St. Louis Park rolls out pilot organics recycling program for multifamily housing residents

Solid Waste Program Specialist Emily Barker tosses away a biodegradable bag containing organics at a newly installed cart July 20 at Creekside Park, near St. Louis Park’s Municipal Service Center. (Sun Sailor staff photo by Seth Rowe)

Solid Waste Program Specialist Emily Barker tosses away a biodegradable bag containing organics at a newly installed cart July 20 at Creekside Park, near St. Louis Park’s Municipal Service Center. (Sun Sailor staff photo by Seth Rowe)

St. Louis Park’s organics recycling program is far from decaying, leading the city to branch off into a pilot program for residents of multifamily housing.

Nearly twice as many residents from single-family homes or similar housing have signed up for the organics program since St. Louis Park dropped fees to join the program at the beginning of the year.

Of the approximately 12,300 households in the city that are eligible for curbside organics recycling, about 15 percent had signed up by the end of 2016.

As of mid-July, 27 percent, or about 3,300 households, have signed up.

The city collected 281 tons of organics to be made into compost last year, or an average of 330 pounds of organics per household for the year. City officials expect the amount collected to increase this year with 1,500 more participating households.

However, city staff members see the potential for another significant increase in organics recycling if residents of multifamily buildings have an option.

About 40 percent of St. Louis Park residents live in multifamily buildings that are not eligible for the city’s curbside program. That amounts to about 10,000 households, said Solid Waste Program Specialist Emily Barker.

Apartment building managers and condominium associations arrange their own waste hauler arrangements, and most do not provide organics recycling, according to city staff members.

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