Recycling Program at Inver Hills

College received more than $47,000 in Dakota County sustainability grant funds

Inver Hills Community College is launching a more robust recycling program in partnership with Dakota County. The college received Dakota County School Waste Prevention and Recycling grants totaling more than $47,000. Dakota County is mandating that recycling bins and trash cans must be located close to each other. Recycling is Earth-friendly, responsible and required by law for businesses.

Inver Hills used the sustainability funds to purchase recycling bins from CleanRiver Recycling Solutions. The dual bins, one for recycling and one for trash, are conveniently situated around the college’s Inver Grove Heights campus in shared hallways and office spaces.

The recycling bins are single stream, meaning all recyclables go in the same container. Signs on the bins provide guidance regarding what to recycle and what to trash. Future phases of the program will include compost recycling.


CleanRiver recycling bins are made from recycled milk jugs. The college’s bin purchase diverted more than 5,200 milk jugs from landfills.

Why recycle?

Minnesota State is encouraging more sustainable practices: Inver Hills can lead the way.

Environmental reasons


Creates new markets and new industries in Minnesota


Recycling food and organics

  • Food doesn’t burn well
  • Organics have a questionable landfill life
  • University of Arizona researchers uncovered still-recognizable, 25-year old hot dogs, corn cobs and grapes in a landfill
  • Decomposition requires three components generally unavailable in a landfill:
    • Sunlight
    • Moisture
    • Oxygen
  • Compost is a valuable soil addition
    Source: Minnesota Chamber of Commerce: Waste Wise

It’s the law

  • All businesses in Dakota County are required to recycle
  • Recycling and waste will be weighed
  • Fines will be issued if the college doesn’t meet certain recycling benchmarks
    Source: Dakota County

It’s good for the planet

  • The commercial sector generates more than half the total waste in Dakota County
  • Nearly two-thirds of that waste is recyclable
  • Recycling helps conserve natural resources and reduces environmental pollution
    Source: Dakota County

Learn more about the recycling program at Inver Hills by contacting:

Erica Kantola
Facilities & Operations Coordinator
Engineering Operations
Inver Hills Community College

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