Organics Recycling Drop Sites

Lots of options exist for diverting organics (food scraps and soiled napkins/plates) from the waste stream.  Convenient options also include drop sites where you drop off organics into carts/dumpsters.

Organics Drop Sites Brochure

Organics Drop Site Sign: Materials Accepted for Composting

Alex Area Organics Recycling Drop Site Ad

Organics Recycling Drop Site Locations

Take your properly bagged organics to a drop site near you.

  • Alexandria (Central) – Pope/Douglas Solid Waste Recycling Center
    • Open Monday-Friday 8-5 and Saturday 9-2. Closed major holidays.
    • Located right next to the Household Hazardous Waste Facility in fenced area.
  • Alexandria (North)
    • Open 24/7/365
    • Located at the Habitat for Humanity/ReStore parking lot
  • Garfield/Ida Township Area
    • Open 24/7/365
    • Located at the Ida Township Hall in the parking lot
  • Brandon Area
    • Open 24/7/365
    • Located at the Veteran’s Park on the south side of the park storage building – across street from water tower.
  • Miltona Area

    • Open 24/7/365
    • Located at Faith Lutheran Church – west of Miltona Community Center
    • Place organics in carts on concrete pad adjoining parking lot.
  • Starbuck Area
    • Open 24/7/365
    • Located at the City Hall/Fire Dept/Community Center parking lot.
  • Villard Area
    • Open 24/7/365
    • Located at rear of City Hall/Garage/Community Center
  • Long Beach Area
    • Open 24/7/365
    • Located at Minnewaska House’s parking lot
  • Osakis Area
    • Open 24/7/365
    • Located at the City Maintenance Shop parking lot
  • Glenwood Area – COMING SOON – Final location pending City Council approval

More locations to come!

  • Is your community interested in hosting a location to set secured carts to collect organics recycling?
  • Contact Pope/Douglas for more information.
Organics collected will be taken to the organics composting facility near St. Cloud, where it will be turned into compost, a nutrient-rich soil additive. Pope/Douglas Solid Waste is currently developing Phase I (regional organics transfer station) at the Glacial Ridge Compost Facility to reduce transportation costs.
Organics Recycling Drop Site Guidelines

Pope/Douglas County residents can drop off organics as a free and easy way to recycle organics and reduce what you put in the garbage cart.

Organics Drop Sites Brochure

Collecting organics in your kitchen.

  • Reuse an old coffee can or bucket.
  • Purchase a countertop organics container.
  • Reduce mess and odor by lining the container used with a paper bag or certified compostable bag.
  • Make sure any compostable bags used have the BPI or Cedar Grove logo.



Organics Drop Site Sign: Materials Accepted for Composting


  • All food, food scraps, peels, pits, etc.
  • Coffee grounds, filters and teabags
  • Paper towels, napkins and tissues
  • Paper towel and toilet paper rolls
  • Paper egg cartons
  • Certified compostable products: Items with the BPI or Cedar Grove certified compostable logo on the product or packaging
  • Hair and fur
  • Popsicle sticks and toothpicks
  • Houseplant trimmings and flowers

Not accepted

  • Yard waste including pumpkins and garden plants
  • Plastic bags
  • Pet waste, litter or bedding
  • Fast food wrappers
  • Frozen food boxes
  • Microwave popcorn bags
  • Paper plates, bowls and cups without BPI or Cedar Grove certification
  • Single-serve coffee pods (i.e., K-Cups® )
Where to Purchase Compostable Bags?

Reduce mess and odor by lining the container used with a paper bag or certified compostable bag.

If you are using a compost/food scrap bucket provided by Pope/Douglas – use 3 gallon or larger compostable bags.

Stop by one of these local stores to purchase compostable bags.

  • Ace Hardware – Alexandria (763-5200)
  • Elden’s Fresh Food – Alexandria (763-3446)
  • Grain Bin – Alexandria (763-6876)
  • Tom’s Market – Glenwood (634-4554)
  • Tom’s Market – Starbuck (239-2811)
  • Osakis True Value – Osakis (859-4621)
  • Various on-line options also exist

Not all bags are the same.  Make sure any compostable bags used have the BPI or Cedar Grove logo.  ‘Degradable’ is not the same as compostable as those bags will break down into smaller bits of plastic – which contaminates the finished compost.

Look for either of these logos below on packaging to ensure the bag is fully compostable.


Compostable Products (plates/cups/utensils)

Certified compostable products (plates, bowls, cups, straws, cups, and utensils) must be used as part of your organics recycling.

Paper items that look shiny or have a smooth surface are typically coated with plastic layer, which is not accepted in your organics recycling, unless they are identified as being certified compostable.  Using only compostable products ensures that the finished compost does not contain items that did not break down in the composting process.

If certified compostable products are not used, simply toss them in the garbage.

BPI (Biodegradable Products Institute) certified products list

Look for these logos below on packaging.


Recycling Resources: Signs/Stickers

Place signage and stickers on recycling and waste receptacles to show what goes where.  Contact Pope/Douglas for stickers or signs below or simple print them out and use them wherever recycling is set up.

Organics for Composting Signs/Stickers

Paper Towels for Composting Signs/Stickers

Single Sort Recycling Signs/Stickers

Cardboard Only Recycling Signs/Stickers

Trash Signs/Stickers

No Plastic Bags/Films/Wraps Sticker for Cart Lids

Organics Drop Site Starter Recycling Kits Available

Pope/Douglas wants to make it easy for you to get started!

Stop by the Pope/Douglas Office/Household Hazardous Waste Facility to pick up your FREE starter kit.

Starter kit will include:

  • Organics collection pail (3 gallon size)
  • Compostable bags
  • Informational brochure
  • Packet of Zinnia seeds
Backyard Composting

Composting in your backyard is an affordable way to manage your yard waste and food scraps year-round. Backyard composting is not suitable for meats/bones and soiled papers as they don’t break down as readily.

Commercial composting operations adhere to strict processing procedures that allows those type of operations to accept meat/bone for composting.  Backyard composting is not the same in that composting does not reach a sustained temp to kill pathogens.

Get more information below.

Pope/Douglas does not sell compost bins.  There are options below.

How to Build Raised Garden Beds

Setting up organics recycling (food scraps, etc) is an important step.  The use of finished compost that is created from the composting process and growing local foods is even better!

Build your own raised beds at your place of business, home or wherever to increase access to local foods, eat healthier and use the nutrient rich compost.

Required Materials

  • Four 8 foot long 2-by-6s
  • Two 8 foot long 2-by-6s cut in half
  • One 6 foot long 4-by-4 cut into four 16” tall corner posts
  • Weed suppressing landscape fabric
  • 32 3” screws
  • 32 cubic feet of finished compost


  1. Prepare the location by removing grass and weeds.
  2. Outline the bed dimensions on the ground using chalk or string.
  3. Dig along the outline using vertical strokes to bury about half of your first wood board.
  4. Put down a layer of newspaper or weed-suppressing landscape fabric that extends to the outside edges of the outline.
  5. Set a 4-foot 2-by-6 on its thin edge on pavement, and place a 16” post at one end. Secure post with two 3” screws. Repeat at other end of board. Repeat with other short board.
  6. Join short sides with an 8-foot board; and secure with two screws. Add other long side. Add second layer of 2-by-6s.
  7. Place the bed into the outline made in step 3.
  8. Fill the bed with potting soil.
  9. Alternative: amend soil with completed compost.

Pope/Douglas Solid Waste is in the planning stages of developing a regional organics composting site to have local access to compost for use in gardening and landscaping projects.

Phone: 320-763-9340
Toll Free: 800-972-6318
Fax: 320-763-9342

2115 Jefferson Street
Alexandria, MN 56308

Office Hours
Monday-Friday 8-12 and 1-4:30
Closed Saturday and Sunday

Recycling Center Hours
Monday-Friday 8-5
Saturday 9-2
Closed Sundays

Hazardous Waste Hours
Monday-Friday 8-12 and 1-4
Closed Saturday and Sunday
No appointment necessary

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