Organics FAQs

Organics recycling

What are organics?

  • All food scraps (fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, bones)
  • Dairy products
  • Eggs, eggshells and paper egg cartons
  • Coffee grounds and filters
  • Food-soiled paper napkins and paper towels
  • Facial tissues
  • Pizza boxes
  • Animal and human hair
  • Cotton balls and cotton swabs (free of chemicals)
  • Wooden sticks (popsicle, toothpicks, chopsticks)
  • Certified compostable plates, cups, utensils and bags

Why should I recycle my organics?

Organic material comprises about 30 percent of the average families trash. When this material is thrown in the trash, it ends up in a landfill where it takes up valuable space and contributes greenhouse gases. Similar to cans, bottles and paper, you can transform organic waste into a valuable product by separating it out for recycling. All trash in Anoka County is currently sent to a landfill, where it does not undergo further sorting. Sorting organics out at home allows you to make something useful of your waste!

Why should I collect organics instead of using a garbage disposal?
Collecting organic materials for compost results in a valuable product and generates jobs in Minnesota. Placing these items down a garbage disposal puts extra processing strain on our wastewater treatment facility and sewer infrastructure.Solids in the wastewater are strained out at the treatment facility and landfilled. 

How is organics collection for commercial composting different from backyard composting?
Commercial compost facilities maintain their compost at higher temperatures than backyard compost bins, so you can include more materials. The higher temperatures kill bacteria and breakdown items that cannot be composted in a backyard system, including: meat, bones, citrus, dairy, and compostable plastics. This is also an easy way to compost-year round. Backyard composting is still a good option for recycling fruit and vegetable scraps into a soil amendment you can use at home.

How is the curbside organics collection program funded?

The curbside organics collection program is funded through subscriber fees and a SCORE funding grant. SCORE funds are sourced from a solid waste management tax that is collected by the State on garbage bills and landfill tipping fees. This tax is used to support programs that reduce our dependence on landfills in order to prevent the construction of additional (very costly!) landfills in the future. The City of Fridley receives extra SCORE funds that are earmarked specifically for organics recycling which we would otherwise not qualify for. The recycling charge on the City utility bill is currently not used to support the organics recycling program. 

Can I put yard waste in my organics cart?
Yard waste is not accepted in the organics cart or your garbage cart. It should still be collected from your yard and either composted in a backyard compost system, picked up through your hauler's yard waste service, or taken to a compost site. For more information on compost site locations, hours, and fees see the Anoka County website at

Is pet waste accepted?
No. The materials that are accepted in your organics cart depend on what the Minnesota Legislature deems as acceptable in the Minnesota Administrative Rules. Currently, those rules state that source-separated organic material does not include animal waste.

Will the organics smell?
Organics recycling does not result in any waste you are not already producing, so there should not be any new odors as compared to your current garbage. If you are noticing a problem with flies, check out these tips from the City of Minneapolis.

What materials are not accepted in Organics Collection?
Yard waste, diapers and sanitary products, animal and pet waste, litter or bedding, cleaning or baby wipes, grease or oil, dryer lint or dryer sheets, recyclables items, frozen food boxes, microwave popcorn bags, gum, fast food wrappers, products labeled "biodegradable", sawdust, paper clips and staples, ashes, floor sweepings, aluminum foil and foil-lined products, wax paper, household hazardous waste, rocks, clay.


Where can I get a kitchen pail and bags?
Free kitchen pails and compostable bags will be available while supplies last for those who have registered for organics collection. You can pick up supplies at Fridley City Hall or Springbrook Nature Center during normal operating hours. (Springbrook is open on Saturdays and Sundays.) Compostable bags are also available for purchase at most grocery stores. You may also find bags online. Make sure your bags are certified compostable.

Who should I contact about my Organics Recycling Bill or cancelling service?

Please e-mail