Rethink Recycling

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Have you ever considered that having LESS would actually help you to have MORE? In the Twin Cities metropolitan area, we produce 6 pounds of waste per person each day. That is enough waste to fill Target Field more than 25 times every year! Think about how much stuff that is! When we reduce the amount of stuff we buy, have, and eventually throw away, we end up with more time, more space, and more money.

That means donating, borrowing and sharing, selling, and being smarter about what we buy. Do what you can to get LESS and have more! Learn more at!

Fix & Maintain

Do you have old, broken or worn out shoes, purses, clothing, furniture, and sporting equipment just sitting in your home or garage? Rather than throwing these things away, consider repairing, maintaining or repurposing them.

  • Have your favorite pair of shoes re-soled or have the heels fixed.
  • Sew or patch your clothes, or make something new from them.
  • Other ideas – fix furniture, paint or repurpose. Get zippers on purses fixed or have a repair shop fix up any holes or damaged spots – it’s cheaper than buying new. Keep sporting equipment usable – e.g. get skis tuned-up annually, sharpen blades on ice skates, etc.

Make the most use of the items you have so that you use less, buy less, and save more!

Smart Shopping

Smart shopping can save you money, time and space through thinking ahead and planning your purchases.

  • Research your purchases using Consumer Reports or online reviews to ensure you get just what you need and won’t regret your purchase or have to buy a replacement later. 
  • Focus on purchasing high-quality items that will last to minimize trashing things and buying more in the future.
  • When purchasing items such as clothing, invest in quality, basic pieces that can be mixed-and-matched for different looks.

Smarter shopping leads to less waste; simple as that!

Buying from the Bulk Bins

Buying in bulk is a great way to reduce packaging waste, save money, and try new foods in small quantities. Grocery stores offer different types of bulk foods, from coffee beans to pinto beans, dried fruit to cereal, and nuts to candy and spices. If you haven’t visited the bulk area of the grocery store lately, you might be surprised at the many food choices offered.

People who are new to buying bulk are often intimidated by the bulk section of the grocery store, so here is everything first-timers need to know: 

  • Bring your own container—preferably the one you’ll use for storage at home. If you forget, stores supply plastic bags too. 
  • Use the scale to find your container's "tare weight" (the weight of your container when it’s empty, which you’ll subtract from the total weight on the scale after it’s filled). At some stores you’ll do this, at others the cashier will. Ask for help your first time!
  • Only buy as much as you can eat before it goes bad. Some stores even allow you to sample an item before you fill up.
  • Write the item's code on your container or on a label provided by the store, and bring your purchases to the cashier. It's that easy!

Remember to make sure you only buy what will be used before spoiling and what you have storage space for. The cost and waste savings go away when the leftover food ends up in the trash. Buying from the bulk bins will help you to enjoy less packaging waste, less food waste, and more money in your pocket!


Rethink Recycling is your “go-to” guide for recycling in the Twin Cities. Visit us at: