Business Recycling Tips

Evaluate all waste to determine if it can be thrown away or needs special handling. Minnesota law prohibits throwing away some materials in the garbage. Typically, materials are banned from garbage in order to conserve resources or to safeguard human health and the environment.

To lawfully manage banned materials and avoid potential enforcement action for improper disposal, see specific items in the A to Z Material Management Directory. Alternatively, your county environmental office can help identify materials that need special handling.


Materials banned from disposal with garbage include:

  • Antifreeze
  • Asbestos
  • Batteries: button (silver or mercuric oxide); lithium batteries (except fully discharged 9 volt or smaller); lead acid batteries (motor vehicle, rechargeable tools, back-up power); nickel-cadmium batteries or devices containing them
  • Computers and monitors
  • Fluorescent lamps
  • Hazardous waste (thousands of materials subject to regulation)
  • High-intensity discharge lamps (HIDs) or mercury vapor
  • Infectious waste
  • Lead paint
  • Lead and lead-bearing items
  • Liquids
  • Major appliances (refrigerators, air conditioners, dehumidifiers, microwave ovens, etc.)
  • Mercury & mercury-containing products (medical devices, thermometers, thermostats, switches)
  • Oil and oil filters
  • PCB containing devices (ballasts, electric motors, transformers, capacitors, etc.)
  • Petroleum products
  • Phone books
  • Radioactive waste
  • Recyclable materials already separated from garbage
  • Televisions and other products containing cathode ray tubes (CRTs)
  • Thermostats, switches and other devices containing mercury
  • Tires
  • Yard and Tree Waste