Plastic Bags Don't Belong in Recycling Carts

Loose Items in Recycle BinMore and more people are looking for ways to do their part when it comes to reducing carbon footprints on the environment. With the evolution of recycling programs nationwide, one common recycling mistake continues to put a jam in things – literally. Recyclable items are to be LOOSE in your collection cart, not in plastic trash bags. Plastic bags slow down the sorting process post pick-up because someone has to open the bags and dump out your items, not to mention the damage they do to sorting machines after becoming tangled in the mechanisms. Don’t take the chance your recycling efforts could go to waste, follow these simple tips:

  • Items should be loose in your cart, or in brown paper bags (which are recyclable on their own).
  • No plastic bags in your recycling cart EVER – this includes plastic trash and grocery bags. Note: many grocery stores will recycle plastic shopping bags, check your local retailer.
  • Items should be rinsed and plastic lids/caps can remain on which will help keep containers free of excess food and other residues.
  • More information about acceptable curbside recyclables can be found here as well. 

Please refer to the brochure that you received in the mail or view this map to determine when your recycling will be picked up. Recycling is collected every other week and Elk River is divided into numerous zones, shown below. 

Elk River Liquor Stores Now Offering Plastic Bag Recycling

In the city’s ongoing effort to reduce our carbon footprint, we’re giving residents two new options for plastic bag recycling. Both Northbound and Westbound Liquor Stores now have drop-off bins located inside the main entrance of each location. Accepted items include plastic bags (grocery/retailer bags), salt and ice bags, bubble wrap, zipper/resealable sandwich bags, cereal pasta bags, and more! The next time you patronize one of Elk River’s Liquor Stores, be sure to bring your plastic bags for proper disposal! 

Elk River Municipal Utilities

ERMU manages the city's service contract and provides billing for both trash and recycling to your home! Contact them to change your bin size, if you miss collection, to learn about what can be recycled curbside, holiday schedules and more.


Curbside Recycling allows residents to easily recycle numerous items. Be sure you're adding the correct items into your curbside recycling cart. Review the complete list of acceptable materials. 

Not sure what to do with your waste? Check out the RecycleCoach link above. You can also search Earth911 for a list of recyclers around the country or call the Environmental Department at 763-635-1000.

Yard Waste

Yard waste can be disposed of at the Elk River Maintenance Facility compost site.

Free Event Recycling and Organics Recycling Bins for Rent

Are you having an event and are in need of extra recycling and/or organics recycling bins? The city has up to 10 collapsible bins available for use at public and private events of all types. Simply call the Environmental Department at 763-635-1000.

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