Composting: Benefits and Tips

Updated: Feb. 2, 2020 at 10:39 PM CST
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - In the United States alone people send more food to the landfill than any other type of waste.

Participating in city composting is a way to turn that waste into compost, a valuable material for soil for growing food.

Back in July 2019 the local composting facility in Good Thunder, Minnesota closed its doors.

Since then, Mankato Area Zero Waste says many are unaware that city composting is still available.

Now organics are brought to a facility in Rosemount, Minnesota.

Benefits of composting include reducing your trash waste by a third to a half.

“Since I started composting, I have about half as much trash and sometimes I don’t event have to take it out at the time of pickup,” said Co-chair of Mankato Zero Waste Jane Dow.

It also helps the environment by preventing those items from entering a landfill.

Once in a landfill, organic matter gets buried under ground, creating the heat trapping gas methane, a greenhouse gas that warms up the planet.

“In November in Mankato alone 28 tons which is the equivalent of the weight 18 cars of compost was diverted from going into landfills,” said KEYC News 12 reporter Bernadette Heier.

Composting begins with putting your food scraps into a container, lined with a compostable bag or simply use a paper bag.

“You can have a lid that closes with your compostable bag, it holds just enough in my case for a family of four about a week’s worth of food scraps," said Mankato Zero Waste and Composting contact, Molly Yunkers.

“Once we have filled our bucket and we are not ready to take it to the drop off site yet, we gather it up put it in a larger container like a five gallon bucket and keep it in the garage to keep it cool," Yunkers continued.

Drop off locations include:

Mankato: Public Works Center, 501 S. Victory Drive and at Sibley Park, 901 Mound Ave.

North Mankato: Riverbend Recycling Center, 600 Webster Ave.

Lake Crystal: Recreation Center, 621 W. Nathan St.

In addition to composting food scraps, coffee grounds, used tissues and pizza boxes, to name a few, can be composted as well.

You cannot compost metal, glass, plastics, liquids, Styrofoam and plastic bags.

To get started, residents in Mankato, North Mankato and Lake Crystal can contact their city hall for a composting starting kit.

“You’ll receive this it has do’s and donts on what can or cannot be composted and also gets you started with 2 bags,” said Yunkers.

For more information visit Mankato Area Zero Waste’s website here.

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