Celebrating 10 Years of Stewardship

September 1, 2021

After months of research and planning, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC), unveiled the SMSC Organics Recycling Facility on September 6, 2011. The 24-acre site was created to support their objective of being a good steward of the earth by providing a large-scale composting facility for the area. In addition to welcoming commercial and residential customers, including landscapers, homeowners, and commercial haulers, the SMSC Organics Recycling Facility also helps create a sustainable cycle for waste within the Community, collecting organic waste from the SMSC’s enterprises, including Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, Little Six Casino, Mazopiya, and Playworks.

Aside from providing a much-needed service to the local community for the past 10 years, the facility has served as an embodiment of the important SMSC values of being a good neighbor, planning seven generations ahead, and most importantly, caring for Uŋci Maka, Grandmother Earth. These values are aligned closely with the work that we do each day.

Materials that would otherwise be tossed into a landfill—like paper, food, and yard waste—are instead repurposed into high-quality compost, compost blends, and mulch for farming, gardening, landscaping, and more. These end products are sold to the public and are used to fertilize and spruce up SMSC lands like the Wozupi Tribal Gardens.

Additionally, the SMSC Organics Recycling Facility engages the neighboring community, helping more people recycle organic waste in the region. Our facility accepts yard waste from several local municipalities, including the cities of Prior Lake, Savage, and Shakopee. In addition, hauling companies and other local governments can bring their organic materials to the facility, helping save time, money, and the environment.

Over the years, the SMSC Organics Recycling Facility has introduced new products and programs to better serve the Community and our neighbors. We have seen success with our annual pumpkin and Christmas tree recycling programs, having recycled 14,000 pounds of pumpkins last fall.

We are also proud to provide free drop-off programs to Scott County Residents. One is a household organics drop-off program offered year-round. Another is a yard waste drop-off program, which is offered biannually. These programs help keep food scraps and other compostable materials out of landfills and instead, use them to replenish the earth through compost.

Through all of these efforts, the SMSC Organics Recycling Facility prevents an average of 70,000 tons of organic waste from entering landfills each year, reducing the total amount in Twin Cities metro area landfills by 1.4%. Additionally, it eliminates more than 10,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions from food waste each year.

The success of our operation would not be possible without the continued support we receive from the SMSC, Community Members, and our neighbors. Thank you for 10 incredible years of positive environmental impact. We look forward to continuing serving you in the years ahead!