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Saint Paul has a single-sort recycling system, which means residents can put all recyclable materials into one cart. For more information download the 2020 All In Recycling Guide:

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Curious what happens to your recycling once it leaves your blue cart?

Join Eureka Recycling for a virtual tour of their Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) to learn more about the recycling process by visiting

Tours take place every Tuesday @ noon on Zoom and will be approximately 90 minutes in length, including Q&A. If you sign up, a $5 donation toward their tour program is suggested. Please visit the Eureka Recycling website to reserve your spot today.

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Accepted for Recycling

Plastic Containers

Empty, rinse, & replace caps/lids


plastic containers (milk jug, detergent bottle, yogurt tub, shampoo bottle, water bottle, fruit carton)

  • Plastic Containers #1, #2, & #5

    • Plastic bottles & jugs

      • Water, soda, and juice bottles
      • Milk and detergent jugs
      • Shampoo, soap, & lotion bottles
    • Plastic cups & containers
      • Yogurt, pudding, & fruit cups
      • Margarine, cottage cheese, & other food tubs
      • Hard-plastic produce & take-out containers


Empty & rinse

recyclables metal items (aluminum cans, steel cans, pie tin, aerosol can, decorative tin)


  • Food & beverage cans
  • Aluminum foil & trays
  • Decorative tins & pie tins
  • Empty aerosol cans


Empty, rinse, & remove caps/lids


glass bottles and jars (wine bottle, beer bottle, soda bottle, pickle jar)

  • Food & beverage bottles & jars


Empty, rinse, replace caps/lids

cartons and cardboard cans


  • Soup, broth, & wine cartons
  • Milk cartons
  • Juice boxes


Keep dry & flat

pile of papers (newspaper, mail, magazines, etc)


  • Office & school papers
  • Newspapers & inserts
  • Magazines, mail, & phone books


Empty & flatten

cardboard boxes (cereal box, tissue box, delivery pizza box, toothpaste box, paper towel tube)


  • Cardboard
  • Delivery pizza boxes
  • Cereal, cracker, shoe, & gift boxes
  • Toiletry boxes
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Not Accepted for Recycling

icon indicating no plastic bags allowed in recycling
  • No plastic bags or film
  • No plastic identified with #3, #4, #6, or #7
  • No containers lager than 3 gallons
  • No shredded paper
icon indicating no cords allowed in recycling
  • No tanglers (hoses, cords, or string lights)
  • No black plastic
  • No large storage bins, laundry baskets, or toys
icon indicating no food or liquids allowed in recycling
  • No food or liquids
  • No compostable materials
icon indicating no to-go containers allowed in recycling
  • No disposable or to-go containers
  • No styrofoam
  • No dishes or cookware
  • No egg cartons (paper or styrofoam)
icon indicating no electronics or batteries allowed in recycling
  • No batteries or electronics
  • No light bulbs
  • No helium or fuel tanks
  • No scrap metal
icon indicating no needles or sharps allowed in recycling
  • No sharp objects/needles
  • No hazardous waste
  • No containers that held hazardous materials


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Additional Items Not Accepted for Recycling

Clothes and Linens:

Clothes/linens is no longer accepted in the residential collection program. Do not place clothing/textiles in or next to your recycling cart. For donation opportunities, visit the Ramsey County Reuse and Donation page.

Shredded Paper:

Recycle Smart. Shredded paper is no longer accepted in the residential recycling program. When placed in your recycling cart, shredded paper most often does not get recycled due to its very small size and can be a contaminant for other materials in the recycling process. Keep your paper shredding to a minimum. Paper for shredding is typically accepted at our Citywide Drop off Events. You can also refer to the Ramsey County AtoZ Recycling and Disposal Guide for disposal options.

shredded paper spilled on sorting line at a Materials Recovery Facility

Election Signs:

Graphics indicating not to put plastic lawn signs in the recycling container

General and/or political signs (typically made of corrugated plastic) can’t be recycled in Saint Paul's collection program. These signs may be kept for future use, for an adapted use, or discarded as waste. Please check with the sponsor/campaign that distributed the sign to see if they are collecting these signs following the election.

If you have metals signs or metal stakes, separate any metal from the plastic campaign signs and recycle with scrap metal at a metal recycler.

Last Edited: August 24, 2021