Environment,  Neighborhood

April is Earth Month! Let’s talk about organics recycling

This Earth Month, LHiNC is focusing on one of the biggest opportunities for improving how we recycle: appropriately disposing of food scraps and wasted food by using organics recycling. 

Did you know that the curbside organics recycling program has its roots right here in Linden Hills?

Linden Hills residents banded together to pilot an organics program in 2008. This pilot program expanded to parts of Cooper, Hiawatha, Howe, Longfellow, Phillips, and Seward before Minneapolis began to roll out its citywide curbside organics recycling system in 2015.

Organic material makes up 35% of our trash, regardless of whether households are signed up for organics recycling.

Wasted food, in particular, presents a huge opportunity for improvement – citywide, only 7.5% of wasted food is set out for organics recycling. 

Wondering why you should start recycling your organics?

Organics recycling:

  • Provides the best opportunity to reduce our trash: Local waste sort studies continue to show that organic materials are the largest proportion of our trash.
  • Reduces greenhouse gas emissions: Organic materials decomposing in landfills generate methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Diverting organics to composting helps to reduce landfill methane emissions.
  • Improves soil and protects water: Compost added to soil reduces the need for fertilizers. It also increases the water retention of soils, which reduces runoff and erosion that can pollute our water and helps to conserve water.
  • Supports a local economy: Minnesota’s composting industry supports about 700 jobs and produces $148 million in annual gross economic activity. The composting industry supports four to eight times more jobs, on a per-ton basis, than landfilling operations.

Are you one of the 700+ Linden Hills households with city service that hasn’t signed up for organics recycling yet?

See the blurred map below shows the Linden Hills households with city service that are signed up for organics recycling (green is signed up, red hasn’t signed up yet).

Sign up for organics recycling – it’s free!

If you have city service (dark gray garbage bins), you can sign up for curbside organics recycling by filling out this form or you can contact Minneapolis Solid Waste & Recycling at 612-673-2917 or SWRcustomer@minneapolismn.gov.

If you live in a larger building with dumpsters, you can: (1) connect with your property manager to have organics recycling added at your building if it’s not already available; or (2) you can sign up to bring your household organics to an organics drop-off site

Are you a property owner, manager or part of an association for a multifamily building?

Let Hennepin County help you with your recycling program! Hennepin County offers technical assistance, educational materials, and presentations – all for free to multifamily buildings with more than 5 units. If you are a property owner, manager or part of an association and you need help getting your organics recycling program started, reach out to apartmentrecycling@hennepin.us.

Are you a business owner? Check out these Hennepin County grants!

Select up to $3,000 worth of containers and compostable bags from the county’s product list to help you get started with or enhance their recycling and organics recycling programs. 

Apply for up to $50,000 for your waste prevention project, with a minimum request of $2,500. Think of replacing disposables with reusables, preventing wasted food, reusing and recovering goods and materials, or supporting innovative waste prevention research and development. These projects must include matching funds of 25% of the total grant request.

We are saving more information about organics recycling in our Instagram highlights – check it out and follow us @linden_hills_council