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Recycling drop sites

It is time for a frank and honest discussion with those residents in Lyon County, and particularly with those who are using the community recycling drop sites. We are still having trash and other items dumped at the two community sites in Marshall — particularly the old County Fair site near the armory and there are still businesses who are insisting on using the cardboard recycling containers for their cardboard. So, here are the reasons why residents and businesses cannot continue to do these things. Three out of every 10 items placed into curbside or community recycling drop sites are not recyclable in these programs.

Bagging recyclables: Bagged recyclables are often treated like trash when they make it to the recycling plant in Shakopee. This is because the employees at the plant take a chance in opening up bags that may have trash or other undesirable items in them and having those items mix with good recyclables. The bags also get caught in their equipment so this is a safety issue for both people and machinery. If bagged materials get to the recycling plant there is a good chance they are landfilled (thrown away). This means all of the hard work that you have placed into gathering up all of your recyclables and bringing them to the drop sites or out to your cart was in vain. If a resident is bagging up recyclables to bring to a drop site or to the cart, please dump them out and take your plastic bag with you! Remember the two main reasons why we recycle is to keep things out of the landfill and to reuse those materials that make up the packaging.

Business recycling: Businesses in Lyon County are not supposed to use the recycling drop sites for cardboard or other recyclables. If this happens, businesses are getting a service for free while others are paying for it. Residents pay for curbside and community recycling drop sites through their property taxes. Businesses do not pay this fee. If you are a business that has been doing this, you could be guilty of theft of service. This means you are taking a service without paying for it. When businesses use the cardboard drop sites, you are also taking space away from residents who are supposed to be using this for a service. If businesses need this service, businesses should contact their waste hauler for further information.

Cardboard recycling: The cardboard containers at community drop sites are seeing a lot of trash placed into them. These are for cardboard only. Please stop placing fast food packaging, Styrofoam, plastic, wood and other trash into these containers. They are for cardboard only.

We need to revisit the rules of recycling. Recycling, using your curbside cart or the community drop sites, includes placing the following items into those containers: paper-all kinds; cardboard; plastics 1, 2 and 5 that are from your kitchen, bath or laundry; aluminum, tin and steel food cans, glass food containers; food and beverage cartons such as cream cartons and paperboard such as elbow macaroni boxes or beer/pop boxes.

The finer rules of recycling include: no need to remove labels; no need to crush containers; lids and caps remain on everything; make sure everything is clean and dry; no food or liquids left in containers; do not bag recyclables in curbside carts or in community drop sites; curbside and community drop site recycling includes only empty food containers/packaging; curbside recycling is now picked up on an every other week schedule; make sure to have your cart out to the curb the night before pickup, if you have problems with your cart (broken wheel, broken lid, etc) please call the Environmental Department for assistance and, do not leave items sitting outside of community recycling drop sites.

We offer so many different ways for residents to dispose of items that are either low cost or free. Please take advantage of these resources for things you no longer want. The landfill accepts trash and other items such as appliances for a fee. Please remember that when going to the landfill to leave enough time to be done unloading before closing time. When going to the landfill, remember to bring someone to help you unload large items if needed. Please remember to make sure that batteries for dump trailers are fully charged before going to the landfill. Remembering these steps will help make your visit to the landfill go much more smoothly. For more information, please call the Lyon County Environmental Department at 507-532-8210 for further assistance.

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