Organics - food scraps and food-soiled paper products - make up about 25 percent of what we throw away. In organics recycling programs, organic waste is recycled into valuable compost used in landscaping and road construction projects instead of taking up space in a landfill or being burned in an incinerator.
Residents in several cities can add organics collection to their trash collection service. Hennepin County is working to make organics recycling programs an option for more county residents. If curbside collection of organics is not currently offered in your community, you can still reduce waste by composting in your back yard or dropping off your organics at the Brooklyn Park Drop-off Facility.
Organics recycling programs are offered by haulers in the following cities. If you live in an area where organics collection is an option, contact your city recycling coordinator or waste hauler for more information. See a list of haulers that collect organics for composting.
Learn about what's compostable in each room of your home, as well as how to collect organics for curbside recycling in Hennepin County: How to Collect Organics at Home.
Organics recycling is easy!
Collect the following for organics recycling:
Don't forget to continue to recycle as much paper, metal, plastic and glass as you can!
Organics will smell the same as your household trash. Remember, it is the same waste you have now, just separated into containers.
To minimize odors, remember to put in food-soiled paper products or line your container with a paper bag to absorb liquid from food waste, line your container with a compostable plastic bag to contain liquid, empty your container frequently and rinse it out occasionally.
Yes, recycling organic waste into compost is more cost-effective and environmentally friendly than using a garbage disposal.
It takes energy and resources to process out solids including food waste at wastewater treatment plants. Food waste can also overload your septic system and cause problems.
Depending on how you set up your service, you could actually save money, or it may add just a few more dollars to your bill.
Hennepin County continues to work with cities and haulers to expand residential curbside collection of organics. If you would like to have an organics recycling program in your city, let your hauler and elected officials know that you are interested in this service. Contact your city council members, mayor, and hauling company. Get interested neighbors to do the same.
Organics recycling service is currently only available to Minneapolis residents in Linden Hills and ECCO, as well as parts of the Seward, Longfellow and Howe neighborhoods. In Linden Hills, the city, Hennepin County and Linden Hills Power & Light are working together to make this pilot project as successful as possible. The results of the pilot will help determine whether the city would like to expand organics recycling to other Minneapolis neighborhoods.
Contact the city's Department of Solid Waste & Recycling to suggest a neighborhood that they should expand to next.
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