All compostable items should go in your gray food+yard cart. You can compost:
- Food scraps (including meat, bones, shells, and dairy)
- Food-soiled paper like pizza boxes and paper napkins
- Yard trimmings
- Compostable bags (Cedar Grove approved)
Download the complete guide (pdf, 2mb).
- NO plastic bags in your gray bin! If you want to bag your food scraps, use compostable bags like BioBags or paper bags. See accepted bags.
- Absolutely NO pet waste or diapers.
- Use uncoated paper products like Chinet. Coffee cups like you get at Starbucks are not compostable (if empty and clean they may be recycled). Simply because an item is labeled compostable does not guarantee it is accepted in our system - please refer to Cedar Grove for accepted items. Many compostable products accepted at businesses are not accepted in your curbside cart due to contamination caused by misidentification.
- "Biodegradable" and "natural" does not mean it's compostable.
- Take your yard waste cart to the curb for pickup every week, not just when it’s full. The material inside will start to degrade and be less valuable for composting if you leave it for a long time before putting it out for collection. Don't use your cart for yard waste? You may request to exchange your large cart for a small food scrap only container (you cannot have both containers though).
Do you need a container for your kitchen to collect food scraps and food-soiled paper? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your address to request one and we will deliver one to your doorstep in the next few weeks.
The average family wastes 1/4 of the food they buy! Our email course shares ways that your family can eat more of the food you buy, and waste less. Get tips delivered to your inbox about grocery shopping, food storage, sharing food, and more. Sign up for the 7-email series.
- Compost to save money. By putting food scraps, yard waste, and food-soiled paper in your gray cart, you generate less trash. With less trash, you can opt for a smaller (and cheaper) garbage service level.
- Composting helps the climate by keeping food out of the landfill. Currently, about 20% of King County residential trash by weight is food. Food in the landfill breaks down very slowly in a process that emits methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. Landfills are the third largest source of human-related methane emissions in the US. (Methane is captured at King County's landfill but it is best to prevent methane production rather than harvest it.)
- The process produces compost, a nutrient-rich fertilizer. By composting your food and yard waste, you "complete the loop" and return those nutrients to the soil.
- Compost is also used in stormwater projects to clean runoff to protect our lakes, rivers, and wetlands. (You can add a raingarden to capture and filter runoff in your yard!)
Learn where you can buy compost and how to use it in your yard.
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.