A - Z Disposal sub-categories:
Brown paper bags may be recycled with all other papers in Steele County's Residential Recycling program. Plastic bags are not recyclable in Steele County’s Residential Recycling program at this time, but they are accepted for recycling at several large grocery and retail stores in the county or they may be placed in household trash as a final option. It is illegal to burn plastic bags in a backyard burn barrel.
Reuse options for plastic bags include using them to line small waste receptacles, store wet clothing or pack shoes or other items for overnight trips. Many people that host garage sales like these bags for reuse as do most thrift stores and farmers’ markets.
Rather than using plastic or paper bags, try to use reusable, durable bags for your groceries/shopping. This option is much better for the environment and you won't have to worry about disposing paper/plastic bags.
Nonrechargable batteries, such as size A, AA, AAA, C, D or 9-volt disposable akaline batteries, may be safely thrown in the trash.
DO NOT throw rechargeable batteries, such as those containing lead, mercury, nickel and cadmium in the trash! Buy equipment that can be plugged into an outlet or recharged instead of using disposable batteries. Rechargable batteries that no longer hold a charge are required to be recycled by Minnoestoa State Law. These can be recycled at Lowe's, RadioShack, Wireless World, and First Supply Owatonna.
DO NOT throw auto, lead-acid batteries in the trash! They should be taken to a reclaimer to be recycled. By Minnesota law, any business that sells new batteries is required to collect batteries (up to five per person) for recycling. A fee may be charged for non-customers.
Button batteries/silver-oxide batteres are commonly found in hearing aids, watches, digital thermometers, calculators, toys and cameras. These batteries should NOT be placed in household trash, but oftentimes jewelers, drug stores, hardware stores and discount stores accept them for recycling.
Lithium batteries and zinc oxide batteries are not hazardous and may be placed in the trash. Do not burn batteries in a burn barrel.
Share books with friends and neighbors. Donate books to libraries or charities like Salvation Army in Owatonna (ph. 507-455-2023). Sell books at garage sales or used book stores like Paperback Exchange in Owatonna (ph. 507-455-3440). Unwanted and unusable books, whether paperback or hard cover, may be recycled with all other papers in Steele County’s Residential Recycling program.
Click here for more information about Steele County’s Residential Recycling program.
Corrugated boxes, those with two thin layers separated by a wavy layer in the middle, are recyclable. Examples are appliance boxes, boxes from electronics or toys and grocery store boxes. Flatten boxes prior to recycling. Bring large quantities of corrugated cardboard boxes to the Steele County Recycling Center in Owatonna or one of the six other recycling drop off sites located around the county. Click here for more information about Steele County’s Residential Recycling program.
Corrugated cardboard may be recycled at curbside, but it must be flattened, cut or folded to no larger than three foot squares and taped or tied together in no higher than one foot bundles, although recyclers may recycle more than one bundle as long as the cardboard is tied together. If the cardboard is contaminated with food, for example pizza boxes, has a waxy coating on it, such as bread boxes or has attached Styrofoam supports it cannot be recycled and must be placed in the trash.
Boxboard consists of one layer of cardboard that is white or grey on the inside. Examples are cracker, cereal, cake mix, and shoe and gift boxes. These boxes are recyclable with all other papers in Steele County’s Residential Recycling program. If the box is contaminated with food waste, it should go in the trash.
Brush, Branches and Tree & Hedge Trimmings
In 1991, Minnesota State Law banned landfilling of yard waste, brush and branches in Greater Minnesota in order to reduce landfill use. When chopped into mulch or composted, these biodegradable “wastes” can be put to better use as opposed to being buried in a landfill. A few sticks or a wilted plant or vase of flowers is not considered a violation of the ban from disposal in household garbage, but larger amounts or bags of yard waste cannot be taken by garbage haulers.
Call your city office for information on where to compost this material and whether or when yard waste can be burned. Owatonna does not allow burning of yard waste. Click here for more information on yard waste disposal in Steele County cities. If you live in a rural area, a free annual permit must be obtained from the Steele County Sheriff’s office in order to burn yard waste. Call or stop by the Sheriff’s office for more information, 204 E. Pearl St., Owatonna, phone 507-444-3800.