Recycling tips

Not EVERYTHING Goes in Recycling

A few items are often found in recycling carts, both at homes and in parks, that should not be included in curbside recycling. The following items go in the garbage:

  • diapers
  • food soiled paper/pizza boxes/paper plates (these can go in organics)
  • plastic silverware
  • straws
  • candy wrappers and other similar packaging
  • Foam blocks and packing peanuts (check UPS stores to recycle peanuts)
  • Anything long and stringy (garden hoses, Christmas lights, VHS tapes, etc.) 
  • Plastic toys
  • Shredded paper (a drop off location is being worked on for paper shredded at home; please make sure you only shred items that actually contain confidential information and use one of the city shred events when possible)

Top items to recycle consistently

In the Twin Cities metro, everyone gets curbside recycling, but some things are not always accepted for recycling by your hauler. Remember to recycle these items that all haulers take:

  • containers_paper_8600_webAluminum and metal food and beverage cans;
  • Glass food and beverage bottles and jars;
  • Paper (including magazines, newspapers, cardboard and cereal boxes);
  • Plastic bottles and jugs (including milk and juice jugs, water and ketchup bottles and leave the caps on)
  • Cartons (including milk cartons and juice boxes and caps can stay on)

Just make sure they are empty and dry. Sorting methods will make mistakes if liquid or food is left in the container, not to mention the smell and contamination at the recycling center.

Remember to collect recyclables throughout your house; not just in the kitchen! Collect recyclables from the bathroom, laundry room and office as well. You might even be able to save money by downsizing your trash bin.

Cooking Oil Recycling

Carver County Environmental Services will collect used cooking oil for no charge. Please do not dispose of cooking oil in home drains or in storm sewers.

Plastic Bag Recycling

Take plastic bags to one of the many stores that have plastic bag drop offs, including Cub Foods, Target, Staples, Lunds-Byerlys, and Whole Foods. Many dry cleaners will take their bags. Just ask! Carver County Environmental Services is no longer accepting plastic bags.

Plastics Recycling

Confused about which plastics you can now recycle? It is confusing. Generally, most food containers (if you read the recycling numbers they are #1, #2 and #5)  are easily recycled. Although #3, #4, #6 and #7 have been collected in the past, they are not easily recycled, so please limit your purchase of them when possible, and just throw these items in the trash if you cannot reuse them in some way. Black plastics are also difficult to recycle, so you can just throw these in the trash if you must get them. 

Lids on!
One item that has changed about the preparation of recyclables is that you may now leave the lids on the containers and bottles--in fact, you are encouraged to do so!

What Can I Recycle?

What can be recycled in your single sort recycling cart?

These items can't be recycled. Put them in your trash cart.

Magazines, Newspaper
Office and School Paper (colored paper too)
Mixed Mail and Phone Books
Boxboard (cereal and cake boxes)
Brown Paper Bags
Aluminum Cans
Tin and Steel Cans
Glass Jars and Bottles
Plastic Milk Jugs (lids on!)
Plastic containers #1, 2, 5, lids on!
Juice boxes--no straws
Cartons (ie, 1/2 gallon milk, soup cartons, etc.)

No Food Waste**, Garbage or Yard Waste
No Food Tainted Items**
No Pizza Boxes**
No cardboard Egg Cartons**
No Ice Cream Cartons
No Aluminum Foil
No Plastic Silverware
No Aerosol Cans
No Juice Bags/Pouches
No Plastic Bags*
No Shredded paper (use one of our free shred events)

*Many plastic bags may be recycled at drop off locations.

**May be composted in commercial compost collection programs offered curbside in Shorewood. Contact the city for more information.

Electronics Recycling

When you purchase new electronics, don't throw the old in your garbage. Most electronics contain lead, mercury, or other hazardous materials and should not be thrown in the trash. First, ask the retail store where you purchase your electronics if they will take the old electronics for free. If not, Hennepin County offers drop off facilities in Bloomington and Brooklyn Park. There might be fees involved for some items, so check their website for pricing. Find many drop off locations for electronics and other items on the EPA web site. Get more information and drop off options on our Household Hazardous Waste page. If you can't find where you should take a particular item, please call city hall, 952.960.7900 for assistance.