Organics Recycling

*Video Note: This video was created for the drop-off program and will be edited to reflect the curbside program soon. There are currently no locks on the drop-off site dumpsters.*


Richfield is teaming up with Bloomington and Edina for an art contest related to the new organics collection programs in all three cities! The goal of this project is to engage youth, whom will be most affected by our changing climate, in a creative expression of hope for the future. The theme of this contest is “Return to Earth: A Compost Story”. Submissions are accepted until February 1, 2022. First place contest winners will receive a $100 prize and there will be two runner up winners who will each receive a $50 prize; funds for organics recycling promotion and the prizes for this contest are provided by Hennepin County. Winners from each city will be chosen from each of the following categories:

  • Elementary school student
  • Middle school student
  • High school student
  • Adult, 18+

Contest rules must be followed or entries risk being eliminated. Rules and submission guidelines can be found here. Questions? Contact Roxanne Nelson at or at 612-861-9195.


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. Organics are materials such as food scraps, food-soiled unlined paper and paperboard products, and BPI certified compostable plastics. Organics recycling, or composting, allows residents to recycle a variety of organic materials into nutrient-rich, useful soil, instead of sending it to a landfill. In a landfill, food waste rots and produces methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. Composting reduces greenhouse gas emissions and decreases the costs of wastewater treatment and waste disposal. 

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. 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. 

What's the difference between backyard and curbside composting?
  • Backyard composting is a great way to turn waste from your yard and kitchen into a nutrient-rich compost that you can use to improve your soil right at home. You can compost yard waste like leaves and grass clippings as well as fruit and vegetables scraps and coffee grounds at home. You cannot put meat and dairy products into a backyard compost bin because the pile won’t reach as high of temperatures as a commercial composting facility. These temperatures are needed to kill bacteria and break down items. 
Where can I purchase compostable bags?
  • There are several options for purchasing your own compostable bags online or in store. Search for brands like EcoSafe or BioBag, or any that are certified by BPI. Local stores include Menards, Home Depot, Target, Lakewinds, Cub Foods, and several ACE hardware stores.
More resources!

Organics Curbside Collection Program
Much like with traditional recycling, every property in Richfield is now charged a small flat fee for organics collection and recycling. By charging this fee to all properties, the city reduced the cost to individual resident, incentives participation, and removes barriers for traditionally marginalized groups. Numerous studies have found a significant increase in organics collection participation with this model. The cost of disposing of trash in landfills or incinerators continues to increase and we hope residents can reduce the amount of trash they throw out by participating in this program. This was a policy decision made by the City Council; we encourage residents to reach out to their councilmember if they have further questions about this service decision.

At this time, please contact your hauler directly to sign up for organics collection.

Aspen: 612-884-8008 or
Republic: 952-941-5174 or
Waste Management: 952-890-1100 or

If you run into difficulties signing up with your hauler, please contact the city at or 612-861-9195.

  • How do I recycle my organics?
    • Collect your organics at home in a certified compostable bag.
    • Knot bags closed and place your bagged organics in the green organics cart.
    • Place your organics cart out for weekly collection.
Thanks to a tip from a resident, staff have learned that some residents of Richfield have been sharing their own tips and tricks about organics recycling on the Nextdoor app.
  • Most common places to buy bags: Costco, Amazon, Cub
  • Most common way to store organic material: Certified BPI compostable bag, brown paper bag
  • Most common types of containers: Countertop bin, bucket, ice cream pail
  • Most common places to store container: Kitchen counter, freezer

Organics Drop-Off Program
Through a grant funded by Hennepin County, Richfield has launched an organics drop-off program in 2018. Residents can recycle their household organic waste at two drop-off sites in the city. Anyone can participate in this program!

  • Where are the drop-off sites?
    • Wood Lake Nature Center, 6710 Lake Shore Dr. South: The dumpster is located near the southeast end of the main parking lot.
    • House of Prayer Church, 7625 Chicago Ave: The dumpster is located in the back parking lot off of Elliot Ave.
  • How do I sign up?
  • What can go in the drop-off site?

Frequently Asked Questions

If my cart is not picked up on my scheduled day, what do I do?

Do the materials have to be bagged before putting them in the cart?

How do I sign up if I live in an apartment or condominium?

I want to participate, but I don't have room in my garage?

Where does the stuff that I put in the cart go?

What do I do about jumping worms?

How do I prevent and/or get rid of maggots?

Can I use regular plastic bags?

Does the city provide free kitchen pails?

I don't have much organics waste; can I just put my kitchen pail out for collection?

What about using my garbage disposal for food scraps?

Where can I get finished compost from the program to use at home?

Will my container smell?

What is the difference between biodegradable and compostable?

Can I change the size of my cart?