The average family wastes 1/4 of the food they buy! Composting food is a great way to turn wasted food into something useful, but it's even better to buy only what you can eat, and eat what you buy.
Use our guide to waste less food, from changing your buying habits to reorganizing your fridge so food lasts longer.
Do you toss food because you’re not sure if it's safe? Most date labels are relatively meaningless. Look up how long food lasts on Still Tasty.
All compostable items should go in your gray cart. You can compost:
- Food scraps (including meat, bones, shells, and dairy)
- Food-soiled paper like pizza boxes and paper napkins
- Yard trimmings
- Shredded paper (layer with yard waste or put in a paper bag)
Download the complete guide (pdf, 2mb).
- NO plastic bags in your gray bin! If you want to bag your food scraps, use biodegradable bags like BioBags or paper bags. Free samples of BioBags are available at the Public Works counter at City Hall.
- Absolutely NO pet waste or diapers.
- Pick the stickers off your produce, and untwist the wire or rubber bands from your carrots and kale. Produce stickers and ties are trash.
- Use approved compostable plates, cups, and cutlery at get-togethers – Cedar Grove branded items or uncoated paper products like Chinet. Coffee cups like you get at Starbucks are recyclable, not compostable.
- Take your yard waste cart to the curb for pickup every week, not just when it’s full.
Do you need a container for your kitchen to collect food scraps and food-soiled paper? Get a free food scrap bucket at City Hall, 123 5th Avenue, in the recycling center in the downstairs lobby.
All your food and yard waste goes to Cedar Grove composting facilities in Everett or Maple Valley, where it's turned into compost in a matter of weeks. The average household's food scraps and yard trimmings produce five yards of compost each year, according to Cedar Grove.