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Fast food wrappers are not accepted in organics recycling. Unfortunately, recent studies have shown that these wrappers often contain a plastic and/or chemical coating that composting facilities do not want in their finished product. Fast food wrappers are also not accepted in regular recycling. Unless the wrapper is labeled BPI Certified Compostable, throw it in the trash.
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BPI Certified Compostable Bags are sold at most grocery and hardware stores, including Target, Cub Foods, and Ace Hardware.
Participants of the Anoka County Organics Recycling program get free compostable bags each time they drop off organics at Anoka County Compost sites. View the Anoka County website for more information and to sign up.
BPI Certified compostable bags can be tied off with a knot at the top or can be tied with twine or 100% cotton string or yarn. Brown paper bags can be rolled tightly to seal the top of the bag, tied with twine or biodegradable string, or sealed with small amounts of paper masking tape.
Please Note: Be cautious when using yarn - many yarns contain synthetic materials. Twist ties are not accepted because they contain a metal component.
All organics material must be bagged, with the exception of pizza boxes and paper egg cartons. This is to prevent wet matter from sticking and smelling in the bottom of the cart in the summer, and to prevent wet material from freezing to the carts in the winter.
Pizza boxes and paper egg cartons are dry, bulky items that are often difficult to bag. They may be put loosely in the carts.
There are several reasons your compostable bags may be leaking. Depending on what materials you’ve been collecting, something sharp (for example, pineapple rind or sharp bone) may have ripped a hole in your bag. It is also possible your bags have expired – be sure to look for an expiration date when purchasing compostable bags, and use them within one year of purchase.
Also, be aware that these types of bags have been intentionally designed to break down under industrial composting conditions, so heat and moisture will cause them to break down more quickly. While it may seem inconvenient, this means that the bag is doing its job. Try keeping your kitchen pail in a cool, dark area, such as under your sink or in your garage. Some residents even choose to keep a bag in the refrigerator or freezer for wet materials. If the problem persists, double bag your material or try purchasing a different brand of compostable bags with the BPI Certification.
Food goes anaerobic and gets smelly more quickly when it is cut off from oxygen. The SureClose container provided by the City has a vented lid to help prevent this problem. If you use your own container, make sure the lid is aerated.
Here are other strategies you can use to prevent odor:
Remember - there is nothing going into your organics that isn't already going in your garbage. Smell is a natural part of organics decomposition.
In addition to the Lino Lakes organics recycling drop-off sites, Anoka County has also started collecting food scraps and non-recyclable papers in separate containers at compost sites:
Anoka County residents must sign up for the program in advance to receive additional information and a free starter kit. To sign up, complete the online form or call 763-324-3400.
Paper towels, napkins, or cotton balls with chemicals on them are not accepted for organics recycling. The harmful chemicals can compromise the quality of finished compost and impact soil health.
Materials containing natural cleaning products (such as vinegar, baking soda, essential oils, etc.) may be put into your organics recycling for composting. Read the MN Pollution Control Agency's advice (PDF) for reducing toxic chemicals in your home.
Food soiled paper: Delivery pizza boxes, plain white paper plates (without a plastic lining - colorful designs indicate a plastic lining)*, coffee filters, paper tea bags.
Non-recyclable papers: Paper egg cartons, shredded paper, napkins, tissues, tissue paper, paper towel.
Papers with a plastic lining: Paper plates with colorful decorations, paper coffee cups and drink cups (unless they are BPI Certified Compostable), frozen food boxes, ice cream containers, Chinese take-out containers, milk cartons, juice boxes, etc.
Organics material from the Lino Lakes organics recycling program is collected by Walters Recycling and Refuse and transported to the SET Mulch Store in Rosemount. Finished compost is used to improve soil health on farms or community gardens, or used for construction or landscaping projects to prevent erosion.