Recycling Operations Timeline

1983 - Pilot Program initiated by Environmental Operations Division of Physical Plant (FM).

1985 - Board of Trustees passes Waste Abatement Policy at the urging of the University's Minnesota Public Interest Research Group (MPIRG) student chapter. This policy was instrumental in developing and expanding the recycling program.

1986 - Recycling program receives two $10,000 grants from the Metropolitan Council's Incentive Grant Program to expand existing office paper recycling and institute a yard waste compost system. The success of these grants strengthened the administration's commitment to expanding the recycling program into other materials.

1988 - An additional $10,000 grant was used to expand the collection of Newspaper. Pilot project begun for cardboard collection.

1989 - Recycling at the University was partially funded by Hennepin Country through the Score Tax. Allows for continued expansion of program.

1991-  S.M.A.R.T. (Quad) system implemented. Still in use today, the Quad system utilizes color-coded bins to collect recyclables. This system significantly improved collection rates.

1993  - A warehouse owned by the University is converted into the Como Recycling Facility. New equipment is purchased to facilitate processing.

1997 - Until this point, all material had been shipped in roll-off containers. Balers are installed, which increase revenues and help reduce labor cost.

1998 - Newspaper Plus program implemented, increases recovery rate by 250-300 tons per year.

2007 - Organics recover begun after two unsuccessful attempts in 1989 and 1995. In association with Aramark, the food service provider for the University, food waste is recovered from dining facilities and incorporated into the large animal bedding composting facility on the St. Paul campus.

2009 - Compost collection on campus exceeds capacity at the large animal bedding composting facility in St. Paul. The U partners with Hennepin County to deliver organics to Brooklyn Park Transfer Station. Organics eventually gets composted at SET.

2010 - The College of Veterinary Medicine adopted central collection and organics collection within all of their buildings creating a significant increase in recycling.

2015 - Carlson Dining Hall waste was sorted and analyzed. 

2015 - Panda Express on campus converted their to-go boxes to compostable material.  

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Contact Information

Administrative Offices
Como Recycling Facility
3009 Como Ave S.E.
Minneapolis, MN 55414

Recycling Hotline: 612-625-8084


Bale of bottles