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Commercial composting

Compost comes from decaying organic matter, like food and yard waste. Finished compost looks and feels like fresh potting soil, which when added to the soil helps plants grow, reduces erosion, and conserves water.

Compost is regulated in part, by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

The photos below show a few steps in the commercial compost processing.

Screening compost     Compost processing


The MPCA has regulated the composting of community yard waste and solid waste materials since 1988. The Minnesota Legislature mandated the statewide source separation of yard waste in 1992 and banned it from being landfilled or incinerated. As a result, over 100 yard waste compost sites have been established.

Compost rules and regulations

The MPCA Yard Waste Compost Permit Program requires applicants to:

  1. Complete and submit the permit-by rule (PBR) permit application form below.
  2. Operate in compliance with the yard waste rules in Minn. Rules 7035.2836.
  3. Complete and submit an annual report below.

The MPCA does not regulate backyard composting. Learn how you can Start composting in your backyard.

Source Separated Organic Dropsites: To establish a dropsite location for the collection of Source Separated Organic Materials to be transferred to a commercial composting site, complete the MS Word Document Source Separated Organic Materials Transfer Facility Permit-by-rule Notification Form (PDF Version) (w-sw3-42) .  A template is also available as an example that can be used as a guide to complete the required submittals plans and schedule: MS Word Document Source Separated Organic Materials (SSOM) Transfer Facility PBR Required Submittals - template (PDF Version) (w-sw3-42a)

In addition to the MPCA, other Minnesota state agencies have rules concerning composting:

  1. Minnesota Board of Animal Health regulates composting of farm animal mortalities. See Minn. Rules 1719.4000 Exit to Web

  2. Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) has specifications for the quality and use of compost for its turf establishment projects. See MnDOT Standard and Specification for Construction, specification 3890.

  3. Minnesota Department of Agriculture regulates the labeling and fees of compost sold as fertilizer. See Minn. Rules 1510.0430 - 1510.0434 Exit to Web

Permit-by-rule yard waste compost sites

Compost pilesThe current list of PBR yard waste compost sites are listed at the following link below. Individual counties can provide the dates and operating hours of each site.

Other compost sites

Increasing numbers of communities are testing or implementing programs to divert the entire organic waste stream, not just yard waste for composting. The MPCA has permitted the following solid waste/food waste facilities listed below:

  1. Prairieland Solid Waste Management: 801 E. 5 th St. N., Truman, MN 56088.
  2. Swift County Compost/ Recycling Facility: Benson, MN 56215, Scott Collins 320-843-2356
  3. Empire Processing Facility: 16454 Blaine Ave., Rosemount, MN 55068, Kevin Tritz, 952-946-6999.
  4. Creekside Organic Material Processing: 111 Hassan St. SE, Hutchinson, MN 55350.
  5. WLSSD Source Separated Compost Facility: 2626 Courtland St., Duluth, MN 55806, Kurt Soderberg 218-722-3336.
  6. Dodge County Transfer and MSW Compost Facility: 22 6th Street E, Mantorville, MN 55955.


For more information

Metro county organic collection and compost programs reports Exit to Web

For more information about composting community yard waste and solid waste material, contact:

Last modified on March 12, 2014 16:01

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