Recycling is required for all schools. Follow these rules to ensure your recycling gets recycled right:
- Do not use plastic bags. Place recyclables loose in your external recycling container or in a paper bag.
- Bottles, jars and containers should be empty and dry. They don't have to be perfect — just free of most residue.
- Leave caps on containers.
- Empty and flatten boxes.
All haulers serving Dakota County customers must accept the materials listed below and all generators must place these materials into recycling carts or dumpsters to be collected.
Put these items in your recycling container
- Newspaper and inserts
- Magazines and catalogs
- Mail and office papers
- Corrugated cardboard
- Paperboard (e.g., cracker boxes)
- Milk and juice cartons
- Soup, broth, and wine cartons
- Juice boxes
- Aluminum, tin, and steel cans
Glass bottles and jars
Plastic bottles, containers and jugs
- Containers numbered 1, 2 or 5
- Soda, juice and water bottles
- Milk and juice jugs
- Margarine, cottage cheese, cream cheese and other tubs and lids
- Laundry detergent bottles and jugs
- Clear berry and produce containers
DO NOT put these items in your recycling
- Black plastic
- Ceramic dishware
- Clothing and textiles
- Household hazardous waste/hazardous waste
- Paper plates, cups, and napkins
- Pharmaceuticals and medicines/medical waste
- Plastic bags and film
- Metal cylinders (e.g., propane tanks)
- Scrap metal (e.g., metal pots and pans)*
- Shredded paper
- Tanglers (e.g., chains, extension cords, hoses, string lights)
- Yard waste and Christmas trees
- All items banned from being placed in the trash or recycling in state or local law – including:
- Major appliances
- Sharps (e.g., lancets, needles, syringes)
*Scrap metal is allowed in carts and dumpsters only if delivered to the Tennis Sanitation recycling facility.
Start or change your recycling pick-up service with a licensed hauler.
The Recycling Zone in Eagan offers a free, convenient location for schools and organizations to drop off recyclables such as paper, cardboard, plastic, glass and metal. No appointment necessary. Call 952-891-7800 to arrange for loads larger than would fit in the bed of a pick-up truck.
Set up recycling containers
Place recycling and trash containers next to each other (within 10 feet) to create waste “stations." This requirement makes sorting waste easier and increases recycling by ensuring recycling is as accessible as trash. Place containers in centralized locations or the locations where the most waste is generated.
Label containers. Label all indoor and outdoor recycling and trash containers to indicate what is accepted (Recycle or Recycling, Trash), and include images and where applicable, preparation instructions. Labels must also be color-coded (blue for recycling, grey or black for trash). Free labels are available to meet County Labeling Requirements.
Train staff, students and contractors
Provide standardized recycling education. Let your students and employees, including teachers, food service, and housekeeping/cleaning staff and contractors, know what can and cannot be recycled and how to recycle right. Download county education materials.
Schools in Dakota County can get free containers, labels, educational resources and technical assistance through the Dakota County School Recycling Program.
Green Schools Program
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has detailed information for comprehensive green practices specific to schools.
Recycle More Toolkit
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency developed the toolkit to help schools get a recycling program organized and operating successfully including first steps, best practices and case studies.
Conduct a waste sort
A waste sort is an activity that examines your organization's waste stream — typically the trash, recycling and organics — to find what is working and what needs improvement.Waste Sort PlannerSafety Procedure & Equipment ChecklistWaste Stream Materials IdentificationBasic Waste Sort Recording FormDetailed Waste Sort Recording Form