Holiday recycling tips

With the holiday season upon us, here are some helpful recycling reminders.

Holiday collection schedule

Due to the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, your garbage, recycling and organics recycling collections will be one day later than your regular collection day during the weeks of Dec. 25 and Jan. 1.

Recycling holiday lights

Holiday lights may not be placed in recycling carts, but they can be taken to several drop-off locations for recycling. Contact your local hardware store to see if it accepts lights, bring them to one of Hennepin County’s drop-off facilities or visit for additional recycling outlets. Holiday lights may also go in the garbage. Consider donating working lights.

Aluminum is recyclable

Aluminum foil and trays are recyclable. Along with aluminum cans, aluminum foil, trays and tins are accepted in your recycling cart. Just make sure that the aluminum items are mostly free of food. They do not need to spotless, just wipe out most of the residue or give them a quick rinse.

Every three months, Americans throw enough aluminum in the garbage to build our nation’s entire commercial air fleet. Steel and aluminum cans are easily recycled as other steel and aluminum products. This conserves mineral resources, and the recycling process uses 75 percent less energy than using virgin materials does. Recycled steel and aluminum finds its way into new cars, bikes, appliances, cookware and a whole lot more.

Christmas trees

You can leave your Christmas tree alongside your garbage cart before 6 a.m. on your regular garbage pickup day. If tree is 6 feet or taller, you must cut in half. Christmas trees, wreaths and garlands are not accepted in the organics recycling program.

Wrapping paper

You can recycle your wrapping paper unless it has glitter, foil, reflective areas or velvet.

Extra recycling can go in a cardboard box or paper bag

You may place any extra recycling that doesn’t fit into your recycling cart next to the cart in cardboard boxes or paper bags. If you consistently have extra recycling, you can get another cart by calling 612-673-2917. There is no charge for additional recycling carts.

Check out a detailed organics recycling guide

Are you wondering if your wine corks, cheesecloth or paper plates can go in your organics cart? If so, check out a detailed organics recycling guide for tons of examples of what can and can’t be placed in organics recycling. If you still have a question, you can call Solid Waste & Recycling at 612-673-2917 for guidance. For more information about the organics recycling program, visit