Make sure your trash is headed to the right place.
Craiglist and other classified ads abound with offers for junk removal and free appliance and metal recycling. Before hiring a service to remove unwanted items from your home or business, make sure the service provider is legitimate. Otherwise, you take the risk of your items being illegally dumped, as was the case in southeast Minnesota recently.
Make sure your waste hauler is legitimate
Under Minnesota rules, property owners and occupants — whether business, residential or government — have a duty to dispose of waste only though authorized facilities. Waste haulers need to be licensed by the cities or counties where they operate. Disposal facilities need the appropriate permits to ensure compliance with state rules designed to protect the environment. In addition, recyclers must be registered with the state of Minnesota.
To make sure waste haulers and recyclers have the appropriate licenses and permits, companies and consumers should contact their county environmental services departments.
Other disposal options
Household hazardous waste: Residents can find disposal sites for household hazardous waste on MPCA’s household hazardous waste webpage.
Recycling: For recycling guidelines and locations, check out your county or city website. Not only does recycling mean less garbage being sent to landfills or incinerators, it also helps Minnesota’s economy. The recycling industry supports 20,000 jobs in the state, paying an estimated $760 million in wages and adding nearly $3 billion to Minnesota’s economy.
Electronics: For electronic trash (E-waste), the MPCA offers a list of registered collectors as well as tips for recycling. Electronics such as televisions, computers, and DVD players contain toxic metals and chemicals. When thrown away, they can release heavy metals and other chemicals to the environment. Almost anything electronic can be recycled these days.
Find out more
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For more information on recycling and reducing waste, check out the Living Green section of the MPCA website.