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The Orono organics drop-off site can be used by city residents that are registered with the city of Orono. (Todd Abeln/Laker Pioneer)

In November 2018, Hennepin County adopted an ordinance requiring that cities make organics recycling service available to all households with curbside recycling service by 2022.

Cities across the area scrambled to meet the deadline and some are still in the process of ironing out the details to their individual programs.

Some cities are offering curbside organic recycling while others are offering a drop-off site. Each city is also charging different amounts for the program.

So what is organics recycling?

Instead of throwing your discarded food, non- recyclable paper and compostable products away, you recycling them. The material is picked up by a waste hauler and delivered to an industrial compost site with the organic material being recycled into compost, a nutrient-rich soil-like material that can be used in gardens and landscaping projects.

What is accepted for organics recycling? All food, non-recyclable and food-soiled paper (pizza boxes from delivery, napkins and paper towels, paper egg cartons, etc), certified compostable products, other compostable household items (coffee grounds and filters, hair and nail clippings, cotton balls and swabs with paper stems, houseplants and flowers, tea bags.)

What is not accepted? Animal and pet waste, litter or bedding, cleaning or baby wipes, diapers and sanitary products, dryer sheets, grease or oil, plastic bags and styrofoam. Regular recyclable items - including cartons, glass, metal, paper and plastic, and yard waste - are not accepted.

For more information on how to get started with organic recycling and what can and cannot be recycled go the web site

Below is a list of what each area city is offering:


Orono has started a Community Organics Recycling Drop-Off site for its residents. The city of Orono’s Organics Recycling Program allows residents to bring their organic waste to a drop-off location in Orono.

The program is free to all residents of Orono but registration is required. To register, go to the city of Orono’s website at and follow the organics recycling links.

After registering stop by city hall for your start up package which includes brochures, tabletop compost bin, and a couple compost bags to get you started.


As of Jan. 1, Minnetrista started hosting an organics drop-off site. There is a bin that residents can use to drop off their organic waste, located by the Public Works garage. Hours to use the drop off site during the week are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, please check the city web site This service is free to city residents.

Long Lake

At the Long Lake City Council meeting on March 15, the Long Lake City Council adopted an ordinance requiring that the city’s licensed residential refuse haulers (Waste Management, Republic Services, and Randy’s Environmental Services) offer curbside organics collection services to their Long Lake customers.

According to the city, the haulers aren’t required to have organics recycling available until June 1, but may offer the service earlier than the June 1 deadline. According to city clerk Jeannette Moeller, because the service will be provided by the licensed haulers to residents, that the licensed haulers will offer pricing to their customers independent of the city.

If you live in Long Lake and are interested in signing up for organics recycling service, contact your residential garbage hauler for pricing information.

Minnetonka Beach

Minnetonka Beach residents may bring their household organics to the Minnetonka Beach Public Works Facility, 2510 Woodbridge Rd. There a container is equipped with a combination padlock to prevent illegal dumping. The drop off site is open 24/7. Contact City Hall at or 952-471-8878 to sign up and get the padlock combination. According to city clerk Jane Burgess, the city is waiting for confirmation from Republic Services for when the disposal container will be delivered to the Public Works Facility. Once it is delivered, they will let residents know through the cities SPLASH! eblast and the Beachcomber newsletter.


The city of Mound is working with Republic Services on an organics recycling drop-off pilot program. The city will be working on the placement of a two-yard dumpster drop-off and methods to secure it from illegal dumping. In addition, the city will be making compostable bags and educational materials available for residents wishing to participate in the program. More information will be coming in April.


The city of Independence organics program is not up and running, but according to assistant city administrator Beth Horner, it is expected to be in the next few months. Once the program is underway, drop-off for city of Independence residents only will be at no charge and a site will be located behind City Hall by public works, at 1920 County Road 90.

Spring Park

According the interim city administrator Jim Brimeyer, the city of Spring Park is still in the development stages of implementing an organics recycling program.

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