County Solid Waste Master Plan
Dakota County is currently revising its 2012-2030 Solid Waste Master Plan to properly manage trash, recyclables, food waste, and hazardous materials for 2017-2037. Dakota Valley Recycling is a part of this important effort that affects everyone in the County including residents, businesses, schools, organizations, haulers, and waste facilities.
First Round Complete
Over 500 County residents and businesses provided input on key issues from November 2016 through February 2017. Take a look at the Round 1 results, which will shape the County’s draft waste management strategies. Curious about the project timeline? Check out the project overview here.
Your Voice Matters
Later this spring, watch for Round 2 opportunities to provide your feedback on those draft strategies, and get more information on the Master Plan process on the County Solid Waste Master Plan website. Dakota County is using the County's Planning Commission as the advisory committee to periodically review recommendations. For more information refer to the Planning Commission's meeting minutes.
Disposable wipes, used for changing baby diapers, personal hygiene, household cleaning, and more, are causing major issues for cities wastewater treatment stations. Although labeled ‘flushable’ or ‘septic safe’ these wipes do not break down the same way as toilet paper does. When flushed, these wipes catch on any imperfection in the sewer pipes, like debris or grease deposits, which creases a dam that grows in size until it fully clogs the pipes. These clogs put stress on community waste water collection and treatment systems, causing premature equipment repair and replacement. They can even lead to backups into homeowner’s basement. Clogs and backups are becoming more prevalent as ‘flushable’ wipes use increases. Luckily, there is a simple solution – throw them in the trash. Even though they may be labeled as ‘flushable’ or ‘septic safe,’ this is not a wastewater treatment endorsed term, all wipes belong in the trash.
You can find a video from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency about how disposable wipes differ from toilet paper when flushed below.
Event and Party Recycling Resources
Make your next event or gathering a green one! Dakota Valley Recycling can help you plan a low-waste event by providing free resources to residents and event planners. View the following guides to get started.
If you live in Apple Valley, Burnsville, Eagan, or Lakeville, Dakota Valley Recycling also has free and easy to use recycling resources for your event including:
- Portable recycling, organics, and trash stations
- Signs and banners
- Bags and litter grabbers
Set up disposal
In order to recycle what you collect, you will have to arrange for a pick up service through a licensed hauler. For a list of licensed commercial haulers, visit our hauler guide here.
If you collected organics during your event including food and compostable products, you must arrange a separate pick-up for the material to go to a commercial organics recycling site. You may set that service up with your selected hauler. If food and food scraps only were collected, you may place that in a backyard composter.
If you collected any hazardous materials during your event including but not limited to paints, cleaners, fuels, and most products labeled dangerous, flammable, combustible, poisonous, or corrosive, you will need to bring these items to The Recycling Zone in Eagan. Residents are able to drop off hazardous waste for free during open business hours.
Fats, Oils, and Greases
What is FOG?
FOG is the fats, oils, and greases that are a by-product of cooking. FOG is found in meat fats, lard, cooking oil, shortening, butter/margarine, food scraps, baking goods, sauces, and dairy products.
Why is FOG important?
It is important to keep FOG out of our sewer system, as it is currently the number one cause of sewer blockages in homes. If poured down the drain or toilet, FOG can adhere and thicken on pipe walls. The buildup can restrict or completely block pipes, inhibiting flow. This can lead to rancid orders and sewer backups in basements, roadways, and water bodies. These overflows are not only expensive and messy, but are hazardous to the environment and can also severely damage property.
How to properly dispose of FOG
To properly dispose of fats, oils, and greases, the best way is to pour cooled cooking oil, poultry and meat fats into a sealed non-recyclable container and discard it with your normal garbage. Then use paper towels to wipe residual oil or grease off pots, pans, and dishes before washing them. If you have large quantities of cooking oil (like from a deep fryer), you can bring them to The Recycling Zone to drop off for free.