All aluminum, tin, steel, cartons, glass, and plastic food, beverage, and other containers should be rinsed and placed in the one-sort recycling cart. Labels and lids may be left on containers. See below for additional information on each material type.
RECYCLE: Cans, bottles, foil (95% food free), pie tins (95% food free), lids to containers that are 3 inches in diameter or larger, etc.
DO NOT RECYCLE: Scrap metal (pipes, poles, pots, pans, siding gutters, chairs, fencing, hangers, toys), electronics (TVs, computers, speakers, fans), pressurized cylinders (propane, helium, carbon dioxide), products that once contained hazardous materials (paints, paint thinner, automotive fluids, or aerosol cans). Bottle caps are too small to make it to a magnet and will end up as trash and should be placed in the garbage. Food-soiled aluminum trays, foil, and tins and the foil seal on yogurt containers should also be placed in the garbage.
RECYCLE: Milk cartons, juice boxes, soup, broth and wine cartons, etc. Rinse and throw lids away (these are sorted as paper not as plastic). Please remove plastic bags from inside wine box and place the plastic bag in the garbage.
DO NOT RECYCLE: Foil juice pouches, plastic lined coffee cups, paper ice cream tubs, and paper or expanded polystyrene foam (StyrofoamTM) egg cartons.
RECYCLE: Pasta sauce, pickle, salsa, and mason jars; soda, water, beer, wine, salad dressing, vegetable and/or olive oil bottles, etc.
DO NOT RECYCLE: Glass that does not contain a product when purchased that may contain strengthening additives or chemicals. If you cannot donate these items, place them in the garbage.
- Whole or broken drinking glasses, plates, bowls, etc.
- Glass vases or decorative glass items
- PyrexTM containers
- Window glass
- Ceramics or pottery
RECYCLE: All food, beverage and other plastics (except # 6 plastics, black plastic, StyrofoamTM and compostable plastics). Rinse and leave caps and lids on the containers. Pumps from hand soaps and other products should be placed in the garbage - these are a combination of multiple materials and likely different types of plastic. Recyclable items include: water or soda bottles; milk jugs; butter, yogurt, sour cream, cottage cheese tubs; ice cream pails; empty pill bottles; salad dressing, condiment, shampoo, body wash, lotion, laundry detergent, vegetable or olive oil bottles; clamshell fruit, vegetable, deli and take-out containers; kitty litter pails; and plastic garden pots (less than 8" in diameter, no black or #6 pots and must be clean of dirt); etc.
DO NOT RECYCLE: Plastic bags and film, #6 plastics, styrofoamTM , plastic silverware, compostable plastics, holiday string lights, window blinds, garden hoses, and plastic containers that once held hazardous material such as: motor oil, antifreeze, transmission fluid, etc.
- Plastic bags and other plastic films get caught in the machinery at the Material Recovery Facility (MRF) where recyclables go to be sorted. Plastic bags can be recycled at many local grocery stores. Contact your local grocery store or visit It's in the Bag to find a plastic bag and film recycling location near you.
- # 6 plastics have weak and limited markets for recycling; they should be placed in the garbage. Examples include: rigid and expanded polystyrene (StyrofoamTM) cups, plates, bowls, take out containers, egg cartons, mushroom containers, meat trays, foam that comes around electronics and furniture, hard plastic packaging around electronics or in cookie trays, etc.
- Black plastics. Black plastics don't get sorted properly at recycling facilities. Optical sorters are used to identify and sort different types of plastics, but they cannot properly read black plastic for what it is. In addition, there are weak markets for recycling black plastics.
- Large plastic items such as laundry baskets, storage tubs, kids toys, landscape edging or lattice, plastic lawn furniture, etc. These items are too big to be properly sorted at the recycling facility that receives Minneapolis' recycling. Donate usable items or look for drop-off options for large plastic items.
- Compostable plastics. Plastics labeled certified compostable with the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) logo, Cedar Grove Composting logo or with #7 PLA (polylactic-acid) should not be placed in the recycling. These plastics are not compatible to be recycled with other plastics. Plastics labeled with the BPI or Cedar Grove logo may be placed in an organics recycling cart for composting.
- Plastic packaging peanuts. Contact your local package shipment company or moving company to see if they'll accept the peanuts for reuse.
- Plastic silverware. These are not able to be sorted properly at the recycling facility and end up as garbage.
- Holiday string lights. Hennepin County's Drop-off Facilities accept holiday lights year round. During the holiday season there are many other outlets to drop-off holiday lights for recycling through the Recycle Your Holidays program.
- Plastic window blinds.
- Garden hoses.
- Blister packs from medications.
- Containers that contained hazardous materials, if empty, can be placed in the garbage. If fluids remain, bring the container to one of Hennepin County's HHW & Recycling Drop-Off Facilities.
RECYCLE: Cardboard cans typically have a steel bottom, a cardboard wall, and either a plastic or metal lid.
Examples of cardboard cans include:
- Chips, nuts and other snacks
- Frozen juices
- Powdered baby formula
- Powdered cleaners
- Powdered drink mixes
- Refrigerated dough
DO NOT RECYCLE: Automotive grease or wax containers.
If you have questions regarding the recyclability of items not listed on the What To Do List or call Solid Waste & Recycling at 612-673-2917.
Last updated Dec 27, 2018