Composting ordinance is approved

An ordinance regulating composting in Coon Rapids has been adopted by the Coon Rapids City Council.

Composting is becoming more prevalent and while most residents manage their compost well, there are some who do not, according to City Attorney Dave Brodie. These residents create piles of leaves or other items to avoid using city and county resources, Brodie told the council.

And with no ordinance in place, the city is limited in its ability to respond to these issues, Brodie wrote. The ordinance is similar to or based on those in other metro area cities.

According to Brodie, the ordinance will require the compost container to be constructed of durable materials such as sturdy woven wire fencing, rot-resistant wood or a commercially-produced compost bin.

The container size will be limited to 100 cubic feet or 150 cubic feet depending on the size of the property, Brodie stated in a memo to the council.

The container location will be limited to the rear yard and must be at least 10 feet from a property line and at least 40 feet from any habitable building.

For corner lots, the ordinance states that the container to be at least 20 feet from the street right of way in the rear yard as well as other setbacks.

For lots on the Mississippi River or Crooked Lake, the rear yard is considered to be the river or lake side, he wrote.

Permitted materials under the ordinance are grass clippings, leaves, weed that have not gone to seed, non-diseased plants, trimmings less than one-fourth inch in diameter, straw, sawdust, wood ashes, fruit or vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, egg shells and commercially available compost ingredients may be placed in a compost container.

Not allowed are meat, bones, oils, grease, dairy products, whole branches or logs, plastic or synthetic fibers, human or animal waste, heavily diseased plants or any other garbage or refuse.