Carver county composting project: A model for the nation

More than 900 Carver county residents are trading their oversized trash cans for smaller ones these days due to the county’s new organic recycling program. And, they’re making a great impact on the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in the process. 

Different from the regular recycling program of aluminum and tin cans, newspapers, glass, and plastics, Carver county residents are able to throw items like used pizza boxes, paper plates, egg shells and ice cream containers into an organic recyclables container to be turned into compost for the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Yard waste, food waste and tiny microorganisms create a nutrient-rich compost perfect for planting. 

The program involves residents separating various organic recyclables into specific bins, which are then hauled away to the Arboretum’s composting site. Once there, the materials are ground, mixed, turned, cured and screened before it is available compost. The process takes about six months. 

Environmentalists around the country are eager to duplicate this initiative says Ginny Black, the recycling specialist from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. She adds,

"There’s a high percentage of materials that we are throwing away that could be taken out of the landfills and brought to a facility like this and made into a beneficial product."

And, doing so will reduce our waste and leave the planet a better place. 

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