Public Works

Solid Waste & Recycling

309 2nd Ave S., Room 210
Minneapolis, MN 55401-2281

Contact Information

Organics Circle

Residential Organics Drop-Offs

The City of Minneapolis, in partnership with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and the Hale Page Diamond Lake and Tangletown Neighborhoods, opened a Residential Organics Drop-Off at Pearl Park on April 26, 2014.  Due to the success of the program, a drop-off was opened at the City's South Transfer Station on August 5, 2014 and at Van Cleve Park on September 21, 2014. 

Coming Soon: Residential organics drop-offs will be opening soon at the following parks:

Stay tuned for more information regarding open dates and times at these new drop-off locations!

By participating in the residential organics drop-off program, you may be able to reduce your garbage cart to the smaller size which results in a $3 per month savings to your Solid Waste & Recycling bill.

Click here for the Residential Organics Drop-Off program brochure.

 Audubon Park - 1320 29th Ave NE - OPEN BEGINNING 10/7/2014!

Van Cleve Park - 901 15th Ave SE - Now Open!

South Transfer Station – 2850 20th Ave S

Minneapolis residents are also able to bring organics to the South Transfer Station located at 2850 20th Ave S (just west of Hiawatha and 20th Ave S). 

Residents dropping organics off at the South Transfer Station MUST wait in line and show your ID to the scale attendant at the facility. The scale attendant will ask a couple questions and will direct you where to place your organics. 

The South Transfer Station drop-off will be open all hours of operation (see South Transfer Station Directions for more information), however, it is recommended to avoid going during peak high traffic times. The recommended times to drop-off organics include:

            Tuesday                            2:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
            Wednesday – Friday      12:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.    
      Saturday                           8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. 

Pearl Park – 414 E Diamond Lake Road

Participants of the Pearl Park Residential Organics Drop-Off are now able  to drop their organics off 24-7. Participants must sign up to receive the lock code for the organics carts in the parking lot at Pearl Park. 

Sign up to participate in the Pearl Park Residential Organics Drop-off program. This email address will also be used to provide you updates on the program.

What are organics?

Organics include: All food scraps, most non-recyclable food-soiled paper, certified compostable plastics and more!  Your organics must be contained in a certified compostable bag or in a paper bag prior to it being brought to the residential organics drop-off.  Large paper items such as pizza boxes, wax-coated boxes and egg cartons do not need to be bagged.

3 Easy Steps to Participate:Organics - Kitchen Pail 2

1. Collect organics in compostable bags (paper or plastic) from your kitchen, bathroom and laundry room,

2. Bring your bagged organics to the drop-off site and

3. Place the bagged organics into the organics carts in the parking lot at Pearl Park during the hours of operation.

Below is more detailed information on the items that can and cannot be brought to the residential organics drop-off site or print this detailed Yes and No list.

Organics CartFood Scraps:Organics - Food on plate

Organics CartFood-Soiled Paper:Organics - Paper Products

Organics CartOther residential compostable items including:Organics - Other Compostable

Organics CartCertified compostable plastics:BPI Logo

A catalog of compostable plastic items that meet the compostability standards can be found on BPI’s website.
 Organics Cart - No

Items NOT accepted at the drop-off site include:


Frequently Asked Questions:

When will city-wide organics be implemented?
We are working with City Council to determine the best collection method and program for a city-wide program.  Stay tuned for more information. 

How do I prevent odors from my organics?
Two options that help prevent and reduce odors are below.

1. Utilizing a collection container that has a vented lid. Food waste starts to decompose faster and create odors when its access to oxygen is cut off. This is why when you open your lidded garbage container, that your garbage can start to smell bad. You can purchase a pre-made kitchen pail with a vented lid (with or without a carbon filter) or you can make one using an ice cream or coffee ground type pail.

2. Consider collecting your 'wet' organics (food waste, meat trimmings, etc.) in a large yogurt or cottage cheese container (1/2 gallon ice cream pail works well too) and keep that container in your refrigerator or freezer until you're ready to bring them to the residential organics drop-off. The paper items do not need to be stored in the refrigerator or freezer as they often do not produce any nuisance odors.

Which is better: garbage disposal or separate for organics recycling?
Collecting organic materials for composting helps maintain valuable nutrients within our soils.  Placing these items down a garbage disposal places extra processing burdens on our waste-water treatment facility.

Do I need to use compostable bags?

Yes, compostable bags, either certified compostable plastic or paper bags are required for collection of organic materials.  This helps ensure that all organics are easily removed from you cart during collection and helps reduce odors and pests that can be associated with collecting organics.  It is preferred that clean paper bags be recycled, but they are also acceptable in the organics collection program. 


Where can I buy certified compostable bags?

Certified compostable bags are sold at most grocery, hardware and large retail stores.  Some gardens and nurseries will also carry these bags.  You may also find compostable bags online.  Be sure they have the USCC/BPI compostable logo shown above.  Compostable bags come in a mini-kitchen pail size (approx. 3 gallons), standard kitchen size bag (approx. 13 gallon), lawn and leaf size (approx. 33 gallon), and even larger for commercial applications.  If your local retailer does not carry the brand or size that you prefer, let them know and they may begin to carry it in the future.  For more information on certified compostable bag brands and manufacturers visit the Biodegradable Products Institute’s website at


Do pizza boxes, egg cartons, wax boxes, etc. need to be in a compostable bag? 

No, these larger, entirely paper, items do not need to be in a compostable bag and may be placed loose into the organics cart. 


How do I tell if an item is plastic lined?

Do a ‘tear test’.  If it does not tear easily or if you can see a plastic lining where you tore the paper, then it has a plastic lining.  Only ASTM D6868 plastic lined paper products are accepted for composting.  They will have the BPI/USCC compostable logo on the packaging.  If you’re unsure if its plastic lined, call the manufacturer and ask, or place the paper product in the garbage.


What about paper towels used for cleaning, nail polish soaked cotton swabs, chemical face cleaning product swabs, etc.?

If a paper item contains non-natural ingredients, it’s best to keep it out of the organics.


What about wax coated boxes and parchment paper?

Yes, wax coated boxes and parchment paper are accepted in the organics collection program.  Wax is a natural substance that will be digested by microbes during the composting process.  Please note that all soup, broth and milk cartons and juice boxes are plastic lined and/or aluminum lined and are NOT accepted in the organics program. 


What about uneaten pet food and the pet food bags?

Uneatten pet food is accepted in an organics collection program.  Most pet food bags are plastic lined and therefore are not accepted in the organics program.


Dryer sheets and Swiffer pads?

For items such as these to be accepted in the organics program, they must be certified compostable.  Contact the manufacturer and let them know that you’d prefer they had their products certified. 


Microwaveable popcorn bags?

Microwaveable popcorn bags are plastic lined and they’re typically also lined with bispheynol-A (BPA).  For these reasons, microwaveable popcorn bags are not accepted in the organics collection program.


Items with foil paper?

Paper items with foil, reflective sections or glitter are not accepted in the organics collection program or in the recycling program and belong in the garbage. 


Why can't pet waste be included?
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) will not allow compost facilities to accept pet waste at their facilities, therefore, we cannot accept them in a residential program either.  They should continue to be placed in the garbage at this time.


Should I stop composting in my backyard compost bin if I participate in the organics drop-off program?

Absolutely not!  Composting in your backyard allows you to immediately have access to the compost produced from your hard work and dedication.  Items that you cannot compost in your backyard compost bin such as meat, bones, dairy products, fats, compostable plastics and thicker compostable paper products are accepted at the residential organics drop-offs because they go to a commercial compost facility where they will break down.  In addition, many Minnesotan's do not continue to add materials to their backyard compost bin during the winter. 

 If you have any additional questions, please call Solid Waste & Recycling at (612) 673-2917 or email

Last updated Sep 26, 2014