Organics recycling for residents

About 30 percent of what we throw away is organics, food scraps and food-soiled paper products. In organics recycling programs, waste is recycled into valuable compost used in landscaping and road construction projects.

In several cities, residents 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 bring your organics to a drop-off location.

Expand all information

Curbside organics recycling

Curbside organics recycling is offered 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.

Available to all residents

Curbside organics recycling service is available to all residents in the following cities:

  • Loretto
  • Maple Plain
  • Medicine Lake
  • Medina
  • St. Bonifacius
  • St. Louis Park
  • Wayzata

Available through specific haulers

Curbside organics recycling service is available to residents through specific haulers in the following cities:

  • Bloomington
  • Eden Prairie
  • Edina 
  • Minnetonka
  • Orono
  • Shorewood

Available in pilot areas

Curbside organics recycling service is available to residents in pilot areas of the following cities:

  • Minneapolis (Linden Hills, ECCO and parts of Seward, Longfellow and Howe neighborhoods)


Frequently asked questions

How does organics recycling work?

Organics recycling is easy:

  1. 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.
  2. Empty your organic waste into the organics cart provided by your waste hauler.
  3. 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:

Food scraps

  • 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
  • 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

Remember to continue to recycle your cartons, glass, metal, paper and plastic.

Prevent odors

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.

Collapse all information
Top