Recycling & Refuse



Just inside the City Hall doors, residents can now find containers to recycle eyeglasses, cell phones, hearing aids, printer cartridges and flags. This is in addition to other offerings in the front entryway such as organics recycling bins and bags, well water testing kits, battery recycling and a container to recycle broken or unused holiday lights.


Bicycle Drop-Off

When: Wednesday, May 8, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: Columbus City Hall
What: Bicycles in any condition can be donated to Bikes4Kids, who will repair and refurbish them for distribution to Anoka County and metro area residents in need.

Drop-Off Event

When: Saturday, May 11, 9 a.m.-noon
Where: City Hall Parking Lot
What: Make sure to keep track of your Recycling Flyer to be mailed in the future. Included within that mailer will be a coupon that will allow Columbus residents to recycle two (2) items for free at this event!

Free Paper Shredding

When: Saturday, May 11, 9 a.m.-noon
Where: City Hall Parking Lot
What: Free shredding is available at the Spring Recycling Event ONLY. The option to witness document destruction is available.


Summer Events

Curbside Recycling

When: Week of July 15-19, 2024
Where: Residential Curbsides
What: See flyer and call City Offices for more information.

Autumn Events

Bicycle Drop-Off

When: Wednesday, September 25, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: City Hall Parking Lot
What: Bicycles in any condition can be donated to Bikes4Kids, who will repair and refurbish them for distribution to Anoka County and metro area residents in need.

Recycling Drop-Off

When: Saturday, September 28, 9 a.m.-noon
Where: City Hall Parking Lot
What: Remember the recycling flyer from spring? Hope you held on to it, as there's another coupon included that will allow Columbus residents to recycle two (2) items for free at this event!


Do you ever find yourself wondering, "where can I recycle this item"? 

Anoka County has a useful directory for figuring out where to recycle, compost or dispose of materials from your household.  Be sure to call ahead and verify materials collected, any fees that may apply, preparation instructions, and hours of operation. 

Visit the Anoka County Recycling and and Disposal Directory.


About 30% of our trash is organic material that can be composted. Participating in the organics recycling program keeps food scraps out of the trash and is one way to make a difference in your community.

Stop by the City Offices to get your organic's recycling starter kits (buckets and bags). 

To participate in the County's Organics Recycling Program:

  1. Sign up at City Hall, on Anoka County's website or by calling Anoka County's office at 763-324-3400.
  2. Pick up a free starter kit at the Columbus City Offices (or at other compost sites in Anoka County).
  3. Collect Organic waste in a compostable bag and tie off the bag.
  4. Come to a compost site during operating hours and place the bag in the container designated for organics recycling.  At this time you can ask for more free BPI certified bags. 

Columbus City Hall - Drop off Site

16319 Kettle River Blvd., Columbus, MN 55025

Compostable items are collected in the green rolling dumpster in the shelter at the western corner of the Public Works fenced-in yard. Compostable items may be delivered to the dumpster loose or in compostable bags.


Outside of Columbus, there are also two Anoka County drop-off sites available. Locations and hours of operation may be reviewed on the County's website.



Communal aluminum can recycling has returned to Columbus!

Bring your empty aluminum cans to the City Hall campus and deposit them in the large metal trailer along the northwestern fence surrounding the Public Works yard. Once the trailer is full, the recycling company will haul the full trailer to its facility and replace it with an empty trailer. Additionally, the company will also pay the City the recycling proceeds, which Council will redirect into projects to benefit the City.


Through the Recycling Association of Minnesota (RAM) and its partnerships with municipalities, watershed districts, nonprofits and other entities, residents across the state have the opportunity to purchase reusable compost bins and rain barrels at a discounted rate.

  • Compost bins - $76+tax - Constructed out of 100 percent recycled plastics, RAM's compost bins can hold 125 gallons of composting materials and is complete with a lockable lid and sliding doors. According to RAM, similar containers can retail for $100 or more.
  • Rain barrels - $90+tax - Rain barrels can collect 45 gallons of chlorine-free water to be used to water plants, wash the car and much more. According to RAM, similar barrels can retail for $120 or more.

Supplies are limited, so interested parties should act quickly to ensure they are able to participate. Orders must be placed online in advance of the distribution date, and early or late pickups are not permitted.

Listed below are the four distribution sites closest to Columbus, but different sites and distribution dates, as well as links to place orders, are available on RAM's website.

Date Time Pickup Location Address Notes
Saturday, April 27, 2024 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Ramsey County Parks and Recreation Department 2015 Van Dyke St., Maplewood, MN 55109  
Saturday, May 4, 2024 8-11 a.m. Brooklyn Park Operations & Maintenance Facility 8300 Noble Ave., Brooklyn Park, MN 55443  
Wednesday, May 15, 2024 4:30-6:30 p.m. Chisago County Public Works 31325 Oasis Road, Center City, MN 55012  
Saturday, June 8, 2024 TBD WestRock Paper Mill 2250 Wabash Ave., St. Paul, MN 55114  


Recycling is available at the curb for every resident in Columbus.  

By recycling, Twin Cities residents can:

  • Use less energy:  Recycling a single aluminum can save enough energy to power a television for three hours.  
  • Save natural resources
  • Create jobs:  The plastic recycling industry provides jobs for more than 52,000 American workers.  
  • Reduce taxes:  Recycling generates $64 million in Minnesota tax revenue every year!  

 Curbside pickup is provided by your refuse hauler.  Check with your hauler on the items accepted and how to prepare them for collection.  Haulers providing service to Columbus are listed below on this webpage.

(And remember - NO BATTERIES OF ANY SORT AND NO PLASTIC BAGS. Some large local stores have collection bins for clean bags in their lobbies, such as Cub, Walmart or Kohls, or you can bring them to Columbus City Hall)


Backyard burning and burning of garbage is illegal and produces toxic materials that contaminate the environment. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has additional information on the problems with burning garbage. Columbus refuse haulers currently include:

Please remember to recycle your appliances or electronics. They will find their forever home in the landfill if your hauler collects them.  Please call the city for recycle locations available.


Anoka County offers seven free Fix-It Clinics in 2024, including one right here in Columbus on Saturday, April 6 at the Columbus Community/Senior Center, scheduled for 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Have broken stuff lying around?  Don't trash it - fix it!

Bring things to be fixed like small household appliances, clothing, electronics, and more.  Volunteer fixers will help you disassemble, troubleshoot and repair your item.

Why fix it? Bring your broken items back to life!

Our Fix It Clinic brings many benefits to you, including:
•Saving you money.
•Meeting new people.
•Preserving old items that may be of value to you.
•Reducing waste in your community.

First come, first served. Items must be carry in - no items over 40 pounds. These events are for residents who need their own items fixed. These events are not intended for businesses. 

All events are scheduled from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Specific dates and locations can be found on Anoka County's website. In addition to the Fix-It Clinic hosted at the Columbus Community/Senior Center, other events taking place throughout the County include:

Host Community
Saturday, May 4 Columbia Heights First Lutheran Church 1555 40th Ave. NE, Columbia Heights, MN 55421
Saturday, June 1 Linwood Linwood Community Center 22817 Typo Creek Drive NE, Linwood, MN 55079
Saturday, August 3 Blaine Northtown Library 711 County Road 10 NE, Blaine, MN 55434
Saturday, October 5 Ramsey Ramsey Public Works Building 7550 Sunwood Drive NW, Ramsey, MN 55303
Saturday, November 2 Fridley Springbrook Nature Center 100 85th Ave. NE, Fridley, MN 55432


Anoka County offers two compost sites for the residents of Columbus to dispose of leaves, grass, and tree waste.  Proof of residency in Anoka County is required to use these sites and receive free and reduced fees. For more information, including site hours, residential fees and locations, visit Anoka County's website.


Anoka County offers a household hazardous waste drop-off facility for residents of Columbus.  Businesses, schools and other organizations may NOT use the HHW facility. There is no charge to use the site. Bring identification, such as a driver's license, for proof of residency.

Website link:

Location: 3230 101st Avenue NE, Blaine, MN 55449

April – October Hours:
Wednesday: 1 - 7 p.m.
Thursday, Friday and Saturday: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Closed Independence Day.

November - March Hours:

Wednesday: 1 - 7 p.m.

Saturday: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Closed December 24-25 and January 1.