Did you know that simply tossing one of these items in the trash could get you in trouble here in Minnesota?

There are many items we all throw in the garbage every day here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, right? Many of them we don't even think much about, we just throw them away. But there are some items, some you might not even think much about, that could cause problems when thrown in the regular trash. If it's serious, it could even get you a fine!

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is the organization tasked with policing our garbage, so to speak. According to the MPCA site, the agency is 'committed to ensuring that every Minnesotan has healthy air, sustainable lands, clean water, and a better climate. Through the authority of state and federal statutes and guidelines, the state agency focuses on preventing and reducing the pollution of air, land, and water,' it says.

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And while industrial sources of hazardous waste are strictly regulated, the MPCA says they rely on Minnesotans to identify and properly dispose of household hazardous waste. They note that we should all NOT throw any hazardous waste in the trash; instead,  you should bring it to a local collection site.

Now while many of us are in the habit of recycling items like plastic containers, aluminum cans, and cardboard boxes, there are some items you might still throw in the trash, forgetting that they should be recycled instead.


Those innocent mistakes can have major consequences. For instance, a fire at a recycling facility in Olmstead County in southeast Minnesota earlier this winter was caused by lithium-ion batteries (the kind commonly used in electronics like cell phones, tablets, laptops, E-Bikes, and other devices) that were thrown in the trash instead of being properly recycled.

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Minnesota's state statutes DO contain provisions for penalties to be levied against organizations and individuals who make repeated violations of Minnesota's hazardous waste disposal laws-- and they can range from up to 364 days in prison and fines of up to $15,000!

So, to help do your part, keep scrolling to check out 21 items you cannot throw in the trash in Minnesota. And speaking of fines, keep scrolling to check out the 10 cars you're most likely to get a speeding ticket while driving in Minnesota.

21 Items You Can't Throw Out In Minnesota

Gallery Credit: Lauren Wells

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