Brought to you by Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott and Washington counties.

It’s no myth.

Recycling Exists

Your recycled items become new products.

It’s not a fairy tale.

Believe what you want about unicorns, dragons and merpeople, but in the Twin Cities, recycling is real and it works. The items you put in your cart get recycled when you recycle right. But what happens to them once they leave your home?

What can get recycled?

Many everyday items can be recycled. Paper and cardboard, cartons, metal cans, glass bottles and jars, plastic bottles, containers and jugs and more can all be recycled in your home recycling. These recyclables are wanted by many companies in our state and across the country to make new products.

Paper and

  • Newspaper and inserts
  • Magazines and catalogs
  • Mail and office papers
  • Cereal and cracker boxes
  • Cardboard boxes


  • Milk and juice cartons
  • Soup, broth and wine cartons
  • Juice boxes

Metal cans

  • Aluminum, tin and steel food and beverage cans

Glass bottles
and jars

  • Glass food and beverage 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
  • Dishwashing and laundry detergent bottles and jugs
  • Clear berry and produce containers
  • Yogurt, pudding and fruit cups

What’s the right way to recycle in my county?

Make sure you are recycling the right things in the right way where you live.

  • Put items loose into your home recycling—do not use plastic bags.
  • Rinse all containers. OK to leave caps on.
  • Empty and flatten cardboard boxes.

Click on the county you live in for more information.

Where does our recycling go?

Recycled cans, bottles and paper are taken to a local facility where people and machines sort the recycling into material types, which are sent to many different companies to be made into new products. Beyond saving energy and protecting natural resources, recycling supports vital industries in Minnesota and across the country. Explore what happens to your recycling:

The Twin Cities recycled

525,335 tons

of paper and cardboard in 2021.

The Twin Cities recycled

525,335 tons

of paper and cardboard in 2021.

The Twin Cities recycled

81,591 tons

of glass in 2021!

The Twin Cities recycled

193,257 tons

of metal cans in 2021!

The Twin Cities recycled

33,031 tons

of plastics in 2021!

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

Follow the stories.

See what happens to the items you recycle once they leave your home.

Why does it matter?

Recycling is good for our environment and the economy.

Our efforts to recycle and reduce waste save energy, protect resources and support local businesses and jobs. Here in the Twin Cities, we can be proud that recycling works.


78,000 jobs

in Minnesota are supported by the recycling industry.

Recycling exists.

Recycling in the Twin Cities is real and it works. Click on the county you live in for more information.