Recycle Smart While Getting Rid Of Excess Clutter

By Lydia Campbell










The Coronavirus has changed our regular activities and day-to-day interactions with other people. For example, groceries or restaurant meals are frequently delivered to your car or home. The increase of online shopping means more packages are delivered to your door. And your home is doubling as both a new place to work and your family’s place to learn. These changes have resulted in individuals and families spending more time at home.

The extra time people spend in and around their house has shifted garbage and recycling behaviors. Some people are finding they have an excess of materials such as cardboard boxes, work and school papers, and cans and food packages, including to-go boxes.

Similarly, some people are discovering (or re-discovering) the unwanted couch from their grandmother’s house, “mystery boxes” that have not been touched or moved in months or years, or the old, broken TV that has been sitting in the basement corner. These items are often taking up needed physical and mental spaces, and many people are spending time organizing, cleaning, and decluttering their houses.

The City of Saint Paul has several programs and resources to help residents “Recycle Smart” and declutter their houses by properly disposing of unwanted materials and trash.

Extra Recycling

As more materials are being recycled, please remember to break down those materials to keep them loose in your cart. Make sure the cart lid is fully closed, otherwise the recycling hauler might not be able to “tip” your cart and collect its contents. Do not put extra materials outside your recycling cart. If you frequently find that you have extra materials, you can contact Eureka Recycling at 651-222-7678 and request a larger cart size or an extra recycling cart at no additional cost.

If you have extra recyclables, you can also use the free recycling drop-off center located at 309 Como Avenue. It is open six days a week and you can take all of the same items there that you would put in your home recycling cart.

Large, Bulky Items

If you have large items which won’t fit in your trash cart, you can contact your garbage hauler and schedule a pick-up. The City’s Garbage Program for residents living in 1-4 unit properties includes collection of either 2 or 3 bulky items per calendar year, depending on your cart size. Couches, mattresses, miscellaneous furniture, electronic items, or household appliances, such as refrigerators and microwaves, are included in this benefit. Contact your garbage hauler to schedule a pick-up and learn more at

Know What To Throw (Or Recycle)

There are several City and County resources to help you know what items can be recycled, properly disposed of in your garbage cart, or taken to Ramsey County drop-off locations. For information and resources, start with the City’s website at

Coming this fall: Watch your mailbox for a special recycling and disposal guide with detailed information to help you safely get rid of additional unwanted items around your house.

You don’t have to wait for the guide to arrive. You can also use Ramsey County’s website, which has thousands of searchable items, for everything from light bulbs to box springs, and the places where they can be properly disposed.

Citywide Garbage Service includes collection of items that don’t fit in your cart. Call ahead to schedule pickup

Frogtown neighborhood resident uses the free recycling center at 309 Como Ave to get rid of his extra cardboard