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Ramsey/Washington Recycling & Energy is developing a system to collect food scraps from residents at the curb. This service will be available to all residents in the two counties. Roll out is expected to begin in 2022, with service available to all residents by 2023.
Food scraps make up about 20% of trash collected in Ramsey and Washington counties by weight. The counties are developing a new way to recover this material so that it can be converted into soil and energy. Recovering food scraps from trash will help reach the state’s recycling goals and provide health, environmental, and economic benefits to the community.
Food scraps will be collected from residents using special bags called “food scrap bags.” Food scrap bags will be co-collected with trash and then sorted from the trash after collection. This system requires no additional carts or trucks.
Food scrap bags are durable and compostable. They are thicker than compostable bags currently used at county drop-off sites, and are designed to hold up on the trip in a garbage truck. They’re also designed to eventually break down along with their contents.
R&E will provide bags and service at no cost to residents. Bag distribution will occur through an online ordering system with a call-in option available for those without internet access.
Food scrap bags are an efficient and cost-effective method of collecting food scraps from residents at the curb. Benefits of this method include:
More information can be found on this program fact sheet (PDF).