Backyard Composting


Hennepin County has a goal to reduce the amount of organics that is thrown into the trash by 3 to 5% by 2030. Every resident who does his or her small part will help to achieve that goal. Instead of taking up space in the landfills, recycled organics turns into compost, which is great for gardens.

Backyard Composting in Edina

You may start a compost pile in your backyard. Keep in mind city regulations requires that the compost pile: 

  • Be in the back or side yard
  • Be at least 5 feet from the lot lines
  • Be at least 20 feet from a neighbor’s house

If you choose to construct your own compost container it must be: 

  • No more than 4 feet high 
  • Constructed to hold the contents securely 
  • Constructed of rot-resistant material 
  • Cover 30 square feet or less

What to Compost

  • Bread and cereal
  • Coffee grounds and filters
  • Cotton balls and swabs with paper stems
  • Dairy products
  • Eggs and egg shells
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Hair and nail clippings
  • Houseplants and flowers
  • Nuts and shells
  • Pasta, beans and rice
  • Tea bags
  • Wooden items such as chopsticks, Popsicle sticks and toothpicks
  • Yard waste

What Not to Compost

  • Animal and pet waste, litter or bedding
  • Cleaning or baby wipes
  • Diapers and sanitary products
  • Dryer lint and dryer sheets
  • Fast food wrappers
  • Frozen food boxes
  • Grease or oil
  • Gum
  • Microwave popcorn bags
  • Products labeled "biodegradable"
  • Recyclable items (cartons, glass, metal, paper, plastic)
  • Styrofoam
  • Meats, fish and bones

Problems with your compost?

View Washington County's guide to diagnosing common backyard composting problems.