Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community
Organics Recycling Facility

Hours of Operation:




Composting is a biological process in which microorganisms convert organic materials into a soil like material called compost. This process occurs in nature but the ORF managers speed up the process to achieve faster decomposition. Microorganisms produce heat which drives off moisture and destroys pathogens and weed seeds. Odors are minimal in a well-run facility and managing the compost will be a carefully monitored, turned windrow operation. Staff weigh and inspect incoming material and then grind and mix it using an established recipe.  The material is then incorporated into windrows on an impervious surface asphalt pad.  After the material is tested on the asphalt pad, it is incorporated into larger rows that are about 10 feet tall by 20 feet wide and several hundred feet long.  Workers use a machine that mixes the material by straddling the windrow and this is done regularly for up to three months.  Staff also record oxygen, temperature, and moisture regularly and these data are used to guide management.

Composting Benefits the Environment in Many Ways

  • Compost adds organic material to depleted soils.
  • Excellent soil amendment for plants to uptake water and nutrients.
  • Composting process kills pathogens and weed seeds.
  • Compost sites eliminate the need to utilize existing landfill space and to locate future landfills.
  • Well-run compost sites help reduce greenhouse gases such as methane, which is approximately 23 times more powerful than carbon dioxide.