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CityLink Seattle

Composting 101

How can I store food scraps in my kitchen and keep it clean?

Bag it! Use a paper or approved compostable bag to store food scraps and put them in your food and yard waste cart. Plastic bags are not allowed in the cart – use only approved compostable bags, as they break down into compost. These currently include Glad, BioBag, EcoSafe, BioSak, Nature Friendly, and EcoGuard. Available online or at retail stores (pdf).

Put a lid on it! Use a reusable container with a tight fitting lid for your food scraps. It can be plastic, metal or ceramic. Large yogurt, or margarine tubs, juice pitchers, and stainless steel canisters make storing food scraps easy.

Chill it! Put leftovers in a container or wrap them in paper, then place them in your refrigerator or freezer until collection day. Residents say this system works great!

Use handy household items! A plastic gallon milk jug with the handle intact and the top cut off makes carrying scraps to your cart easy. Dump the waste into the cart. Rinse, re-use and then recycle the jug.

Greasy cardboard pizza boxes and cereal boxes (with inner bag lining removed) are simple ways to help carry leftover buffalo wings, banana peels and sliced veggies to your cart.

No milk cartons allowed. If you use a milk carton, do not put the milk carton into the cart. Rinse it out and reuse or recycle it. The thin plastic lining of the carton degrades the compost.

Keep a routine! Food and yard waste is collected weekly. To avoid smells, take your food scraps out to your curbside cart every few days.