Organics Drop-off at the Environmental Center


Organics make up 25% - 35% of what we throw away. When you participate in the organics drop-off program, your food scraps 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 the Environmental Center.

Step 2 – Start collecting organics at home

  • See the Frequently Asked Questions for details on what is and is not accepted.
  • Collect organics 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.
  • 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 organics to the Environmental Center

  • Bring bagged organics to the Environmental Center during regular hours of operation and proceed through the drive-lane. 
  • An attendant will take your bags and give you the same number of new compostable bags in exchange. 

Quick Tips for Storage and Transport 

  • Use a rigid tote or pail to transport bags
    Compostable bags start to break down sooner than you think. Using a rigid container that can be emptied and returned helps avoid spills and leaks in your vehicle.
  • Avoid plastic bags
    Plastic bags are not accepted – they are very difficult to empty and frequently too dirty to recycle. If you don’t have a tote, try using a paper grocery bag instead. They should hold up for the trip and are compostable. 
  • Freeze it
    While it isn’t necessary, if you’re concerned about odors during transport, you can always freeze your bags. 
  • Seal it
    If you’re worried about pests, try using a 5-gallon pail with a tight seal or a galvanized steel can with locking lid, and always keep it stored in a cool dry place.

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
  • StyrofoamTM 
  • Rubber
  • Wood

How is this program different? 

This program accepts more items than could be composted in a backyard composting bin, such as citrus, meat, dairy and bones. Commercial or industrial composting facilities reach high temperatures to break down these materials and kill pathogens. This program is separate from the regular yard waste program for leaves, grass clippings and brush. Please do not mix yard waste with your food waste.

Contact Us

  1. Environmental Center

    4039 Cottage Grove Drive
    Woodbury, MN 55129



    Tuesday: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
    Thursday: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
    Friday: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
    Saturday: 8 a.m.-2 p.m.

    Closed on 4th of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day & New Year’s Day.