Department Contacts

County Parks (507) 532-8214
Brooke Kor (507) 829-3927
Spencer Kor (507) 532-1308
Stephanie Bethke-DeJaeghere
(507) 532-1307
Darron Grahn (507) 532-8211
Roger Schroeder - (507) 532-1306
Phone:  (507) 865-4615

Gene Rasmussen - Supervisor
Abby Sullivan-Appel - Accounting


What Happens to Recyclables?

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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