Off Campus Living

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Organics Recycling

What is organics recycling?

Organics recycling is the recycling of organic material into compost, a special soil amendment. Compost holds more water and acts as a natural fertilizer to help revitalize soil for farming purposes.

Why should you recycle organic materials?

About ⅓ of our waste is compostable. Organics recycling helps reduce greenhouse emissions and improves the quality of air, water, and soil. Divert your waste from incineration to your organic bins!

How do I store the materials?

There are many options for containers you can use to collect organics recycling in your home. You can use an ice cream pail, coffee can, or an existing garbage can. Or you can purchase a kitchen pail from a grocery, hardware, or retail store or order one online. We’ve also included compostable kitchen bin options at the bottom of this webpage.

Before placing organics in your outdoor or shared bin, place materials in a compostable bag. This can be either a brown paper bag or BPI-certified compostable plastic bags. Transferring materials before disposal will ensure no leakage of organics through the bag.

What should you recycle?

Food (remove from non-compostable packaging), paper cartons, certified compostable bags, tissues & tissue paper, coffee stir-sticks, chopsticks, paper coffee cups, coffee grounds & paper filters, cotton balls, dust, hair, wet newspaper, paper bags, PLA labeled plastic, Q-tips, tea bags.

What shouldn’t you recycle?

Grease, gum, cleaning products, floss, dirt or soil, dryer lint, gauze & bandages, soup/milk/juice/wine cartons, ice cream tubs, plastic, rocks/gravel, sandwich bags, wax, wood scraps, yard waste, ashes, animal waste, wipes, cat litter.

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Getting Involved

Rent a House?

How much does it cost to sign up?

Nothing! If you already pay for recycling, there will be no additional utility fee for registering for organics recycling.

How do I sign up?

Talk to your neighbor about sharing bins! Most people do not use their whole bin up every week, so see if your neighbors would be open to sharing one.

You can also sign up on the City of Minneapolis website.

When is recycling pickup?

Recycling is picked up every other week. However, the day of the week varies by location. Use this tool to Find Your Recycling Day.

You can also sign up for Recycling Reminder Emails for bi-weekly updates reminding you of your recycling day, tips and tricks to reduce waste, holiday collection delays, and more.

Rent an Apartment?

How do I sign up?

Check to see if your apartment has its own organic recycling program in place. Otherwise, there are nearby drop-off locations that you can use! Contact us to receive training and access to these bins.

Where are nearby drop-off locations?

University Lutheran Church of Hope - 601 13th Ave SE

Holmes Park - 414 3rd Ave SE (NEW)

Van Cleve Park - 901 15th Ave SE

Towerside Park - 2909 4th St SE (NEW)

North Loop: 7th Ave Parking Lot - 246 7th Ave N

North Loop: Colonial Warehouse - 212 3rd Ave N

Check out the Minneapolis Organics page for other drop-off locations.

Collection Day


Nearby Drop-Off Locations

New Organics Drop-Off Sites

Tips for Collecting Organics

Use a container with a vented lid

Vented containers allow moisture to evaporate, slowing down the decomposition process of the food in your organics recycling container. This will reduce odors and help your compostable plastic bags hold up longer.

If you’re purchasing a container, look for one with a vented lid. If you’re making your own, simply poke holes in the lid.

Get the most use out of your bags

If compostable plastic bags aren't holding up in your kitchen pail, don't use them as a liner. Dump the organics from the pail into a compostable plastic or paper bag before you bring it out for collection.

Remove liquids

Liquids in your organics recycling container can speed up the decomposition of food and weaken compostable bags. To avoid this, be sure to drain excess liquids before placing food scraps in your collection container. You can also place paper towels or newspapers at the bottom of your collection container to absorb liquids.

Keep your container in the fridge or freezer

Keeping your collection container in the refrigerator or freezer slows down the decomposition process, reduces odors, and prevents pests such as fruit flies. It can also help your compostable bags last longer.

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