Organics Recycling Station in Crystal Popular Among Composters
If there’s one thing Tim Pratt at the Hennepin Recycling Group likes to do, it’s talk trash with county residents.
The recyclable kind of trash.
In 2022, Pratt oversaw the installation of a drop-off container to encourage organics recycling.
The container is located in the northeast corner of the Crystal Cove Aquatic Center parking lot.
“Food scraps in non-recyclable papers are the number one thing that is still in our trash, and it is something that can be captured and used as a resource,” explained Pratt. “It can be turned into compost, which is basically vitamin enriched dirt.”
Nutrient rich compost can be used in landscaping, soil erosion prevention, and home gardens.
Pratt is currently working on a passion project called Plate to Garden; an iniative to further educate the public on the benefits of composting.
“You might put your organics in the recycling container, but you have no idea what happens after you leave,” said Pratt. “Here’s a way to bring it full circle.”
Organics Recycling at Home
To get started, Hennepin County residents can visit the Brooklyn Park Operations and Maintenance Facility to pick up a free organics collector pail.
Pratt recommends lining the pail with compostable bags made of corn starch before tossing in the food scraps. When the bag is full, take it to the dumpster and drop it in.
Unlike backyard composting, organics recycling allows for disposal of dairy and meat scraps, as well as items like greasy pizza boxes. Everything gets taken to an industrial compost facility where it’s burned hot and long enough to kill off pathogens.
“So far we’ve got around 200 residents in Crystal and New Hope that have signed up to use the facility, and we’re pulling more than 500 pounds of organics every week,” stated Pratt.
To participate in the organics recycling program, residents must register with the county.
Hennepin Recycling Group also has a website where people can search a data base to find out what household products should be recycled, and what should get tossed in the trash.
Learn more about the 2023 Curbside Collection Calendar.