Through a grant funded by Hennepin County, Richfield has launched a program offering free organics recycling to residents. Residents can recycle their household organic waste at two drop-off sites in the city.
This program is available through the collaborative efforts of the Recreation Services Department, city council and the city's volunteer citizen organics recycling task force.
Sign up now!
What is Organics Recycling?
Organics recycling, or composting, allows residents to recycle a variety of organic waste materials into nutrient-rich, useful soil, instead of sending it to a landfill. Organics recycling is done at a special industrial composting facility.
What are organics?
Organic waste materials, or organics, are biological materials such as food scraps, food-soiled paper and paperboard products, and certified compostable plastics.
What is compost?
Compost is a nutrient-rich soil made from the decayed organic material that holds moisture well and helps feed plants. Micro-organisms like bacteria and fungus turn organics into compost.
What is an industrial composting facility?
Industrial composting facilities process organic waste products into compost on a large scale. The facility's large composting piles become hot enough to break down meats, bones, fats, certified compostable products, harmful pathogens, and weed seeds. Organics break down in about six to eight weeks at an industrial composting facility, then cure for several months before the final compost can be used.
The organic waste collected at Richfield’s drop-off sites is brought to SET: The Mulch Store in Rosemount where it breaks down and is processed into compost over 6-9 months. The finished compost is one of the most nutrient-rich products that can improve soil health and is used in a variety of ways from landscape architecture to MNDOT projects and even residential use.
If you are interested in purchasing the compost or one of the SET blended mixes created with the organic material from the Richfield organics recycling program, please fill out the order form.
Why should I recycle organics?
Food waste takes up more space in people's trash than any other material. Approximately 30% of what is sent to landfills and incinerators is food waste. In a landfill, food waste rots and produces methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change.
Instead of sending vegetable peels, spoiled leftovers, and coffee grounds to the landfill, residents can send them to industrial composting facilities to make valuable nutrient-rich soil. This soil can be used in gardens and landscaping to soak up rainwater and nourish plants. Composting also reduces greenhouse gas emissions and decreases the costs of wastewater treatment and waste disposal.
Richfield organics recycling program
Where are the drop-off sites?
- Wood Lake Nature Center, 6710 Lake Shore Dr. South: The collection bin is located near the southeast end of the main parking lot.
- Hope Church, 7132 Portland Ave: The collection bin is located by the chained greenspace area, across the parking lot from the office doors.
What organics can be recycled?
Please use the organics recycling guide for information on what can and cannot be recycled at the drop-off sites. If you have questions, please contact Rachel Lindholm at 612-861-9188 or RLindholm@richfieldmn.gov.
How do I recycle my organics?
- Collect your organics at home in a certified compostable bag. You can pick up free bags at the drop-off sites. Limit two per week.
- Knot bags closed and bring them to a drop-off site. Use the code you received when you signed up for the program to open the lock on the bin and place your bag inside. Sites are accessible 24 hours a day.
- Remember to close the bin and lock it. This keeps out wildlife and will help prevent visitors from accidentally throwing garbage in the bins.
- If you’d like to purchase your own compostable bags, there are several options online and in store. Search for brands like EcoSafe or BioBag, or any that are certified by BPI. Local stores include Home Depot (400 W 79th St). Menards (494 and Nicollet Ave), and Target (494 and Penn Ave).
How do I sign up?
Click this link to sign up for the free program. You will receive a confirmation email with information about the program and a code for opening the lock on the bin.
Other Information and Resources
- What organics can I recycle?
- Organics Basics
- Hennepin County Organics Page
- That's Rich(field) Podcast: In episode 2, Neil Ruhland and Rachel Lindholm talk about the organics drop-off program and its progress
- Check out this at-home set-up presentation for information and ideas on how to make your organics set-up the most efficient.