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 recyclable, not compostable. Simply because an item is labeled as compostable does not guarantee it is accepted in our system - please refer to Cedar Grove for accepted items.
- 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? Get a free food scrap bucket at City Hall, 123 5th Avenue, in the recycling center in the downstairs lobby.
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.
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.