Residential Recycling

Recycling is an easy and convenient way to reduce your trash and protect the environment. 

If you have questions on what you can put in your recycling cart or trash, contact your trash and recycling hauler directly.

What can you Recycle?

The following items may be placed in single-stream, residential home recycling bins in Scott County. 

Accepted Recyclables graphic

Items that can go into your home recycling bin include:

  • Newspaper and inserts
  • Magazines and catalogs
  • Mail and office paper
  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Paperboard
  • Milk and juice cartons
  • Soup, broth, and wine cartons
  • Juice boxes
  • Aluminum, tin, and steel cans
  • Glass bottles and jars
  • Plastic containers numbered 1, 2, or 5
  • Soda, juice, and water bottles
  • Milk and juice jugs
  • laundry detergent bottles and containers
  • Plastic food tubs

Recycling tips and tricks

  • Do not use plastic bags. Place recyclables loose in a recycling cart or paper bag. 
  • Ensure all recycled items are empty, dry, and reasonably clean. 
  • Replace caps and lids on containers. 
  • View Scott County's Recycling Guide (PDF) for detailed information. 

What CANNOT be Recycled?

Cannot be recycled

Items that cannot be recycled in your home recycling bin include:

  • Batteries
  • Plastic bags
  • "Tanglers" (lights, wires, hoses)
  • Ceramics, mirrors
  • Ice cream cartons and other "waxy" containers
  • Hazardous materials (motor oil, propane, etc.)
  • Empty containers that once contained hazardous materials
  • Clothing
  • Shredded paper
  • Propane tanks or aerosol cans
  • Diapers
  • Styrofoam
  • Scrap metal/vehicle parts
  • Shredded paper
  • Yard waste
  • Paper plates, cups, napkins, and takeout containers
  • Medical waste and sharps
  • Electronics
  • Food or food soiled paper/cardboard

PLEASE NOTE! 

Many items on the "Do Not Recycle" list can be recycled at special facilities. Visit the Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) page for a list of items that can be disposed of at the HHW Facility in Jordan, MN. 


Items below cannot be disposed of in the trash in MN and also must not be placed in you recycling cart. These items must be taken to a facility (such as the Scott County HHW or other recycling facilities) to be recycled (MN Statute 115A.9157)

  • Cathode Ray Televisions and Monitors
  • Rechargeable and Lead Acid Batteries or items that contain these types of batteries. 
  • Motor Vehicle Fluids and Filters
  • Any item that contains mercury including items such as fluorescent or high-intensity lamps/lights, thermostats, appliances, medical or scientific instruments, electronic devices, chemicals, etc.
  • Tires
  • Appliances including items such as clothes washers and dryers, dishwashers, hot water heaters, heat pumps, furnaces, garbage disposals, trash compactors, conventional and microwave ovens, ranges and stoves, air conditioners, dehumidifiers, refrigerators, and freezers.
  • Yard Waste or trees/tree parts
  • Paints and stains

Most items that cannot be recycled or placed in the trash can be taken to the Household Hazardous Waste Facility. For other hard-to-dispose-of items, visit the waste navigator below. 

The Waste Navigator is an interactive GIS program in Scott County that details locations to properly recycle and dispose of many types of common waste items. 

Visit https://gis.co.scott.mn.us/wastenav/ or click on the image below to start searching. This program is compatible with all current Windows, macOC and IOS software. 

waste navigator screenshot

Learn to Recycle Right With Betterbin

Want to know about putting specific items in your home recycling bin? There's an app for that! Scott County Residents have access to the Betterbin recycling app. Residents now have a one-stop-shop for answers to all of their recycling and composting questions. With this app residents can scan a product's UPC barcode or text search for an item and receive community and service-provider-specific recycling and composting instructions.

Scott County Environmental Services and The Betterbin team worked with all material recovery processors in the area to ensure residents receive accurate material recovery instructions for their specific community. 

How to Use the App

  1. Go to the App Store or Google Play
  2. Search for Betterbin
  3. Download the app to your mobile device
  4. Create an account and log in
  5. Select "recycle"
  6. Select your community and waste hauler from the drop down list
  7. Start scanning and searching for items!
SC Betterbin homepage
betterbin step by step

Changes in recycling make it difficult for residents to keep up with which materials are acceptable to put in their bins. Betterbin provides users with a tool that allows for variability in recycling and composting instructions at the municipal and service provider level.

The ultimate goal of the app is to generate higher volumes of acceptable materials, and decrease contamination in recycling and compost carts. When we can meet these goals, we create processing efficiencies and generate more economic value from the recovered materials.  

Betterbin is a Wausau, WI based tech and social impact startup. Learn more at about.betterbin.app

Snag those bags! Plastic bag and film recycling

Plastic bags are too finely processed to be recyclable in commercial facilities. In fact, they can cause serious problems by gunking up and causing snags in machinery at processing plants. Keep plastic bags out of your home recycling bin, and NEVER bag your recyclables. 

Instead, keep your home recyclables loose or in a paper bag, and take your plastic bags to be recycled at specialized facilities. 

Plastic bag drop off sites in Scott County

Snag those Bags

Requirements for Haulers and Property Managers

Local recycling requirements state that Haulers who provide trash service to customers in Scott County shall also offer recycling service. Recycling must not cost more than trash service alone. Recycling includes glass, plastic, metal cans, and paper/cardboard. Haulers are required to collect recyclables from customers at least bi-weekly and on the same day as trash collection.

Since residents that live in multi-family residential living such as apartments do not usually contract for waste services themselves, the owner or manager of multi-family residential units shall offer garbage and recycling services to their tenants.

Other Recycling Resources

The Environmental Services department is here to help. Visit the pages below for recycling locations, events, resources and funding opportunities to help you or your favorite school or business reduce the amount of waste created in Scott County.

Recycling Exists

Visit this one-stop-shop for recycling information for the Twin Cities Metro Counties. Learn what can be placed in your home recycling bin, where it goes in the Twin Cities, and what it turns into after getting recycled. 

Community Recycling Ambassadors

The Community Recycling Ambassador program educates participants about waste reduction, recycling, composting, climate change, and other important topics. Ambassadors will participate in approximately 6 training courses followed by 8 volunteer hours within a calendar year. 

Recycling Grants

Scott County provides grant funding to schools, businesses, and organizations located in Scott County to reduce waste, design a new or improved recycling program, or start organics recycling.

Organics Recycling

Roughly 25-30% of what we throw away is food-soiled paper products and food scraps. Recycling these organic materials—things like food-soiled paper and cardboard, food, and yard waste—from your home keeps valuable items out of landfills and allows that waste to be reused.

Dem Con Green Grades

Dem Con is a prominent recycling and waste services provider in Scott County, and their Green Grades program was created with the goal of educating the community around the common goal of environmentally responsible waste management. Green Grades offers recycling facility tours, environmental campus walking tours, classroom visits, educational trailers, and much more!

Waste Wise

Waste Wise is a free auditing service provided by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. Waste Wise provides site visits to businesses that identify projects that may help organizations reduce waste and save money. 

Recycling Association of Minnesota

Scott County is a member of the Recycling Association of Minnesota which provides leadership, advocacy, and education opportunities to encourage the responsible use of resources through recycling and supporting modes of waste reduction.