Bulldozer and compost pile

Compost Market Development

As Ramsey and Washington counties move toward residential collection of food scraps, Ramsey/Washington Recycling & Energy (R&E) is working to ensure that the compost produced from those food scraps can benefit communities. Compost derived from food scraps can benefit gardening and other projects by adding nutrients to soil, encouraging healthy plant growth, increasing moisture retention while improving drainage and much more.

We’re offering financial and technical help for organizations to use compost in their earthwork, landscaping and gardening projects.

Who: Any type of organization – governmental, for-profit, nonprofit, community-based.

What: Financial and technical help for using compost in earthwork, landscaping and gardening projects. See below for examples of the support we can offer.

When: Proposals will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis as long as resources are available.

Where: Projects located in Ramsey and/or Washington counties.

Why: The goal of this project is to help develop markets for finished compost derived from food scraps. Having markets for compost helps complete the circle of material use.

How: Contact us at to get started!

Financial support:

  • Purchase and delivery of compost
  • Rental of equipment to integrate compost
  • Payment for analyses such as before and after soil testing, water retention/drainage, crop yield, etc.
  • Staff time up to 50% of 1 FTE for time spent on the project

Technical assistance:

  • Planning for purchase and integration of compost, measurement and analysis of impacts of compost
  • Identifying sources of equipment to best integrate finished compost
  • Identifying sources of and arranging services for analysis of impacts of finished compost
  • Documentation of impacts of finished compost, such as before and after pictures

Expectations of partner organizations:

In return for receiving funding and technical assistance for these demonstration projects, recipient organizations may be asked to do the following:

  • Participate in planning for the use and analysis of finished compost
  • Assist with providing information that demonstrates the impacts of finished compost, including, but not limited to:
    • Photos of the land/project before, during and after completion of the project
    • Soil testing before and after completion of the project
    • Measurement of vegetative growth, including crop yields (if applicable). If possible, use of comparison plots with and without finished compost may be requested
    • Documentation of any other measurable impacts, such as erosion control, plant disease suppression, etc.
  • Written description of project and observed outcomes, including successes, challenges and recommendations for future projects using compost

Click here for program flier.

To learn more about the benefits of using compost derived from food scraps in gardening, landscaping, stormwater management, and other projects, please visit these resources:

Minnesota Composting Council

US Composting Council

Environmental Protection Agency

Finished compost made from food scraps is available for purchase at SET and SMSC commercial compost sites. It can be used in a variety of projects by individuals, businesses, and communities.

The Mulch Store – SET & The Mulch Store (

Shakopee Mdekawanton Sioux Community (SMSC) Organics Recycling Facility

For organizations interested in fundraising and raising awareness about compost, consider hosting a Plate to Garden Event!

Want to better understand what happens with food scraps when they are dropped off at collection sites? Watch this video (also offered with described audio and subtitles in Spanish, Hmong, Somali and Karen).

Questions related to food scraps compost?