Thank you for committing to helping others in Dakota County reduce waste and recycle more.
Master Recycler/Composters help educate the public about waste prevention, recycling and composting. Choose an independent project and/or attend opportunities that you hear about through the program to complete your 30 hours of payback.
Payback activities must:
- Be located in Dakota County unless otherwise approved by program coordinator
- Implement a system or program that diverts materials from the waste stream
provide one-on-one education to residents or businesses
Tracking volunteer time provides an official record of progress toward your 30-hour volunteer time commitment and helps us recognize the benefits of the Master Recycler/Composter program.
Report hours through the Dakota County
Volunteer Management System. You can also track your hours to-date in your profile .
Report your hours
Learn How to Add Your Hours
Garrett Zaffke with any issues with the online system.
Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities
Contact the person listed to volunteer or sign-up online if that is an option. We value your safety. Please do not volunteer in person if it makes you uncomfortable or if you think you are sick. You will receive specific safety instructions for each event.
Fixers, sewists and general volunteers needed.
- Oct. 15, 11:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m., Pleasant Hill Library, Hastings
- Nov. 19, 11:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m., Farmington Library, Farmington
- Dec. 17, 11:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m., Harmon Park Neighborhood Center, West St. Paul
Sign up online or contact Kirsten Wahlberg, 952-891-7595
On the Road Again – Oct. 1, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. and 2 p.m.–6 p.m.
Southview 66 gas station, 725 Southview Blvd., South St. Paul
Volunteers will continually walk around the whole event area, checking recycling containers and picking out contamination. Grabbers and gloves provided. Please wear sturdy shoes, dress weather-appropriately and bring a water bottle. Volunteers can purchase food and beverage at the event.
Cassandra Johnson, 651-552-4118
Rosemount Fall Cleanup Day – Oct. 1, 7:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Rosemount Public Works Facility, 14455 Brazil Ave., Rosemount
Volunteers will help write up tickets, calculate payment, and direct participants to correct drop-off during the event from 8 a.m.–noon.
Violet Penman, 612-268-9097
Lakeville Shred Event – Oct. 1, 9 a.m.–noon
Lakeville Maintenance Facility, 7570 179th St. W., Lakeville
Volunteers will help the driver unload boxes and bags of paper from residents' cars and collect it for shredding. Must be comfortable lifting heavy boxes. Randy's Sanitation will be there with an on-site shredding truck and one driver.
Cassidy Carlisle, 952-895-4515
Farmington Mattress/Box Spring Drop-Off and Document Shred Event – Oct. 15, 7:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Farmington Maintenance Facility, 19650 Municipal Drive, Farmington
Volunteers will help direct participants, unload boxes of paper materials for shredding during the event from 8 a.m.-noon.
Violet Penman, 612-268-9097
Eagan Halloween Trail Walk – Oct. 29, 10:30 a.m.–2 p.m.
Viking Lakes, Vikings Circle, Eagan
Volunteers will be at a booth to engage parents and kids in a conversation about recycling, offering educational written resources as well. They'll also get to play a bean bag sorting game to test kids' knowledge on which items should go where.
Cassidy Carlisle, 952-895-4515
Loaves and Fishes Meal Distribution – various shifts
We have opportunities for individuals and small groups to help us package and serve meals at our various meal sites (Eagan, Inver Grove Heights). Meal sites are serving to-go meals and offer a reduced number of volunteers in our kitchens at any given time, allowing volunteers to practice safe social distancing and allowing guests to receive a hot and healthy meal. No experience is necessary. Site coordinators will walk you through everything.
Online signup or contact Lonnie Evans, 612-377-9810 ext.103
Food Waste Sorter – Monday–Friday, 10–11:30 a.m.
Help The Open Door Mobile Pantry sort donated food that can't be given to hungry families. Food – mostly produce – will go to feed pigs at Barthold Farm.
Online signup, choose Food Waste Sorter
Adam Hoffman, 651-605-2891
Coffee Grounds Rescue – flexible schedule
Collect coffee grounds from local coffee shops for The Open Door and tend the compost piles.
Sign up online. Alpa Goswami, 651-600-9244
Multifamily Recycling Program
Refer your apartment, condo or townhome to get recycling help. The following cities are seeking Master Recyclers to connect them with multifamily properties. The recycling coordinator can provide free recycling resources, such as recycling bins, labels, tote bags and more, through the
Dakota County Multifamily Recycling Program.
Business Recycling Program
Refer your workplace or place of worship to get recycling help, start an organics (food waste) collection program or reduce waste. The county will work with you and the organization to plan and implement waste improvements. Free recycling resources include color-coded recycling bins, labels, employee training and more. Master Recyclers can help by being a project lead and specific improvements such as labeling bins.
Sign up online to get a free, onsite assessment and learn more about free resources or contact Renee Burman, 952-891-7042.
Thrift Store Helpers
Sort donations, tag merchandise, organize, update displays and more.
Volunteering at food shelves counts for Master Recycler hours because much of the food is rescued. You can also help collect excess produce from neighborhood and community gardens to donate to food shelves. Go even further by coordinating a gleaning event at a farm to gather excess food.
City Waste Abatement Contacts
Presentations with scripts available upon request.
- Recycling 101
- Recycling Mythbusters
- Lazy Guide to Composting
- Reduce Chemicals at Home
Jenny Kedward, Environmental Specialist