Find Posts By Topic

Compost Days Rewards Regional Efforts

Discounts, Prizes, and Free Compost now through April 15

Today is the start of Compost Days, a region-wide campaign to thank residents for diverting 350,000 tons of food and yard waste from landfills in 2012. The campaign, now in its third year, has expanded with Seattle Public Utilities, King County Solid Waste Division, Cedar Grove Composting and Waste Management offering free and deeply discounted compost and three “Big Dig” events across King and Snohomish counties, where finalists will get a chance to dig through huge piles of compost, each containing hidden prizes.

Compost Days, which runs March 15 – April 15, consists of a region-wide scavenger hunt to find the mascot, Corey, The Compostable Apple Core. Corey and his secret codes will appear on posters at 45 retail locations in Seattle, King and Snohomish counties, detailed on a map at Those who find Corey and enter the code will instantly win a free bag of compost and a chance to participate in one of three Big Dig events. Compost coupons will also be available at and participating retailers.

“By having their food scraps and yard debris collected for composting, Puget Sound residents prevented more than 350,000 tons of organic material from being sent to the landfill last year,” said Tim Croll, Solid Waste Director with Seattle Public Utilities. “That’s equivalent to eliminating a 100 mile-long train full of garbage from being sent to the landfill. Thanks to their efforts, we are keeping gardens, yards and parks in our communities green and healthy.”

This year’s campaign includes three Big Dig events open to the public. At each event, participants will dig through a 15-yard pile of compost for over $1,000 in buried treasures donated by Fred Meyer and McLendon Hardware, including a $500 shopping spree:

  • Saturday, March 30: Fred Meyer, Lynnwood (4615 196th Street SW), 12 p.m., featuring Ladd Smith, Co-Owner of In Harmony Sustainable Landscapes
  • Sunday, April 7: Fred Meyer, Ballard (915 NW 45th Street), 11 a.m., featuring Ciscoe Morris
  • Sunday, April 14: McLendon Hardware, Renton (440 Rainier Ave. S.) – 11 a.m., featuring Ciscoe Morris

Cedar Grove Compost will donate more than 60 yards of compost used at the Big Dig events to community gardens, part of their ongoing commitment to make generous compost donations to community gardens and organizations throughout the Puget Sound.

“We’re so proud that our communities are at the forefront of composting,” Candy Castellanos, Public Education and Outreach Manager for Waste Management. “When you put your food scraps, food-soiled paper, and yard waste in your food and yard waste cart, you make compost. Compost reduces water use and the need for chemical pesticides, while boosting the fertility and growing power of the soil in your yards, gardens and farms.”

“With more plastic, paper, cardboard and aluminum being recycled by residents than ever before, food scraps and food-soiled paper are the largest contributors to area landfills,” said Pat McLaughlin, Director of the King County Solid Waste Division.

Roughly one-third of the garbage created by residents in King County is made up of compostable food scraps, food-soiled paper and yard waste. The average single family household throws away about 45 pounds of food scraps and food-soiled paper each month. All of it is compostable in the curbside food and yard waste cart. For more information on Compost Days, visit