Coon Rapids resident Kate Anderson got interested in organics recycling six years ago. That's when she went back to college to study sustainability and business. Now she's a member of the Coon Rapids Sustainability Commission.
"There is a lot of organic stuff that goes to the landfill that doesn't need to go to the landfill,” Anderson said. “And it just turns into methane and that is a really powerful greenhouse gas."
Anderson has personally taken her organics to the Coon Rapids Recycling Center since the program started. It’s easily accessible with the organics waste collection bins placed outside the fence to allow residents access 24/7.
Coon Rapids Recycling Coordinator Colleen Sinclair advises people to start into organics recycling with something simple.
"Start with leftovers that the kids don't eat or scraps from what you made for dinner,” Sinclair said. “Start with the easy things and then just slowly add to it."
Organics make up about one third of what we throw away in the waste stream. You can go here to find an extensive list of what can and cannot be recycled. Sinclair says there are still gray areas.
“You can call you can ask questions, both city and county,” Sinclair said. “We answer those questions all day long."
Located on the fence outside the Recycling Center, you can grab free, three-gallon biodegradable bag liners to fit your kitchen compost bucket.
"You can take as many as you need,” Sinclair said. “There's no cost to you. We do have available by the roll of 13 gallon bags. So if you're doing a bigger clean out, you can use those bigger bags."
An added bonus of the organics recycling program is the free bags of compost, while supplies last.
"The compost that we're giving away to registered users is actual compost made from the food scraps from our drop site," Sinclair said.
The organics recycling program in Coon Rapids has more than 600 residents participating now, and the Sustainability Commission would like to increase that by 25%. Kate Anderson encourages others to make the move to recycling their organics at home.
"We would love to have a lot more people use it," Anderson said.
There are two sites in Coon Rapids where you can drop off your organics. The Anoka County Bunker Hills Compost Site and the Coon Rapids Recycling Center, available 24/7.
Learn more about the Coon Rapids Organics Recycling Program here.