How to start collecting organics

Get some compostable bags, follow these steps and you'll be set for organics recycling.

Compostable bags

BPI compostable logo that will be on compostable plastic bags and boxes of bags

Organics must be bagged for collection. This helps organics come out of your cart easily and reduces pests and odors.

  • Brown paper bags are compostable and you can use them for your organics recycling. 
  • Certified compostable plastic bags are often carried in grocery stores, hardware stores, large retail stores and sometimes in garden stores and nurseries. You can also search online for "BPI compostable plastic bags." Compostable bags come in sizes including mini, standard, lawn and leaf, and sometimes larger for businesses.

Make sure any plastic bags that claim to be compostable carry the BPI compostable logo on both the box and the bags themselves.  If buying bags online, check BPI’s website to verify they are certified compostable.

BPI website

1. Set up a container

You can use an ice cream pail, coffee can or cottage cheese tub. You can convert an existing garbage can into an organics container. Or you can buy a kitchen pail from a grocery, hardware or other retail store, or order one online.

If you'd like a label for your organics container, you can print one.

Container labels

A bin for collecting compostables

2. Start with food, then add other items

Food scraps are the most common material in the trash, so it's especially important to collect them for organics recycling. When you're in a groove with sorting your food scraps, start collecting other compostable items. Compost other items like paper towels, napkins and compostable take out containers.   

A bin for collecting organics (compostables) with food scraps and paper towels.

3. Set out your organics every week

Bag your organics before putting them in the cart. Bagged organics reduces pests and helps the organics easily dump out. You can use brown paper bags or BPI-certified compostable plastic bags.

You do not have to bag pizza boxes from delivery or paper egg cartons.

Dad and daughter put compost items into organics recycling bin.

Organics Recycling – My Way

See the many ways that Minneapolis residents collect organics in their home.

More information

Contact us

Solid Waste & Recycling

Public Works





Eastside Maintenance Facility

2635 University Ave NE

Minneapolis, MN 55418

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Monday – Friday

This building is closed to the public.