A composting facility is substantially different from a backyard compost pile. Large-scale compost facilities closely monitor and have practices in place to ensure conditions are ideal for composting. Waste entering the facility and finished compost are tested so finished compost is safe and the environment is protected.
Rules and regulations
To operate a compost facility in Minnesota, you must have a solid waste facility permit. The application form, instructions, and checklists are available from MPCA's Solid Waste Permit Application webpage.
Yard waste facilities
Yard waste includes garden waste, leaves, lawn clippings, weeds, shrub and tree waste, and pruning. These materials have been banned from Minnesota landfills since 1992. Owners or operators of a new yard waste facility need to fill out a permit-by-rule notification form and are responsible for following Minnesota's compost rules.
Home backyard compost bins are not regulated by the MPCA. Check with your community about local ordinances or requirements.
Source-separated organics collection
Collecting compostable material such as food scraps and non-recyclable paper is becoming more common. Some communities offer curbside organics collection or drop-off locations for residents. A growing number of businesses, organizations, and schools are also participating in organics collection. To collect organics that will be transferred to a commercial composting site, complete the notification form:
- Source Separated Organic Materials Transfer Facility Permit-by-rule Notification Form (PDF Version) .
- Template - Source Separated Organic Materials (PDF Version)
Use this example as a guide to complete the required submittals plans and schedule.
List of permitted compost sites
For operating hours and what materials are accepted, contact the facility directly.
Looking for composter in your area?
Visit BioCycle's www.findacomposter.com
It's a free searchable directory of compost facilities in North America.
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:
- Prairieland Solid Waste Management: 801 E. 5 th St. N., Truman, MN 56088.
- Swift County Compost/ Recycling Facility: Benson, MN 56215, Scott Collins 320-843-2356
- Empire Processing Facility: 16454 Blaine Ave., Rosemount, MN 55068, Kevin Tritz, 952-946-6999.
- Creekside Organic Material Processing: 111 Hassan St. SE, Hutchinson, MN 55350.
- WLSSD Source Separated Compost Facility: 2626 Courtland St., Duluth, MN 55806, Kurt Soderberg 218-722-3336.
- Dodge County Transfer and MSW Compost Facility: 22 6th Street E, Mantorville, MN 55955.
Other Minnesota state agencies have rules concerning composting:
- Minnesota Board of Animal Health regulates composting of farm animal mortalities. See Minn. Rules 1719.4000
- 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.
- Minnesota Department of Agriculture regulates the labeling and fees of compost sold as fertilizer. See Minn. Rules 1510.0430 - 1510.0434
- Aspergillus Fungus Spores from Yard Waste Compost Facilities
- Yard Waste Compost Facilities — Inert Material Testing
- Yard Waste Compost Facility Siting and Management Considerations
- Source Separated Compost Study Preliminary Summary and Data
- Commingling Residential Organics with Yard Waste
- Continuation & Expansion of the Commercial & Residential Co-collected Organics Compost Project
For more information
For more information about composting community yard waste and solid waste material, contact: