Municipal Yard Waste Compost Program


The City of Owatonna operates a community yard waste compost site for all residents for the diposal of leaves, grass clippings, brush, garden waste, Christmas trees and wreaths, and other compostable yard material. In the State of Minnesota these materials are prohibited from being placed in your household garbage pickup.

Check the tables below for hours of operation, acceptable materials/fees, and products available for purchase.

What is compost?

Compost is organic material made from the decomposition of living things. Food and yard waste break down in the composting process to produce nutrients for plants. Composting is nature's way of recycling. Rather than sending your food scraps, yard waste, and other organics to the landfill, you can compost them to create a nutrient rich fertizlier for your garden or lawn.

It's a product of controlled biological decomposition of organic material that has been sanitized through the generation of heat and stabilized to the point that it is beneficial to plant growth. Compost allows you to return badly needed organic matter to your soil. Compost has a unique ability to improve the properties of soils and growing media physically (structurally), chemically (nutritionally), and biologically.Participate in nature's cycle and cut down on the amount of trash going into burgeoning landfills. And, unlike most fertilizers, compost will not run off your yard and pollute Owatonna's waterways. Individuals/ groups seeking information or interested in further supporting composting efforts in Minnesota should inquire with the Minnesota Composting Council.

Community Benefits of Composting Yard Waste

  • Community as a whole processes less solid waste; increasing the useful life of our landfills
  • Reduction in potential for environmental pollution from landfills or incinerators that otherwise would have recieved the yard waste
  • Helps the community meet state-mandated recycling goals
  • Reduction in potential for erosion and waste pollution by enhancing soil structure and provding nutrients

Benefits of Using Compost

  • Improvments to soil structure
  • Improvments for plant growth
  • Binds Contaminates
  • Degrades Compounds
  • Wetland Restoration
  • Erosion Control
  • Weed, Disease, and Pest Control
  • Reduction in fertilizer use

Where is the site located?

400 West 32nd Avenue

Owatonna, MN 55060


When is the site open?

The compost site will operate from April 1st, thru November 23rd (see normal hours below) The compost site will also be open January 6th and 7th, 13th and 14th for christmas trees and wreaths from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.

Hours of Operation

Day April - October November
Monday 8:00AM - 6:00PM 8:00AM - 5:00PM
Tuesday 8:00AM - 6:00PM 8:00AM - 5:00PM
Wednesday 8:00AM - 6:00PM 8:00AM - 5:00PM
Thursday Closed Closed
Friday 8:00AM - 6:00PM 8:00AM - 5:00PM
Saturday 9:00AM-5:00PM 9:00AM - 5:00PM
Sunday Closed Closed

 The Compost Site will be CLOSED on all major holidays.



Accepted Materials

Material Cost Per Unit Cost Per Yard
Sod Strips Free Free
Yard Waste $0.75 $6.00
Garden Waste $0.75 $6.00
Brush and Branches $0.75 $8.00
Christmas Trees $3.00 N/A
Wreaths $0.50 N/A
Trees (over 12'' or larger diameter) N/A $15.00
Stumps N/A $35.00


Products for Sale

Product Cost Per Yard
Compost (Double Screen) $16.00
Black Dirt (Screened) $20.00
Black Dirt (Unscreened) $16.00
Colored Mulch $38.00
Hardwood Mulch $38.00


 Site Contact: (507) 475-0206 Janet Springer

 City Contact: (507) 774-7300 Brad Rademacher


What if I already compost in my backyard?

That's great! Take everything you don't have the capacity to compost in your backyard to the compost site. Make sure you check the list of accepted materials.On average up to 30% of the waste you generate at your residence can be composted. Utilize the composte site for yard waste and compost your food scraps in your backyard composting operation. Looking for a place to bring your household organics which are not accepted at the compost site?

What else can I do?

Always look for ways to reduce, reuse and recycle. Reduce your food waste by purchasing only what you need or by freezing items. Use plates, cups, silverware, and cloth napkins rather than disposable items. Recycle items by donating canned and dry goods that won't be used or by backyard composting of food scraps.

Continue to remove any organic products from your waste stream. These items include all food scraps such as leftovers, peelings, and spoiled foods; soiled, non recycable papers such as paper towels, napkins, delivery pizza boxes; certified compostable products such as compostable plastic food ware and bags labeled with a certified compostable logo.

Check out other City Programs aimed at enhancing our natural resources.

Additional Resources