Organics Recycling

Organics Recycling Roll Out

Over the next two years organics recycling will be rolled out across the Twin Cities campus. Here are the key changes you will see in your building as organics recycling is implemented:

  • The addition of an organics container at every waste station. 
  • Consolidation of newspaper plus and office paper containers to a recyclable paper container. 
  • A switch to centralized collection, in which all staff and faculty will be responsible for disposing of trash, recycling, and organics from their desk at a nearby waste station.

If you would like to find out when organics recycling is coming to your building, please contact us or look at the quarterly schedule

Has your building rolled out? Here are resources to help you participate in organics recycling:

Organics and Centralized Collection Presentation: An overview of the new recycling system

Organics Recycling FAQ: Commonly asked questions about organics recycling

Recycling Guide PDF: An easy reference on how to sort your waste at the new waste stations

Serviceware Guide PDF: Post in kitchens or breakrooms as a reference for compostable versus non-compostable food serviceware. 

Zero Waste Purchasing Options: Outfit your department with compostable food service ware and deskside recycling bins.

What is Organics Recycling?


Organics recycling is the process of recycling organic material, such as food scraps and non-recyclable paper. Organics are brought to an industrial compost facility where material is made into compost, a soil-additive that improves soil quality, provides nutrients to plants, and reduces erosion. The following are items that are accepted in organics recycling:

  • All food, food scraps, peels, pits, bones, etc.
  • Coffee grounds and filters
  • Paper towels, napkins and tissues
  • Pizza boxes from delivery 
  • Wooden stir sticks, popsicle sticks and toothpicks
  • Plant trimmings and floral waste
  • Certified compostable* food service ware (cups, bowls, plates, utensils)

*Certified compostable means that a product has been certified by the Bioproducts Institute (BPI) - a company that tests if materials breakdown without a trace of plastic residue. Look for a BPI logo or the term "compostable" on a product or its packaging. 

Compostable Products

If in doubt about whether something is compostable, throw it outYou can also use BPI's catalog to verify a product's certification or email

Zero Waste Events

The Recycling Program can help you reduce waste at your next event. If you’d like assistance, fill out the zero waste form or contact A Student Recycling Coordinator will get in touch with you to recommend compostable service ware, drop off extra bins for your event, and even monitor the bins day-of if requested in advance. Visit our Zero Waste Events page to learn more.