a step in the right direction, and we urge Minneapolis residents to adopt the necessary changes to recycle and compost the best they can. We recognize that the proposed solutions are not perfect, but increased options, programs and goals will hopefully continue to change the city’s wasteful habits.