A new program is being tested in Olmsted County that I am really excited about. This is a program that I'm all for and I hope the test goes well!

In Minnesota, we're typically really good about taking care of the environment compared to other states and we do our best to keep our planet clean. Are there things we can still improve on? Of course! And that's where this pilot program comes in.

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Composting in Olmsted County

The pilot program that Olmsted County is testing out is targeting food waste.

One great way to take care of food waste is by composting. Composting is something you can do in your backyard. There are containers you can buy to compost in or you can build a composting structure. For example, my husband and I just have some fencing surrounding our compost in the furthest back area of our yard.

Thousands Of San Francisco Area Restaurants Turn Food Waste Into Fertilizer
Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

There's a certain composition of materials that you'll want in your compost to make it decompose properly. You also need to make sure you're taking care of your compost pile. The University of Minnesota Extension has a lot more details on all of that.

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If composting at home sounds like a crazy amount of work to you, Olmsted County also has the option for you to drop off your home's yard waste at their compost site. That means you can't bring your uneaten food but you can bring in things like grass clippings and garden waste, like maybe a tomato you were trying to grow that got half eaten by an animal.

The county has a list of what you can and cannot bring to their yard waste compost site.

However, if you don't want to do your own composting but you also want to compost more than just yard waste, Olmsted County has a new program they're testing that's just for you!

Olmsted County's Food Waste Test Program

The county got the go-ahead to test out a food waste program. I'm so excited about this because food waste makes up so much of the trash that gets thrown out when it could be used in a much better way.

According to Yahoo News, just in Olmsted County, about 21%, or 24,000 tons, of trash that's picked up each year is food waste that could be used for composting.

So let's do something about that and try out this food waste program!

Marc Doyle

The test program will run for 6 months starting on June 1st and will cost $25 to participate. Each participating household will get 26 bags, one for each week of the program, that you can fill with up to 2.5 gallons of food waste.

Once your bag is full for the week, you'll drop it off at a special bin at the Olmsted County Recycling Center. From there, the food waste will be brought to a commercial composting site in Iowa.

Thousands Of San Francisco Area Restaurants Turn Food Waste Into Fertilizer
Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

If you'd like to get signed up to participate you can do so at the Olmsted County Environmental Resource Department. You can also call 507-328-7070 or email pwservice.com if you want more details about the program.

Sharon Schriever, the regional programs manager for Olmsted County Environmental Resources, says that they'll need 130-150 participants for the program. And in the long run, they hope to continue being able to offer this service and to also test out curbside pick up.

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There are lots of different food trucks around Rochester, Minnesota where you can grab a coffee or something delicious for dinner. Check out these food trucks you'll find around the Rochester area.

Gallery Credit: Carly Ross

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