Organics recycling pilot project kicks off this week
February 10, 2022 – Otter Tail County, MN – The Department of Solid Waste, along with partner sites around Otter Tail County, are preparing to launch the organics recycling pilot program over the next week. The organics recycling pilot program is supported by a grant from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. Organics recycling is the industry term for the large-scale composting of food waste and other organic materials.
Otter Tail County currently has no organics recycling program, and this program is a first step towards diverting a large amount of organic waste from disposal in landfills or waste recovery facility. Perham resources where they don’t burn well. The Organics Recycling Program will collect food scraps and other organic waste from large waste generators such as schools and healthcare facilities and deliver it to the Glacial Ridge Composting Facility located near Hoffman, MN .
Participating pilot sites were equipped with green bins, compostable bags, signage and green waste carts to collect organic waste. Both pre-consumer and post-consumer food waste, including meat and dairy products, are accepted into the program. Steve’s Sanitation in Perham will carry out the weekly collection drive for the scheme.
Up to 30% of the waste stream is organic waste such as food scraps and keeping organic waste out of landfill has many benefits, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions that result the slow decomposition of food waste in the low oxygen environment of a landfill and saving landfill space for waste that is neither recyclable nor compostable. Composting also helps to recover some of the resources that went into producing the food and helps replenish soil fertility.
“Some of the participating sites will see a 30% or more reduction in waste generation through their participation in this program. In a cafeteria, 50% of the waste was compostable, so they will instantly reduce their waste by half by participating in the recycling of organic materials. It’s something we look forward to celebrating with our participating sites. Cedar Walters, Public Information and Education Manager, Otter Tail County Solid Waste
Over the life of the grant project, which runs through June 2023, the program is expected to divert approximately 200 tonnes (40,000 pounds) of organics from the waste stream for composting.
For more information on the Organics Recycling Pilot Program and to view the list of participants, visit https://ottertailcountymn.us/content-page/organics-recycling/. For questions regarding the Organics Recycling Pilot Program, contact Cedar Walters at [email protected] or 218-998-8914.
Responsible for public information and education
Otter Tail County Solid Waste