In an effort to make food scrap collection more accessible to all residents, Ramsey and Washington Counties are preparing to roll out a program that allows residents to throw out their food scraps directly into their trash.
This is going to be a big improvement,” says Ryan Johnson, Environmental Manager with the City of Roseville. “This new system will help the Roseville and Ramsey County to meet the goals that we have set forth in our solid waste master plan.
For Filsan Ibrahim, Environmental Health Specialist with Ramsey County, this change is the result of years of planning and preparation.
Food waste make up about 20% of our waste system,” says Ibrahim. “I’m extremely excited to give our residents access to this program and to have less of their trash go to landfills. This has the potential to make a healthier and more sustainable community for all of us.
Under this new system, food scraps will be collected from residents using special bags called “food scrap bags.” Food scrap bags will be collected with trash and then separated from the trash after collection, at the Ramsey County reclamation site. Unlike the system in many other communities, this system requires no additional carts or trucks.
Food scrap bags are an efficient and cost-effective method of collecting food scraps from residents’ homes. Under this program, food scrap bags:
There will be no charge to residents for bags or program participation. Bag distribution will occur through an online ordering system, with a call-in option available for those without internet access.
Ibrahim and the Ramsey County team expects this service will be available to all residents in Ramsey and Washington counties, with rollout happening in phases throughout 2023.
For City Sustainability Intern Noelle Bakken, the change is exciting because of its accessibility for all residents.
“We are trying to make it as easy as possible to get these items out of our landfills. Residents in apartment buildings, residents with no vehicle available to them, they won’t have to figure out how to get to a compost site. It doesn’t matter who takes your trash, it all goes to the same place!”
The food scrap bags are thicker than the compostable bags currently used at county drop-off sites or that you might purchase in a store or online.
Ramsey County Communications Manager Andrea McKennon says a lot of planning has been to test these new bags to make sure they can hold up on a trip in a garbage truck.
We put them into trash cans, driven them around, and the breakage rate was so much smaller—it's under 10%. The best part is, they’re also designed to eventually break down along with their contents.