Winter might not be an ideal time to start thinking about backyard gardening for green thumb enthusiasts, but it is a great time to get a jump start on waste reduction, gardening and water conservation efforts by setting up a compost bin or rain barrel at your home.

This spring, the Recycling Association of Minnesota (RAM) is partnering with cities and counties throughout Minnesota to bring residents affordable rain barrels and compost bins to Minnesota residents at greatly reduced cost. There are many economic and environmental benefits to using rain barrels and compost bins, a few are:

  • When you use a rain barrel, you will conserve water by using the rain water rather than from the spigot (which you pay for). It can also help with storm water management on your property in conjunction with your neighbor!   It can also reduce storm water runoff, which can be a major pollution contributor to waterways.
  • By using a compost bin you can reduce more than 25% of your waste from going to a landfill which saves you money!

These compost bins come with a 10 year warranty, are made from recycled content and are extremely affordable. Compost bins are only $55 and rain barrels are $69.

“Our goal is to increase education about how easy compost bins are to use for the average person, organics recycled in a backyard compost bin have much less of an impact on our environment than they would if that same material would be landfilled. The methane produced by organic material breaking down in a landfill is a contributor to global climate change.”  Storm water runoff from homes is also an issue.  Minnesotans highly value our lakes and other waterways, using a rain barrel to control storm water runoff is one way that Minnesotans can help protect local resources,” stated Maggie Mattacola, Executive Director of Operations for RAM.

RAM is hosting several rain barrel and compost bin distribution events throughout Minnesota which include Chisago County, St. Paul, Roseville, St. Francis, St. Louis Park, Maplewood, Plymouth, Burnsville, and Minneapolis. For specific dates and additional information go to:

Chisago County’s pick up event will be held on May 14th from 9-11 a.m. at the Chisago County Public Works Facility in Center City.  This is the pick up event-you must PRE-ORDER your rain barrel or composters online before the pick up event.  There will not be any extra product for sale at the pick up event.  To order online, you will visit RecycleMinnesota.orgPre-orders may be placed starting March 1st.  If you have questions or are having trouble pre-ordering, please call the Chisago SWCD at 651-674-2333, the Chisago County Environmental Services/Zoning department at 651-213-8923 , or the Recycling Association of Minnesota at 651-641-4589.

2016 RBCB Flier-Chisago