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Organics recycling coming to Bloomington

Turn your food scraps into something good. Starting April 21, residents can bring organic waste to two drop-off locations in the city for collection and composting. Organics includes food scraps and non-recyclable paper items. This is a free program for all residents.

“About a third of what we throw away could be composted,” Program Coordinator Jennifer Nguyen Moore said. “Instead of trashing your food scraps and food-soiled paper products, bring them to the drop-off sites.” Organics collected at the drop-off locations will be turned into compost, which will be used to add valuable nutrients back into the soil. When compost is added to soil, it reduces the need for fertilizers and pesticides and increases water retention, allowing for more efficient water use. The compost will be used primarily by commercial landscapers, in road construction projects and in gardens. Organics recycling reduces the amount of trash you produce at home, which could save you money if you reduce the size of the cart you need for trash collection.

Turning organics into compost is better for the environment than burying or burning it. Composting reduces greenhouse gas emissions at landfills and increases energy efficiency at garbage incinerators. If you want to drop off your organics, be sure to register. After you sign up, you’ll be able to stay connected with updates and tips and receive a welcome kit (including compostable bags) with more details on how to recycle organics. Signing up will also help the City track the success of the program.

To get started at home, place an organics recycling container in a convenient location. Line the container with a paper bag or certified compostable plastic bag. Be sure the bags you purchase have the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) or Cedar Grove logo on the bag or box. See the clip-out section on page 2 for more details on accepted organic materials. During the first two months of the program, volunteers will be at the drop-off locations to answer questions and hand out free compostable bags. Both locations are open Tuesdays, 4 – 7 p.m., and Saturdays 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

To sign up to be a volunteer at a drop-off site, email Sustainability Commissioner John Jaimez at jjaimez@bloomingtonmn.gov. Training will be provided. Business organics are NOT accepted at the City locations. Organics are accepted from businesses ONLY at the Hennepin County drop-off site at 1400 96th Street West.