Recycling & Organics Disposal / Food Waste

Organics Disposal / Food Waste

An organics drop-off program is available to residents at the Washington County Environmental Center. When you participate in the organics drop-off program, your food scraps and non-recyclable paper products will be recycled into compost at a commercial compost facility. Compost is a valuable resource that improves soil, reduces erosion, and decreases the need for fertilizers.

Learn more about organics disposal.

Mixed or Single Sort Recycling

Residents can put all recyclable materials into one bin for curbside pick-up (separating is not required). Recycling helps preserve resources and reduce the amount of waste going into incinerators and landfills. Below is a list of acceptable recyclables in Woodbury:

  • Cardboard boxes (Flatten and bundle boxes.)
  • Cartons (shelf-stable juice and broth; refrigerated milk and juice cartons; empty and reattached cap)
  • Glass containers (rinse clean; remove caps and lids)
  • Magazines, phone books and office paper (Place shredded paper in a paper bag stapled shut)
  • Metal cans (rinse clean; labels okay)
  • Mixed mail (envelopes with windows are okay)
  • Newspaper (inserts acceptable)
  • Paperboard (cracker, chip, cereal and cake boxes; remove all liners and flatten.)
  • Plastic  (Number 1, Number 2, Number 5; rinse, close, flatten and reattach plastic caps or lids)

Check with your licensed hauler for additional acceptable recyclables.

Non-Recyclable Items

Do not place the following materials in curbside recycling:

  • Aerosol cans
  • Ceramic dishes
  • Household glass (e.g. light bulbs, broken or intact dishes/glasses, or mirrors)
  • Styrofoam
  • Toys

Hazardous Household Waste

It is illegal to throw away certain items in the garbage per Minnesota and Washington County Ordinance. These items must be recycled or disposed of properly.

Examples of household hazardous waste materials:

  • Automotive parts (including automotive fluids, lead-acid batteries and oil filters)
  • Electronics (including audio equipment, computers and peripherals, televisions and video equipment, cellphones)
  • Household, lawn or garden products such as aerosols, cleaners, florescent bulbs, mercury-containing items and products labeled: "poison," "danger," "warning" or "caution"

Unused Prescription Medication

Washington County residents can dispose of their unused and expired medications at a year-round collection drop box. Old and unused medicines in a home can pose a risk for accidental poisoning, theft and drug abuse. Instead of flushing or throwing them in the trash, drop the drugs off for safe and free disposal.

The Unused Medication Drop Box is located at the Washington County Service Center in Woodbury, 2150 Radio Drive. The drop box will be available 8 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday. Medications accepted include prescription, over-the-counter and pet medication.

All drugs collected are secured at the Washington County Sheriff's Office and then taken to a waste-to-energy facility that is licensed to burn this type of waste. The drug drop boxes are a joint project of the Washington County Sheriff's Office and the Washington County Department of Public Health and Environment.

For more information on what is accepted and how to prepare medications for drop-off, visit the Environmental Center's medication disposal page.

Holiday Items

Drop off holiday lights year-round at the Washington County Environmental Center, 4039 Cottage Grove Drive. Additional drop-off locations can be found at

To learn about composting holiday trees and wreaths, use the Washington County Disposal Directory.

Mattresses & Box Springs

Mattresses and box springs can be recycled. Second Chance Recycling, a nonprofit organization located in Southeast Minneapolis, accepts all quantities of mattresses for a small per piece fee.

Other Items

Got other items you need to dispose of? Check the Washington County Disposal Directory for specialty locations throughout the county!

Waste Reduction

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"Slow the Flow" of junk mail.