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Organics Setup and Tips

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The first step after signing up for the organics program is setting up your home for collection of organics in your kitchen, bathrooms and bedrooms. Collecting organics in the home looks different for each household, depending on space, food preparation methods, and the number of members in your household. Do what is most convenient for you!

organics recycling example plastic container with food in itCollection containers

Consider reusing a small bucket, ice cream pail, or yogurt or cottage cheese container as an organics collection container. Special collection containers for organics can also be purchased online or at a local retail or hardware store.

Collect organics in your container, either unlined or lined with a compostable bag. If collecting in an unlined container, always empty organics into a compostable bag before placing it in your cart for collection.

Note: The city does not provide collection containers for inside your home.

Compostable bags

Organics must be put into certified compostable bags before being placed in your organics collection cart. The only exceptions are pizza boxes and egg cartons, which can be left unbagged. Plastic bags are not acceptable. All compostable bags must be tied shut.

A yearly allotment of certified compostable bags is provided by the city at no additional cost for residents participating in curbside service. Participants can choose between 3-gallon or 13-gallon bags. Additional bags can also be purchased. Bags are available at:

Compostable bags may also be purchased at retail locations such as Ace Hardware, Lunds & Byerlys, Target, Costco and Whole Foods. Remember, only compostable plastic bags labeled BPI-certified compostable may be used.

Paper bags are also allowed for collecting dry organics such as napkins, tissues and paper towels. Please do not use paper bags for wet organics. Close bags before placing in cart by rolling or folding shut.

BPI certified compostable label

Certified compostable products

Only certified compostable serviceware is accepted for organics collection. Look for the BPI logo or the term “compostable.”

If you’re hosting a party or gathering and wish to buy compostable utensils, plates, cups and bowls, search BPI’s certified compostable products database to locate the items you need.

Hennepin county collection containter three lables for trash, organics and recyclingLabels

Labeling your garbage, recycling and organics recycling bins will help everyone in your home know what goes where. Hennepin County provides free labels for your bins, and you can order your container labels online

Collection tips

Indoor collection tips

If you find that your compostable bags are breaking, or if there are unpleasant odors coming from your organics, view the indoor collection tips for some ideas on addressing the issues.

Outdoor tips

If you do not currently have issues with odors and pests in your garbage, it is unlikely you will have issues with organics recycling. However, if these issues do come up, some outdoor collection tips may help.