The MPCA's tools for local government page includes source-separated organics management options grouped into “good,” “better” and “best” actions and are organized under the two catogories of ordinances/licensing and collection. Documents to help cities adopt these actions are license templates, a hauler services agreement template, and 3 Request for Proposal frameworks.
Provide participant numbers and/or tons managed of one or more programs: food-to-people, food-to-animals, compostables collection, and backyard composting. Mention any yard waste collection program (note that it is banned by state law from landfills).
Organics collection by one hauler; drop-site collection of organics; facilitate multiple businesses to collect compostables; include a public outreach program to prevent food waste.
Facilitate the logistics for more prevention of public/commercial food waste; manage organics via small site composting or anaerobic digestion, and/or set and meet an aggressive program goal, such as % residents/businesses participating or profitability of program; assist with or directly manage yard waste so as to produce and sell a value-added wood chip (esp. from Ash) and/or compost product.
Who's doing it
Hutchinson - 3 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Hutchinson has one of the most established residential composting programs in the state at Creekside Soils, with its residential composting beginning with an expansion of the organics processing facility in 2001. The City uses an opt-out system for residential compost with each of the approximately 4,000 household within the city given a compost bin that they can use for co-collection of organics and yard-waste. Participation is over 90% with only about 100 residences opting out of the program. Biodegradable bags are available to those who participate in the curbside organics program for free at events multiple times per year.
Creekside does advertise their services beyond simply supplying the bins as well. In addition to sending information to residents on when they will be offering the free compostable bags, there is a conscious effort within the program to reach out to new residents. When Creekside is informed of a new resident moving into town, a package with information about the program is compiled and sent to the address.
In 2015, the Creekside facility diverted a total of 3,819.91 tons of waste from the landfill from Hutchinson and surrounding areas. Only looking at source separated organics, the number are still impressive with the facility diverting 1,831 tons via their curbside program.
While there is not an anaerobic digester on site for the composting facility, the facility has partnered with a local dairy farm that uses an anaerobic digester to process manure and send the product to Creekside to be packaged and sold.
around 2,000 tons of source separated waste diverted from landfills each year since 2001
Randys Environmental Services offers residential organics collection. This program is extensively promoted by the City of Elk River Environmental Division and by Elk River Municipal Utilities. Despite the fact that we have two waste haulers that share Elk River, Randys Environmental Services is allowed to conduct organics pick-ups citywide.
There are currently 471 households participating in residential organics collection. Last year, participating homes diverted almost 90 tons of organic material from the waste stream. The material is taken to the composting facility in Rosemount.
Fridley residents can participate in a voluntary curbside organics recycling program. This program is offered citywide to residents of single family homes, duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes through a single hauler.
In the spring of 2016, the City of Jordan signed a 5 year contract with a Dick’s Sanitation. The new partnership began offering city-wide organic collection on January 1, 2017. Jordan is now one of a few cities in Minnesota that offers food and yard waste collection to all residents. Dick’s Sanitation also engages residents in order to provide education on best methods for managing organics, yard waste, solid waste, and recycling. In addition to regular organics collection and outreach, annual fall leaf collection and winter tree collection are provided for free to all residents – keeping excess organic matter out of the city’s surface waters.
By issuing a RFP for a new waste hauler, the city saved a considerable amount of money for its residents while offering them additional services including organics collection. Moving forward, the baseline of organics collection participants will be assessed and the city will look into partnerships to increase usage.
Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial School District with approximately 1,000 students in two buildings implemented an organics recycling program to prevent food waste from entering the waste stream. Instead all organics are sent to Full Circle Organics for Composting. The City of Lake Crystal, joined together with North Mankato and Mankato to be part of a Zero Waste Composting program funded by a grant from the MPCA. Lake Crystal has over 37 households signed up for the free program.
To date, the household program estimates that 907 pounds of household waste has been collected. Averaging 113 pounds of waste per week. The program estimated 25 households would sign up within the first year and as of 2/22/17 there are 37 households.
A public outreach program includes participating in the 12/3/16 Christmas in Lake Crystal Craft Bazaar. Educational information was distributed and participants were able to sign up for the program. A 2/19 outreach event was held at the Presbyterian Church, and another one is set for 3/26/17 at Zion Lutheran Church. A presentation is also schedule for a Natural Resources class at LCWM on 2/22/17 which will include the composing program. Articles and photos of events were posted on social media and sent to the Lake Crystal Tribune. A 2/22/17 radio interview with KNUJ also highlighted the program, benefits, and information about signing up.
Five businesses received a Ramsey and Washington County grant, with help from Waste Wise, to reduce trash, increase recycling, and implement (new!) compostables pickup. A new enclosure was built, using local contractors, to consolidate waste storage and pickup. Three other Marine businesses have received grant money to start commercial compost pickup, and others are exploring the option.
City of West St. Paul partnered with Dakota County for an organics drop site located at Thompson Park. Currently the program has 1,117 total registered households, of which 487 are from West St. Paul. The rest are from surrounding communities. The organics drop site is free for any resident in the County to use and compostable bags are provided for residents to take and use.
In 2013, Coon Rapids launched a pilot organics collection program for residents to drop household food waste and non-recyclable paper products at the recycling drop off center. Grant money was used to provide roughly 100 households with Randy's Blue Bags and kitchen pails at no cost. Part of this program included educating those residents about the importance of organics collection and ensuring the correct materials are added to the organics. This program continues to expand.
Approximately 200 households currently participating and plans to expand through more advertising and outreach. In the first six months of collection, roughly 10,000 lbs of organic material collected.
In August 2011, the City and Randy's Environmental Services (contracted solid waste hauler) launched a collaborative project to provide a separated organics collection program within the City. The program is labeled the Blue Bag Program by Randy's.
The Blue Bag Program is different from previous organics collection programs offered by Randy's and other waste haulers in the area. This program allows residents to still throw all refuse in one waste container, but by separating organics wasted into a separate "blue bag", it allows the waste hauler to separate the organics from the waste stream later. The advantages to this method are convenience for the resident and the same waste collection process for the hauler. A second organics collection truck is not needed - a process previously required in other organics collection processes.
The first phase of the program was launched with a small, 40-household pilot group, to test the product and its deliver. Some modifications with the program were made over the past 6 months.
In June 2012, Randy's is expected to complete the expansion of its existing waste collection site in Delano, allowing for more space to separate the organics from the waste stream. The construction project began in the fall of 2011 and is progressing as planned.
Randy's and the City have collaborated on a date for launching the program City-wide. This effort is currently planned for August 1, 2012.
In progress: Dakota Valley Recycling continues to explore organics recycling; no program is in place yet. Thomson Reuters has implemented a waste-to-food program, in which they donate food waste to Second Harvest Farms, which is then used to feed hogs.
In 2010 Hopkins was awarded a grant for Organic Outreach to businesses and civic organizations in the City of Hopkins. No businesses so far have implemented an organics collection program, but many of them expressed an interest in doing so in the future.
In the summer of 2012 Hopkins staff and Louise Miller, a Green Consultant, provided organic and traditional recycling at community events such as:
Raspberry Festival Family Days - 3 day (Hopkins Jaycees)
Music in the Park Concert Series - Thursdays 6 weeks (Hopkins Business & Civic Association)
Hopkins Farmers Market - July through October (Hopkins Farmers Market Coop)
2,085 lbs of organics were collected at these events.
267 lbs of recyclables were collected at these events.
All organics collected through Hopkins programs are composted.
We have contracted with a non-profit group (Deer River Hired Hands) to pick up the brush from our community brush pile and chip the branches for recycling.
Rather than taking our brush to the landfill, recycling it by chipping it also offers an opportunity for a local non-profit to employ handicapped adults by their ability to sell the wood chips. This project is ongoing.
The city of Mankato and a citizen group Mankato Zero Waste (MZW) have partnered on organics food waste recycling. Items (such as--meat, bones, dairy and bakery products, food-soiled paper products, pizza boxes, eggs and paper egg carton) can be dropped of at 2 sites in Mankato during daylight hours and at no charge. Starter kits with bag samples and coupons--are available at city offices. The organics are picked up by Full Circle Organics and composted at a location in Good Thunder. Program is supported by a grant from the MPCA.
The City, in partner with the Minnesota Waste Wise organization has been providing technical assistance in the area of solid waste management to local churches and small businesses.
At no cost to the participating organization the city will conduct a site inspection and provide feedback to help better manage an organization's solid waste stream.
During a recent visit to Saint Jeromes school a opportunity for waste diversion. It was noted that a vast majority of the schools garbage was food waste. Waste Wise then helped the school set up a food-to-hogs program. The participating school has found the program to be very successful and is excited to reduce the volume of trash they are generating.
For 2014 Ramsey County began hosting a source separated organics collection points at their compost sites. The county has provided the city with free compostable bags to hand to residents. The city now provides those bag to residents at the city hall, the Maplewood Community Center, and the City Hall.
In addition to compost drop off, the city of Maplewood does have an ordinance that allows for backyard composting as well as the sale of composting containers that fit within that ordinance through the Recycling Association of Minnesota. The city will work with Ramsey County to deliver organics collection bins to be utilized during events. the city and Ramsey County will collect these bins and drop off the waste.
In 2007, the City of Minnetonka received a Waste Abatement Incentive Grant from Hennepin County to encourage refuse haulers to offer organics collections to their customers. Since then hundreds of families have signed up for weekly collection of organics. The city identifies and provides contact information for three refuse haulers offering organics collection on its website.
Hennepin County Board passed mandate in 2018 that all cities in Hennepin County must provide curbside collection of organics by January of 2022. One of the city's licensed haulers, Randy's Sanitation, currently offers organics recycling.
The City of Pierz has not only designated a hauler for solid waste in our community, we have two different designated areas in our community for disposal of organic materials. We have implemented with assistance from Morrison County, a compost pile for leaves, grass clippings, mulch, etc. The City of Pierz also has a designated brush pile for those residents wishes to dispose of branches, tree debris, etc.
The compost pile is used by residents who choose to add compost to their lawns and gardens to use as a natural fertilizer. The brush pile is used by animals as homes and a food source. This decomposes and creates natural material for the ground nutrients.
In Spring 2014, Ramsey County started accepting source-separated organics at four yard waste sites Located in Saint Paul. The City promotes the use of these sites on the City web site and through social media. The City currently financially supports the MGCC drop off site. This has increased opportunities for organics recycling in Saint Paul.