Recycling food waste or composting

Food waste and food-soiled paper make up about 30% of a typical household’s waste (I think it’s easily 50% for me). I live in a city where garbage fees are determined by the size of your trash can. I already have the smallest trash can, so food recycling is of no cost savings for me. But recycling, reducing and reusing are important to me, so I started recycling my food waste.

Luckily, Seattle makes recycling easy. I can add food waste to my yard waste can. In my kitchen I have a food scraps bucket and I pile in fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grinds, egg shells, citrus peels, tea bags, meat, cheese, bones, and napkins. When it’s full I just take the bucket and dump the contents into my yard waste can outside. Super simple!

If your city doesn’t have a food waste recycling program, you can compost your food waste in a variety of ways. You still have the food scraps bucket inside, but the final resting place will differ – a compost bin, a worm bin, compost pile, or a hole in the earth. 

To minimize the mess of collecting food scraps, consider lining your pail with newspaper, a paper bag, or a Biobag


Composting organic materials saves space in our landfills. In Seattle, my yard waste (and food scraps) are taken to Cedar Grove Composting facility where they’re turned into compost. Since I started recyling my food waste, I’ve been able to reduce my trash to one bag every other week (a 50% reduction). How low can you go? See how little waste you and your family can create.

Compost guide


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