Hennepin County Business to Business Mentorship Pilot Project

Businesses in the Twin Cities Metro Area face an array of available resources when considering changes to their waste management systems. Local governments, private consultants, waste haulers and nonprofits provide technical assistance, educational expertise and financial incentives to businesses interested in improving their waste and recycling efforts. While these resources provide an opportunity to learn best management practices for waste and recycling initiatives, businesses are often cautious of interacting with government entities and are frequently wary of sales pitches and money-saving offers from consultants and other sales groups.

We know there are many businesses that are making great progress with their waste reduction and recycling efforts. We also know businesses share best practices and information with one another all the time. We set out to explore whether or not businesses may be willing to share their best practices with other businesses who find themselves in the earlier stages of recycling and waste reduction efforts in order to help us collectively reduce waste and increase recycling.


Hennepin County has a variety of resources available to help businesses improve recycling efforts, but there is currently no formal channel for businesses to connect with each other on waste and recycling issues. Through this project, we are exploring the idea that peer-to-peer connections will provide businesses with a safe space to learn about recycling opportunities and resources, leading to quicker changes and lasting results.

This business-to-business mentorship idea is being tested as a new supporting component to Hennepin County’s existing resources. Through testing, we will determine if these peer-to-peer interactions increase the utilization of Hennepin County’s existing resources and lead us closer to the County’s goal of recycling 75 percent of waste by 2030.