St. Paul recycling decreases after switch to 'single-sort'

St. Paul saw a small recycling decrease last year, even though the city spent $1 million to create a new, simpler recycling program.

Last April, the city rolled out a "single-sort" recycling program. With the switch, residents no longer have to separate their recyclables into two bins — one for paper and another for containers.

The city's recycling contractor also began accepting more types of plastic. To pay for the program overhaul, the city increased annual recycling fees by $11 per household.

But as measured by weight, recycling collections dropped by one percent.

The city has a goal of increasing recycling rates by 35 percent over the next year.

When Minneapolis rolled out its single-sort recycling program two years ago, it saw a 29 percent increase in the amount of trash residents recycled.

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