Minneapolis’ Hennepin County increased its recycling and composting rate to 43 percent in 2012, with a 3-percent improvement in curbside recycling programs compared with 2011.

The Minnesota county said in a news release the curbside recycling improvement came after it had declined for many years. The county added new materials for collection – plastic containers and paper cartons – as well as reduced sorting and provided larger carts. All county cities will have single-stream recycling by the end of the year.

The county also assisted with 10 percent of the multifamily housing units in the county to start or improve their recycling programs. In addition, about 70 percent of the public schools have organics recycling programs.

The county also is generally focused on expanding organics recycling and improving commercial recycling this year.

Last year Hennepin County set new recycling and composting goals of 48 percent by 2015 and 65 percent by 2030.

Photo courtesy of Charles Abbott