• Fluorescent bulbs

    CFL BulbsCompact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) use significantly less energy than traditional (incandescent) light bulbs. If every America home replaced one bulb with a CFL, we'd save enough energy to light 3 million homes, and prevent greenhouse gas emissions equal to ~800,000 cars. Even though CFLs contain a small amount of mercury, that amount is significantly less than the amount of mercury avoided as a result of the energy savings.

    Recycling Compact Fluorescent Bulbs

    • CFL bulbs: It is illegal to place CFL bulbs in the garbage, because they contain a small amount of mercury. You can recycle CFLs (bulbs ONLY) at any of the locations in the green box below. CFLs (bubls and tubes) are also collected at Household Hazardous Waste Clean-Up days for free. NOTE: if you have fluorescent tubes, please scroll down for recycling options as these are not accepted at the locations listed in the table below.

    The Recycling Zone

    3365 Dodd Road
    Eagan, MN 55121
    Bulbs accepted for free from residents

    City of Burnsville Maintenance Facility
    13713 Frontier Court
    Burnsville, MN 55337
    M-F 7am-3:30pm
    Bulbs accepted for free from residents

    City of Apple Valley Maintenance Facility
    6442 140th St W
    Apple Valley, MN 55124
    M-F 8am-4:30pm
    Bulbs accepted for free from residents

    Cleanlites Recycling, Inc
    7650 215th St, W 
    Lakeville, MN 55044
    Bulbs accepted for a FEE from residents 

    Home Depot
    Multiple locations
    Home Depot store locator
    Multiple locations
    Menards store locator
    Ace Hardware
    Multiple locations
    Ace store locator
    True Value
    Multiple locations
    True Value store locator


    • Fluorescent tubes: These cannot be placed in the trash. Instead, take them to The Recycling Zone[free from a residential source, for a fee from businesses], Batteries Plus, or Certified Recyclingfor a fee, so they may be disposed of properly and safely.

    Why use a CFL?

    • A CFL can save more than $40 in electricity costs over its lifetime if used instead of an incandescent bulb
    • It uses 75% less energy than standard incandescent bulbs and lasts 10 times longer
    • Produces about 75% less heat, so it's safer to operate and can cut energy costs associated with home cooling

    Preventing CFLs from Breaking:

    • Always switch off and allow the bulb to cool before handling. If possible, screw/unscrew the CFL by holding the plastic or ceramic base, not the glass tubing
    • Do not overtighten
    • Keep out of lamps that could easily tip

    Cleaning Up a Broken CFL:

    Exposure to broken CFLs can pose a health risk, especially to pregnant women and young children. 

    1. Open a window, shut off central air conditioning or forced-air heating, and clear the room for at least 15 minutes, as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends.
    2. Follow the detailed cleanup steps for either hard surfaces or carpeting/rugs posted on the EPA web site.

    Check out these other helpful links:

  • Food Waste Programs

    Businesses that generate food waste have options for disposing of this waste other than sending it to the landfill.  Starting an organics recycling program is a viable option for giving your food waste another purpose, and being an environmental steward. 

    There are three main organics recycling options for businesses:

    Food-to-People Programs-- Sometimes food being thrown away is edible and fine for human consumption.  This waste material can serve as a resource for food rescue organizations and can provide hunger relief for those in need in the community. This includes donating fresh or prepared food that is still good such as day-old bread or that day's leftovers. For more information visit Rethink Recycling's Food Recovery Guide. 

    Food-to-Livestock Programs-- Food that is no longer safe for people to eat can still find a good use.  Food waste can be taken by a farmer to be processed into animal feed.  This includes any amount of food scraps and by-products. For more information check out Rethink Recycling's Guide and search Food to Animals. 

    Organics Composting-- Food scraps and soiled paper can be collected and taken to a compost facility where it is composted and turned into a nutrient rich soil amendment. Call your hauler for organics recycling options and check out the local SET compost site in Dakota County.

  • Furniture

    Furniture in good condition can be donated to any of the following businesses to be resold and reused.  For furniture items no longer in good condition, Certified Recycling in Burnsville offers drop-off or pick-up service to deconstruct and recycle the materials. Otherwise, call your garbage hauler for a one-time pick up (call for fees), or bring them to a landfill.

    Certified Recycling
    14305 Ewing Ave
    Burnsville, MN

    Donation Options

    Apple Valley

    7320 153rd St
    Apple Valley, MN

    7608 W 150th St
    Apple Valley, MN


    C.H.A.P. Thrift Store
    2020 E Hwy 13
    Burnsville, MN

    stack of furnitureSalvation Army - Burnsville Family and Thrift Store
    10141 Irving Ave
    Burnsville, MN

    UNIQUE Thrift Store
    14308 Burnhaven Dr
    Burnsville, MN


    1247 Northwood Pkwy
    Eagan, MN

    Other Locations

    201 W 87th St
    Bloomington, MN

    1425 S Robert St
    West Saint Paul, MN

  • Garden Pots

    For the avid gardener, spring and summer means the accumulation of those black plastic garden pots.  Plastic pots take up space in landfills; they do not readily decompose and remain intact for many years. 

    Lowe's home improvement stores provide a drop-off garden pot recycling program for customers.  No matter where you purchase the plant, you can return the materials to a Lowe's Garden Center to be recycled.  Learn more on the Lowe's plastic garden pots

    Lowe's--West St. Paul
    1795 Robert St.
    West St. Paul, MN 55118

    4270 Dean Lakes Blvd.
    Shakopee, MN 55379

  • Get More Room to Recycle

    DOverflowing recycling carto you run out of room in your recycling cart at home before your recycling day? You're not alone due to the fact that more of your waste is recyclable than ever before, some families find that their recycling cart is overflowing on a regular basis.  Luckily, there are easy steps you can take to ease those recycling woes.

    Option 1. Increase cart size

    Upgrade your bin to a bigger size

    Most garbage companies will automatically give you a 65 gallon recycling cart, which gets picked up every other week. If that system doesn't work for your household, try calling your hauler and ask to upgrade to a 95 gallon recycling cart. Please inquire about fees directly with your hauler, as it will depend on your location and if you're in a townhome, homeowners association, or single-family home. (Don't know your hauler's number? Click here for a directory)

    If you are recycling more, you may also be able to downsize your garbage service. By law, garbage haulers are required to charge less for a smaller-sized garbage cart. You could save $1 to $3 per month, not to mention space in your garage!

    Option 2. Increase recycling pick-ups

    Some garbage haulers are now offering weekly recycling pick-ups which may help to reduce the overflow in the recycling bin. Call your hauler to see if that is an option available to you. 

    Option 3. Ask for a second recycling cart.

      Add a bin






    Still not enough room to recycle? Consider asking for a 2nd recycling cart. Some haulers may provide this for free, other may charge a small monthly fee.


    Did You Know?

    When your recycling cart is overflowing, it may be tempting to squish all the recyclables down to make them fit. However, this can be trouble down the line. The machines at the recycling facilidon't crush plastic containersty sort recyclables based on their dimensions--cans and bottles are three-dimensional (3D) and paper and cardboard are two-dimensional (2D). So, DO NOT flatten pop cans or plastic containers, but DO flatten your cardboard boxes. See a video about the process of sorting materials at a recycling facility.

  • Green Cleaners

    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.


    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).


    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.



    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.



    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.






  • Green Your Holidays

    Did you know that the volume of trash generally increases by 25% between Thanksgiving and New Years? Help reduce that waste with some easy reducing and recycling holiday tips. 

  • Household Goods Donation Sites

    Household items in good condition can be donated to any of the following businesses to be resold and reused.  Items no longer in good condition can be placed in the garbage.

    dishware, glassware and other household goodsC.H.A.P. Thrift Store
    2020 E Hwy 13
    Burnsville, MN 55337

    7320 153rd St
    Apple Valley, MN 55124

    1247 Northwood Pkwy
    Eagan, MN 55121

    1425 S Robert St
    West Saint Paul, MN 55118

    17625 Kenrick Ave,
    Lakeville, MN 55044

    7608 W 150th St
    Apple Valley, MN 55124

    Salvation Army - Family and Thrift Store
    10141 Irving Ave
    Burnsville, MN 55337

    UNIQUE Thrift Store
    14308 Burnhaven Dr
    Burnsville, MN 55337

  • 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 Recycle Batteries

    From lithium ion to alkaline to zinc-carbon, there are many different types of batteries that you may encounter every day in your home. But do you know what to do with them?

    In many cases, you are able to bring your batteries directly back to the retailer. In Dakota County this includes but is not limited to: Target, Walmart, Home Depot, all car parts stores, Best Buy, RadioShack, Sams Club, Staples, Batteries Plus, and Lowe's. 

    Lithium Ion  Lithium Ion Battery

    Also known as a rechargeable battery, these batteries have become extremely common due to their convenience and cost savings. However, they do contain hazardous materials and are illegal to dispose of in your household garbage bin. Instead, place tape over the terminals and bring them to a retailer or the recycling zone to dispose of them for free.

    Alkaline Alkaline Battery

    Alkaline batteries are another very common household battery and come in many shapes, colors and sizes. Perhaps the common is the gold and black battery with the word “alkaline” written somewhere on the battery. These types of batteries can be disposed of in your household garbage bin, but they do contain valuable materials so it is better to bring them to The Recycling Zone to be recycled. These batteries are not accepted in your curbside recycling bin because they are too small and often get lost in the process or fall through the cracks in the materials recycling facility. When it comes to batteries, if in doubt- bring it to The Recycling Zone.

    Car Batteries    Car Battery

    Automotive batteries, also commonly referred to as lead-acid batteries, are large square lead blocks. These batteries are a type of lithium ion batteries and are illegal to dispose of in your household garbage bin. Instead, you can recycle them at your local automotive store, or take them to The Recycling Zone in Dakota County. 

    Nickel-Cadmium Batteries      Nickel Cadmium Battery

    Nickel-cadmium batteries are another type of rechargeable battery that uses nickel oxide hydroxide and metallic cadmium instead of lithium. These batteries are also illegal to throw away in your household garbage and must be disposed of responsibly either through a retail store or by bringing them into The Recycling Zone.   

    The Recycling Zone

    3365 Dodd Road (South Highway 149)
    Eagan, MN 55121

    For more information about materials accepted and hours, visit our Recycling Zone guide. 

    Battery Handling Tips

    • Store batteries in a vented plastic bucket or sturdy cardboard box away from light bulbs and other breakable items
    • Tape the terminals with electrical or plastic tape to prevent short circuiting
    • Older batteries may rust and leak. If a battery appears to be dirty or have a film around the terminals, use caution and do not touch the areas leaking. 
    • Always wash your hands after handling batteries or use gloves to prevent touching hazardous materials


  • How to Reduce Household Hazardous Waste

    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.

  • 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.


  • Lakeville Organics Drop Off

    18400 Ipava Ave, Lakeville, MN 55044

    As of October 1st, Dakota County and the City of Lakeville are offering an exciting opportunity for Lakeville residents to dramatically cut their waste. A free organics drop-site launched after many residents, through surveys and public forums, voiced their desire to keep organic waste out of the landfill. The Lakeville location will be the first organics drop-site in the southwest part of the county.

    Unlike backyard composting, the Lakeville site is set up for commercial composting which allows the resident to compost food scraps like meat, bones, pizza boxes, tissues and much more. This is not a yard waste site – no leaves or brush are accepted at this location.

    Participation is easy. Sign-up online at, search organics, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call 952-891-7557. Once signed up, residents receive a welcome kit with a free container label, compostable bags and details on how to recycle organics, as well the access codes to enter the locked drop-off locations at Thompson County Park, Holland Lake Trailhead and the Lakeville Water Treatment Facility.

  • Low or No VOC Paint

    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.

  • Mattresses

    Mattresses and box springs are a bulky item in our waste stream and can be problematic because they are hard to move, clog up equipment, and are hard to compact in a landfill.  Fortunately, there are options for reusing and recycling old mattresses and box springs in the Twin Cities. 


    Mattresses and box springs aren't accepted at thrift stores, but they are accepted at a local nonprofit in the Twin Cities. Bridging accepts donations of quality, gently used furniture and household goods at their Bloomington and Roseville locations. You have the choice to bring your donations to their facility at no charge, or schedule a pick-up from your home for a fee ($125 for curbside or garage pick up). Bridging also accepts metal, collapsible bed frames.

    For a full list of what Bridging accepts, visit

    201 W 87th St
    Bloomington, MN 55420 [map]

    1730 Terrace Dr
    Roseville, MN 55113
    M-Th 10am-6pm; F-Sa 9am-3pm



    Mattresses no longer in usable condition can be recycled. This option  is a way to recover and recycle materials like metal, wood and textiles. Call for drop-off hours and information on fees.

    Certified Recycling
    14305 Ewing Ave
    Burnsville, MN 55306

    Second Chance Recycling
    1179 15th Avenue SE
    Minneapolis, MN 55414
    612-332-0664 ext. 14

    J&J Recycling Center
    607 Barge Channel Road
    Saint Paul, MN 55107

    If recycling mattresses and box springs is not an option, ask the retailer that brings your new mattress if they offer disposal.  If they don't, call your licensed garbage hauler to schedule a pick-up (if you live in an apartment or are part of an association, find contact information for the licensed commercial haulers), or bring it to a landfill, both for a fee. 

  • Minnesota Energy Challenge

    The MN Energy Challenge is run by an area nonprofit, Center for Energy and Environment.  The Challenge is a pledge to reduce energy use and save money in your household.  You can learn about the actions that you take, and then choose the ones that work for you.  The web site also features an easy-to-use action guide, an "ask the experts" section, and information on utility rebate programs.  Registration is free for all services.  Most important, however, is the Challenge itself.  Over 26,000 Minnesota households have already pledged to save money and energy!

    Find more information on the MN Energy Challenge web site!

    A few tips from the MN Energy Challenge:

    Biggest bang for your buck:

    • Sign up for your utility company's air conditioning load control program.
    • Insulate your attic.
    • Wash clothes in cold water.
    • Insulate walls.
    • Replace 20+ year old furnaces.

    Fun for families:

    • Ditch the car and walk or bike to get exercise and save energy.


    • Flip off lights and unplug appliances when not in use.
    • Replace incandescent light bulbs with CFL's.
    • Use holiday LED lights for your winter celebrations.
  • Need a new recycling bin?

    Need a new recycling bin?

    Is your current recycling bin broken, missing, or are you new to the area? 

    Getting a new recycling bin is easy if you live in Apple Valley, Burnsville, Eagan, or Lakeville. Simply contact your garbage hauler to obtain a bin; haulers provide bins for their residential and commercial customers.

  • 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.

  • Pharmaceutical Disposal

    Pharmeceutical DisposalDo Not Flush Prescription Drugs Down the Toilet. Prescription and over the counter medications should not be flushed down the toilet, poured down a sink or placed in the trash.Instead, take prescription and over-the-counter medication to select law enforcement drop-off locations in Dakota County (listed below) to safely and anonymously dispose of them.

    Medication Drop-Off Stations

    Residents can drop off expired or unwanted medicine for free at:
    Locations open 24-hours, seven days a week:

    • Hasting Sheriff's Office (1580 Hwy 55)
    • Mendota Heights Police Station (1101 Victoria Curve)
    • West St. Paul Police Station (1616 Humboldt Ave)
    • **Temporarily Unavailable** Burnsville Police Station (100 Civic Center Pkwy) 

    Locations open Monday-Friday, 8am to 4:30pm:

    • Apple Valley Police Station(7100 147th St W)
    • Eagan Police Station(3830 Pilot Knob Rd, open M-F, 8am to 6pm)
    • Lakeville Police Station (9237 183rd St W)
    • Farmington Police Station (19500 Municipal Dr)
    • Rosemount Police Station (2875 145th St W)

    Medicines accepted:

    Household medications are accepted in any form including prescription, over-the counter and pet medicines. Examples include:

    • blister packs
    • capsules
    • pills
    • creams
    • gels
    • vials
    • inhalers
    • IV bags
    • liquids
    • patches
    • powders
    • sprays
    • tablets

    Not accepted:

    • NO needles, syringes or fever thermometers. Bring these items to The Recycling Zonein Eagan for free, environmentally-safe disposal.
    • NO medicines from businesses, including health care facilities, long-term care facilities, pharmacies, doctor’s offices or veterinary clinics. 

    Preparation guidelines:

    • Drop off is safe and anonymous. No ID is required and no questions will be asked.
    • Keep medicines in their original container and place them in a sealed, clear plastic bag (pills can remain in their blister packs).
    • Use a marker to cross out any names on medicine containers.
    • Place medicine that is no longer in its original container in a clear plastic bag and write the name of the medicine on the bag.

    For more information and FAQs, visit the Dakota County Sheriff's Office Prescription Drug Drop-Off page.

    Why are unused prescription and over-the-counter medications a concern?

    The problem is two-fold:

    1) Studies have shown that pharmaceuticals and over the counter drugs are present in our nation's waterbodies and certain drugs may cause ecological harm. Outdated or unusable drugs that are disposed of by flushing or pouring down a sink, enter the environment because wastewater treatment facilities are not designed to remove them;

    2) Storing unused or outdated prescriptions creates an opportunity for illicit use.  Use the Dakota County Sheriff's Drop-Off program to dispose of medications safely.

  • Plastic Bags

    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.

    *Some locations have temporarily stopped offering plastic bag drop-off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Be sure to check with the specific location prior to your drop-off.


    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

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.