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Brown bottles made from recycled glass on a conveyor line.

Without businesses that use recyclable material to make products, we can't have recycling. Recycling market development works to expand these end markets to boost the demand for recycled materials. The MPCA's recycling market development staff have expertise in the recycling industry and maintain a network of contacts from businesses, government, and nonprofit organizations. Contact us to learn more.

Global: Recycling market development grant
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Recycling market development grant

The MPCA has approximately $5.3 million available for recycling market development projects that will build lasting capacity to support recycling markets in Minnesota. 

Past recipients

Several companies received MPCA recycling market development grants, approved by the Minnesota Legislature in 2019. With this funding, these businesses have launched projects designed to help increase the value of recovered materials and create jobs across the state.

Bicycle Glass Company (Fridley)

  • Grant: $55,500 (total project: $74,450)
  • Material: Glass

With its Hotspot Expansion Project, the company will be able to use an additional 30 tons of post-consumer glass per year. Bicycle Glass primarily makes pendant lighting, but with this project, it can expand into home décor, tiling, and other lighting products. The company anticipates adding 15 jobs as a result of the project. The grant money will fund modification of furnaces and kilns and provide for adding annealing conveyors to increase capacity and cooling, and allow flexibility to change colors.

Poly Plastics (Owatonna)

  • Grant: $50,000 (total project: $75,000)
  • Material: Film plastic

Poly Plastics will use the grant funds to purchase a plastic film conveyor system with magnetic separation. The equipment will allow the company to remove metal contamination from post-consumer and post-industrial film plastic, making it recyclable. Currently, this material must be thrown away. The project has the potential to recycle 125-500 tons a year of previously unrecyclable plastic film and will create two new jobs.

Crow Wing Recycling (Brainerd)

  • Grant: $95,450 (total project: $127,450)
  • Material: Copper and aluminum

Crow Wing Recycling will use the grant money to purchase equipment to recover more copper and aluminum. In the company's current process, small pieces of the metals are lost. The new equipment will separate and recycle an additional 1.5 tons per day of copper and aluminum, up to 360 tons per year.

Specialized Environmental Technologies, Inc. (Rosemount)

  • Grant: $200,000 (total project: $530,000)
  • Material: Organic

This project is designed to remove non-organic contaminants from organic material before it gets composted. Compost from food organics (as opposed to yard waste) has a lower value because of high contamination levels. The company estimates that the separator equipment funded by the grant will remove 99% of contamination from organic material dropped on their tipping floor.