Did you know Recycling can get CONTAMINATED??? 


Recyclers, we need your help…again!  Recently I visited Millennium Recycling, the Materials Recovery Facility, in Sioux Falls where recyclables collected in Lyon County get transported to for sorting.  From there they’re shipped to end markets that use them as feedstock in the manufacture of new products. As I’ve mentioned before, my own little peepers have seen some of the wrong stuff that gets put in recycling carts/containers at drop-off locations and it ain’t pretty. 

But, just in case there was a remote possibility that I forgot, going to the MRF was definitely a visual/aromatic reminder.  Before we proceed though, let me share with you what the gal who gave us the tour mentioned.  She said they get materials from a number of areas and compared to some of those, the loads coming from Lyon County are generally pretty ‘clean’.  That’s a good thing!  Give yourselves a high five!  

⇒However fellow recyclers, as the old saying goes…our work is never done.

     Two cases in point - a couple of months back one of the loads from our county contained quite a few needles/sharps and last week there was some other medical items…bags and tubes…in a batch.  We know that contamination is a big headache for collection providers, and also for the MRF as it can cause lower production rates; damaged equipment and degradation of quality of the acceptable materials. Frustrating as that is, the biggest concern is to the employees of both work environments being exposed to health and safety hazards caused by the unacceptable items. Examples of things that are unacceptable and safety/health hazards are: medical waste of any kind including sharps; any type of gaseous containers, e.g. propane/oxygen/helium canisters; knives (when I was at Millennium our guide showed us a large box they put the knives in that show up in the recycling and there was a sword in there, too); hoses/cords; diapers; etc.

     The last time I wrote about contamination problems I hadn’t yet visited Millennium.  Video clips I had watched showed materials moving by on a conveyer belt past employees who pull unacceptable stuff off before it gets into the automated part of things.  However, there’s lot moving past at a pretty good clip so it’s understandable how wrong stuff can ‘sneak by’ at times.  And, just like when farm equipment such as a combine gets plastic bags wrapped up in the gears it halts the harvest, so goes it at the MRF when things like plastic bags, diapers, wire hangers,  medical waste, etc. get past the workers. And of course there’s that yuck factor if it happens to be say something like a diaper. Along with the pollution problems do not forget to visit the website http://www.cop17-cmp7durban.com and online casino roulette .  Not sure how good I’d be trying to pull it/unwind it from the machine…it’s hard to work while you’re bending over a bucket.  Sorry!  Anyway, thanks again for letting me ‘bend your eyes’ and for your assistance in spreading the word about this important issue!  It’s appreciated! If you have a chance watch a short (34 seconds) clip regarding contamination at www.youtube.com/watch?v=83sYHe3jdGA   It’s part of Rhode Island’s recycling program information.  Good title - Recycle Better to Keep Our Workers Safe – and a good idea!


Lyon County recycles computer equipment, televisions cell phones, and other electronic waste at two locations, the Lyon County Regional Landfill, and the Lyon County HHW.

All computer monitors, and televisions are banned from Minnesota landfills. Monitors and TVs can be RECYCLED at the landfill or HHW facility. 


In addition to banned items, other electronics including; computers, printers, copy machines, scanners, and other electronic waste MUST be recycled by all business and commercial entities, government agencies, schools, and not-for-profit organizations. Individual residents are only required to recycle monitors and televisions, however, Lyon County provides these recycling services knowing that many residents want to do the right thing by recycling waste electronics.


If your computer equipment, or television is still functioning well, you could offer it to one of many organizations that frequently need useful computers such as churches, schools, or goodwill organizations.


The Lyon County Regional landfill is incorporating space saving measures to extend the usable life of the current landfill; thereby delaying costly phase construction. About 90% of a mattress and bed frame is recyclable, recovering the  material for other uses such as carpet padding, textiles, and pallets. By recycling your mattress and bed frame you are also providing jobs for adults with disabilities through the Advance Opportunities organization. Lyon County is proud to partner with Advance to create jobs, and save valuable air space at the landfill.

Bring your mattress and box frame to the mattress recycling facility (the old hockey arena) by the Public Works building for recycling! There is a $7 charge that goes to facility costs and employee wages. If the mattress is filthy, damaged, or infested, it must go to the landfill for a $25 fee.

Additional Information is linked below.

Small Effort. Big Impact!

recycle-map.png In addition to curbside recycling, Recycling Drop-off Containers are currently available for all County Residents at the following locations. (NOTE: Businesses are not allowed to utilize recycling sheds or containers)

-->> CLICK HERE for a map link showing locations.

Amiret:           Across from the grain elevator

Balaton:          Next to the railroad tracks and E 2nd Street

CottonwoodWest Main Street by the County Shop

Florence:        Next to the City Shop

Garvin:           SE corner of Sherman Street and 1st Street

Ghent:            In the alley next to the City Maintenance Building

Green Valley: North side of town, West of the Church on Township Hall property

Lynd:              North River Street

Marshall:        County Fair Grocery Store parking lot
                       Lyon County Fairgrounds - parking lot on east side of Public Works Building

Minneota:      County Road 3 on South edge of town by County Shop

Russell:          Next to the County Shop

Taunton:        West side of the Fire Hall

Tracy:             North on 4th St. E.


Curbside recycling collection occurs every week! Collection of curbside recyclables is done by Southwest Sanitation. Residents covered by the Lyon County recycling contract received a recycling cart for the sole purpose of curbside recycling pickup. These carts are the property of Lyon County, and must stay at the residential address to which they were delivered.

Lyon County supports residential curbside recycling, and has recycling sheds / containers in all towns and cities in Lyon County for ease of access for residents to recycle common household items including paper, cardboard, plastic, glass, and metal. Unfortunately less than 60% of all County residents recycle. Although this is an increase from 2009 residential surveys, we still have a long way to go.

Below you will find information to download about residential recycling in Lyon County.Feel welcome to call with questions about recycling!

Recycle Today!  Please feel welcome to call the Lyon County Environmental Office at (507) 532-8210 with questions about recycling.


The Lyon County Regional Landfill [directions] will be offering a reduced rate on appliances, computer equipment, and other home electronic devices. 



8AM - 11:30AM



Appliances: (microwave, washer, dryer, dishwasher, water heater, stove, oven, range, refrigerator, freezer, dehumidifier, air exchanger, furnace)

RV Fridge:  (separate charge)

Computer Electronics: (desktop computer, laptop computer, monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers, scanner, networking equipment, battery backups)

Devices: (ipad, kindle, personal dvd, cell phone, etc.)

Televisions: (console, flat screen, CRT, projection)

Stereo and Video: (VCR, DVD, travel DVD players)


Appliances  $       10  $          15
RV Fridge (separate charge)  $       50  $          75
Televisions and Monitors    
CRT Tube (TV or Monitor)  $         5  $          10
Flat Screen TV  $         5  $          10
Flat Screen Computer Monitor  $         -    $          10
Computer Equipment    
Computer (desktop / tower)  $         -    $             -  
Laptop Computer  $         -    $             -  
Computer Peripherals (keyboard, mouse, speakers)  $         -    $             -  
Small Home Printer  $         -    $            5
Large copier, Printer, or Scanner  $       20  $           25
Computer Network Equipment  $         -    $             -  
Other Electronics    
Stereo Equipment and Speakers  $         -    $            5
Video Players (DVD, VCR, travel DVD)  $         -    $            5



Ever wonder what happens to your old soda cans, glass bottles, and cereal boxes you throw in the recycling bin?  Keep reading to find out!

  • Plastics
    • When sorted correctly, plastic is an extremely valuable recycled commodity.  Upon arrival at the MRF, plastics are sorted and cleaned of impurities, such as caps and labels.  Next the plastic is melted down into pellets and then sold to manufacturers.  Recycled plastics can be made into bottles, food containers, carpeting, upholstery, fleece jackets, and even benches and patio furniture!
  • Paper and Cardboard
    • Once sorted at the MRF, paper and cardboard is sold to a paper mill, where it is shredded, treated, pressed, rolled, and dried.  Each time paper is recycled, the fiber shortens, lessening the quality of the final product.  The EPA estimates that a piece of paper can be recycled five to seven times before the fibers become too short to be recycled.  It is particularly important to recycle corrugated cardboard because the fibers are long and strong, giving the material a long future of being recycled.  Recycled paper material with long fibers is often made into office paper or cardboard, while material with short fiber is made into tissues, toilet paper, and egg cartons.
  • Aluminum
    • Aluminum is 100% recyclable and the material does not degrade during the recycling process - making aluminum the most valuable material in your recycling bin.  In fact, it only takes 60 days for aluminum to be recycled and returned to the store to be used again!  At the MRF, the material is cleaned, melted, and sent to a mill to be made into new products.  The process is particularly economically viable as recycling one aluminum can saves 95% of the energy it would take to form an aluminum can from virgin material.  Most recycled aluminum is used for new soda cans, but it is also used for bicycles and car parts!      
  • Glass
    • Once sorted at the MRF, glass is cleaned and broken into fine pieces, called cullet.  Cullet saves energy and extends equipment life because it is less expensive than virgin materials and melts at a lower temperature.  Glass food and beverage containers are 100% recyclable and do not lose quality in the process.  The recycled material is made into new glass containers, fiberglass, and ceramic tiles!

The most important thing to remember is that the success of the recycling process fully depends on the community's knowledge of recyclable materials and your dedication to minimize the amount of contamination in the recycling bin!

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