- Boxes that go in the cupboard (e.g. cereal, pasta and cracker boxes)
- Boxes that products are packaged in (e.g. gift, shoe and electronic boxes)
- Other boxes (e.g. soda, beer, toothpaste, facial tissue, and dryer sheet boxes)
- Envelopes (white, brown, with or without window)
- DO NOT RECYCLE: Plastic TyvekTM envelopes or envelopes padded with bubble wrap
- Gift wrap
- DO NOT RECYCLE: Gift wrap with glitter, foil, reflective areas or velvet
- Mail, office and school papers
- Magazines and catalogs
- Newspaper and inserts
- Paper bags
- Paper cores from paper towel, toilet paper, wrapping paper, aluminum foil, and plastic wrap
- Phone books
- Non-thermal receipt paper (Thermal receipt paper, shiny receipt paper, is lined with BPA and BPA can travel from the receipt paper into the next product the paper is recycled into.)
- Shredded paper in closed paper bags
- Sticky-Notes (Post-It® Notes)
DO NOT RECYCLE:
If you cannot reuse or donate the following items, bag and place them in the garbage. The items with a star (*) are paper items that are not suitable for recycling, but may be placed in a backyard compost bin.
- Blueprint paper
- There's too much dye for paper processors. Blueprint paper is also not desired for organics recycling.
- Carbon Paper
- Has a wax carbon coating on the outside of the paper that does not break down in the paper pulping process. These items are also not accepted in the organics recycling program and should be placed in the garbage.
- Chinese Food Containers
- Chinese food containers have a very thick layer of plastic on them that does not break down in the recycling or composting process. Chinese food containers should be placed in the garbage.
- Egg Cartons*
- Fibers are too short to recycle into new paper products. Vendors at farmer's markets who sell eggs often take egg cartons back for reuse. Paper egg cartons may be placed in organics recycling carts.
- Food-Soiled Paper*
- Oils and grease to not break down in the paper pulping process and require emptying and cleaning of pulping equipment. Examples include: napkins, paper plates, parchment or wax paper, paper towels, cardboard from pizza, fast bags, etc. Most of these items may be placed in organics recycling carts. Note that lined-paper items (e.g. paper plates, to-go containers, fast food wrappers, etc.) must be labeled as certified compostable by the Biodegradable Products Institute or by Cedar Grove Composting to be accepted in the organics recycling program.
- Gift wrap with glitter, foil, reflective areas or velvet
- These are contaminants in the paper recycling process the composting process.
- Ice cream tubs
- Heavily coated with plastic that makes them non-recyclable and non-compostable.
- Microwaveable trays
- Have additives and/or a plastic liner to strengthen paper and are not suitable for recycling or composting.
- Kids crafts with a lot of paint, glue, glitter, etc.
- Too much contamination for paper recycling process or composting process.
- Paper with a plastic lining (commonly found in boxes that go in the freezer)
- Not suitable for recycling or composting. Do a 'tear test' to see if there's a plastic lining if you're unsure if a particular paper is recyclable. The paper will either not tear easily if there's a plastic liner or the layer of separation between the paper and the plastic lining will be visible after tearing the paper.
- Pizza Boxes*
- Oils and grease to not break down in the paper pulping process and require emptying and cleaning of the pulping equipment. Pizza box sections without oil and grease (ex. the lid) may be placed in the recycling cart. Soiled pizza boxes may be placed in the organics recycling cart.
- Tissue Paper & Facial Tissues*
- Fibers are too short to recycle into new paper products. These products are compostable and may be placed in organics recycling carts.
- TyvekTM envelopes
- Are heavily coated with plastic film and are not recyclable or compostable through Minneapolis Solid Waste & Recycling services.
What to Do List
Solid Waste & Recycling's What To Do List includes the following paper related items:
Bags paper and plastic; boxes; carbon paper; cardboard; cards: greeting or holiday; brochures; brown envelopes; calendar; catalogs; comic books; construction paper; copier paper; corrugated cardboard; dry boxboard; egg cartons; envelopes; fast food containers; file folders; frozen food boxes; gift boxes; gift wrap; glossy coated paper; greeting carts; holiday cards; junk mail; letters; magazines/catalogs; mail; newspaper; notebook paper; office paper; paper; paper bags; paper-shredded; phone books; pizza boxes; pop boxes; popcorn boxes; post-it notes; shredded paper; soda boxes; telephone books;TyvekTM envelopes; and wrapping paper.
If you have questions regarding the recyclability of items not listed on the What To Do List, call Solid Waste & Recycling at (612) 673-2917.
Last updated Nov 15, 2017