Reduce

  • Whether it has been recycled or is just sitting in a landfill, nearly every piece of plastic ever created still exists in some form. The fraction of plastic that does get recycled is shockingly low, sitting at just about 30%. The vast majority that isn't being recycled is accumulating in landfills or ending up as litter in roadways and water systems. Our society is making a shift towards disposable and/or single-use plastics and, according the the National Geographic, if current trends continue we can expect about 12 billion metric tons of plastic to end up in landfills. It can be extremely hard to give up plastic entirely, but small shifts in our behavior can make a huge difference in reducing our plastic pollution.

    1. Reusable Bags Reusable Bag

    According to the EPA, Americans use over 380 billion plastic bags and wraps every year. Although there are plastic bag drop-offs for recycling, most bags end up in landfills. By switching to reusable bags for shopping and produce items, you could dramatically lower your need for plastic. 

    2. Reusable Water Bottle

    Americans use approximately 50 billion water bottles every year yet the recycling rate for plastic is only 23%. By bringing a reusable water bottle when you're at work, school, or on-the-go, you will reduce your need to buy a single-use plastic water bottle. Not only will you be saving natural resources but you will also save a lot of money over time. 

    3. Say No to Straws Straws

    500 million plastic drinking straws are used and disposed of every day. Many of these straws end up littering our road and waterways making them one of the most treacherous pollutants because of the harmful effects they have on marine animals. Next time you're out to eat or at a coffee shop, remember to ask for your drink without a straw. And, if you're with a group, encourage them to follow your lead! Change often starts with one person.

    4. Avoid the Microplastics Microbeads in Toothpaste

    Microplastics are tiny pieces of plastic (about the size of a sesame seed) that are found in many cosmetic and toiletry items including face wash and toothpaste. These small pieces of plastic get flushed down sinks and drains and end up in our water systems including oceans, lakes an rivers. Unfortunately, plastic does not break down or dissolve in water so it continues to pose a threat for marine life and birds. Studies are still being done to see what sort of long-term affects this might have on animal and human life, but what we do know is that avoiding it completely is a better option. 

    5. Pack In Or Pack Out Lunches

    If you normally eat out for lunch, try packing your own lunch in a reusable container instead. Not only will you save some money, but you'll also avoid any single use plastics that your food might otherwise come in. In addition, if you do go out to eat for lunch, consider bringing your own Tupperware to the restaurant for leftovers instead of using the disposable to-go containers. 

    6. Shop in Bulk Bins Bulk foods

    Many items such as nuts, fruits and beans are available in bulk bins which can be found at most grocery stores. By purchasing items from the bulk bins, you can avoid the single-use plastic that most items are wrapped in, and you can get the amount you need to avoid wasting food. Keep in mind that purchasing from bulk bins is not the same as buying in bulk because even though buying in bulk can be a better option to reduce excessive packaging, you'll find that you end up with more food than you need and it can be wasteful. 

    7. Buy Loose and Fresh Loose Fruit and Vegetables

    To go along with the tip above, buying fruits and veggies loose versus packaged will help lower your use of plastic. In addition, the small plastic bags that are available at grocery stores to put your food in is not at all necessary so if you're looking to use less plastic, you should skip them entirely. If you still prefer to bag your loose fruits and veggies, consider buying reusable produce bags to bring to the store with you. You can even find some that might increase the shelf life of certain foods! 

    8. Reusables at Parties Reusable cups and plates

    Parties and get-togethers are one of the most common places to see waste from disposable Styrofoam© plates and plastic silverware to one-time use decorations. Next time you host, consider using reusable and washable plates, cups and silverware instead of disposable. Not only will you reduce your waste, but it'll help make your party feel more personal and homey. In addition, if you do want to buy decorations, consider buying supplies that can be reused for years such as a universal "happy birthday" banner or cake topper.  

    9. Make Your Own Cleaners

    In the U.S. we generate 1.6 million tons of harmful household chemicals with the average home accumulating as much as 300 pounds of household hazardous waste. By making your own cleaner in a reusable bottle, you'll avoid the single use plastic bottles that most cleaners come in and you'll greatly decrease harmful chemicals in your home. For recipes on DIY green cleaners, visit our green cleaner guide

    10. Get it Fixed Fix-It Clinic Banner

    It's often easier for us to throw away common items when they break, but did you know you can get many of them fixed for free? In fact, every month Dakota County offers a free fix-it clinic where you can get expert help fixing common household items. Many residents have visited these clinics to fix old vacuum cleaners, broken fans, ripped clothing and so much more. To find an upcoming clinic near you, visit the Dakota County websiteand search "fix it."

     

  • The New Year is a time for resolutions that are made to bring about positive changes in your life. This year, make a difference in your community and start off the New Year right by adding some easy green resolutions to your list. Here are five ideas to help you get started:  scraping plate of food

    1. Reduce your food waste: 40% of food is currently being wasted in the United States. That means wasted resources, time, energy, and money. Reducing your food waste might be as easy as making smaller trips to the store with a clear list in mind, or just storing your food properly to make it last as long as possible. For more tips, visit our Reduce Your Food Waste Guide. 

    2. Reuse wfix-it clinic bannerith ease: Why buy something new when you can fix something you have for free? This year, resolve to attend a Dakota County Fix-It Clinic when you have something in need of repair. Clinics are offered every month in cities around Dakota County and you can bring up to five small household items such as torn clothing, broken vacuum cleaners, and more. 

    3. Recycle everything you can: This year, recycle more by using the hauler specific recycling guides found here. While you’re at it, make sure to recycle the things that can’t go in your curbside bin such as electronics by taking them to the Recycling Zone!

    4. Ditch the plastic: Approximately 50% of the plastic we use, we use once then throw away. Make 2018 the year you make a conscious effort to bring a reusable bag shopping and a reusable water bottle whenever possible. 

    5. Recycle your organics: Orgafood scrapsnic material such as food scraps and food-soiled paper don't have to end up in the landfill. Instead turn them into a rich soil  amendment by recycling them. Dakota County now has two free drop sites for your household organics. You can also resolve to backyard compost this year too! Find out how using our Backyard Composting Guide here

     

  • three stream recycling container

    The Burnsville Ames Center continues to "wow the crowds" with its newest venture: organics recycling. Guests at the Ames Center may notice the new, brightly colored bins around the venue that feature traditional recycling, trash, and a special spot just for organic waste.

    To make recycling easier, the new containers have labels showing what can be thrown where, and most of the items in the concession/bar have been switched to BPI-Certified compostable alternatives. While bottles, cans and paper handouts can continue to go in the regular blue recycling bin, things such as cups, plastic forks, napkins, apple cores, and most food containers can go into the green organics bin. Other items such as candy wrappers or chip bags should still go in the trash.

    Many of these new BPI-Certified compostable items are made of a plant based plastic and look like they could go in the recycling bin. However, in order for them to be turned into compost, they will need to go in the green bin with other compostable items. If you are unsure if the item you purchased is compostable, check the item for the BPI Logo or just ask any staff member at the Ames Center. 

    Organics recycling plays an essential role in keeping valuable materials out of landfills. Organics collected at the Ames Center will be brought to a local organics recycling facility to be turned into compost, a valuable soil additive. Compost improves soil quality, reduces erosion, reduces greenhouse gases, and decreases the need for chemical fertilizers. 

    So, next time you’re at the Ames Center, grab an ice cold refreshment and make to sure throw the whole cup in the green bin when you’re done- straw too!

  • compost bin with vegetable scrapsComposting is nature’s way of recycling materials.  It is the natural breakdown of organic wastes by bacteria, fungi, worms, and other organisms under controlled conditions. Besides conserving resources and diverting organic material from landfills, backyard composting can save you money. By diverting your household’s food waste from the garbage, you can reduce the size and cost of your garbage container.

    Recipe for composting:

    Materials & Ingredients Needed:
    Compost container
    Stirring tool: shovel or pitchfork
    Water
    “Brown” compostable materials (see below for list)
    “Green” compostable materials (see below for list)

    Instructions for Successful Composting:

    1. Construct your compost container: Select a dry, shady spot near a water source to place your compost bin.
    2. Add “green” compostable material: This includes fruit and vegetable scraps, bread products, grass clippings, plant trimmings and weeds. These materials are high in carbon.
    3. Add “brown” compostable material: This includes fallen leaves, straw, sawdust, wood chips, and twigs. These materials are high in nitrogen.
    4. Mix: Turn the compost with a stirring tool regularly; no more frequently than once a week. This prevents unpleasant odors and quickens decomposition.  If strong odors occur despite regular turning, add a bulking agent (straw, sawdust or dry leaves). Add water if pile seems too dry (compost should appear “damp” but not soggy).
    5. Use: The result of composting is a dark, crumbly, earthy-smelling mixture that can be used as a fertilizer, mulch or in a potting mix.

    Helpful Hints

    • “Brown” compostable materials include fallen leaves, straw, coffee grounds, wood chips, twigs and sawdust. These materials are high in carbon.
    •  “Green” compostable materials include weeds, grass clippings, plant trimmings and food scraps. They are high in nitrogen.
    • The ideal ratio for “green” to “brown” material in your bin is generally considered to be a 50/50 mix (1:1 ratio). However, 1:2 or 2:1 ratios will still allow your pile to compost. Disproportionate amounts of “green” can lead to strong odors, and too much “brown” will dry out your pile and stop the composting process. 
    • Coffee grounds are high in both carbon and nitrogen, so they are categorized as both green and brown, depending on whom you ask. Paper coffee filters can also be added to your compost pile.
    • Do not add the following items to compost container: grease, oil, fat, bones, dairy products, meat or pet waste. These items can be recycled at one of the Dakota County Organics Drop-Sites instead. 

    To get your own backyard composting bin:

    Information on building compost containers (Missouri Extension Services).

    Check at your local garden center for compost bins or go online to recycleminnesota.orgto see if a Compost Bin and Rain Barrel sale is happening near you. 

    Check out a Sustainability Man video about composting:

     

  • Feel like you just have too much stuff cluttering up your home? It's easy to accumulate things, but getting organized might seem like an insurmountable task. Luckily, there are many resources for getting your unwanted things recycled and disposed of properly. View our downloadable Dive into Decluttering Guideand view the tips and locations below to get started. 

    Tips:

    • Set aside a small amount of time: Instead of trying to do it all at once, try to set obtainable goals to avoid getting overwhelmed. For example your goal may be "15 minutes a day sorting my office closet" or "1 hour a week cleaning the garage." 
    • Have three boxes: "Keep" "Donate/Disposal" and "Hold".  The "Hold" box is for things you think you want to get rid of, but you aren't sure.  Put the "Hold" box in a storage space (attic, closet or garage), and after 30 days, anything you haven't removed from the box probably isn't something you're actively using--and can be donated or recycled. 
    • Go digital: photos and home videos can be transferred to a digital format to go on your home computer.  Even things like play bills, ticket stubs and letters can be scanned in.
    • Take photos and move on: Collecting things can be fun, but evaluate if an old collection is taking up too much space. If you still have the collection of teddy bears from your childhood, consider taking a photo of the collection to remember it by, then donating the items for the next generation to enjoy.  Or, keep one of your favorites if you think you'd like to display it. 

    Know where to throw--
    resources for disposing of common unwanted items:

     Appliance recycling

    Appliances
    [must be recycled]

    Battery disposal 

    Batteries, such as alkaline, button, rechargable, or car batteries [recycle]

    Building materials

    Building materials, such as doors, cabinets, bathroom fixtures, flooring, etc [reusable] [no longer usable]

     Carpet recycling

    Carpet [recycle] [disposal]

     Clothing reuse

    Clothing [thrift or consign]

     

    Confidential Documents
    [shredding services]

     

    Christmas Lights [recycle]

    electric household item recycling 

    Electric items, such as vaccuums, toasters, hair dryers, etc [recycle]

     Electronics recycling

    Electronics, such as TVs, VCRs, computers, etc [must be recycled]

     furniture disposal

    Furniture
    [in good condition]
    [no longer usable]

    Household goods 

    Household goods, such as kitchenware, decor, etc [donate]

     HHW disposal

    Household hazardous waste, such as paint, cleaners, automotive fluids, etc [special disposal]

     Mattress recycling

    Mattresses
    [in good condition]
    [no longer usable]

    medication disposal 

    Medication [drop-off at police stations]

     Recyclables

    Recyclables
    [large quantities for drop-off]

     Scrap metal

    Scrap metal, such as metal weight sets, metal lawn furniture, metal car parts, etc [recycle]

     

    Shoes [reusable] [recycle]

     donation boxes

    Toys [reusable]

      

    For more information, or if you are interested in attending a Decluttering Workshop, call 952-895-4515 or email a DVR staff member 

  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ranks indoor air pollution among the top environmental dangers. Most indoor air pollution is the result of cleaning products, whose safety, and even labeling, aren’t regulated or assessed by the government. According to the EPA, of the more than 75,000 registered chemicals, only a fraction have been tested for human health effects. Improper use and disposal of these chemicals can also have a negative effect on our health and the environment. In the US, we generate 1.6 million tons of harmful household chemicals, and the average home can accumulate as much as 300 pounds of household hazardous waste. 

    Green Cleaning Tips 

    Look for the Safer Choice label: The EPA has recently unveiled a new label for denoting safe cleaning products. Cleaning products with the safer choice label help consumers identify products with safer chemical ingredients. There are currently more than 2,000 products that qualify for the safer choice label.    A full list of products can be found here

    Do your research: The Environmental Working Group has a guide to healthy cleaning that ranks more than 2,500 cleaning products based on  the toxicity of its ingredients. A link to the guide can be found here.

    Read Labels:  Reading labels can tell you a lot about the product and its possible health effects. Watch for signal words like caution, warning, danger, poison, flammable, corrosive, & toxic. 

    Use Cleaners Safely: Do not mix cleaners, especially ones with chlorine or bleach. Always use cleaners for their intended purpose and never forget test a formula first. Wear gloves while using cleaners to prevent chemicals from touching your skin. If you do make your own cleaners, remember to label the containers clearly. Read the Labels Sign

    Dispose of Household Hazardous Waste Properly: Keep household hazardous waste out of drains, storm sewers, trash containers, and off of the ground. Bring old and unwanted cleaners to The Recycling Zone to be properly disposed of for free. 

    Go Reusable: Remember to stock your cleaning kit with reusable and washable cleaning supplies such as rags, sponges, and spray bottles. An old cut up shirt works well too! Choose cellulose sponges, which are not anti-bacterial. 

    Go Homemade: Another option to cut down on harmful chemicals is to consider making your own cleaning solutions and implementing alternative methods for common household needs. Check out the tips and recipes below to reduce household chemicals and potentially save money too.

    All Purpose Cleaners:

    Castile Soap Surface Cleaner

    Mix 2 cups distilled water, 2 tablespoons - ¼ cup castile soap, and 15 drops essential oil in a spray bottle.

     Vinegar Surface Cleaner

    Mix 1 cup distilled water, 1 cup white distilled vinegar, ½ juiced lemon (optional, must be stored in refrigerator if added), and 15 drops essential oil in a spray bottle. 

    Kitchen Cleaning:

    Garbage Disposal Cleaner

    Pour ½ cup baking soda into garbage disposal, then slowly pour ½ cup of vinegar in after. Once the mixture has had time to work, pour boiling water down the drain. Can follow this with throwing half a lemon or lime down the drain to deodorize. 

    Microwave Cleaner

    Pour about ½ cup water in a microwave safe bowl, squeeze ½ a lemon into water or a few drops of vinegar. Microwave solution on high for several minutes (until the solution boils). Let stand for about 10 minutes before removing door and wiping the walls and door clean.

    Drain Cleaner

    Use a plunger or plumber’s snake. 

    Pour 1 cup baking soda in drain, follow with ½ cup vinegar and immediately cover drain. Let sit for half hour, then uncover and pour boiling water down drain for 1 minute.

    Oven

    Mix 1 part water and 3 parts baking soda into a paste. Spread the paste on bottom of the oven, leave it there for a few hours and then wipe clean. 

    Bathroom Cleaning:

    Showers and Bathtubs

    1 part water to 3 parts baking soda paste to remove soap and stains (use vinegar for tougher stains).

    Grout

    Sprinkle baking soda on the floor and spray with hydrogen peroxide. Scrub with a toothbrush or fine tipped scrubbing tool.

    Toilet Bowl

    Sprinkle toilet bowl with baking soda, pour or spray vinegar over. Let soak for at least 30 minutes, then scrub with toilet brush.

     Other:

     

    Glass Cleaner

      

    Mix one tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar with one cup of water. Can also add essential oils to mask vinegar smell. Spray directly on window and reuse old newspaper or a microfiber cloth to wipe up.

    Furniture Polish

     

    Mix one tablespoon of lemon juice in one pint of mineral or vegetable oil and wipe furniture.

     

    Rug/Upholstery Deodorizer

     

    Sprinkle carpet or fabric with baking soda (can scent with essential oils). Wait 15 minutes and vacuum.

     

    Silver Polish

    Completely submerge silver in a shallow pan of boiling mixture of 2-3 inches of water, one teaspoon of salt, one teaspoon of baking soda, and a sheet of aluminum foil. Wipe away tarnish and repeat if necessary.

    Mothballs

     

    Use cedar chips, lavender flowers, rosemary, mints, or white peppercorns.

     

    Air Freshener

     

    Combine ¾ cup water, 2 tablespoons vodka, and essential oils in an 8oz spray bottle. Shake well and spray as needed.

     

     

     

     

     

  • Many products and chemicals we use in our homes can be harmful to health and the environment if not disposed of properly. But there are also some simple ways to reduce the use of these products in our homes in the first place.

    1. Read product labels to judge the hazard level and choose products that contain less harmful ingredients.  Look for signal words like poison, danger, warning and caution. 
    2. Reduce the number of hazardous cleaning products in your home.  Use one general-purpose cleaner for multiple jobs or non-toxic "green" cleaners such as baking soda, lemon juice or vinegar.  Find more information on Green Cleaners.
    3. Reduce or eliminate the use of pesticides in your yard. A great way to do that is through backyard composting! Learn how to properly backyard compost and find other "how-to" tips on the Dakota County Environmental Resources Site..
    4. Don't toss CFL's or mercury-containing batteries in the garbage. Take them to the Recycling Zone or find a CFL recycling location near you through our Fluorescent Bulb Guide.

    Get more tips on the Dakota County website.

  • According to the EPA, indoor air is considered one of the top 5 hazards to human health. Paints and finishes are among the leading causes.

    Paints and finishes release low level toxic emissions into the air for years after application.  The source of these toxins is a variety of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). New environmental regulations have led to the development of low-VOC and zero-VOC paints and finishes. Most paint manufacturers now produce one or more non-VOC variety of paint. These new paints are durable, cost-effective and less harmful to human and environmental health.Low VOC Paint

    Why use low or no VOC paints?

    • Reduced toxins benefit everyone, including those with allergies and chemical sensitivities. There is low odor during application and no odor once cured. There is no off-gassing and painted areas can be occupied sooner.
    • It reduces landfill, groundwater and ozone depleting contaminants. It is not deemed hazardous waste so disposal is greatly simplified.
    • Low-VOC products perform well in terms of coverage, scrubability and hideability (covering flaws on previous coats).  It is water-based so cleanup is easy.  Just use soap and warm water.

    What are VOCs?

    VOCs are unstable, carbon-containing compounds that readily vaporize into the air. When they enter the air, they react with other elements to produce ozone, which causes air pollution and a host of health issues including breathing problems, headache, burning, watery eyes and nausea.

  • Reduce and Reuse

    Only take a bag if you need it and consider using a reusable bag instead to reduce your plastic use. Many stores also offer a small discount if you bring your own bag which can save you money over time. If you forget your reusable bag and only have one or two small items, consider carrying them out of the store instead. Some thrift stores will accept plastic and paper bags to use for their customers. Please check with the store prior to donating your bags.

    Recycling

    DO NOT include plastic bags with your curbside recycling. Many grocery stores and co-ops participate in plastic bag and film recycling. Consumers may deposit clean, dry plastic bags in specially designed collection bins found at participating retail locations including Cub Foods, Lund's/Byerly's, Target, Walmart and more. 

    How to recycle plastic bags at designated locations

    Note: All material must be clean and dry:
    • Plastic grocery bags
    • Plastic retail bags (remove string ties and rigid plastic handles)
    • Plastic dry-cleaning bags
    • Plastic cereal bags (must be dry with ALL food residue removed)
    • Plastic bread bags (must be dry with ALL rood residue removed)
    • Plastic produce bags (must be dry with ALL food residue removed)
    • Plastic frozen food bags (must be dry with ALL food residue removed)
    • Plastic wrap from paper products (paper towels, etc.)
    • Plastic salt bags (remove rigid plastic handles)
    • Plastic zipper bags (remove top closing mechanism)
    • Plastic stretch/shrink wrap
    • 6-pack holder rings

    Don't recycle

    • Plastic bags with food residue
    • Plastic bags with strings
    • Plastic soil or mulch bags
    • Plastic zipper bags with rigid plastic closing mechanism
    • Plastic bubble wrap
    • Plastic food containers
  • Join the Plastic Free July Challenge! Plastic Free July Infographic

    By now you are probably aware of the extremely hazardous effects single-use plastics have on our environment and ecosystems once they are disposed of. Help ease this growing problem by limiting your single use plastic by joining the Plastic Free July Challenge.

    The Plastic Free July Challenge was started in 2011 by an Australian independent not-for-profit foundation. Their mission is to build a global movement that dramatically reduces plastic use and improves recycling. It aims to raise awareness of your growing plastic waste problem and support behavior change by avoiding single-use (disposable) plastic. This is everything from straws, plastic water bottles, grocery bags, and coffee cups (yes, even coffee cups contain plastic). 

    Join the over 2 million people across 159 different countries who are choosing to be part of the Plastic Free July Challenge! You can find more information and tips on how to go plastic free and register to be part of the challenge below.

    Plastic Free July

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • water from gutters going into a rain barrelLawn and garden watering make up nearly 40% of total household water use during the summer. A rain barrel collects water and stores it for when you need it most -- during periods of drought -- to water plants, wash your car, or to top a swimming pool. It provides an ample supply of free "soft water" to homeowners, containing no chlorine, lime or calcium making it ideal for gardens, flower pots, and car and window washing.

    Why use a Rain Barrel?

    • Save Water. A rain barrel will save most homeowners about 1,300 gallons of water during the peak summer months.
    • Save Money and Energy. Saving water not only helps protect the environment, it saves you money and energy (decreased demand for treated tap water).
    • Divert Water from Water Bodies.Diverting water from storm drains decreases the impact of runoff to streams and lakes.

    Ready-made rain barrels come in a variety of shapes and sizes.  They can be purchased from a number of companies including hardware stores and garden supply stores.

  • The recycling world is not immune to myths but don't let these rumors stop you from making a difference. We have compiled the biggest fibs and explained how they just aren't true. 

  • fallen leavesState law in Minnesota prohibits the disposal of yard waste with your garbage.  If you have the ability to take your yard waste to a compost site, you have the choice of a number of privately-run sites in the area.  All yard waste disposal is subject to fees; call ahead for pricing.

    Food & yard waste drop-off locations

    Resource Recovery Technologies (The Mulch Store)
    16454 Blaine Ave
    Rosemount, MN 55068
    651-423-4401
    www.mulchstoremn.com
    Open year-round
    Call for hours.
    Accepts: Leaves, grass clippings, brush, tree waste, stumps, logs, and all food scraps
    For Sale: Compost, landscape mulch.

    Yard waste only drop-off locations

    The Mulch Store (RRT)
    1030 W Cliff Rd
    Burnsville, MN 55337
    952-736-1915
    www.mulchstoremn.com
    Open seasonally (April through November 30, weather permitting).
    Call for hours.
    Accepts: Leaves, grass clippings, brush, tree waste, stumps, logs, soil.
    For Sale: Compost, blended dirt, landscape mulch.

    Gertens R.E.S.
    805 Yankee Doodle Rd
    Eagan, MN 55121
    651-209-3511
    www.gertens.com
    Open seasonally (April through November 30, weather permitting).
    Call for hours.
    Accepts: Leaves, grass clippings, soft plant material, brush, tree waste, stumps, logs, soil, sod, fill, gravel, stone/rock, concrete (rebar-free).
    For Sale: Compost, landscape mulch, decorative rock.

    Gertens Brickyard (retail location)
    5500 Blaine Ave
    Inver Grove Heights, MN 55076
    651-450-1501 (store)
    651-239-1369 (direct)
    www.gertens.com 
    Open year-round
    Call for hours.
    Accepts: Leaves, grass clippings, soft plant material, brush, tree waste, stumps, logs, soil, sod, fill, gravel, stone/rock, concrete (rebar-free).
    For Sale: compost, top soil, landscape mulch, decorative rock, gravel, river rock.

    South Saint Paul Compost Site
    681 Verderosa Ave
    South St. Paul, MN 55075
    651-554-3260 
    www.southstpaul.org
    Open seasonally.
    See website for hours.
    Accepts: Grass, sod, sod trimmings, garden waste. You may bring your compost in any type of bag or by the trailer load.
    Fee: $0.50 per bag or volume-based for truck loads.

    ******EFFECTIVE JUNE 13TH, 2015:  The South Saint Paul compost site will no longer be accepting brush/tree waste


    S & S Tree Horticultural Specialists, Inc.
    405 Hardman Avenue South, South St. Paul
    Phone Number: (651) 451-8907
    Open seasonally- call for exact dates
    Saturday and Sunday Only 7:00am- 11:00am
    Accepts: Brush and Tree waste only
    No fee

     

    Residents can also schedule a pick-up with their garbage service provider for an added fee.

  • A great way to reduce waste is to extend the lifetime of what you already have. It's important to know where to recycle household items, but it's even better to know how to do repairs so you can continue to use your household items instead of throwing them away. Here are some resources for helping you get the most out of your things:

    • iFixit.com: This website has thousands of guides for repairing various electronics, appliances, clothing, and even your car. You can also buy parts and tools for fixing electronics from the iFixit store
    • Minnesota Tool Library: If you would like to repair your own things, but don't have the equipment to do so, you can find what you need at the Minnesota Tool Library. There is one in Saint Paul and one in Minneapolis. Paid membership is required, but is available at different levels so you can find one that works for you. They also offer classes in how to use the tools and in skills like sewing, plumbing, and other maintenance.
    • Fix-It Clinics: These free events happen all over the metro and are a great place to learn new repair skills. Volunteers will look at up to three of your items and help you mend or repair them. Upcoming Fix-It clinic dates and locations are listed on the Dakota County website

    Learning to repair your own things reduces waste, saves money, and can be fun and empowering. Next time something breaks, try out some of these resources.

    For more information on reuse, check out Dakota County's Reuse Guide.

    Finally, if your item can't be repaired or reused, Dakota Valley Recycling can help you find a place to recycle it

Contact Us

City Education Department
13713 Frontier Court
Burnsville, MN 55337-3817
Phone: 952-895-4559

Dakota Valley Recycling

DVR is the partnership recycling department for the Cities of Apple Valley, BurnsvilleEagan and Lakeville that connects residents and businesses to recycling, composting and waste disposal information.

DVR is not a drop off facility and does not accept any materials for recycling.