This is a product shot of aluminum soda cans that are being stored for recycling in a recycling bin. All of the cans are open and empty, and many are partially crushed. Improper recycling can cause items that should be recycled to end up in the trash.

Starting Jan. 1, 2022, all Dakota County businesses will be required to label each recycling and trash container located indoors and outdoors in accordance to Dakota County Ordinance 110.

Businesses can order labels for free from Dakota County. All labels must be easily visible and be replaced if they become damaged or illegible.

Rec​ycling label requirements    

Bins for recycling must be blue to give people easy understanding of the type of materials that can be put inside.

Each bin must be labeled with the term "recycle" or "recycling."

Labels on or around the bin must have images that show what to recycle.

Images should reflect materials recycled in your program. The county recommends using these items which are required to be recycled at all residential and commercial organizations and events and are collected by all haulers in Dakota County:

  • Newspaper
  • Magazine
  • Cardboard box (flattened)
  • Juice carton with a cap on
  • Milk carton with a cap on
  • Food can or beverage can
  • Beverage bottle
  • Food jar with lid on
  • Water bottle with cap on
  • Milk jug with a cap on

Recycling preparation instructions should be used when applicable, such as "flatten boxes" and "leave caps on."

Trash label requirements 

Trash bins should be grey or black and be labeled "trash."

Commercial property owners, managers and event sponsors can produce their own labels or use county labels to meet label requirements. 

The county provides free recycling, organics and trash labels. Labels are available in a variety of sizes.

Written By


Sophia Voight is a reporter for the Hastings Star Gazette. She is from Oshkosh, WI and graduated from the UW Oshkosh with a bachelor's degree in Multimedia Journalism in 2021. She can be reached with any news tips at


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