A - Z Disposal sub-categories:
Steel or tin cans are recyclable in Steele County’s Residential Recycling program. Rinse out cans to reduce smell and deter insects and other pests. Labels do not need to be removed, and cans do not need to be crushed, although crushing saves space in a recycling bin and on the truck. Click here for more information about Steele County’s Residential Recycling program.
Solvent-based cleaners, including waxes, polishes, degreasers and other petroleum-based products from homes, should be brought to either the Steele or Rice County Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Facilities for free, proper disposal. Click here for more information on these HHW facilities. If the container is completely empty, it can be put in the trash. Solvent-based cleaners should NOT be disposed down a drain, in the trash or down a toilet.
Rather than using petroleum or solvent-based cleaners, use water-based cleaners, which are much better for the environment.
Boxboard consists of one layer of cardboard that is white or grey on the inside. Examples are cracker, cereal, cake mix, shoe, and toy and gift boxes. Boxboard may be recycled in with all other papers in Steele County’s Residential Recycling program.
Corrugated cardboard has two thin layers separated by a wavy layer in the middle and is often light brown in color. Examples are boxes from professional moving companies, grocery stores, appliance dealers and electronics stores. If the cardboard is wet or contaminated with food, such as bakery boxes or pizza boxes or if it has attached Styrofoam supports, it should go in the trash. Flattened corrugated cardboard boxes are accepted at all recycling drop sites in Steele County. Click here for more information about Steele County’s Residential Recycling program.
Corrugated cardboard boxes are also accepted at curbside, however, due to recycling truck configurations, corrugated cardboard that is recycled at curbside must be 1)broken down, 2) cut or folded to no more than three feet square and 3) taped or tied in bundles no higher than one foot, although curbside recyclers may have more than one bundle. Multiple pieces of loose corrugated cardboard or boxes that are not broken down will be left behind at curbside.
Carpet & Carpet Padding
Talk with your garbage hauler about taking the carpet to a landfill or bring it to the Steele County Landfill yourself for disposal in the lined (Mixed Solid Waste) portion of the landfill. Click here for hours, location and disposal prices at the Steele County Landfill.
At this point, carpet and carpet padding cannot be recycled in Steele County, but there are some carpet recycling options the metro area. Click here for some of these options. You can also ask your carpet retailer if they can have the carpet recycled.
Clean carpets often to reduce the need to replace them. Rent carpet cleaning equipment or hire a professional carpet cleaning service.
Glossy catalogs and magazines may be recycled with all other papers in Steele County’s Residential Recycling program, both at curbside and at Recycling Drop Off sites. Click here for more information about Steele County’s Residential Recycling program.
To reduce the number of catalogs you receive that you do not want, write or call the companies and ask to be taken off their mail lists. For subscriptions you wish to receive, tell them not to sell or give your name to other mail order companies.
Caulk & Caulking Tubes
Caulk tubes cannot be disposed with building demolition materials in any Minnesota Landfill. If the caulk tube is from a home in Steele County, is not empty and has one or more of these words on the label – “danger,” “warning,” “caution,” “flammable,” “combustible,” or “corrosive” it should be brought to either the Steele or Rice County Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Facilities for free, proper disposal. Click here for hours and locations of these HHW facilities. If the tube is completely empty it can be thrown in the trash for burial in the lined, mixed solid waste area of the landfill.
Old Christmas or other holiday lights and cords are recyclable during the holiday season and through January 15 by bringing them to one of several locations in Owatonna and Blooming Prairie. Sites in Owatonna include Owatonna Public Library, Owatonna Public Utilities, Steele/Waseca Electrical Coop, Walgreen's, Ace Hardware and the Steele County/Waste Management Recycling Center. B to Z Hardware in Blooming Prairie also accepts these lights for recycling. In addition, all locations also accept electrical cords of any kind.
Lights and cords are picked up by workers at Jobs Plus in Waseca where the lights are removed and both lights and cords are recycled to provide employment to people with disabilities.
Minnesota law bans Christmas trees from burial in a landfill. Owatonna’s Yard Waste Compost Site is open the first two weekends in January of each year and will accept trees, wreaths and other holiday or yard waste for a fee. Click here for more information on the Owatonna Compost Site. If you live in another city in Steele County, click here for more information on tree disposal.
Window cleaners, multi-purpose cleaners, ammonia and other home cleaners that have one of these words on the label – “danger,” “poison,” warning” or “caution” should be brought to either Steele or Rice County’s Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Facilities for free, proper disposal. Click here for details about these HHW facilities. If the container is empty, it may be rinsed out and recycled.
Clean, dry and usable clothing, linens and washable curtains can be dropped off at the following Owatonna locations: Clothesline at 507-451-2550, the Salvation Army at 507-455-2023 or the Steele County Recycling Center operated by Waste Management at 507-456-4894. The Minnesota Epilepsy Foundation also conducts periodic curbside pick up of usable clothing; watch your mail for yellow flyers that give instructions and dates. USAgain has several red or green drop off boxes for clothing placed around Owatonna.
Hosting garage sale or bringing used, but usable clothing to a consignment or used clothing store are other options for used clothing. If the clothing is not usable, it should be thrown in the trash.
Call Steele County Environmental Services (ph. 507-444-7475) to report illegal dumping of garbage or other garbage or recycling related complaints.
Compost is a natural fertilizer for gardens, lawns, bushes and trees. Leaves, vines, garden wastes, sticks and other organic materials turn into a beneficial natural soil amendment over time when placed in a pile, exposed to moisture and turned periodically. Compost improves draining and soil texture in clay soils, improves moisture holding capacity and soil texture in sandy soils, and increases utilization of plant nutrients in a soil with poor organic content.
The Owatonna Yard Waste Compost Site offers screened, finished compost and various kinds of mulch for sale. Click here for more information on Owatonna’s Compost Site. Call your city office for information on the availability of compost in other cities.
Home compost piles can also be easily constructed and maintained to provide free natural fertilizer fro home gardeners. For information on building and maintaining a home compost pile, call the Steele County Recycling Hotline at 507-451-5443.
Refillable portable propane gas tanks and cylinders are accepted by many propane and LP gas distributors. Look under “gas” in the phone book Yellow Pages for a distributor near you. The small, disposable propane gas cylinders may be thrown in the trash when empty. Some scrap metal salvage dealers accept empty disposal propane cylinders for recycling, but typically the cylinders must be depressurized prior to recycling. Look in the Yellow Pages under “Recycling Services” or “Scrap Metal - Processing and Recycling” for names of facilities and call prior to recycling disposable propane cylinders at a scrap metal facility.
Owatonna Metal Recycling is the one scrap metal dealer in Steele County. Call them at 507-451-1470.
Computer Monitors & TVs
Computer monitors and TV sets are required by Minnesota law to be recycled. These are accepted for recycling at three locations in Steele County and each location sets their own fees:
1. The Steele County Landfill takes these electronics for recycling. Click here for more information on the Steele County Landfill and its fees.
2. Electronics are also accepted for recycling at the Steele County Recycling Center in Owatonna, which is operated by Waste Management. Call 507-456-4894 for more information.
3. The Retrofit Companies in Owatonna (ph. 507-455-2181) also accepts electronics for recycling for a fee.
Some large retail stores such as Best Buy also accept electronics and occasionally a special collection is held at a facility. These types of collections are typically announced in the media.
Construction Debris & Concrete
Construction debris includes waste building materials, packaging/rubble from construction, remodeling, and the repair or demolition of buildings and roads. These materials may be disposed at the Steele County Landfill. Click here for more information on the landfill and for instructions on how materials must be separated for disposal at the Steele County Landfill.
Drain cleaners, oven cleaners, naval jelly, toilet bowl cleaners, concrete cleaners and similar materials are considered hazardous and must be disposed properly. These types of chemicals from Steele County homes should be brought to either the Steele or Rice County Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) facilities. Click here for details about these HHW facilities.
Curbside recycling is provided to all single family homes in the four cities of Steele County and is offered to apartment buildings whose managers or owners desire this service for tenants. Currently Waste Management holds the recycling contract for residential recycling collection, processing and marketing. The program is funded primarily though a service fee on residential property taxes and it is free for residents to participate. Rural residents may bring recyclable materials to any of the seven recycling drop off sites located throughout Steele County. Click here for more information about Steele County’s Residential Recycling program and for the curbside recycling schedule.