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Your Guide To In-Home Recycling

Picture of plastic bottles that should be recycled.

When it comes to recycling, we handle the big stuff. Like the big, big stuff—refrigerators, couches, TVs, snow blowers. What else are we gonna do with these massive triceps? *flexes*

But we know that recycling your papers and plastics is just as important for keeping Mama Earth clean and happy, so here’s what you need to know about recycling everyday things.

Check With Your Trash And Recycling Pickup

Recycling rules vary by county and state, so give a quick peek at your trash and recycling company’s website to see what they accept. Sometimes it’s even listed on your recycling bin itself.

What You Can Recycle

The quick answer: Rigid plastic food containers, metal and glass food containers, and unsoiled papers and cardboard.

The more detailed list:


Bottles and jugs (keep those caps on!)

Cups and plates

Tubs and containers

But none of this junk: plastic bags, plastic wrap, toys, or Styrofoam


Food and drink cans

Aluminum foil and trays

Nana’s cookie and pie tins

Steel food containers

Don’t even think about it: No paint cans, propane cylinders, or helium/gas tanks


Food jars

Glass drinking bottles

Trash these: drinking glasses, window glass, ceramics, light bulbs, or mirrors


Office and school paper

Mail, overdue bills, subpoenas

Magazines, newspapers

Paperback books

Cardboard/paperboard (like cereal boxes)

Phonebooks (what-books?)

Don’t you dare: ice cream containers, coffee cups, grease-soaked pizza boxes, and paper napkins/paper towels


Dairy cartons, juice boxes, and soup/broth cartons (don’t flatten)

Firm containers for nuts and chips

Keep out of the bin: egg cartons (paper or Styrofoam) and wax containers like ice cream tubs

Rinse Your Recyclables

Give your plastic food containers and drink cartons a rinse before chucking. This helps the recycling machines work, as well as keeps rats away from recycling centers (and out of the pant legs of the fine people who work there).

What Recycling Symbols Mean

Actually, the meaning of these symbols varies between recycling programs and local centers, so using them as a guide isn’t necessary. The letters and numbers within the symbol just describe the type of plastic, not if it can be recycled.

Gotta Recycling Question? Contact Us Today!

We really dig recycling. We like it so much, in fact, that if you don’t have time to drop off at our warehouse in Burnsville, we’ll gladly come to you. Our fleet of trucks run routes across the Twin Cities every week, making both in-home and curbside pickups.

Just fill out the form below or call us at 952-894-1448 to request more info.

Contact Us

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