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What are Organics?

Organics includes food waste, compostable products, and yard waste. See below for proper disposal methods for each material. 

Roughly 25-30% of what we throw away is food-soiled paper products and food scraps. Recycling those organic materials—things like food-soiled paper and cardboard, food, and yard waste—from your home keeps valuable items out of landfills and allows that waste to be reused. Properly recycled organic materials can be turned into things like compost for soils, and materials for road construction projects within the county. Scott County currently has many options for residents to recycle their food and yard waste. 

Food Waste Drop-Off Collection Sites

There are several facilities located throughout the county for residents to drop off their food and yard waste. For a detailed map of county-wide organics drop-off sites, and drop-off sites for all other recycling and disposal services, visit the Scott County Waste Navigator Page.

SC organics drop off sites
  1. City of Jordan Facility
  2. Buckingham Companies Prior Lake
  3. Suburban Waste Services Savage
  4. SMSC Organics Facility Shakopee
  5. City of New Prague

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  • Food waste recycling available to all Scott County residents
  • Yard waste recycling available to all City of Jordan residents
  • Visit their website for more details or to get drop-off access

How do I start organically recycling my food waste?

To begin recycling food scraps, set up a convenient collection spot at home. This can be in the form of an official plastic trash bin, or other things like ice cream buckets, large coffee containers, yogurt tubs, etc. To keep your container clean, you can line it with certified compostable bags for easy collecting. 

Organics ListIMPORTANT NOTE: All compostable bags must have the certified BPI logo to be considered compostable.

Check with your drop off site to see whether or not loose food scraps are acceptable. Visit your local drop off site’s website to get signed up and for more site-specific information.  When your container is full, bring it to your local drop off facility. 

Helpful tips to get started

  1. Place your organics container in a convenient location next to a reference list of acceptable and non-acceptable items. 
  2. Cut down on odors by using a container with a vented lid or by keeping your container in the fridge or freezer. Drop off your organics at least once a week to cut down odors and fruit flies as well. 
  3. Collect around the house! Collect toothpicks, cotton balls, and other organic materials from all over your house. Check acceptable and non-acceptable recycling items at your specific drop off location. 

Helpful links

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Yard Waste Organic Recycling

Collecting yard waste for composting is a great way to protect local water quality and prevent excess nutrients from making their way into local rivers and streams. 

Grass clippings and other common yard waste items can flow into storm drains if they are not collected. These materials flow from storm drains directly into local waterbodies and can pollute them with excess nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen. It is important to prevent that runoff from happening.

For Yard Waste drop off sites near you, visit the Scott County Waste Navigator.

Yard Waste Pickup Services

Yard waste is collected mid-April through late November. In the spring, it is best to wait until daytime temperatures are consistently above 50°F before gathering yard waste. This protects nesting pollinators and beneficial insects from being uprooted before it’s warm enough for them to emerge for the year. 

To start, bag things like grass clippings, leaves, and small branches in a contained area away from storm drains. Keep collections in a composting bin or a designated composting area on your property. You can also sign up for yard waste collection with your local waste services facility. 

Yard waste collection is typically weekly. Check with your local provider for exact scheduling and other company-specific details. 

Composting at home

For detailed information on how to start your own at-home composting setup, visit the Minnesota Composting Council's page on Composting in your Backyard

Scott County hosts at-home composter sales every spring in conjunction with the Scott SWCD native tree sale. To be notified of sales and availability, visit the Scott SWCD Tree Sale Website and subscribe to their mailing list.

Find out what's recyclable and what's not so you can recycle with confidence!

waste wise recycling and organics

Learn how food scraps and yard waste can become valuable resources.

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Grab the family and play Minnesota Waste Wise's interactive game to help you "Know what to Throw"

waste wise know what to throw