How to Properly Dispose of Large Items in Minneapolis

Are you a new homeowner?  Have you tried to put out some heavy duty trash (I'm talking mattresses or old grills) and awakened the next morning to your still very visible trash with a nice bright orange tag?  Welcome to the reality check of large item recycling!

Having never been a homeowner until the past few years, I had just let my landlords deal with such nuisances before.  Out of sight, out of mind!  But, now, it's all on me.  

Last summer, we dug up one of our old laundry poles in the backyard.  We weren't using them and frankly, this one was sitting in a prime corner in the backyard that was just begging for a hammock to take its place.  With a bit of digging and muscle (ok, a ton of muscle), we managed to haul it out of the ground and lay it near the back of the yard...where it has lived for a solid year now.

The biggest issue was that it was heavy - as in "can-we-get-a-team-of-oxen-to-pull-this" heavy.  The pole itself wasn't the problem; it was the foot and a half block of cement stuck to the bottom that was nearly impossible to move.  So we just let it chill there for a few months or so (ok, fine, 12 months).

This summer, it was all about making changes.  Using a dolly as a lever, we managed to roll it out to the driveway and prop it near the garage.  Big fat mistake.  The next morning, I went out there to find the aforementioned bright orange tag indicating we had to remove the concrete or the city wouldn't pick it up.  So this morning, I went out to the driveway with a sledgehammer and went all 300 on that thing.  Buh-bye concrete.  Hello city-approved disposal!

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Here's the deal - if you have to get rid of a large item like an old appliance or something as painfully heavy and oddly shaped as my own laundry pole, check the city's website for instructions BEFORE you drag it out to the trash area.  You can read the full list here, or check out the overview below.  And don't forget to put it out when your home is scheduled for recycling, or you too may get a bright city post-it reminder.  Womp womp.

As part of your garbage service, you may place up to a maximum of TWO large items at your collection point for pickup, at no additional charge.

  • Non-recyclable, burnable, items are collected on your garbage day.
  • Non-burnable, recyclable items (major appliances, items more than 50% metal, and hide-a-beds) are collected on the next business day after recycling pickup.  Place these items out on your recycling week only.
    • Note: Mattresses are non-recyclable if they become water logged from rain or snow. Please keep your unwanted mattresses inside until the morning of your recycling collection to prevent them from becoming non-recyclable. You may also contact Solid Waste & Recycling and let us know that you'll be placing a mattress out the day after your recycling collection for pickup. Our customer service staff will notify the crew so that it will be picked up.
  • Place items next to your garbage cart by 6a.m.
  • Attach a note to each item that says "For Solid Waste".
  • Large item collection is a special service included in your monthly fee.

Hazardous waste items are not collected; check our What To Do List for more information.

Please be considerate to your neighbors.  Place large items out for collection no more than one day in advance. Garbage crews turn in a daily list of items to be picked up, and a special crew returns the NEXT working day to pick up your items.

If you are not sure what the correct day for a particular large item or are unsure if we would pick it up, call Solid Waste & Recycling at (612) 673-2917.

If you know we pickup the item, but are unsure of which week, put it out on your recycling day, and our crews will ensure that the correct truck gets your large item.


Guest post by Megan Warner