How does organics recycling work?
Organics recycling is easy:
- Collect food scraps and food-soiled paper products. Use an ice cream bucket or kitchen scrap bucket to collect scraps in your kitchen, or a paper milk, juice or ice cream carton. Line your collection containers with a paper bag or compostable bag to help keep it clean. Compostable bags and kitchen scrap buckets are available at local retailers.
- Empty your organic waste into the organics cart provided by your waste hauler.
- Set out your organics cart on the curb on your trash collection day.
Watch the How to Collect Organics at Home video for more information.
Materials that are accepted
Collect the following for organics recycling:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Meat, fish and bones
- Bread, pasta and baked goods
- Egg shells
- Dairy products
- Coffee grounds
Food-soiled paper products
- Paper towels and napkins
- Paper plates and cups
- Milk and juice cartons
- Pizza boxes
- Egg cartons
- Boxes from frozen and refrigerated foods
- Waxed paper and paper containers
- Coffee filters and tea bags
Other compostable items
- Full vacuum cleaner bags
- Dryer lint
- Tissues and cotton balls
- Floral trimmings and house plants
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 include 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.
Organics recycling beats the garbage disposal
Recycling organic waste into compost is more cost-effective and environmentally friendly than using a garbage disposal. Waste water treatment plants require energy and resources to process out solids, including food waste. Food waste can also overload your septic system and cause problems.
Organics recycling is cost-effective
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.
Help make organics recycling more widely available
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.