In an organics composting program, all types of food scraps can be collected. A hauler picks up the organics and delivers it to a commercial composting facility where it is turned into compost, a nutrient-rich soil amendment used to improve soils and prevent soil erosion and runoff.
Here is a list of organics that are suitable for commercial composting:
- Bakery and dry goods
- Coffee grounds
- Dairy products
- Eggs and eggshells
- Meat, fish and bones
- Produce/fruits and vegetables
Keep these items out of the organics container:
- Refrigerator/freezer boxes
- Plastic items
- Recyclables (glass, paper, metal)
- Shredded paper
- Yard waste
Add collection service
Most waste haulers in Dakota County offer organics collection services for commercial accounts. Refer to the Commercial Recycling Service Providers list to see which haulers offer organics collection in your city.
You can also take your collected organics materials to a commercial compost site:
In addition, some haulers collect food by-products— used cooking grease and oils as well as fatty animal by-products — for rendering at specialized facilities.
Setting up an organics program
Take the following steps to ensure that the organics collected at your business or organization is clean and free of contamination.
Focus on back-of-house collection first
Collect food scraps from back-of-house areas (non-public) like the kitchen and food prep areas to simplify the program. Organics collection in other areas where they are generated, such as cafeterias, can be considered if employees are able to properly sort on a consistent basis and keep contaminants out of the organics container.
Place labeled containers together
Place containers designated for organics next to trash containers in areas that generate food scraps (kitchens, cafeterias). Containers should look different than trash and recycling containers. If possible, choose green containers or lids.
Label each organics container following County Labeling Requirements to indicate Organics, include images and, where applicable, preparation instructions. Color-code labels using the standardized organics color (green). Use our free labels.
Collect organics in bags that are certified by the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) and have the BPI logo on the product or packaging. Find a local vendor of compostable bags and products.
Train employees, tenants and contractors regularly
Educate employees and housekeeping/cleaning contractors about organics recycling, including which specific materials to put into the organics container and how to set up a successful program. Businesses and organizations that collect organics for commercial composting must follow County Education Requirements for what to cover in training and how frequently to provide it.
Businesses and organizations can get free container labels, educational resources, funding and technical assistance through County's Business Recycling Program.