Your garbage hauler is required to provide you with a recycling bin or cart.

Top 10 Confusing Recyclables

Understanding which materials you can and can't recycling can be confusing. Below is a list of the top 10 most confusing items that are, in fact, recyclable either curbside or at drop-off locations. So increase your recycling by remembering to keep these items out of the trash. All of these items are collected for free at the Carver County Environmental Center.

  1. Plastic cups and containers such as yogurt cups or sour cream tubs are now accepted in curbside recycling programs.
  2. Plastic produce and deli containers or take-out containers that are clean are also now accepted in curbside recycling programs. You must remove any plastic film.
  3. Plastic shopping bags and wrap can’t be recycled curbside, but you can bring them back to the store for recycling. Many grocery and retail stores accept plastic bags.
  4. Laundry room items such as plastic detergent jugs and boxes from dryer sheets are often overlooked. Remember to recycle beyond the kitchen!
  5. Bathroom items such as plastic shampoo and lotion bottles or boxes from toothpastes and medications are all recyclable.
  6. Cartons including milk, juice, soup or broth cartons were recently added to recycling programs. There are several layers of valuable materials such as paper, aluminum and plastic inside cartons that can be recovered and recycled into new materials.
  7. Catalogs, magazines or mail, even those that are shiny, glossy or have envelope windows, are all recyclable.
  8. Boxes including refrigerated food, crackers, gift, electronics or any cardboard are recyclable. Remember to flatten boxes before recycling. Boxes from frozen foods are not recyclable as the paper fibers are coated with plastic to prevent them from breaking down if they get wet.
  9. Shredded paper placed in a closed paper bag is recyclable. Remember, shredded paper is just as safe in the recycling bin as in the trash.
  10. Organics such as food scraps and food-soiled and non-recyclable papers makes up 30 percent of waste in Carver County. Contact your hauler to find out if a curbside organics recycling program is available for your home. If you don’t have service now, it will be coming in the next couple years. There are also some drop-off options you may be able to use now, or you can start composting some of your organic waste in your backyard.

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.