City updates composting law to benefit both gardeners and neighbors
The City of Minneapolis has updated its ordinance regulating composting to allow larger compost areas, to adopt different regulations for composting at home versus community gardens, and to require an odor-reducing layer such as leaves, wood chips or finished compost on top. Composting is the natural breakdown of organic material, such as yard and food waste, into soil, and it is a way of taking better care of our gardens while creating less waste. Using compost makes plants and gardens healthier by holding moisture in dry soil, allowing water to flow through compacted soil, adding nutrients near the plant’s roots and helping seeds to sprout.
Other changes to the ordinance include:
Using cubic feet as a measurement of compost rather than container size.
Defining materials not permitted instead of materials that are.
Allowing staff to require a composting course for noncompliant property owners.
Clarifying that green-treated wood is not required in the construction of compost bins, but wood must be structurally sound and free of rot.
Homegrown Minneapolis is a comprehensive initiative of the City of Minneapolis to improve the growing, processing, distributing, eating and composting of healthy, sustainable, locally grown foods within the city. For more information visit the Homegrown Minneapolis website.
The Urban Agriculture Policy Plan, adopted unanimously in 2011 and now part of the City’s Comprehensive Plan, recommended that the City study the potential for more coordinated composting. This effort involved several City departments including Public Works, Community Planning and Economic Development, Regulatory Services and Emergency Preparedness.
Published Mar. 8, 2012