City Recycling Resources

Recycling Grant Program

The County offers a municipal recycling grant program to assist cities and townships in Washington County with residential recycling program expenses. Grant funding levels are dependent on recycling program activities. A base amount is provided to cover administrative and basic recycling program expenses and is dependent on the number of households in a community. A second level is targeted to specific grant projects that are related to achieving broad and general recycling goals. A third level, additional project funding, is tied to targeted projects such as multifamily recycling and away from home recycling. Cities and Townships are encouraged to apply for the maximum level of funding.

Recycling Best Practices Continuum

A recycling best practices continuum has been developed to assist communities in generating ideas for project level grant funding. It is the intent of these projects to increase education and awareness amongst city residents regarding residential recycling. These efforts will help guide a community towards increased recycling rates. View the continuum here.

Recycling Coordinator Meetings

The Department of Public Health and Environment hosts quarterly meetings for city and township recycling coordinators. The meetings provide the platform for community to community discussions, providing valuable learning opportunities and enhancing the potential for collaboration.

Meeting topics include the County’s recycling grant program, resources available for use and distribution at community events, and discussions on innovative ways to reinvigorate residential recycling and waste reduction programs. The department publishes electronic agendas and meetings materials for the recycling coordinators:
View Most Recent | View All

Educational Resources for Recycling Coordinators


Below are categories of individual image files that can be used for educational print materials like brochures, flyers or recycling guides, or for use on community websites. To save a photo from our photo gallery, right click on the photo and select "Save picture as".

County images:

Single Sort Curbside Recycling Images
6X9 Single Sort Recycling Sticker
Fattened Cardboard Newspaper and Magazines
Cans, Glass and Plastic
Food Packaging Phonebooks
Cartons 1
Glass, Bottles and Jars Plastic Berry Containers and to-go packaging
Cartons 2
Mail, Office and School papers Plastics #1-2-5 grouping

Compostable Materials Images
Coffee grounds and Tea bag Compostable food packaging Food scraps Non-recycling paper
Compostable bag and packaging Compostable paper Fruit scraps Veggie Scraps

Washington County Environmental Center Facility Images

2014 Environmental Center Ad Free Product Room 2 Spring WCEC facility photo 1 WCEC drop-off lane
Free Product Room 1 Free Product Room 3 Spring WCEC facility photo 2 WCEC map

SWMCB Toolkits & Images
Single sort groupings Household Hazardous Waste
Electronics Product Stewardship Resources

Standard List of Residential Curbside Recyclables

Through the recycling performance scorecard development process, the County realized the need to research and develop a standard list of items to be collected in all recycling programs in the county. It was our intent to provide a list to communities to be included in ordinances, hauler licenses and/or recycling contracts as a curbside residential recycling requirement. With the assistance of a private consultant, the following list was created based on the following specifications:
  • Adequate supply of material
  • Haulers can collect the material and accepts material
  • There is demand by processers, manufacturers, exporters, etc
  • Long-term market stability
Click here to view the standard list of residential curbside recyclables.

Learning Kits

The department has a variety of educational resources available for use at the community level. These include a Recycled Products toolkit, a Compost toolkit, and a Trash Trunk that help educators teach community groups about composting, recycling and trash. Visit our Education Resources page for more information on how to request a learning kit.

Regional Resources

The metro county Solid Waste Management Coordinating Board’s (SWMCB) website has additional images, articles, fact sheets, and ad and print templates that can be used in educational materials. Visit and click on “Toolkits”.

The Recycling Association of Minnesota has an online catalogue of free recycling signs and labels that you can download and print yourself or have professionally printed at a site they suggest.

Additional Helpful Links:

Washington County Environmental Center
Rethink Recycling
Recycling Association of Minnesota-RAM
Recycle More Minnesota
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency-MPCA

Recycling Performance Scorecard
One of the new strategies to reach the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s more aggressive waste objectives contained in their Metropolitan Solid Waste Management Policy Plan 2010-2030 is to develop and implement the use of a “performance scorecard” to evaluate, set standards, and measure progress of municipalities toward achieving recycling goals. The Recycling Performance Scorecard Work Group, consisting of staff, elected officials, and environmental commission members from cities and townships within the county, has been assembled to assist in the development. The Recycling Performance Scorecard Work Group will meet 5 – 7 times in 2013, beginning in February.

Presentation of Draft Scorecard
Cannot achieve new recycling goals under status quo
20% of Residential Recyclables thrown in the garbage
2012 Community Recycling Pounds per Household
Pros and Cons by Recycling & Garbage Program Type
Enforcement Options
Range of Options for Scorecard Components
Major conclusions from Work Group meetings

DRAFT: Washington County Municipal Recycling Performance Scorecard 7/17/2013
Required actions for all municipalities
Required actions for large municipalities
Extra credit actions for all municipalities
Extra credit actions for large municipalities
Open communities program type
County actions to be provided

Solid Waste and Recycling Hauler Meeting
Meeting Materials