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Solid Waste & Recycling


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Acceptable Recycling

How to prepare your recycling

  • Empty and rinse out any containers.Recycling - How to Prepare image
  • Flatten all boxes.
  • Place recycling loose into your cart. Empty recycling out of paper bags (paper bag may be placed in the recycling cart) and plastic bags (plastic bags must be placed in the trash) to allow for effective sorting at the recycling facility.
  • Set your cart out by 6 a.m. on your collection day.
  • Place extra recycling that does not fit in your cart in a cardboard box or paper bag next to your cart. Extra cardboard should be flattened, bundled and tied with string or twine. Bundles must be less than 3' x 3' and less than 40 pounds. Call to request another recycling cart at no charge.

Changes to materials accepted for recycling

Due to changes in the international, national and local recycling markets, it's more important than ever to only put the proper items in recycling carts. Only the items identified on the recycling guide (below) should be placed in recycling carts.

Recent changes to what is accepted include those that have weak markets and can be difficult to sort at the recycling facility.Recyclables no longer accepted

  • No #6 plastics (polystyrene: rigid or foam)
    • Fortunately due to the City's Green to Go ordinance, #6 plastics are not allowed to be used for food-service applications (still make sure to check though). Other locations you'll commonly find #6 plastics are in foam (referred to as StyrofoamTM) or plastic cups or plates purchased from a store and plastic holders for things like pre-packaged cookies, pre-packaged crackers, and possibly pre-packaged clamshells from bakery items (so long as they're not packaged at the store, they are exempt from Green to Go requirements).
  • No black plastics (any number)
    • Black plastics are typically a #1, #5 or #6 plastic. Plastics are sorted by type (number) at the recycling facility by a laser. The color black absorbs the laser light and does not allow it to identify the type of plastic an item is. Black plastics would have to be pulled by hand and a person would have to look at each piece to identify if it is a #1, #5 or #6. These logistics, including the weak markets, make recycling black plastic not economically feasible.

Avoid purchasing these items. Encourage businesses using them to switch to recyclable or compostable alternatives. If they cannot be reused, #6 and black plastic items should be placed in the garbage. For more information on what to do with items not included on the recycling guide below, search our What to Do List or Hennepin County's Green Disposal Guide.

Materials accepted for recycling

English, Español, Hmoob, Somaaliga

 PaperResidential Recycling - Mail

  • Mail, office and school papers
  • Magazines, newspaper and inserts
  • Phone books
  • Shredded paper in closed paper bags
  • Books

BoxesResidential Recycling - Boxboard

  • Cardboard
  • Cereal, cracker, shoe and gift boxes
  • Refrigerated food and beverage boxes
  • Toothpaste, medication and other toiletry boxes


Plastics #1, #2, #5 - keep caps on

Bottles and jugs:Residential Recycling - Plastic

  • Water, soda and juice boxes
  • Milk and juice jugs
  • Ketchup and salad dressing bottles
  • Dishwashing and laundry soap bottles and jugs
  • Shampoo, soap and lotion bottles

Cups and containers:

  • Yogurt, pudding and fruit cups
  • Margarine, cottage cheese and other tubs and lids
  • Produce, deli and takeout containersResidential Recycling - Glass




  • Food and beverage bottles and jars


MetalResidential Recycling - Cans

  • Food and beverage cans
  • Aluminum foil and trays
  • Decorative tins and pie tins


CartonsResidential Recycling - Cartons

  • Milk cartons
  • Juice boxes
  • Soup, broth and wine cartons


Cardboard cansCardboard Can - body

  • Chips, nuts and other snacks
  • Frozen juices and refrigerated dough
  • Powdered juice mixes
  • Powdered cleaners



Do not place the following items in your recycling cart:

  • Batteries
  • Plastic bags (no recycling in bags or loose plastic bags, bubble wrap or film)
  • Cords, electronics or appliances
  • Paper or foam cups, plates clamshells, ice cream cartons
  • Straws, napkins or paper towels
  • Durable goods (storage bins, toys, sports gear, furniture, building materials, hoses, garden edging, brooms, shovels, ceramics, glassware, mirrors, picture frames, other housewares or décor)
  • Scrap metal (pots and pans, pipes, poles, toasters, chairs, scooters)
  • Clothes hangers (metal, plastic or wood)
  • Paint, bulbs or containers that held hazardous waste
  • Textiles (clothes, shoes, linens, blankets or curtains)
  • Syringes
  • # 6 plastic (rigid or foam)
  • Black plastic
  • Garbage

For more detailed information on paper and container recycling, visit the following pages:

Visit our What to Do List to determine the best way to dispose of everyday things. Click an item for instructions on how to dispose, recycle, or drop off your items. 

Batteries no longer accepted

SWR - no batteriesEffective November 2019, Solid Waste & Recycling no longer picks up batteries placed on top of recycling carts. Due to the potential for fires, rechargeable batteries are prohibited from all City of Minneapolis garbage and recycling carts. Alkaline batteries (single use AA, AAA, etc.) may be placed in your garbage cart.

Bring rechargeable batteries to Hennepin County's drop-off facilities in Bloomington or Brooklyn Park or to a retail drop-off location that accepts batteries. Find retail locations at For devices that have difficult to remove batteries, such as vaping devices, cellphones and digital watches, bring the whole device to a drop-off location.

To prevent fire, individually tape each lithium and other rechargeable battery in a clear plastic bag or place clear tape on the positive (+) and negative (-) terminals. Learn more about getting rid of batteries at

If you have any questions, please contact our office.


Last updated Dec 31, 2020



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