Curbside Recycling

McLeod County has built a comprehensive recycling collection program for the residents of the County. Each municipality within the county has curbside recycling services available for residents. The curbside programs are 100% funded by McLeod County Solid Waste Management. There is no billing involved for residents.

Recycling collection will take place every other week on Tuesdays.  Holidays may delay the collection by one day. 

Recycling carts are available in three sizes: 35, 65, and 95 gallon recycling carts. The carts are emptied by fully automated trucks and will provide residents with a clean and convenient method of recycling. Each cart is assigned to your specific address by serial number.

To use your recycling cart, place all of your recyclables together in the cart. No sorting required.

Place your cart at your curb or alley prior to 6 a.m. on your recycling day. 

Each residence within the municipalities of McLeod County will have their pickup week designated on a calendar. If you do not currently recycle, it is never too late to start. McLeod County Solid Waste’s goal is to divert more recyclable items from the trash by making it easier for residents to recycle.

To learn more about the fully automated single-sort recycling system, please contact McLeod County Solid Waste at (320) 484-4300 or 1-800-335-0575.



Frequently Asked Questions

What does "fully automated truck" and "single-sort recycling system" mean?

Fully automated truck means a recycling truck that is operated by one person (operator). By utilizing a series of switches, the operator extends the clam that grabs the cart, dumps or "tips" the cart into the truck box and then sets the empty cart back onto the ground. The clam cannot pickup items sitting outside of the 95-gallon cart. All recycling items must be inside the cart and the cart cannot be overflowing. The lid must be closed. The operator does not leave the recycling truck. Single sort recycling means all recycling products can be placed together in the 95-gallon cart, no sorting or bagging is required.

Will the automated single-sort recycling system have any effect on refuse collection?

No. The refuse collection systems will stay the same. Do not place yard waste or any type of brush in your recycling cart.

Where should I place the cart on collection days?

Prior to 6 a.m. on collection day. Place the cart with the handle towards the house and the arrows on the lid should be pointing toward the street or alley. Your cart should be on a flat surface and placed at least 4 feet from all other obstacles such as other carts, garages, trees, mailboxes, poles, vehicles or other obstructions.

What if there is a snow bank?

If your cart will not fit in your driveway opening, you will need to clear snow and ice from around the base of the recycling cart of approximately 4 feet. Carts cannot be placed on top of the snow bank or in the street. Improperly placed carts will not be emptied. Carts stuck in snow and/or ice will not be emptied.

Should I mark or label the cart?

No. Itis not necessary to mark the cart. The cart has a serial number that identifies the cart and your address. This information will be kept on file with West Central Sanitation.

What if I miss my recycling collection?

You will have to wait until your next scheduled pickup in two weeks or you will need to bring your recycling to one of the recycling drop off locations located throughout McLeod County. For the locations of the Drop Off site please refer to our web site at

Can I get a smaller cart?


Who repairs and maintains the cart?

If the cart is damaged as a result of normal wear and tear (e.g. broken lid, wheel cracked cart, etc.) it will be repaired or replaced by West Central Sanitation at no charge. General cleaning of the cart is the responsibility of the resident.

What happens if my cart is damaged or is missing?

Answer: If your cart is damaged or missing, call McLeod County Solid Waste at (320) 484-4300 or 1-800- 335-0575. McLeod County Solid Waste will make arrangements to have your cart repaired.

I don't have room in my garage to store the recycling cart. Can I leave it outside?

Yes. You may place it on your property. Make sure to close the lid. This will prevent recyclables from blowing out of the cart and also keeps rain and snow from accumulating inside it.

If I move, do I take the recycling cart with me?

No. The recycling cart is the property of the West Central Sanitation & McLeod County Solid Waste. Do not take it with you when you move. The cart has been assigned to a specific property using a serial number.

What items can be placed in the recycling cart?

Paper & cardboard, plastic (#I - #7), glass, cartons, aluminum and tin. There is a lid label that will provide you with guidance.Paper & Cardboard items include boxboard (cereal, cake and cracker boxes), egg cartons, shoe boxes, pop and beer cases, paper milk cartons, juice boxes, broth and other paper cartons, newspaper and all inserts, magazines, catalogs, telephone books, junk mail,brown paper bags, paperback books, shredded paper (contained in a closed paper bag) and corrugated cardboard, hard cover books, construction paper, blueprints, paper folders, freezer cartons, pizza boxes, and juice boxes Unacceptable: gift wrapping paper, sytrofoam plates, waxed paper, sytrofoam, bubble wrap, diapers, cigarette butts, carbon paper, and dirty paper towels/tissues/paper napkins. Plastic items with a recycling symbol # I - #7. Milk jugs, bottles, plastic food containers, tubs, yogurt cups, margarine and whip cream tubs. All items shall be thoroughly rinsed. Covers and labels do not need to be removed. Unacceptable: Plastic bags, motor oil or anti-freeze containers and paint pails. Glass bottles and jars including green, brown and clear glass. All items shall be thoroughly rinsed. Remove covers. Labels do not need to be removed. Unacceptable: Window glass, plate glass, mirrors, drinking glasses, dishes, light bulbs or ceramics. · Aluminum and bimetal (tin and steel) includes vegetable, soup or beverage cans, pie tins and foil. All items shall be thoroughly rinsed. Unacceptable: empty paint or aerosol cans.

What items can NOT be placed in my recycling cart?

Yard waste, garbage, electronics, paint, hazardous material s or chemicals, tires, dirt, concrete, asphalt shingles, food scraps, animal feces, cat litter, propane or helium tanks and syringes. 

Can I put my recyclables into plastic bags and then place it into the cart?

No. Do not place your recyclables in plastic bags before depositing into your cart. Note: McLeod County Solid Waste, located at 1065 5th Ave SE Hutchinson, and other retailers accept plastic shopping bags for recycling. Do not place these in your recycling cart for collection.

What should I do if my recycling does not fit in the cart?

All recyclables must fit inside the cart with the lid closed. Recyclable items sitting outside the cart will not be picked up. If you have more recyclables than what will fit, you should:

  • Crush your cans, plastic bottles and jugs
  • Save them for your next collection day
  • Ask a neighbor if they have extra room in their cart for your recyclables
  • Bring them to one of our drop off locations throughout McLeod County. For locations please refer to our web site at

What if my recyclables were not collected on my recycling day or if some items were left behind?

Your recycling cart needs to be placed out for collection prior to 6 a.m. on your collection day or the night before collection. The cart shall be placed 4 feet away from other obstacles with the handle facing toward the house. Carts not set out properly or set out late will not be collected until your next scheduled collection. By switching to fully automated recycling trucks, the trucks now will have the capacity to capture and transmit collection data such as the date and time your cart was emptied. It also can indicate why your cart was not emptied i.e. it contained garbage, was not set out for collection properly or the cart was not set out in time for collection.