You're not imagining it. The city of Minneapolis is requiring compostable bags one year earlier than expected. The city was bidding out multi-year yard waste contracts and decided to have compostable bag handling built into the contract now rather than have to adjust it next year, said city spokesman Casper Hill.
Starting next week, when Minneapolis starts picking up yard waste, residents can still use non-compostable plastic bags. The grace period for plastic ends the week of April 30 when residents are required to put all lawn and garden waste in compostable bags or reusable containers no larger than 33 gallons.
But many metro residents, not just in Minneapolis, can't find compostable plastic in stock. (Paper bags have been easier to find.)
We checked local supplies and here's what we found, but you should call to confirm.
Lowe's: In stock at most stores.
Menards: In stock at most stores except St. Paul and Golden Valley, but mostly paper.
Plastic Bagmart (12201 Minnetonka Blvd., Minnetonka, www.pbmartmn.com, 952-933-2366): They sell 15-, 33-, 39- or 45-gallon compostable bags in rolls of 20 or 25. The 33-gallon size is $12.50 for 25. All sizes were in stock.
Target: Most stores are out, but supplies should be replenished soon.
Wal-Mart: The discounter has had small quantities in stock. Look for the bags on endcaps as well as the plastic bag aisle.
When buying bags, look for the word "compostable" on the box. Bags labeled "100 percent degradable" or "recycled plastic" are not compostable and will not be accepted by haulers. If you have unused black plastic bags, they can still be used in the regular trash.