SMSC compost

Yard waste or carbon material is unloaded from a truck bed at the SMSC Organics Recycling Facility in Shakopee. The material will be mixed with food waste and turned over the course of 60 to 90 days until it is turned into compost.

Updated at 11 a.m. Thursday

Household organics may now be recycled for compost at several drop-off sites in Scott County under new, grant-funded composting programs. 

It's estimated that 25-30% of household trash is food-soiled paper products and food scraps, according to Scott County Environmental Services.

Compostable materials include items such as food scraps, coffee grounds, eggshells and egg cartons, napkins and paper towel. The materials are then used to create compost — a nutrient-rich, natural fertilizer for gardening and farming.

The recycling programs available in Shakopee, Savage, Prior Lake and Jordan are supported in part by funding from Scott County and Minnesota’s Local Recycling Development Grant.

Here's how you can participate: 

Shakopee 

This week, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community’s Organics Recycling Facility in Shakopee began offering free organics recycling service to all county residents. 

“Our tribe is dedicated to being a good steward of the earth, and organics recycling is an impactful way to reduce the amount of waste that goes to local landfills,” SMSC Chairman Keith Anderson said in a statement. “We appreciate Scott County’s support for this program, which will help more residents compost and benefit the environment.”

To participate, Scott County residents can register online at SMSCORF.com/household-program or on-site at 1905 Mystic Lake Drive South in Shakopee.

Once registered, residents will receive a welcome kit, including a compost bucket, compostable food waste bags and instructions. A readily-accessible, enclosed dumpster will be available for program participants during regular business hours at the SMSC Organics Recycling Facility. 

Hours of operation: 

Questions? Call the Organics Recycling Facility at 952-233-9191. 

Prior Lake 

The Buckingham Companies in Prior Lake launched organics recycling in March; the program is available to all county residents. 

"Any Scott County resident can come in and get a year's supply of organics bags at no cost," said Michael Buckingham-Hayes, the company's vice president. 

Separating organics cuts down on the waste that ends up in local landfill; Buckingham Companies' waste, for example, is dumped primarily at the Burnsville Sanitary Landfill, according to Buckingham-Hayes. 

The program is off to a strong start, he said, with more interest in organics recycling than he'd anticipated. The company is planning to launch curbside organics recycling service sometime next year. 

The Buckingham Companies recycling center is located at at 5980 Credit River Road SE. 

Hours of operation:

  • Monday - Friday: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Thursday Evenings: 9-7 p.m. (April-November)
  • Saturday: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Questions? Call The Buckingham Companies at 952-226-6441. 

Jordan 

The City of Jordan officially launched its organics recycling program in December 2020 — marking the start of the first organics program for residents in Scott County. 

Since then, over 110 local residents have signed-up to participate, according to Nathan Fuerst, a city planner and economic development specialist. 

"We're really proud of this site and the community seems to be responding well," he said. 

The city-operated yard waste and household organics recycling site is open 24/7 thanks to a key fob system that allows for electronic monitoring. 

Fuerst said the key fob system was designed to remove barriers. Once a participant signs-up, they are sent a key fob in the mail to begin accessing the site. 

The organics dumpster is available at the Jordan Police Department at 705 Syndicate Street.

Household organics are placed in the organics dumpster and yard waste can be placed behind the gates. BPI-certified compostable bags are available at Jordan City Hall or most grocery or hardware stores. 

"It really takes down the amount of trash that I'm throwing in my regular garbage," Fuerst said of his own experience recycling organics. "It was almost night and day when I started composting."

To learn more and register online, visit jordanmn.gov/organics-recycling/

Questions? Contact the City of Jordan at 952-492-2535. 

Savage 

No registration is required to recycle organics at Suburban Waste Services in Savage.

Rick Sievers, one of the company's owners and vice president, said two outdoor organics carts are available during business to all county residents. 

To recycle organics, residents can simply drive-thru the parking lot to access the bins at 7125 West 126th Street. 

Questions? Call Suburban Waste Services at 952-937-8900. 

Curbside pickup for food scraps 

Metro-wide, curbside pickup service for organics recycling is becoming more widely available as communities push to end landfilling and support sustainable land practices. 

In 2018, an amendment to Hennepin County's recycling ordinance instructed cities to begin offering curbside organics recycling service by Jan. 1, 2022. 

County officials allowed cities with fewer than 10,000 residents to opt-out of offering curbside service; however, these communities were required to establish at least one organics recycling drop-off site within city limits. 

The ordinance amendment also required businesses producing large amounts of food waste to implement food waste recycling. 

In Ramsey and Washington counties, household curbside organics pickup is planned to begin in late 2022. 

In Dakota County, curbside pickup service is not offered but food waste drop-off sites are available in West St. Paul, Eagan, Rosemount, Lakeville and Hastings. Additional sites are planned for Burnsville and Mendota Heights. 

Scott County's Solid Waste Management Master Plan, adopted in 2018, sets a goal to make curbside residential organics collection available county-wide by 2025. 

Nick Reishus, an environmentalist with Scott County, said the county hopes the new drop-off sites will inspire residents to increase food waste recycling to the point where demand will push the transition to curbside collection. 

Events