Low Waste Market

Low waste in Lowertown

In the 2022 season, the Downtown Saint Paul market saw some changes. With thousands of visitors each weekend, we knew it was time for our waste to get an upgrade. Thanks to some neighborly assistance from our friends at Saints Baseball, we now have access to properly dispose of organics, recycling, and trash.

What changed?

In years past, our visitors only had access to the City’s recycling and trash bins. We now have five waste stations throughout the market. One at three corners and two in the middle. Each waste station has a bin for organics (compostables), recycling, and trash. Now that we have access to organics collection, our ready-to-eat food and beverage vendors have BPI-certified compostable goods to serve their customers.

How do I play a part?

 Keep reading to explore how you can properly sort your waste while visiting our Lowertown market. Thank you for keeping waste out of the landfill with us!

Organics/Compostables/Food Scraps

First off, why does it have so many names? Organics collection is still a new practice and still isn’t completely widespread. Different parties may call it by a few of these different names. No matter what you call it, the process is the same. BPI-certified compostables, paper, and food get turned back into healthy nutrient-rich soil called compost. Compost is used to produce some of our best produce and goods at the market!

What is collected in the green Saint Paul Farmers’ Market’s Organics bins?

Our ready-to-eat food vendors serve you sandwiches, dumplings, BBQ, steamed buns, and more in BPI Certified Products. When you’re finished licking your lips from their delicious food and drinks, please toss these items in the green bins!

In addition to our BPI compostable products, please put all food, paper towels, and napkins in the green bins! No plastic, coated paper, metal, or glass is allowed. If you bring outside containers in, please assure they are BPI Certified Compostable before tossing!


This one is a bit simpler. We use a blue bin, a single-stream recycling method which means, cans, glass, cardboard, and harder plastics all go in one bin. Things to look out for while recycling. 

  1. If the item you have is covered in food, it shouldn’t be recycled. Look above to see if it is in a compostable container. 
  2. Please try to empty out all liquids before tossing them in the blue bins.
  3. Please don’t recycle the compostable items – they’ll serve a much better purpose turning back into soil!
  4. Aluminum cans, glass bottles, and plastic cups are all fine. (no plastic straws)
  5. No coffee cups, please. They are either compostable or trash.
  6. No plastic bags or film.


When in doubt – toss it out. If something isn’t clearly compostable or recyclable, your safest option is to put it in the black trash bins. We get charged if there is contamination in the other two streams. We are constantly working to give you fewer items that are trash at the market. However, you may still have some trash with you from time to time. 
Final remarks. This three-stream waste collection is still new and we’re fine-tuning it all the time. If you have any questions or suggestions please email Lindsay Stauner, the Sustainability Coordinator at lindsay.spfm@gmail.com.