Close up of gloved hands holding compost.

What is Backyard Composting?  

Composting is a process that naturally decomposes (breaks down) organic materials, such as yard waste, fruits, vegetables, and paper towels. Once your food scraps and yard trimming are finished decomposing, the material created is called "compost."

Not only does compost help to decrease the amount of food that you throw in your trash; completed compost can be used to improve soil quality and support plant growth without the use of chemical fertilizers. 

To help promote backyard composting, the city will be hosting four backyard composting workshops in partnership with community organizations. Look below for more information on the workshops and how to sign up!

Composting 101 Workshops

Workshop leader in blue shirt squats down on green lawn instructing students standing in a circle around him.

Sign up for one of our "Composting 101 Workshops" the summer and fall. In these free workshops you will learn what compost is, why its important, how to compost, and what to do with the completed product. Participants will receive all the supplies they need to get started, including the following

  • Free backyard compost bin
  • Food scrap bucket
  • Food waste tracking tools. 

After the workshop, each participant will be asked to track and report their food scraps for 4 weeks. This will be used to see how much food waste was prevented through backyard composting. Participants will also be asked to complete three 5-minute surveys over 8 weeks following the workshop. 

Register now! Space is limited as each workshop can only host 30 participants. See below for workshop dates and times:

Garden Tool Swap Event

Various garden tools strewn on green turf

Along with Composting 101 Workshops, the city is also hosting a Garden Tool Swap event. Bring your unwanted garden supplies and take home the supplied you need! Below are the list of items that participants are encouraged to bring: 

  • Garden Tools
  • Gardening Books
  • Garden Art
  • Pots and Planters (Free of soil & dirt)
  • Black Plastic Starter Pots (Broken ones will be taken to Lowe’s for recycling)
  • Potting Soil/Mix (Unused, Bagged)
  • Bird Houses/Feeders

No need to register for these events, just show up at the dates/time listed below with your item(s):

Date & Time: July 26, 2022 at 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Location: Rivoli Bluff Farm and Restoration Site

Address: Corner of Rivoli Street and Minnehaha Ave East, St Paul, MN 55130 

Additional Backyard Composting Resources

Provides basic information on what backyard composting is, why it is important, and provides instructions on how to build and maintain your backyard compost pile.

Ramsey County Video on Composting: This video from Ramsey County shows how to build and maintain your backyard compost pile. 

Food Scraps (Organics) Drop Off Sites: If you are unable to set up backyard composting at your property, the city has drop off sites for organics (food scrap). Click on the link to view the list of drop off sites.

Citywide Yard Waste Collection: The citywide garbage collection also offers yard waste collection at an additional cost. This is a great option if you are unable to compost these materials at home. Click on the link to learn more about this service.

Last Edited: July 8, 2022