Are frozen food boxes, fast food wrappers or to-go coffee cups accepted?
No. These items used to be collected through the program, but commercial composters no longer want them. These products have a thin plastic lining to keep grease and liquids from penetrating the paper. The plastic is not compostable and will not break down completely. The only to-go coffee cups accepted are those that are certified compostable by BPI or Cedar Grove.
Are pizza delivery boxes and egg cartons compostable?
Yes. These items are accepted as part of the city’s program. All organics must be bagged in certified compostable bags. The only exception is pizza delivery boxes, which can be put loose in your cart. Make sure to remove any delivery stickers usually found on the sides of delivery boxes.
Can I change the size of my organics cart?
Residents may change the size of their cart one time in a 12-month period by calling utility billing at 952.924.2111. Available cart sizes are 30 and 60 gallons.
Can I use regular plastic bags to collect organics?
No. Plastic bags are not compostable and are a contaminant. Bags labeled BPI-certified compostable that meet ASTM D6400 standards are required. The city-provided bags meet this standard.
Does the city provide free kitchen pails?
The city does not provide kitchen pails for organics collection. Pails were provided through a sign-up incentive for a short period of time in 2017, but are no longer available.
You can use any small bucket, ice cream pail or crock for collecting organic material. Some residents use larger under-the-counter bins or stand-alone cans in their kitchens for collection. Look online or check with your favorite local store if you wish to purchase your own indoor collection bin.
How do I tie my compostable bags shut?
First, make sure not to overfill your bag. Empty it at least weekly or when it is just over two-thirds full. Start by grabbing the opposite sides of the top of the bag, twist them a couple times, and then tie a knot using the two twisted areas you just created. Tie a knot one more time and place the bag in your organics cart. Please do not use twist ties because they are not compostable.
How is organics recycling different from backyard composting?
You can compost more materials with organics recycling than in your backyard compost bin. Large-scale commercial composting facilities maintain higher temperatures than backyard compost bins. These temperatures are needed to kill bacteria and break down items that cannot be composted in a backyard compost bin, including meat, bones, dairy products and compostable plastics. Backyard composting is still a great option for recycling fruit and vegetable scraps and yard waste into a soil amendment that you can use at home.
How often is my organics cart picked up?
Waste Management picks up organics recycling every week on your regular collection day. If your cart collection is missed, call Waste Management at 763.783.5423.
If I don’t have much organic material, can I put my kitchen pail out for collection?
No. All organic material must be put in compostable bags and placed in the organics cart for efficient collection.
What about using my garbage disposal for food scraps?
Putting food scraps down the garbage disposal places extra processing burdens on wastewater treatment facilities. It takes energy and resources to process solids, including food waste, at wastewater treatment plants. Organics recycling is a better option as finished compost puts valuable nutrients back into the soil.
What does the city provide to organics recycling customers?
When you sign up, your household will receive the following:
A brown-lidded cart for organics and yard waste (30- and 60-gallon sizes are available)
A supply of BPI-certified compostable bags at no additional cost
An informational packet, expert advice and assistance
If you have questions, please contact public works at 952.924.2562.
What happens to the organic material once it has been collected?
Organics material is composted at a commercial composting facility. Compost can be made using items that can’t be easily composted in a back yard, such as bones, fish skins and dairy products. Organics become compost in just 180 days after you put them out for weekly collection.
Where can I find additional compostable bags if I run out of the bags the city supplies?
Additional compostable bags are available at City Hall (first floor), 5005 Minnetonka Blvd. and the Municipal Service Center, 7305 Oxford St. at discounted prices in both 13- and three-gallon sizes.
In addition, compostable bags may also be purchased at retail locations such as Ace Hardware, Lunds & Byerlys, Target and Whole Foods. Remember, only bags labeled BPI-certified compostable that meet ASTM D6400 standards may be used.
Where can I get finished compost from the program to use at my home?
Finished compost is available on a limited basis to residents who participate in the organics program. An email notification is sent to participants when it becomes available each spring and fall.
Where can I pick up my supply of certified compostable bags?
Once you sign up, pick up your supply of compostable bags at one of the following locations:
City Hall (first floor), 5005 Minnetonka Blvd. from 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Municipal Service Center, 7305 Oxford St. from 7 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Will my organics recycling container smell?
Organics won't smell any more than your regular garbage smells. Remember that with organics recycling, you're simply moving the organic materials from your garbage cart into your organics cart.
Help prevent odors by using a collection container that has a vented lid. Food waste starts to decompose and creates odors more quickly when access to oxygen is cut off. You can purchase a pre-made kitchen pail with a vended lid (with or without a carbon filter), or you can make one using an ice cream pail or other container.
Consider collecting your "wet" organics (food scraps, meat trimmings, etc.) in a large yogurt or cottage cheese container or ice cream pail, and keep that container in your refrigerator or freezer. Dump the wet organics into a compostable bag and place the bag in your organics cart the night before your collection day.