Locks removed from organics drop-off carts

With consistently colder temperatures, the City has removed the locks from carts at organics drop-off sites for the winter.

Thank you for your due diligence in only placing clean organics inside the carts. Removing the locks makes it easier for you to use the organics drop-offs in the wintertime, but it also makes it easier for others to put contamination into the organics carts.

Please continue to be diligent in sorting your organics. If you find contamination in a cart, do your best to not cover it up so we may dispose of the contaminated material appropriately. 

We will notify you via email in the spring before the locks are put back on the carts. 

Please read the reminders below on what food-service items are and are not accepted in the organics recycling.

What food-service items can be composted?

accepted food-service items for composting

Minneapolis residents do a great job keeping their organics recycling clean. We have low contamination in the organics recycling program. Food-service items are where residents still have the most confusion. If you're just getting started with organics recycling, making sure you get all of your food scraps into the organics bin is the most important. As you get more comfortable, start adding in paper items.

Any paper or plastic food service item should be clearly marked "compostable" and have the BPI logo on it (shown above). The BPI logo verifies the item has been tested by a third party and that it will fully and safely break down in a commercial composting facility leaving no unnatural byproducts. 


What items should never go in organics carts?

Items commonly found in organics recycling carts that are NOT compostable include:

  • Non-compostable paper cups
  • Fast-food wraps and boxes
  • Decorative or glossy paper plates
  • Asian take out pails
  • Ice cream tubs
  • Milk cartons
  • Butter wraps
  items not accepted in organics - plastic-lined paper products

These items all have conventional oil based plastic in the lining making them non-compostable and non-recyclable (except milk cartons - they are recyclable).

Per the City's Green to Go ordinance, all paper cups should now be certified compostable. If the cup does not have the BPI logo on it, call or email 311 and let them know the establishment is not in compliance with City ordinance. 311 will alert the appropriate Health Inspector for the business.

Common contaminants

We’ve been finding some contamination in carts. Please keep in mind that the following items are not able to be composted. 

  1. Cardboard boxes. Mailing labels and tape on cardboard boxes are not compostable. The box itself is ok, however, it can be made back into another paper item again, so the priority should be to recycle cardboard boxes.
  2. Paper boxes from fast food restaurants. If the box is not BPI certified, it belongs in the garbage, not in the organics.
  3. Non-compostable bags. All plastic bags used must have the BPI logo on them. It's the only tool the collection crew and the composters have to verify the bag will fully and safely break down in the composting process. 

If you're uncertain if an item is certified compostable, visit BPI's website and search the product catalog. 

Find more info about organics recycling