Food Scraps (Organics) Drop-off

Organic material makes up 30% of what we throw away. When you participate in the food scraps drop-off program, your food waste and non-recyclable paper products will be recycled into compost at a commercial compost facility. Compost is a valuable resource that improves soil, reduces erosion, and decreases the need for fertilizers. 

How to Get Started

Step 1 – Sign up online and pick up a free starter kit!

Starter kits include a 2 gallon kitchen pail and 10 compostable bags. Kits are available to Washington County residents only. Limit 1 kit per household. Must be picked up at Mahtomedi City Hall.

Step 2 – Start collecting food scraps at home

  • See the Frequently Asked Questions for details on what is and is not accepted.
  • Collect food scraps in a compostable bag inside of your kitchen pail and tie off the bag when full. Be sure to review the list of accepted items below.
  • If using a bag not provided by the county, check that it has the “compostable” logo from the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) on the bag or the box.

Step 3 – Bring bagged food scraps to the Mahtomedi drop-off site located behind the Mahtomedi Fire Station

This self-serve drop-off is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, unless otherwise noted. Replacement bags are available. To ensure there are enough bags for everyone, please only take the number of bags you drop off.

Food Scraps Location Map (IMAGE)

Yes - Accepted Items                                                             


  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Meat, fish, and bones 
  • Dairy products
  • Eggs and egg shells
  • Bread, pasta, beans, and rice
  • Nuts and shells
  • Coffee grounds, filters, and tea bags
  • Animal and pet food

Non-recyclable paper

  • Paper towels, napkins and tissues
  • Pizza delivery boxes
  • Paper egg cartons
  • Dirty paper bags

Certified compostable products

  • Certified compostable paper and plastic cups, plates, bowls, utensils, and containers 
  • Look for the BPI logo to ensure it is compostable

No - Not Accepted  

  • Diapers
  • Cleaning or baby wipes
  • Yard waste 
  • Animal and pet waste, litter, or bedding
  • Dead animals
  • Dryer lint and dryer sheets
  • Recyclable items (cartons, glass, metal, paper, plastic) 
  • Frozen food boxes
  • Styrofoam
  • Rubber
  • Wood

For more information on this and other Washington County programs, visit