Recycling rules

We explain what happens if you do not follow One-Sort recycling program rules.
Three solid waste and recycling interns standing next to recycling and organics carts

Make a difference in your community

Become a recycling block leader and help your neighbors reduce waste, reuse, recycle and compost.

Recycle Smart

Recycle Smart: Do your part and pledge to only put the right items in your recycling cart.

If you put the right things in your cart, they'll be recycled. And keeping nonrecyclable items out of your cart helps prevent problems with collecting, sorting and processing your items into something new.

Always put in your cart:

  • Mail, office and school papers
  • Magazines, newspaper and inserts
  • Boxes (food, beverage, toiletries)
  • Cardboard
  • Steel and aluminum cans
  • Glass jars and bottles
  • Plastic bottles, containers and jugs (#1, #2, #5)
  • Cartons (milk, broth, juice)

Never put in your cart:

  • Plastic bags
  • Bagged recycling
  • Large plastic items (laundry baskets, storage tubs, toys)
  • Random metal items (pots and pans, pipes and poles, hangers)
  • Food-soiled paper (napkins, paper towels, paper plates, fast-food wrappers)
  • Straws and utensils
  • Electronics and batteries
  • Hazardous materials (motor oil, propane tanks)
  • Medical waste (sharps: needles and syringes, lancets)

We'll tag your cart if there's a problem

white educational tag on recycling cart

First tag  Our crews use a white educational tag to inform you about a problem with your recycling. We may also mail you a letter about the problem.

Contact us if you have questions about the tag or your letter.

Second tag – If you get more than one educational tag, we may remove your blue One-Sort recycling cart. This could happen if you put nonrecyclable items in your cart or if you do not regularly set out recycling for pickup.

How to recycle if we take your cart – You may still set out recycling in paper bags or cardboard boxes for collection.

Avoid having your cart taken away – See materials accepted for One-Sort recycling

How to get your cart back

Cart returned at no cost  Wait three months, then contact us and ask for your cart back.

Cart returned for a fee  To have your cart returned before the waiting period ends, the utility bill payer must complete and submit the garbage and recycling service change form.

Attend a recycling class - Sign up to attend a one hour virtual class to get your recycling cart back at no extra cost. 

  • Classes are offered virtually on the second Monday of each month from 5:30 - 6:50 p.m.
  • One cart will be returned at no charge for each person in a building who attends the training.

Sign up for a recycling class


Reasons we might tag your recycling

Issues with items in the cart:

  • There were plastic bags in the cart (either containing recycling or as part of the recycling).
  • There were other non-recyclable items in the cart.
  • The cart was overflowing and causing litter problems.
  • Cardboard was not properly prepared for collection.

Issues with the cart:

  • It was not out at your designated collection point (the alley or curb line) by 6 a.m. on your pickup day.
    • The City decides your collection day and pickup location, and it cannot be changed.
  • It was stuck in snow or ice.
  • It was not in the pickup area next to the garbage cart.
  • It weighed over 200 pounds.

Contact us

Solid Waste & Recycling

Public Works





Eastside Maintenance Facility

2635 University Ave NE

Minneapolis, MN 55418

Office hours

8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Monday – Friday

This building is closed to the public.