The Solid Waste section of Environmental Services deals with the following areas:

Appliance and Furniture Redistribution Batteries Construction and Demolition Waste Fluorescent Bulbs Hazardous Waste  Materials Exchange Recycling, Garbage Tires Waste Reduction Yard Waste and Composting

See our Fact Sheets for more information on these and other environmental subjects. We also the Waste Education trunk, an educational tool available for loan to all county groups and organizations. This trunk has nine individual lesson kits addressing all solid waste and recycling topics.

In addition, we have a Waste Reduction slide show, videotapes on a variety of topics, and a public speaker available on all solid waste topics.

Frequently Asked Questions About Solid Waste

Q What should I do with Household and Veterinary Sharps ( hypodermic needles)? Place in puncture-proof container( such as a liquid laundry detergent bottle), tape lid shut and dispose of in Garbage. Do not place in recycling bins. Label container clearly as "sharps". Labels are available at ESD office in Walker.

Q What should I do with automotive and marine waste materials? A Anti-freeze, waste oil, and oil-filters may be brought in to any of the transfer sites for disposal at no charge. Do not dispose of these materials in the garbage, pour on the ground, or into a sewer. If you have old gasoline to dispose of, call the Household Hazardous Waste facility.

Q How do I dispose of old batteries ? Bring lead acid (automotive or marine) ,Nickel-Cadmium (Ni-Cads), and button batteries to any of the transfer sites. Ni-Cads and button batteries can also be dropped off at participating hardware stores and pharmacies.

Q I have used fluorescent and halogen light bulbs to dispose of. Where do I take them? These items may be dropped off at all transfer sites. Some area hardware stores also accept bulbs. A fee is charged for disposal at all locations.

Q Why can't I burn my garbage anymore?  1) The pollution caused by open garbage burning is unhealthy for wildlife and people. It damages not only the air quality, but also the soil and your own backyard. The smoke may contain many harmful chemicals. The ash residue also contains pollutants, such as lead, mercury, arsenic, chromium and cadmium. Even plain white paper when burned, can give off chemicals such as dioxin. The ground near the burn barrel can contain high concentrations of dioxin that can linger for centuries. Animals that eat affected plants absorb the dioxin, and ultimately dioxin makes its way to humans who eat the animals or crops grown in contaminated soil.

2) Open burning, such as in burn barrels, is a major cause of wildfire in Minnesota.

3) Backyard burning of garbage has been illegal in Minnesota since 1969.

4) It wastes resources. Many of the items commonly burned could be reused, recycled, or composted.