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 such as 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. 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 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. Recyclable items include: water or soda bottles; milk jugs; butter, yogurt, sour cream, cottage cheese tubs; ice cream pails; empty pill bottles (remove patient information before placing in cart); 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 pots and must be clean of dirt); etc.
DO NOT RECYCLE: Plastic bags and film, styrofoamTM or other expanded polystyrene foam, 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.
- Expanded polystyrene foam products, more commonly known as StyrofoamTM, should be placed in the garbage. Examples include: StyrofoamTM cups, plates, bowls, take out containers, egg cartons, mushroom containers, meat trays, foam that comes around electronics and furniture, etc. These items may be labeled as #6 plastic, however, NO expanded polystyrene products should be placed in your blue recycling cart.
- 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 do not make it through 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, call Solid Waste & Recycling at (612) 673-2917.
Last updated May 2, 2018