Minneapolis (pop. 392,880), one-half of the Twin Cities with its counterpart, the state capital of St. Paul
, often earns the honor of being one of America’s greenest cities — Travel + Leisure
rated the Twin Cities together as the third-greenest city in the U.S. in 2012
Minnesota’s largest city is home to a robust curbside recycling program that features single-stream blue recycling carts used to collect recyclables for biweekly pick-up. The curbside program even includes a few innovations not found in many other U.S. cities, such as the ability to recycle household batteries and bulky items like electronics and mattresses right at the curb.
Office and school paper, junk mail, magazines, catalogs, newspapers and inserts, phonebooks, shredded paper (secured in a paper bag), food and beverage cartons (lids are OK), juice boxes, cardboard canisters (e.g., Pringles cans), receipts (all kinds), sticky notes, paper bags, gift wrap (excluding those with glitter or reflective, metallic content), paperboard and corrugated cardboard are accepted.
Plastic jugs, plastic bottles, plastic cups, plastic bowls, microwavable trays, clear toy and electronics packaging and plastic jars numbered 1 through 7 are accepted. No Styrofoam, plastic bags or containers that held motor oil or other hazardous materials.
Aluminum cans, tin/steel cans, aluminum foil, aluminum trays and metal lids 3 inches in diameter or larger are accepted. No paint cans, aerosol cans or containers that held hazardous materials.
Glass bottles and jars (all colors; rinsed) are accepted. No caps accepted, but lids 3 inches in diameter or larger are OK.
The following types of batteries can be recycled at the curb: alkaline or pile alkaline, button batteries, carbon zinc (CZn), lithium (Li), lithium-ion (Li-ion), mercuric oxide, nickel cadmium (Ni-Cd), nickel metal hydride (NiMH), nickel zinc (NiZn) and zinc air. Household batteries must be taped over on their positive (+) terminal and placed in a clear, sealed plastic bag on top of the recycling cart.
Mattresses and electronics marked “FOR SOLID WASTE” (either on an attached sheet of paper or on the device or mattress itself) may be placed at the curb next to the recycling cart. They will be noted and picked up the business day following recycling collection day. Electronics permitted at the curb include TVs, cable boxes, CD players, stereos, computer monitors and CPUs (towers), computer peripherals (keyboard, mouse, speakers, cables), DVD/Blu-ray players, fax machines, phones, printers, copy/print/fax/scan combination units, radios, receivers, satellite dishes, scanners and VCRs. Limit two per collection week.
Minneapolis residents take recyclables to the curb on a biweekly basis (every other refuse collection day). Bins must be placed curbside by 6 a.m on collection day. A collection calendar
is available online.
Hennepin County, which includes Minneapolis and surrounding cities, takes the above-listed electronics and other electronic items at its household hazardous waste and recycling drop-off facilities. The facilities — the Hennepin County Recycling Center and Transfer Station (8100 Jefferson Hwy. in Brooklyn Park) and the South Hennepin Recycling and Problem Waste Drop-Off Center (1400 W. 96th St. in Bloomington) — are open Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Wednesday, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. See the county’s listings for accepted household hazardous waste items
Yard waste is collected weekly on refuse pick-up day from early April through mid-November every year. All yard waste must be collected in reusable containers or compostable bags or bundled with twine or rope. Accepted items include leaves, acorns, bark, garden plants, grass clippings, pine cones, pine needles, twigs, straw, hay, sod (dirt removed), brush and branches less than 3 inches in diameter and less than 3 feet long.
Visit the City of Minneapolis Solid Waste & Recycling website
for more recycling program info.