Composting

You can transform food scraps and yard waste into nutrient-rich soil for your garden.

We support composting and soil health

Healthy plants require healthy soil. Composting is an easy, Earth-friendly way to transform food scraps and yard waste into free, nutrient-rich soil for your garden. Soil testing is available to test for both nutrient content and for contaminants such as lead and arsenic.

Community garden compost program

Qualifying community gardens can get compost from Minneapolis Solid Waste and Recycling.

Compost is:

  • Low-cost or free
  • Available on a first-come, first-served basis

Priority is given to gardens that:

  • Have never received compost
  • Have poor soil quality
  • Are start-up gardens

Community gardens may apply for compost. Find details on the community garden compost program page. 

Community garden compost program

Residential organics collection

Minneapolis Solid Waste & Recycling customers now have more organics recycling options. Organic waste can now be picked up alongside your trash and recycling.

Organics recycling sign-up form 

Frequently Asked Questions about organics recycling. 

Residential organic drop-off 

The City of Minneapolis is partnering with the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board and neighborhood groups to offer a Residential Organic Drop-Off program in several locations throughout the city.

Organics drop off sites 

Order and pick up a compost bin or rain barrel

Get a jump-start on gardening by ordering a discounted compost bin or rain barrel for your home. The Recycling Association of Minnesota holds annual spring sales and distribution events for rain barrels and compost bins. You can pick up your order at the spring distribution event.

For more information, visit www.recycleminnesota.org

Compost at home

Minneapolis Residents can compost at home. The City updated rules to make it easier than ever. 

  1. Compost should be contained within a container that is enclosed on all vertical sides and built with durable material in a structurally sound manner. While most organic matter is compostable, some materials are prohibited due to public health risks and the potential to create nuisance conditions (pest infestation and/or odor issues).
  2. The maximum size allowed for a compost area depends on the size of your lot.
  • Lots with residential structures can have a compost area of up to 15 cubic yards
  • Lots under 10,000 square feet without residential structures can have a compost area of up to 25 cubic yards
  • Lots over 10,000 square feet without residential structures can have a compost area of up to 120 cubic yards

The location on the property is important.

Compost:

  • Is not allowed in the front or side yards
  • Must be 20 feet away from any habitable building not on the property
  • Must have a 1 foot buffer from the rear property line

See the illustrations below.

For a full list of composting rules and regulations, including where it is allowed within a lot, please visit Minneapolis Code of Ordinances, Title 12, Chapter 244, Article VII, 244.770. - Composting.

Additional resources

Soil Testing, University of Minnesota

Urban Gardens and Soil Contaminants - A Gardener's Guide to Healthy Soil

Lead in the Home Garden and Urban Soil Environment, University of Minnesota Extension

Minnesota Composting Council

 

Contact us

Homegrown Minneapolis

Phone

612-673-3553