Environment

Reducing Food Waste

Americans waste about 25 percent of all food and drinks we buy, adding up to more than $1,600 each year! Help reduce your food waste and keep the money in your pocket with some simple tips.

Shop Smart

Smart Storage

Smart Saving: Love the Leftovers

Recipe Resource

Coal-Tar-Based Driveway Sealants Banned

Coal-tar-based driveway sealants are banned from use within the city. Coal-tar based sealants contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, (PAH) which are known carcinogens. Coal-tar-based sealants are used on driveways and parking lots. As the sealer ages (in 2 to 4 years), it can flake off, and storm water runoff can carry the flakes into storm water ponds. Because of the toxic nature and demonstrated damage to aquatic life, sediment with high levels of PAH in storm water ponds must be disposed of in a hazardous materials landfill. City taxpayers are responsible for the cost of cleanup of any public storm water ponds in the city.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) first raised concerns about PAH. Coal-tar-based sealants are no longer sold by most hardware or home improvement stores, but they are often marketed by door-to-door driveway coating contractors. Since seal coating contractors do not have to be licensed; residents should ask any contractor about their product. The MPCA has a list of contractors that have pledged that they will not apply sealcoats containing coal tar in Minnesota.

Get more information on coal-tar based sealants and a list of contractors who have pledged to use coal-tar free sealants.

Get Radon Test Kits Through Hennepin County

The Environmental Protection Agency says elevated radon levels are likely to be found in one of every three Hennepin County homes - both new and old. The first step toward “clearing the air” in your home is finding out if elevated levels of radon are present and, if so, your current level of exposure. You may purchase short-term test kits for a discount through Hennepin County Public Health Protection. Find more information or order a kit.

Current Rebates

The following rebates are currently available to qualifying residents:
Cooling Rebates, Xcel energy, Up to $450 cash back
Heating System Rebates, CenterPoint Energy, Up to $500 cash back
Water Heater Rebates, CenterPoint Energy, Up to $200 cash back
Low Flow Showerheads and faucet aerators, Centerpoint Energy
Gas Fireplace Rebates, CenterPoint Energy, $75 cash back