County to hold household hazardous waste-collection events

Updated: June 28, 2017 - 3:44 pm

Hennepin County will continue to hold household hazardous waste-collection events throughout the summer.

The county’s next event is 9 a.m.–4 p.m. July 28–29 at Jenny Lind Elementary School in North Minneapolis. It will hold another event 9 a.m.­­–4 p.m. Aug. 11–12 at Anthony Middle School in the Kenny neighborhood.

The county will only accept materials from households at these events. See a complete list of accepted materials here. The county will not accept electronics at these events.

Hennepin County takes in household hazardous waste, electronics, recycling and organics year round at its Brooklyn Park and Bloomington drop-off facilities. Their locations and hours and a list of accepted materials can be found here. Residents can also use the county’s green disposal guide to learn how to dispose of items.

Louisa Tallman, senior environmentalist in the county’s Environment and Energy Department, said Hennepin County collected nearly 6.2 million pounds of problem materials, such as household hazardous waste and electronics, from 106,613 individuals in 2016. The county doesn’t break that information down on a city-by-city basis, she said.

Participation has remained flat over the past few years, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, Tallman said. The county has continued to expand support for its partners, working with Minneapolis, for example, to help the city create a recycling guide.

It also educates residents through tours and presentations, educational kits and curricula, green-cleaning recipe guides and workshop training programs.

“Our philosophy is about helping our residents find the best way to dispose of what they have,” Tallman wrote in an email.

“It’s really a much larger conversation,” she added in an interview. “… Consumers are the ones that start the ball rolling.”

The amount of household hazardous waste the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency takes in has nearly doubled over the last five years, according to Jennifer Volkman, the statewide HHW program coordinator.

“It just gets to be a really large expense for government to take care of all this waste,” she said.

She said people should spend more time thinking about what they buy, stressing that people should buy what they need, store their products properly and try to give what they’re not using to someone else.

Residents can access county education resources at hennepin.us/environmentaleducation.