An old television set, extra shipping boxes, a string of dead lights, a burned-out front porch lightbulb and a swiftly fading Christmas tree all wait to be disposed of after the holiday melee. Where to go? How much will it cost to do away with the remains of Christmas past?
Here are a few recycling options available to Mendota Heights-area residents:
Located at 3365 Dodd Road in Eagan, The Recycling Zone is a partnership between Dakota County and Gopher Resource, a Twin Cities pollution reduction company.
“A lot of people who got a new television for Christmas—or are buying one in anticipation of the Super Bowl–we can recycle all of those materials. That’s been a huge volume for us over the years,” said Laura Villa, senior environmental specialist for Dakota County.
In addition to accepting traditional recyclable materials (those that most curbside services take), The Recycling Zone also accepts household hazardous waste, electronics and other non-standard materials such as fluorescent light bulbs for free. Unusual for a recycling center, the Zone accepts large items such as snowblowers, lawnmowers and bicycles as-is. For roughly a month, between the middle of December and the middle of January, it also maintains a storage facility dedicated to recycling holiday lights.
In addition to The Recycling Zone, Jake Sedlacek, Mendota Heights assistant city administrator, refers people with questions to Rethink Recycling, a website managed by the Solid Waste Management Coordinating Board in the Twin Cities. Recycling options are regularly featured in city publications as well. The effort is paying off; as a percentage of its population, Mendota Heights had the highest resident participation rate in The Recycling Zone program in 2009.
Most garbage haulers will remove trees placed with the garbage for the weeks following Christmas, so be sure to call and check. In addition, a number of sites in Dakota County will accept the trees for compost, including the brickyard at Gertens' retail location, 5500 Blaine Ave. in Inver Grove Heights, which opens at 8 a.m. and closes at dusk. The Recycling Zone does not accept plant material.
Residents with questions about recycling can also contact their refuse hauler. Dakota County officials may also be contacted directly at 952-891-7557 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org