Recycling Services

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Saint Paul's Recycling Program


Eureka Recycling is proud to be Saint Paul’s recycling partner. For over 10 years, we have worked with the City to provide recycling and waste-reduction programs for Saint Paul residents.

Single-sort Recycling:

Beginning April 7, 2014, Saint Paul switched to a single-stream recycling program, which allows you to mix all of your recyclable materials together. Until then, Eureka Recycling maintained a two-stream system because of concerns about lowered material quality and higher costs to the community in single-stream systems. While quality is a concern when moving to a single-sort system where all the materials get mixed together, Eureka Recycling has been at the forefront of addressing some of the biggest concerns about single sort recycling, especially the problems with the recycling of glass bottles.

The Eureka Zero-Waste Lab™, whose purpose is to address the obstacles to reaching zero waste, is committed to keeping the City of Saint Paul’s recycling program among the best in the country, and to improving single-stream recycling so that each bottle, can, and piece of paper can be put to its highest environmental use. Through our zero-waste approach to recycling, and with your help, we will continue to recycle everything we can, and communicate with you and the City about the benefits and challenges that we experience with this new system.

For more information about changes to your recycling program, click here if you live in a house, and click here if you live in an apartment building.

Single-Sort Recycling Helps Bring Composting

In addition to being able to add more plastics in a single-sort recycling program, this transition also moves Saint Paul one step closer to being able to collect both recyclables and compostables in separate compartments on the same truck. Last year’s Wilder Foundation report, commissioned by the City of Saint Paul, states that 74% of Saint Paul residents want curbside collection of compostables. Over 31% of Minnesota’s waste is food waste and non-recyclable paper that ends up in landfills and incinerators, where it generates emissions that are toxic and contribute significantly to climate change. The City of Saint Paul plans to add curbside composting sometime in 2016, according to the City’s website.

Recycling More Plastics

Manufacturers that make new products out of recycled plastics, called end markets, have been changing and expanding in recent years. We have recently been able to verify several North American end markets that will make new products from plastic. This means we can now really recycle many more food and beverage containers!

Please pay close attention to sorting plastics before placing them in your bins—not all plastics can be recycled. As a general rule, most food and beverage containers are recyclable (and some containers from your bathroom and laundry room, too). However, any plastic marked with a #3 or #6 (look on the bottom) are not recyclable because no market exists for this packaging.

Working Together to Keep Saint Paul’s Program Strong

Moving to single-stream allows more plastics to be collected and recycled, but any #3 or #6 plastics still will not be accepted. Unfortunately, there is not a market for this packaging. Putting these plastics or any other trash in recycling carts only increases the cost of recycling and reduces revenues that would go back to your community. Eureka hopes to empower residents to put pressure on packaging producers to switch to other materials that are better for the environment.

Saint Paul residents have come together through their recycling program to create a great legacy for future generations. By continuing to pay close attention to what is put in our recycling, we are protecting the environment and keeping our water and air cleaner—and our community is healthier. 

New Residents

Are you new to Saint Paul? Welcome! Please call our Zero-Waste Hotline or email us to get started recycling and to learn more about the waste-reduction programs available to you as a Saint Paul resident.

Eureka Recycling's Zero-Waste Hotline

Do you have questions about your recycling program? Want to know more about how to recycle and reduce waste in other ways? We want to hear from you.

612-NO-WASTE (669-2783)

2013 Assessment of Saint Paul’s Recycling Program

The City of Saint Paul worked with Wilder Research in 2013 to conduct an assessment of their recycling program and to create recommendations for improvements to continue Saint Paul's legacy of strong waste-reduction and recycling programs.

Some key findings from the report include:
•    96% of residents participate in the recycling program.
•    93% of residents rated their curbside recycling service as excellent (62%) or good (31%).
•    74% of residents said they would like a composting collection program.

For more results, download the full Wilder Research report.

As a result of this assessment, the City of Saint Paul decided to make some changes to the current recycling program, including a transition to single-sort recycling in 2014, a transition from recycling bins to recycling carts in 2015, and the addition of a curbside composting collection program in 2016. 


After months of working with the City to create a plan that made these changes in the most efficient and cost effective way possible, we were greatly disappointed to hear at the Mayor’s budget address that the plan to move to recycling carts in alleys was NOT included in the budget, and that in fact the city is not planning to make any improvements to the recycling program until 2017. 
Eureka Recycling sent out this letter to our supporters letting them know.
In response to resident questions, the City has released information with inaccurate numbers regarding our proposal to transition to alley collection that sadly mischaracterizes the problem, which we have done our best to correct and clarify

What’s Now?
While all this conflicting information certainly can be confusing, the gist of it is this: Eureka Recycling is not against the City or their budget process – we are for Zero Waste in Saint Paul. We know times are tight, and are encouraging the City to look to Ramsey County to support these improvements by using a portion of the 16 million dollars they collect annually from county residents (over half of which live in Saint Paul_ as part of a “solid waste tax” – money that is meant to support waste reduction efforts. 
Waiting until 2017 to move on this plan means two more years without recycling carts. Why are carts important? With a 16% increase in the volume of plastics you are recycling, we probably don’t have to tell you, carts greatly increase capacity and keep all the additional plastics from blowing around or getting thrown out because there is no more room. Every year we wait to move to carts, we don’t get the gains in recycling – which means it gets tossed out and we continue to create the same amount of CO2 as burning over 800,000 gallons of gas. So waiting for two years means an impact equivalent to burning 1,600,000 gallons of gas over the next two years, which we could avoid if we stick to the plan!  Recycling in carts in alleys also sets up the City to be able to add collection of composting, which has an even greater environmental impact…which translates into a healthier and more livable community. 

Take Action to Move Zero Waste Forward
1. Call your City Council member and tell them you want Saint Paul to continue to move forward on the Zero Waste plan they committed to.
2. Call your County Commissioner and ask them to support these initiatives in Saint Paul by paying for the carts.
3. Call us at Eureka Recycling if you have any questions!   612-NO-WASTE (669-2783)



Saint Paul

The City of Saint Paul, through its partnership with Eureka Recycling, provides recycling services to all Saint Paul residents. Saint Paul's curbside recycling program is sponsored by Eureka Recycling, the city of Saint Paul, the State of Minnesota SCORE funds through Ramsey County, and your neighborhood community council.

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