Compost Site


Address: Across the street from the Hazardous Waste Facility - 305 Silver Creek Rd NE, Rochester, MN  55906
Phone: 507 328-7070      Fax: 507 328-7090
Office Hours: Monday - Friday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Compost Site Hours: Open 7 days a week during daylight hours

Christmas Tree Disposal

  • From December 26 - March 31, Christmas trees can be dropped off at the Compost Site any day of the week during daylight hours. 

  • There is no disposal fee. 

  • Remember to remove the stand, ornaments, and lights. 

  • Wreaths, swags, boughs, and evergreen decorations should be placed in a bag and thrown in your garbage to prevent the spread of an invasive species known as the Elongate Hemlock Scale—a pest that feeds on conifer trees. Do not compost.

Leaf-Mulching Guide

Leaf-mulching instructional grid featuring four sections of varying leaf concentrations

The grid above was featured in a 2016 Washington Post Article, Stop Raking Your Leaves, by Christopher Ingraham. The corresponding instructions were provided by Sam Bauer, a turf grass researcher formerly with the University of Minnesota. 

Lawn A: You could allow this many leaves to cover your lawn over winter, but they can be easily mulched before that. 

Lawn B: This would be an easy amount to mulch.

Lawn C: This level could be mulched with a good mower. Consider mulching blades and close your mower’s side discharge.

Lawn D: This is too many leaves to mulch all at once. Consider removing 25% - 50% and mulching the rest. Or mulch first and rake up the excess. Excess leaves can be composted at home. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and University of Minnesota Extension have great resources to help you get started.  

Finished Compost

Loading compost into a bucket


Finished compost is available for pick-up on the north side of the Compost Site. Bring a shovel to load your bucket, pickup truck, or trailer. 

Donation boxes are available on-site for residents and businesses who wish to support the Compost Site's daily operations.

  • Suggested Donation Rates

    • $0.50/ 5-gallon bucket

    • $5.00/ car load

    • $20.00/ pickup or trailer load

Bulk Loads

April - November: An Olmsted County employee is available to load vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 10,000 lbs. (or greater) for a fee of $15.00 per ton or $12.00 per cubic yard from 7:30 AM - 3:30 PM, Monday - Friday.

December - March: Bulk loading is available by request only; residents should call 507 328-7070 to schedule an appointment. 

Compost Site Traffic Flow 

Invasive Species  - Jumping Worms 

Jumping Worms are an invasive species of earthworm that can strip nutrients from topsoil and increase erosion. Check your yard waste before bringing it to the Compost Site. 

To date, Jumping Worms have not been confirmed in the finished compost at the Compost Site. 

Download Flyer (1.88 MB)

Precautions for Yard Waste Drop-off

  • Check leaf/grass piles before dropping them off at the Compost Site.

  • If Jumping Worms are found on your lawn or garden, don't move or transport any material from your site.

Precautions for Compost Customers

  • Inspect compost for Jumping Worms as you load it into your vehicle/trailer.

  • At home, inspect the compost as you are spreading it around your lawn or garden.

  • If you find Jumping Worms at home, destroy them by collecting them in a plastic container (with a lid) or Ziploc bag and throw them in the trash. Notify at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

  • If you find Jumping Worms in Olmsted County compost, call 507 328-7070 or email

  • Arrive clean and leave clean. Clear soil and debris from vehicles, equipment, and personal gear before moving to and rom a work or recreational area-they might contain Jumping Worms or their cocoons. 

Yard Waste Drop-Off

  • Suggested Donation Rate: $5.00



​Apples​Blueberry Cane
​Garden Waste​Branches
  • Beans
  • ​Bean Vines
​Fireplace Ashes
  • Blueberries
  • Cucumbers
​Hedge Trimmings
  • Eggplants
​Pet Waste
  • Flowers
​Pine Needles
  • Loose Leaf Lettuce
​Raspberry Cane
  • Peas
  • Potatoes
  • Pumpkins
​Saw Dust
  • Radishes
​Sweet Corn & Stalks
  • Roots (if not woody)
​Tree Bark
  • Strawberries
​Tree Shavings/ Ground-Up Stumps
  • Tomatoes
  • Tomato Vines
​Noxious/ Invasive Weeds
  • Watermelon
​Wood Chips
  • Zucchini
​Hay (max of 10 clean bales)
  • Not to exceed 2ft x 2ft x 4ft per bale
​Sod & Uncontaminated Soil
  • Max of 8 cubic yards (free of rocks)
​Straw (max of 10 clean bales)
  • Not to exceed 2ft x 2ft x 4ft per bale

Backyard Composting

The University of Minnesota Extension and MN Pollution Control Agency have created detailed guides on backyard composting. 

Tree and Brush Disposal

Small quantities of tree waste and brush can be disposed at the Olmsted County Recycling Center Plus for a fee (160 KB).