Beginning January 1, 2010, a state law requires residents of Anoka, Carver, Hennepin (including City of Excelsior residents), Ramsey, Scott, and Washington counties who bag their yard waste or other compostable waste to put their waste out for pick-up in compostable bags. Residents of Dakota County are already required to use compostable bags for yard waste. This rule will not impact your service if you take your yard waste to a collection facility and remove waste from the bags yourself.
Compostable bags include paper kraft bags (large brown paper bags) or compostable plastic bags. Compostable plastic bags are usually clear or tinted an opaque shade of green, white, or pink, but the color is not a sure way of determining the compostability of a plastic bag. Compostable plastic bags should clearly state that they meet ASTM D6400 standards for composting and that they are compostable. Bags marked biodegradable or degradable do not meet the state law. The words lawn and leaf or yard waste do not guarantee that the bag is compostable and acceptable to use under the new rule.
Any yard waste, organics, or other compostable material must be placed in a compostable bag when collected at the curb. If you use a non-compostable bag for yard waste, Allied Waste cannot collect your waste. Compost drop-off sites will also require the material to be removed from non-compostable bags, and you will be required to take the bag with you.
Purchasing Compostable Bags Most home improvement, grocery, and hardware stores now carry bags. If you don't see them at your local store, ask an employee. Many stores are just learning of this requirement and may appreciate the request. Compostable bags tend to cost slightly more than the traditional black plastic bags, but given the new demand, prices may be lowered.
Importance of Using Compostable Bags
Once your yard waste is picked up, it is delivered to a compost facility. Plastic bags must be debagged, which increases costs and the chance that plastic bags will get blown around on-site. Some compost sites shred the bag and its contents and attempt to screen the torn pieces of plastics later. Not all plastic shreds can be screened out, which reduces the quality of the finished compost.
Extra Service Coupon
The City no longer issues yard waste coupons. Please contact Republic Services (952) 941-5174 to schedule pick up of yard waste bags or for any questions regarding yard waste.
Yard waste is typically collected from about April through November of each year, depending on the weather. Please contact City Hall for specific dates or more information.
For more information, contact City Hall at (952) 474-5233.