Recycling for Residents

WLSSD requires that these items are separated for recycling by residents:

  • Aluminum, steel, and tin food or beverage containers
  • Glass food or beverage containers
  • Magazines or catalogs
  • Newspaper or newsprint
  • Plastic containers
  • Paper
  • Corrugated cardboard

Curbside Service

Curbside pick-up offers an easy and convenient way to recycle.  Most waste haulers provide single stream recycling allowing all recyclables to be mixed and collected in one bin–no separation of materials required!  Contact your waste hauler for more information.  Residents within cities or towns in the WLSSD service area can take advantage of this convenient recycling option offered by all waste haulers.

If you live in an apartment or other multi-family dwelling in the City of Duluth boundaries, landlords are required to provide recycling service for all residential locations with 3 or more units. Should you or your landlord have questions, contact us. WLSSD staff can help set up new, or spruce up existing, recycling programs at your location.

WLSSD Facilities and Rural Recycling Drop-off Sites

Waste haulers may not offer curbside recycling service in areas that are less densely populated. Rural residents can use WLSSD’s Materials Recovery Center or rural recycling drop-off sites to ensure their recyclables are properly managed.

Recycling Tips


  • Rinse all food containers. This helps to create higher quality recycled products.
  • Flatten or crush materials to save space.
  • Follow all recycling guidelines. If you are unsure if an item is recyclable, contact us for more information.


Recycle plastic bottles, tubs, jugs, jars, and lids. Keep plastic lids on.

There are several exceptions to this rule due to color, form, type of original contents, or chemicals that were added to the plastic:

  • No FILM or FOAM in regular recycling bins. This includes any Styrofoam, plastic bags, or wrap.
  • No plastic cups, plates, or utensils.
  • No flower pots or trays.
  • No buckets 5 gallons or larger.
  • No plastics that contained motor oil, antifreeze, or other automotive fluids.


Recycle these types of paper:

  • Pressboard or pasteboard boxes and packaging (cereal, cracker and shoe boxes, packing and clothing inserts, notepad backing etc.)
  • Paper of any color
  • Copy machine and uncoated fax machine paper
  • Envelopes with or without windows and self-adhesive
  • Tablets, legal pads, and notebook paper
  • Junk mail
  • Glossy pamphlets and brochures
  • Manila folders and envelopes
  • Newsletters
  • Shredded paper (place in a paper bag and staple it shut)
  • Carbonless paper
  • Paper ream wrappers
  • Paper bags
  • Phone books
  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Catalogues
  • Paperback and hardcover books (remove binding)


  • Look for the ripple inside. Corrugated cardboard consists of two outer flat sheets of heavy paper and an inner filling of “rippled” corrugated paper that provides support for the box or package.
  • Common pressboard used for cereal and shoe boxes is not considered cardboard; these materials should be recycled with paper.


  • All colors of glass are accepted for recycling.
  • Lids can be recycled but should be removed from the containers.
  • Labels do not need to be removed.
  • Do not include any window glass, canning jars, ceramics, cookware, dishes, or drinking glasses.


  • Labels do not need to be removed.
  • Cans do not need to be flattened.
  • Do not include any scrap metal or non-food cans like paint or solvent containers.