The commercial sector generates more than half of the total waste in Dakota County, and nearly two-thirds of that waste is recyclable. A strong recycling program conserves natural resources, can help your bottom line, and demonstrates your organization's commitment to sustainability.
Recycling Program Assistance
Recycling is now required by law for many businesses, including housing retail, restaurants, educations and professional services, health care services or any other business with a North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) code between 42 and 81 and contracting disposal for at least four cubic yards of solid waste per week. To help businesses start or improve recycling programs, Dakota County is offering funding and technical assistance to businesses including non-profit organizations and multi-unit dwellings, who are looking to start or improve recycling programs.
Dakota County provides funding to reduce waste, start or improve recycling, and start organics recovery. Business, organizations and mutli-unit dwelling located in the County and subject to the commercial recycling requirement are eligible for funding up to $10,000 per location. No match is required.
To see if your business or organization is eligible for funding assistance, complete this short questionnaire.
For more information, see Dakota County's Business Recycling Incentive Program Guidelines (pdf).
Research shows that many businesses lack the time, knowledge, and money to set up recycling and organics recycling programs. If you are one those businesses, Dakota County makes it easy for you.
Dakota County has solid waste and recycling consultants that help businesses start or improve their recycling programs, which can help your business save money.
Contact Renee Burman, Business Recycling Program Coordinator, to schedule a site visit by our expert consultants.
Free Bin Labels
Signage for recycling, organics, and trash containers is essential for a successful program. Dakota County has a wide variety of container labels available for businesses to order for free. The labels are durable, self-adhesive, and available in the following sizes:
- 8.5” x 11” – Apply to clean containers or post on walls above containers at eye-level.
- 5” x 14” – Apply to containers, especially good for tall bins.
- 11” x 5.5” – Apply to containers and lid flaps, small deskside/desktop bins, and other smaller bins.
- 3” x 3” – Apply to containers and lid flaps.
For Businesses - Very Small Quantity Generator Program
Businesses are required to properly dispose of hazardous waste such as batteries, solvents, paint, used oil and fuels. The Recycling Zone accepts waste from businesses that produce small amounts of hazardous waste--less than 220 lbs. or about 22 gallons per month--as a part of Dakota County's Very Small Quantity Generator (VSQG) Program. More than 90 percent of businesses qualify as VSQG. Businesses with any amount of electronics, fluorescent lamps and batteries may qualify regardless of limitations. Fluorescent bulbs and electronics contain hazardous components, making it illegal to throw them in the trash. Fluorescent bulbs contain mercury and electronics contain toxic materials such as lead, PCBs, mercury and cadmium.
Apply to the VSQG Program
Businesses must complete and submit a VSQG program application to Dakota County. Once the completed application is received, they will set up an appointment for you to drop off your waste at The Recycling Zone. Waste is not accepted without an appointment. To review prices associated with items accepted for drop-off and a more detailed list, visit Dakota County's Very Small Quantity Generator program page.
- Hazardous Waste
- Lamps and ballasts (Xcel Energy customers can bring an Xcel Energy utility statement and receive free disposal of up to 10 fluorescent lamps once per year.)
- Recyclables accepted for free during all business hours:
- Cartons - milk, juice, soup, broth, wine
- Glass bottles and jars
- Metal - cans, scrap, aluminum foil (clean)
- Paper - newspapers, office papers, magazines, phone books
- Plastic bottles and containers numbered 1, 2, or 5.
Items not accepted
- Yard waste
- Medical equipment
- Free-standing copiers
- Business sharps
- Controlled substances
Dakota County reserves the right to refuse waste that is not transported in accordance with state requirements.
- Use containers that are closed, labeled, and in good condition (without rust or leakage) and can be left at The Recycling Zone.
- Transport lamps in original cartons or similar containers to prevent breakage. Do not tape lamps or bulbs together.
- Tape both ends of batteries or put each battery in individual packaging to prevent short-circuiting.
- Keep a completed shipping paper with any waste that is not being transported under a Materials of Trade (MOT) exemption. Dakota County can provide this for you.
Cash, check or Visa/MasterCard payment is due at the time of delivery. Make checks payable to Dakota County Property Taxation & Records. Businesses receive a tracking receipt upon payment.
For a program application, current disposal costs, detailed information on accepted waste or preparation requirements:
- Visit www.dakotacounty.us and search VSQG