Food, Beverage & Other Container Recycling
All aluminum, tin, steel, cartons, glass, and plastic (labeled #1 - #7) 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 (with no food residue), pie tins (with no food residue), lids to containers that are 3 inches in diameter or larger, etc. Lids to glass jars under 3 inches in diameter will not make it to a magnet to be properly sorted. Lids smaller than 3 inches in diameter have a better chance of making it to the magnet if they are left on the glass container.
DO NOT RECYCLE: 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
a residual and should be placed in the garbage. Food-soiled aluminum trays, foil, and tins should also
be placed in the garbage.
RECYCLE: Milk cartons, juice boxes, soup, broth and wine cartons, etc. Rinse and leave lids on the containers. Please remove plastic bags from inside wine cartons 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; beer, wine, salad dressing, vegeteable and/or olive oil bottles, etc. Metal lids to glass jars under 3 inches in diameter will not make it to a magnet to be properly sorted. Metal lids smaller than 3 inches in diameter have a better chance of making it to the magnet if they are left on the glass container.
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 labeled #1 - #7. Rinse and leave screw-on lids on the containers. Snap-on lids (sour cream, cottage cheese, etc.) must be labeled #1 - #7 to be placed in the recycling cart. 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's information before placing in cart); salad dressing, condiment, shampoo, body wash, lotion, laundry detergent, vegetable or olive oil bottles; clear packaging from toys, electronics and tools (pull paper out for recycling); clamshell fruit, vegetable, deli and take-out containers; disposable cups; plastic microwaveable food trays; kitty litter pails; and small garden pots (up to 8 inches in diameter); etc.
DO NOT RECYCLE: Plastic bags, styrofoamTM or other expanded polystyrene foam (labeled #6 - PS), plastics that are not labeled #1 - #7, compostable plastics, 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 to see if they accept plastic bags for recycling.
- 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 one-sort cart.
- Plastics not labeled with a #1 - #7 resin code. The resin code allows plastic recyclers to know what type of plastic an item is made of. Without the label, recyclers cannot tell if plastics can be melted together to be recycled into new products. It's like baking a cake - if you accidently put in powdered sugar instead of regular sugar your cake will not bake correctly. When plastic resins are mixed together its possible the whole batch of plastics may have to be thrown away because the end product will not turn out correct.
- Compostable plastics labeled #7 PLA (polylactic-acid). Compostable plastics will break down in an industrial compost facility. They are corn based and cannot be recycled with traditional oil-based plastics.
- 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.
- Plastic window blinds.
- Garden hoses.
- 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. Please empty contents and rinse container out prior to placing it in your one-sort cart. These cans are now recyclable in Minneapolis' One-Sort Recycling program.
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.
Solid Waste & Recycling's What To Do List contains information on the following food, beverage and other containers:
Aluminum foil, pie tins, trays; aluminum cans; beverage cans; beverage glass; bottles; butter tubs; cans; cups; cartons; drink boxes; glass: food and beverage bottles; garden pots, plastic trays; ice cream buckets; medication bottles (empty); milk cartons; peanut butter tubs; pie tins; pill bottles; plastic garden pots, trays; plastic tubs, trays; pop cans; prescription bottles - empty; soda cans; steel cans; and yogurt tubs.
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 12, 2015