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Citywide curbside composting coming to Minneapolis

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Final compost
Compost at the Full Circle Organics composting facility in Good Thunder, Minn.
Alex Kolyer / For MPR News 2014

The city of Minneapolis announced Monday that it will launch the first phase of a citywide curbside composting program late this summer.

About 25 percent of city residents will receive a green cart for compost waste in August. Which areas will be included in the launch has not been finalized. Residents in the rest of the city will receive compost waste carts by spring 2016.

Curbside composting is different from traditional yard composting of food waste because more items can be composted, including paper towels, pizza boxes or even chopsticks. Items like oils, fats or yard waste won't be accepted under the program.

The program is expected to cost $8 million to start and about $4 million to operate every year, according to David Herberholz, director of the city's Division of Solid Waste and Recycling. It will be available to residents of buildings with four or fewer units.

All city residents will support the program through an additional trash service charge of $3.40 per month, even if they don't sign up for the program. There is no additional cost to participate in the composting program.

A 2013 study by the city projected that about 40 percent of residents will participate in the program.

Herberholz said the city's efforts will include education about how to correctly compost including collaborations with neighborhood groups and outreach through public access channels and the Internet.

Pilot curbside composting programs have operated in eight neighborhoods neighborhoods including Linden Hills for years.

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges ran for office on a platform of transforming Minneapolis into a "zero-waste city" and announced the citywide curbside composting plan in her State of the City address. The Hennepin County Board has also pushed the city to incorporate curbside composting.

Anyone who wants to participate in the program must opt-in by emailing swrcustomer@minneapolismn.gov or calling 612-673-2917. Interested residents will be invited to sign up starting in April.