• Do you live in an apartment?

    Living in an apartment or multiple-dwelling property may limit your space and your control over your environment in comparison to a single-family home, but there are still easy ways to be green. This type of living situation comes with some different ways of dealing with waste, recycling, energy, etc. Check out the information below to help you get on your way.

    Garbage and Recycling

    1. Management companies/landlords of multiple-dwelling properties must offer tenants the opportunity to recycle, per city ordinance in Apple Valley, Burnsville, and Eagan, MN. See the Ordinances section. If you are not offered any recycling for the basic materials (cans, bottles, paper, etc.), talk to your management company. 

    2. Property management companies can apply for free assistance through the Dakota County Multifamily Recycling Program in the form of containers, labels, totes, and education for residents and staff.

    3. In the garbage industry, apartment buildings are often considered "commercial" accounts rather than "residential". If you need to contact the garbage or recycling hauler that services your building(s), please check our list of licensed commercial haulers. 

    4. Did you know you must properly recycle electronics when you are done with them and NOT put them in the garbage?  They also cannot go in with regular recyclables (cans, bottles, paper, etc.). Find options for recycling electronics like televisions, computers, stereos, etc. at the electronics recycling section.

    5. Need to find out how to recycle other items? Check out our Residential Recycling section. 

    6. Want to learn how to properly dispose of many different items? Visit Dakota County's Recycling and Disposal Guide, an online tool with lots of information.


    1. Easy things like turning off the lights and unplugging electronics while not in use can help save electricity and money.

    2. Washing clothes in cold water uses less energy and will save you money if you have your own washer. It will also preserve your clothing.

    3. Use CFLs (compact fluorescent bulbs) in lamps and lighting fixtures instead of the old incandescent bulbs.  Not only will they last longer, but they use 75% less energy.  Just make sure to look for the Energy Star rating on the light bulbs to ensure long-lasting quality. Learn more about Fluorescent bulbs.

    4. For many other energy-saving tips, check out the MN Energy Challengeand their "Renter" specific section. 

    Moving in or moving out?

    5. Want to find or get rid of gently used furniture and other household goods? Check out things like Craigslist or look at the Reuse sectionto find donation and other opportunities.

    6. Do you have household cleaners, paint, old fluorescent bulbs or other items that need to be disposed of? These are considered household hazardous waste and can all be brought to The Dakota County Recycling Zone, in Eagan, at NO CHARGE. 


  • Environmental Guide

    Find the latest Environmental Guide right here! For information on what to recycle at home, organics drop sites, and the Recycling Zone, keep this Guide handy!


  • Garbage

    Did you know that the average person throws away 4.4 pounds of garbage a day? That's enough to fill around 63,000 garbage trucks! Of that waste, over half ends up in the landfill to the tune of 167 million tons. Since all of us generate garbage, learning how to properly dispose of it is important.

    visualizing the impact of our waste infographic

    Curious to see how much trash is near your home? Check out SaveonEnergy's Land of Waste Site here.

  • How a Materials Recovery Facility Works

    A Materials Recovery Facility, MRF, is where recycling goes after it is picked up by a hauler. Multiple haulers can use the same MRF, as they are usually not hauler specific facilities. The visual below shows the process of how a mixed recycling stream is sorted at a MRF.

    Material Recovery Facility Infographic

    1) Recycling is picked up throughout an area at residential homes and businesses by a hauler.

    2) Various haulers in the area then bring the recycling they have collected to a Materials Recovery Facility.

    3) At the Materials Recovery Facility, the recycling gets loaded onto a conveyor belt where workers manually remove contamination. The contaminates usually are plastic film like plastic bags and candy wrappers, but also wires, textiles, and organics. This is an important step because if not removed, these items can cause severe damage to the sorting equipment.

    4) Cardboard and paper products are the first recyclables to be separated. As the recycling stream moves down the conveyor belt, large wheels divert and propel the cardboard and paper up as the heavier items fall through.

    5) As the lightweight paper materials is sorted out, the remaining glass, metals, and plastics continue down the conveyor belt.

    6) The metals are the next material to be removed. Large magnets collect steel cans and other magnetic metal as it passes by.

    7) After the steel is drawn out by magnets, an eddy current is created by a magnet field which repels aluminum and other non-ferrous metals into a separate bin.

    8) Glass bottles and jars are then separated from the remaining plastics using a density blower. A jet air stream hits each item, blowing the lightweight plastics onto a different route.

    9) The heavier glass does not get redirected by the air and continues down the original conveyor belt to be hammered or grinded into finely crushed glass, known as cullet.

    10) The remaining plastic is sorted by optical lasers that determine the resin type and sort each plastic into its appropriate bin. 

    Once the separating process is complete there are six different collections of recyclables: cardboard and paper, steel, aluminum, glass, and plastic. Each material is compacted and bailed and sent to specific materials recycling facilities where they are further processed in order to become suitable for use in manufacturing.

  • How to Set Up Hauling Service

    The Cities of Apple Valley, Burnsville, Eagan, and Lakeville have open collection for their trash and recycling services. This means that the city licenses several companies to collect garbage and recycling for residents but the city itself does not actually pick up any trash and recycling. It is up to residents to choose from any of these licensed haulers below to set up garbage and recycling service in their respective city. 

    Do you live in a:curbside trash and recycling bin

    • Single-family home or duplex?
    • a home that has individual garbage and recycling bins, separate from your neighbors (not dumpsters)?
    • a home that is not part of an association?

    If you answered yes to any of these, view the graphic below for a list of haulers licensed to do business in your city.




    Apple Valley




    Aspen Waste Systems


    Buckingham Disposal


    Dick's Sanitation


    Highland Sanitation
    & Recycling




    Nitti Sanitation


    Republic Services


    Triangle Services




    Offered in this city


    If you answered no to those questions, your hauler options may be different.  Garbage hauling for multi-family residences and commercial properties are licensed separately and therefore your hauler directory is different from the ones above.  The following are considered multi-family homes:

    • Most apartments, townhomes or other homes in an association, condominiums, fourplexes, etc. 
    • Homes that have dumpsters for garbage and recycling
    • Homes that have individual garbage and recycling bins, but are part of an association or complex.


    Dakota County offers many free resources to start or improve recycling at apartments, condominiums, townhomes, and independent senior living. Available resources include containers, labels, tote bags, and education.

    Visit the Dakota County Multifamily Recycling Program webpage for more information and application methods.

    Do you have other questions about garbage and recycling hauling in your city? Call 952-895-4559 or contact usvia email.


  • Landfills

    truck at a landfill weigh stationThere are several landfills and transfer stations in Dakota County that are open to the public. These facilities accept non-hazardous wastes such as garbage, bulky items, remodelling waste and other solid waste. They do NOT accept hazardous waste, tires and yard waste. Call for hours, specifics on materials accepted and associated fees.

    *Please note: some landfill facilities have weight minimum pricing, in which customers who bring less than the minimum will need to pay for the minimum weight required.  For example, a resident that brings 200 lbs of waste would pay the same price for disposal as a resident bringing 2 tons of waste. Always call the phone numbers provided below to determine pricing before bringing your waste to the facility.

    Transfer Stations/Public Drop-Off Sites

    Transfer stations are ideal for small amounts of waste, such as a pick-up truck load or a few bulky items (furniture, etc), because the facilities charge per item or by the cubic yard. Please call the phone numbers provided to inquire about pricing for specific items or amounts of waste.

    Freeway Transfer, Inc.
    1020 W Black Dog Rd
    Burnsville, MN 55337
    Located off I-35W on Black Dog Road, bear left at US Salt and drive 0.4 miles south.
    Hours: Mon-Fri 7:00 am - 5:00 pm, Sat 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
    Accepted: construction & remodelling waste (drywall, lumber, etc), wood furniture
    No food waste, clothing or textiles; extra charge for stuffed furniture & mattresses
    Cash or check only

    Randy's Environmental Services South Public Drop Site
    12620 Vincent Ave S
    Burnsville, MN 55337
    Located behind McDonalds, 1 mile west of I-35W on the south frontage road of Hwy 13.
    List of items accepted (call for pricing).

    Alpha Container Services & Recycling
    4180 160th St. E.
    Rosemount, MN 55068

    Recycling Minnesota - Operated by Dick's Sanitation
    8812 215th St. W.
    Lakeville, MN 55044

    Sanitary Landfills

    Sanitary landfills are ideal for large quantities of waste. Please call the phone numbers provided to inquire about pricing for specific items or amounts of waste.

    Pine Bend Landfill*
    2495 117th St E
    Inver Grove Heights, MN 55075
    *There is a 1 ton price minimum for waste brought to this site. Call for more information.

    Burnsville Sanitary Landfill (Waste Management)**
    2650 Cliff Rd W
    Burnsville, MN 55337
    **There is a 3 ton pricing minimum for waste brought to this site. Call for more information.

    Demolition Landfills

    These landfills take solid waste resulting from the demolition or construction of buildings, roads and other structures. Materials include concrete, sheet rock, brick, asphalt, treated and untreated wood, masonry, glass and plastic building parts.  Please call the phone number provided to inquire about pricing for specific items or quantities.

    Dem-Con Landfill
    3601 W. 130th St
    Shakopee, MN 55379

  • MN State Law

    Minnesota Statute states that cities must ensure that every residential household and business has solid waste collection service. 

    Apple Valley, Burnsville, Eagan, and Lakeville all have an ordinance relating to the Minnesota Law and solid waste collection.  For details and exceptions please see the Ordinances section. 

  • Organized Neighborhood Collection

    The system in Apple Valley, Burnsville, Eagan, and Lakeville for the collection of garbage, recycling and yard waste is known as “open hauling.”  Open hauling allows residents to develop an agreement individually with any garbage-hauling company that is licensed with the City. This system lets residents choose their hauler, but may generate multiple garbage/recycling trucks servicing each neighborhood. 

    garbage truck in neighborhoodNeighbor Block Rate Program

    To alleviate the truck traffic, residents who live on the same street, cul-de-sac or neighborhood can decide to have the same hauler collect their garbage and recyclables for the entire neighborhood. Neighborhoods that participate in the Neighbor Block Rate Program can realize several benefits including: 

    • increased traffic safety
    • decreased noise levels
    • decreased wear and tear on city streets, therefore reducing the assessments to your property for roadway repairs
    • decreased potential for air and noise pollution

    By setting up your neighborhood to be serviced by one hauler, there also is the possibility of a reduced monthly rate, and your group may also be able to request other services.

    The Neighborhood Block Rate Program is a voluntary program that Dakota Valley Recycling promotes to provide safe, environmentally-preferable collection services. Neighborhoods can reap the benefits from this program for garbage and recycling collection and come together to work on these important issues.

    How to Set Up a Neighborhood Block Rate Program

    Inform Neighbors

    Someone will need to initiate the effort to set up the neighborhood for collection services. This “neighborhood organizer” can be one person, a couple of people, or a committee. The neighborhood organizer’s first task is to define the neighborhood. Once the boundaries are set, a list of addresses will need to be complied. This list will be used to inform neighbors about the Neighborhood Block Rate Program. Use a web-based mapping program such as Google Maps or Mapquest, or just walk through your neighborhood to create the list. 

    A sample letter informing residents about the program is included below. Using this letter, the neighborhood organizer can contact neighbors to determine how many households are interested in participating in the program. Be sure to add your address to the attached reply form so neighbors will know where to return it.

    Choose Hauler

    Once the neighborhood organizer has an estimate of the number of households that will be participating in the program, the different haulers can be contacted to determine options for services and rates. A sample worksheet has been provided (below) to give the neighborhood organizer a starting point for determining which haulers may fit best with the neighborhood's needs. Determining priorities for choosing a hauler may require a meeting of interested neighbors.

    Once the worksheet completed, use the spreadsheet provided below and call each hauler that is licensed in your city (lists below).  Once the spreadsheet has been filled out, haulers' answers can be compared with the worksheet to start the decision-making process. Work with interested neighbors to make a determination.  After a consensus is reached, the hauler that was chosen needs to be informed of the participating residents. It is suggested that a list of the participating households be sent to the hauler with the name of the neighborhood organization so the hauler can check off the names as the residents call in to establish services.

    Establish Collection Service

    Residents who choose to participate in the Neighborhood Block Rate Program should contact the chosen hauler to establish the new service. The resident also needs to call their previous hauler to cancel their service. The neighborhood organizer may need to follow up with answers to additional questions from neighbors before service is established.

    Contact New Residents (ongoing)

    If the Neighborhood Organizer knows of new residents in the neighborhood, they may want to send a letter or call to let them know about the collection program that has been established. A sample form letter to new residents is provided below.

    Information and Worksheets for Neighborhood Organizers

    Use these documents to set up a block rate program in your neighborhood. You will need a PDF viewer to open documents.

     If you have any questions about the information in these documents, or about setting up a neighborhood block rate program, please call Dakota Valley Recycling at 952-895-4511 or contact us via email.

  • Understanding Your Waste Contract

    If you are a business or institution that already recycles, great job! We have some tips to help make sure you are getting cost-effective trash and recycling service that fits your needs. If you don’t have recycling service, these tips can help you get started.   


    Haulers rarely revisit their customers’ service levels after the initial set-up; it's up to you to make sure you’re still getting the best deal. Many businesses have been locked into their contracts so long that they’re no longer getting the best price or receiving a level of service that meets their needs. Moreover, contracts often include language that makes it difficult to switch haulers. 

    Here are some phrases to watch out for: 

    • Automatic roll-over
    • Advance notice of discontinuation
    • Formal notice of discontinuation
    • Ability to increase rates without notice
    • Ability to add surcharges for fuel and other inflationary items

    These terms can keep you locked into a contract that charges more than the market rate and make it hard to switch to a service provider who will offer a better price. Contracts usually have only a small window of time where you can switch haulers without penalty. Get a copy of your waste contract and read it carefully! 


    Make sure you understand your invoices. If something is unclear, ask your service provider to clarify it for you.  Invoices often make it hard to distinguish the relative costs of recycling and trash service. It can also be hard to tell what part of your bill is being charged state and county taxes. These are charged on trash ONLY; shifting from trash to recycling should save you money on these charges. Also pay attention to additional fees that may be added on top of your quoted rates; these may creep up over time without being noticed. Examples include items such as:

    • Rental trash
    • Rental recycling
    • Container service fee
    • Recyclable material offset
    • Extra yardage fee
    • Single sort processing fee
    • Administrative fee
    • Environmental fee
    • Non-tax fee
    • Fuel surcharge
    • Fuel/Environmental/Recovery fee
    • Commodity adjustment


    If you don’t already have recycling service, do your part by adding it! Rates charged to customers for recycling service are usually less expensive than chose charged for trash, and your recyclables will not be taxed by the state or county. However, adding recycling to an existing trash-only service contract costs more money in total unless the trash service levels can be reduced.

    Take steps to “right-size” your containers. You should evaluate whether you have extra space in your dumpsters or if they could be serviced less often. Once you have established a continuing contract with a hauler, the hauler has no incentive to evaluate your service frequency or size of your containers.

    If you update your contract, make sure your hauler is collecting the maximum types of recyclable material. The majority of businesses recycle cardboard and office paper. With almost all haulers now offering single-sort recycling service, you could be recycling all kinds of materials! For example, most haulers now accept #1-7 plastics and cartons.

    If you don’t have control over your waste contract, contact your property manager, building owner or corporate office and ask for recycling!


    Businesses that go out to bid, even through an informal process, tend to get lower rates and more services.

    Visit our commercial haulers page for a list of commercial haulers in your community.

    This information is adapted from the report “Solid Waste Management Coordinating Board: Commercial Cost and Billing Research” by Skumatz Economic Research Associates, Inc.

  • What Can't Go in the Trash

    There are certain items that are illegal to throw away in the garbage, per Minnesota State Law and Dakota County Ordinance. These items must be recycled or disposed of properly.

    Find proper disposal methods for the following items:


  • What Happens to Your Recycling?

    Once your recyclable are picked up at your curb, most residents don't exactly know where they go and what happens to them. We're here to break down the process and hopefully clear up some confusion on what exactly happens to the recycling you put out on your curbside. 

    Materials Recycling Facilities

    After your hauler picks up your recycling, it is brought to a nearby sorting facility. This facility is called a material recovery facility (MRF). This facility receives and separates recycling by material, and prepares recyclables for manufactures. The illustration below shows the general process to how recycling is separated in a MRF.


     Material Recovery Facility Infographic


    Recycling → Commodities

    Once the recyclables are sorted by material, they are baled into compact cubes. These cubes are now considered commodities, since they can be sold to manufactures. Consumers drive the value of these commodities. A demand by consumers for products made using recyclable materials creates a need for manufactures to use these materials, thus increasing the value of the recycled material.


    Recycled paper materials are sold to paper mills where they are further processed before being sold to manufactures. Recycled paper is often used in toilet paper, egg cartons, and paper towel rolls.


    The bales of metals are sent to smelting facilities where they are further processed before being manufactured into new products. Because metal doesn't break down easily, recycled metal can be used to make a variety of products like aluminum or tin cans, file cabinets, or tin foil.


    The glass cullet is sent to glass processing facilities. Glass can be recycled an infinite number of times, so recycled glass is often manufactured right back into what it was: bottles and jars.


    Plastic bales are sold to plastic recycling facilities where they are most often down-cycled into things like lawn furniture, garbage cans, carpets, and park benches.

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.