Managing Waste in Minneapolis Parks

Within the Park Board we value environmental stewardship. With this, the park is constantly working to improve our diversion rates, how much waste we put in landfill versus how much gest recycled or composted. We aim to achieve this by ensuring there is recycling and organics recycling for the public to use in all of our parks with clear messaging and expectations.

In all parks

You’ll see the same carts throughout our neighborhood parks that match the containers Minneapolis residents use at home, provided by the City of Minneapolis Solid Waste & Recycling. The carts are moved by staff to the curb on their collection days.

Some parks have a trash collection vehicles come through and empty the contents from our own unique bins.

In MPRB buildings

There is always trash, recycling, and organics collection containers offered in public facilities.

Always check to make sure you are using the correct container for your waste

Recycling → Blue
Organics → Green
Trash → Black/grey

If you do not know which bin an item goes in, put it in the trash.
When in doubt throw it out!

Keep an eye out for our single-operator refuse vehicle that picks up garbage and recycling bins. This helps with efficiency in the park by reducing the need for plastic bags and allowing workers to pick up waste without having to manually lift.


  • Water/soda bottles (keep caps on)
  • Take out containers/cottage cheese tubs
  • Yogurt containers
  • Shampoo/soap bottles


  • Office papers
  • Magazines
  • Newspapers
  • Shredded paper in closed paper bags
  • Cardboard boxes
  • Milk Cartons
  • Cardboard cans (i.e. nut cans)


  • Food and beverage bottles and jars


  • Food and beverage cans
  • Aluminum foil and trays (must be 95% clean)
  • Decorative tins/pie tins


  • Plastic bags
  • Cords, electronics, appliances
  • Paper plates
  • Napkins/paper towels
  • Styrofoam
  • Black plastic
  • Bulky plastics (i.e. laundry baskets)
  • Scrap metal
  • Garbage
  • Food
  • DO NOT bag recyclables; if you must put them in bags, empty them before putting them into the bin.

A more detailed list can be found on the City of Minneapolis’s webpage

  • Dark gray or black plastic carts
  • Picked up every week
  • Our trash is sent to the Hennepin Energy Recovery Center (HERC), an incinerator that converts waste into energy.

Acceptable items:


  • Dog waste
  • Bait
  • Broken materials
  • Non-recyclable items

Non-acceptable Items

  • Recyclables
  • Hazardous waste

For more information on drop-off locations to properly dispose, check out Hennepin County’s Website.

  • Green Bins
  • Collects compostable Items
  • Picked up every week

Acceptable Materials

  • Food scraps
    • Fruits, vegetables, meat, bread, eggshells
  • Food-soiled and non-recyclable paper
    • Napkins and paper towels
    • Pizza boxes
    • Facials tissues
    • BPI Certified products

Non-acceptable Materials

  • Paper products that are NOT BPI certified
  • Dog waste
  • Diapers

A more detailed list can be found here through the City.

In Some Parks

Residential organics drop-off sites are located in some parks for residents who are unable to sign up for residential organics at home. These sites are run by the City for residents to drop off their organics recycling to become compost. More information can be found on the City of Minneapolis’s web page.

For more detailed information on waste management topics check out Hennepin county’s website

Waste numbers for the MPRB


2018 in tons (percent of total) 2019 (YTD) in tons (percent of total)


3072 (86%)

2325 (86%)


440 (10%)

325 (11.2%)


102 (5%)

60 (3%)

Totals 4576 (100%)

2912 (100%)