Your garbage hauler is required to provide you with a recycling bin or cart and information on what can be recycled.

Top 10 Confusing Recyclables

Understanding which materials you can or can't recycle can be confusing. With recycling market changes in the recent years, it's more important than ever to only include clean, recyclable materials in your cart and to stop 'wish-cycling' (throwing in items that you hope can be recycled).  Below is a list of the top 10 most confusing items that are not recyclable.  Remember, 'when in doubt, throw it out' and add only the right items to your recycling cart.  

  1. Plastic bags and plastic film.  Never put plastic bags or film of any kind in your recycling.  At the recycling center they get caught in the equipment and can cause damage to the workers and machines. Many stores accept these for recycling.  Bring them back to the store the next time you visit.
  2. Plastic produce and deli containers or take-out containers.
  3. Pizza boxes with any food stains or grease.  If you have a clean pizza box for recycling, fold it inside out so the recycling center can see it's clean on the inside.
  4. Gift wrap.  The vast majority of wrapping paper have dyes, metallics, glosses and coatings that cannot be recycled. 
  5. Food residue and liquids.  Clean and empty all of your food and beverage containers before recycling.  Food residue can contaminate a whole load of recycling.  Containers don't have to be perfectly clean, but there shouldn't be visible food and drinks left in them.
  6. Receipts.  Thermal cash register receipts contain Bisphenol A, aka BPA,a cancer causing chemical.  When these are included in recycling they contaminate the recycled paper products that are produced.
  7. To-Go Coffee Cups.  Your Starbucks, Caribou, McDonalds, etc. cups need to go into the trash along with their lids.  The inside of the cups are lined with plastic and cannot be recycled. 
  8. Broken crockery.  Dishes, coffee mugs, mirrors, ceramics, etc. all contain different materials and have different melting points compared to recyclable glass and therefore belong in the trash. 
  9. Shredded paper.  The bits and pieces of paper are too small to be usable by recycling equipment. 
  10. Diapers.  Just yuck.

Related Resources

The following information will help you dispose of other items properly. Visit the Carver County Environmental Center's website, which includes the items they collect, fees (if applicable), and directions to their facility at 116 Peavey Circle in Chaska.

To find more options for recycling in Carver County, visit Recycle Carver’s website.

Spring Cleaning?

There are lots of charities that will reuse various items you no longer need. Do a google search for your particular item using 'MN (item category) donation' and you'll discover multiple organizations who are interested in receiving your usable goods.


There are a variety of charities that accept car donations. Just a few of the local non-profits include:

Furniture, Small Home Goods, etc.

Local charities that accept usable, clean items include:

Office Supplies, Working Computers

Pet Items

Carver Scott Humane Society accepts clean rags and towels, leashes, unused kitty litter and pet food.