Minneapolis Solid Waste customers will have an organics recycling option starting in 2015-2016

Organics recycling is coming for Minneapolis Solid Waste customers. Residents now have a black cart for garbage and a blue one for recycling; organics will be collected in green carts. Any organics from the home can be put in the green cart for pickup on the same day as garbage. Customers must opt in for this service and will be invited to sign up starting in April. But people don’t have to wait; any Minneapolis Solid Waste customer can sign up now. Service will be available to 25 percent of customers in August, and the rest will roll out in spring 2016. The early sign-up gives the City time to order carts and plan the routes.

What can be composted?

Organics collection will include all food scraps, including fruits, vegetables, bones, meat trimmings, breads, pasta, nut shells, egg shells, coffee grounds, tea bags and dairy products. Some of these can’t be managed in a backyard compost bin. Organics recycling also includes food-soiled paper that can’t be recycled in the blue cart, including paper towels, napkins, facial tissues, wax paper, egg cartons and pizza boxes. Just make sure the paper is not lined with plastic. Other things that can go into organics recycling include wood chopsticks, wood Popsicle sticks, toothpicks, dryer lint, animal and human hair, certified compostable plastic and houseplant trimmings.

Items not accepted include milk cartons, plastic-lined paper products, paper vacuum cleaner bags, liquids, oils, greases and fats. If an item can go into the regular recycling, it should go there instead of in the organics cart. Yard waste must remain separate; customers should keep using yard waste collection for branches, leaves, grass clippings and other outside plant material.

Managing organics

It is recommended that home users keep a small organics container conveniently near the kitchen to collect materials. There is no reason to expect a new household smell from organics; separating organics doesn’t introduce any new materials that aren’t already there. It’s simply putting them in a different place to make use of a resource, instead of managing it as trash. 

Organics will need to be placed in compostable bags inside the green cart to keep it clean year-round and to avoid freezing to it in the winter.

Rollout by geographic area

Rollout will take place in two phases by geographic area, with 25 percent of customers having organics recycling available in August and the rest in spring 2016. People can start using the green cart as soon as they get it. The phases are by area for the most efficient collection routes.

Opt in

The carts will be distributed only to customers who opt in. To get a green organics collection bin, Minneapolis recycling customers can request one at swrcustomer@minneapolismn.gov or by calling 612-673-2917.

Published Jan 26, 2015

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