The Mulch Store

Organics Recycling-Available at our Empire Location!

Organics are accepted at the Empire site only. Please deliver food waste recycling 1 hour prior to closing. After hours delivery by appointment only.

Acceptable materials for organics recycling include:
  • All FOOD scraps
  • All grass, leaves, yard trimmings, plant trimmings (Please check with our staff regarding Emerald Ash Borer Quarantine restrictions that may apply to these materials
  • All non-recyclable PAPER products
    • Napkins, paper towels, tissues
    • Uncoated paper plates, cups & food containers
    • Paper milk & juice cartons (Please recycle when available)
    • Paper bags & waxed paper (fast food wraps, etc.)
    • Coffee grounds, filters & tea bags
    • Pizza boxes
  • All compostable products as certified by the Biodegradable Products Institute (
Unacceptable materials:
  • PLASTICS of any kind including, styrofoam, plastic bottles, condiment packets, chip bags & candy wrappers and compostable plastics that do not meet BPI Certification standards.
  • METAL items including: foil, metals, cans
  • Clothing
  • Glass
  • Diapers, sanitary products

This information is to be used as a general guide for material acceptability and can not be construed as all inclusive or exhausted. Please consult SET for questions regarding unique or unusual materials and their acceptability. Click here to view/print our Acceptable Material List.

  • Source Separated Organics - Commercial (contact us online for pricing)
  • Source Separated Organics - Residential ($2.00/bag)

What is commercial scale organics recycling?

Commercial scale organics recycling is the newest form of recycling available to businesses and residents in a growing number of communities. It involves the collection of organic materials such as food waste, non-recyclable paper waste and yard waste in a separate collection container. This material is received at our Empire Township compost facility where our professional composting staff processes it into a valuable soil amendment.

Just as collecting recyclable items such as paper, plastic and aluminum varies based on your garbage hauler and location, collection of organics may vary as well. For example, paper, glass and aluminum can all be collected together in some locations and in others they may need to be separated. This is similar for your organic waste. In some areas, yard waste such as leaves and grass can be collected with your food waste and in others food waste will need to be separated from yard waste. Contact your local garbage haulers to find out more information on this service. If organics recycling is not available in your area, residents may also transport their own organics to the Empire Township facility. Commercial customers should contact us online for pricing.

How is this different than a backyard compost pile?

Backyard composting is limited to include yard waste, and select food waste such as vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, egg shells, flower trimmings, etc. You should not include meat, bones, pet waste, or dairy in your back yard compost pile. Commercial scale composting can process everything a backyard compost pile can take plus, meat, dairy, bones and non-recyclable paper. It may also be more convenient for those who may have not have the space or time to compost.

For more information on various composting methods, visit the following helpful links.

Food Waste Reduction/Composting
US Composting Council
Recycling Association of Minnesota
Biodegradable Products Institute