Public Works

Solid Waste & Recycling


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Frequently Asked Questions about Recycling Collection

What happens to my recycling?

Recycling is collected by City or contractor crews. The City contracts with a company to provide recycling processing and the sale of materials to market.  Revenue of the sale of recyclables are shared by the City and contractor. To learn more about how one-sort recycling is sorted at the MRF (Materials Recovery Facility), watch Recycling 101 with Mr. Cool Can or Eureka Recycling's Story of a Cereal Box.

Can I collect my recyclable materials in brown paper bags?

Yes!  If you want to sort your materials in brown bags that is fine. Simply put all of the brown bags inside your new one-sort cart. Please do not place plastic bags (full or empty) in your blue cart. Plastic bags get tangled in machine gears at the MRF (Material Recovery Facility) requiring the MRF to stop operations to remove the bags. You may collect your recycling in plastic bags, but you must dump the recyclables out of the plastic bag into the cart and place the plastic bag in the garbage or bring it to a second hand store for reuse or a participating grocery store for recycling.  See Plastic Bags in our What To Do List for more information. 

What types of items can be placed in the one-sort recycling cart?

The items collected for recycling are the same as with the multi-sort bins - glass, metal and plastic food, beverage and other containers and paper and cardboard.  You may place all recyclable into the cart together; there is no sorting required. There is a photo on the top of the one-sort cart lid explaining what can go inside. Garbage, plastic bags, and needles and syringes (Sharps) are not allowed in the one-sort cart.

I'm moving, should I take my one-sort recycling cart with me?

No. Just like the garbage cart, these new recycling carts are the property of the City of Minneapolis. Do not take them with you when you move. Each cart is assigned to a specific property using serial numbers.

What if I don't want a big cart?  Is there a smaller one?

Yes, we do have a supply of 64-gallon one-sort recycling carts. Please give the 96-gallon cart a couple weeks before deciding you need a smaller cart. If you do determine a smaller cart will be better for your home, please contact our office for assistance.

What happens if my cart is missing?

If your recycling cart was removed for contamination, call our office in three months and it will be returned to you at no charge. Collection crews will pick up properly prepared recyclables set out in paper bags or cardboard boxes on your recycling day. There will be a $15 fee to have your cart returned before the three month holding period. To have your cart returned, fill out our Add, Remove, Return or Exchange Cart Form and send it to our office.

If your recycling cart is missing, take a look in your alley to see if your recycling bin was moved or placed at another house in error.  If you find your recycling bin at another location, go ahead and take it back.  If you cannot find it, please call the Solid Waste & Recycling at (612) 673-2917 and our staff will assist you in locating your recycling cart, or we will have another one delivered. 

What happens if my cart is damaged?

Solid Waste & Recycling will repair or replace lids and wheels on damaged carts for no extra charge. Contact our office and our staff will schedule the repair. If the repair is not made or a replacement was not delivered within one month, please call again.

Why doesn't my landlord offer recycling?

Contact your building manager for recycling program information. Minneapolis Ordinance 225.780 requires property owners of buildings with two (2) or more units to provide occupants with the opportunity to recycle, adequate recycling containers and recycling education. Contact our office if service is not available at your building.

What about when it snows?

All of our procedures will be the same when it snows. See Snow Shoveling for specific shoveling requirements.

Additional Questions 

If you have any additional questions, please contact our office.

Last updated Apr 11, 2019



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