More than 10,000 Minneapolis households have already signed up for a new organics pickup service that will launch in August in some parts of the city and next spring in others.

That amounts to about 10 percent of eligible homes. The city is hoping to increase that number to 40 percent when the program begins in about a quarter of the city later this year. Officials are encouraging all households with city service to sign up now, so they can design efficient pickup routes and prepare for distributing the new green bins.

Standing in an alley in Minneapolis’ Seward neighborhood on Monday, Mayor Betsy Hodges and Council Members Cam Gordon and Kevin Reich showed off one of the 32-gallon bins. The mayor said the new addition to city waste pickup is the next step for a city that “loves to recycle.” 

Eligible residents are already seeing an increase in their bills; most of a recent $48 per year increase is to help fund organics recycling. 

“Now (residents will) have the blue cart, the black cart and the green cart, and between those three things ... we’re going to be able to have a big impact on our recycling and trash stream,” she said.

Among the items eligible for organics collection: food waste, including eggshells, meat, fish and bones, paper plates and cups, pizza boxes and other food packaging, tissue paper, cotton balls, dryer lint, popsicle sticks and plant trimmings.

Hodges noted that she’s a veteran of organics recycling; her southwest Minneapolis neighborhood has been part of a years-long pilot project by the city. That experiment helped figure out what size of bin to offer residents.

The initial rollout of the program will be spread across the city. A map of neighborhoods included in the first phase is available at the city’s website.

Gordon noted that residents will still have the option of hauling their own organics to one of several designated collection sites. That’s still the only option available for people who live in multi-family buildings.

Residents interested in signing up for the service can do so by phone at 612-673-2917 or email: SWRcustomer@minneapolismn.gov.

Above: Council Member Cam Gordon, Mayor Betsy Hodges and Council Member Kevin Reich show off one of the city's new organics recycling bins.