Did you know that aluminum foil and trays are 100% recyclable? In fact, they are just as recyclable as aluminum cans! The problem is, not all recycling centers accept foil and trays due to the fact that they often contain food waste which can contaminate collection. This leads to a reusable material ending up in a landfill where it takes about 400 years to break down.

Crumpled Aluminum Foil

So what’s the good news?

Well, fortunately for Dakota County residents, recycling service providers are now accepting foil and trays in the curbside recycling bins!

How do I recycle foil and trays?

To recycle your aluminum foil and trays, simply give them a quick rinse after use and place them directly in your curbside recycling container. All the recyclables get sent to a materials recovery facility, where the aluminum foil and trays will be sorted out with aluminum cans, baled, and shipped to a recycler to be made into new cans or trays. The aluminum recycling stream is one of the most efficient streams in recycling; recycled aluminum can potentially be back on the shelf as a new tray or can in less than one month!

Opportunities for Reuse

Another option for aluminum foil is reuse it to give it a second life. Aluminum foil is dishwasher safe so you can reuse it again and again. Or try getting creative with one of the following ideas!

Get rid of grease

Instead of buying a new steel wool pad, try bunching up old aluminum foil and scrub any caked on grease that accumulates on your stove top or grill. 

Eliminate Static Cling

Do you hate when your clothes come out of the dryer with static cling? Try adding a piece of aluminum foil directly into your dryer when you do your next load! 

Protect your garden

Have a problem with troublesome pests and insects? Put aluminum foil around the base of your plants! You can also hang strips of foil in your garden; the shiny new décor will scare away animals that may be coming to sample your berries and lettuce.

Protect your silverware

This is pretty simple, just lay your silverware on aluminum foil to slow down the deterioration of the metal. You can also get old, tarnished silverware back to looking brand new with just a little aluminum foil, baking soda, and water!  

Take it camping

Aluminum foil can be great for cooking with on a camping trip as well as for other miscellaneous uses including waterproofing. Try wrapping your box of matches in aluminum foil to keep them from getting damp next time you're out in the woods.


If you have any questions about recycling aluminum foil or any other materials, call the Dakota Valley Recycling hotline at 952-895-4559.

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.