Tips for Reducing Waste

The following suggestions may help to reduce the amount of household items in the waste stream:

  • Junk Mail: See below for more information.
  • Catalogs and Magazines: Contact individual mailers to have your name removed from their mailing lists.
  • Packaging: Purchase items with less packaging. Avoid single-serve products in favor of larger servings or buying in bulk. Consider taking your own reusable bag to the grocery store so you don’t need paper or plastic bags.
  • Food Waste: Purchase and prepare only as much as you need. Eat leftovers. Composting left over fruit and vegetable waste, as well as peels, seeds, and rinds with yard waste helps create high-nutrient compost.
  • Paint and Household Chemicals: Buy just the right amount of product for the job.

More information and helpful hints about reducing waste are available in the Dakota County Recycling Guide.

Reducing Junk Mail

The average American receives over 40 pounds of junk mail every year! That's 4.3 million tons of unsolicited, unwanted mail discarded nationally. Right now only about one out of five pieces is recycled. While recycling is a better option than throwing out junk mail or unneeded phone books and catalogs, reducing unwanted mail is the best option.

The most important thing you can do to keep your name off junk mail lists is to be protective of your contact information. Think about how often you give out your contact information on product warranties, to professional associations, publication subscriptions, and contest sweepstakes — or by writing checks and shopping online.

When you give out your name, remember to ask to have your name kept off the mailing list. Visit the Direct Marketing Association’s (DMA) website to find out how to be removed from unsolicited marketing mailing and phone book delivery lists.

Recycling Junk Mail

Remember to recycle any junk mail you do receive! If you are concerned about protecting your privacy, shred your mail prior to recycling it. Place shredded paper in a closed paper bag, label it “shredded paper” and put it with the rest of your curbside recycling. Be sure to recycle catalogs and magazines – even with glossy covers.

Reducing Telephone Directories

Residents have a convenient and secure option to control the number of Yellow Pages telephone directories they receive—or to stop directory delivery entirely. The site, Yellow Pages Opt Out, prevents directories from being delivered to anyone who doesn't want one.