Composting Best Practices

Some additional items that can go into compost bin:

  • tea bags with staples
  • fireplace or wood stove ash

How can I avoid odor in my kitchen?

Reduce moisture. Line you kitchen container with newspaper, sprinkle with baking soda. Also  leave the kitchen container cracked open, food scraps dry out, which slows the rotting process and avoids odor. For meat and fish scraps, it is best practice to wrap in newspaper or paper bags before placing in your kitchen container to prevent odors. Drain excess liquids from food and squeeze out your tea bag. Place bags of food scraps in green curbside bin 2-3 times per week, when it’s full, or if you will be gone for a few days.

How can I prevent odor with the green curbside bin?
Store the bin outside. Make sure the bin is locked after placing bags of food scraps inside. If possible store in a shady and well- ventilated area.  Place the bin out at the curb for weekly pickup, even if it isn’t full.

Will the curbside compost program attract rodents?
Just like when food scraps were in your trash, it is important to follow best practices to keep discarded material clean and neat. This means: Empty your kitchen container into your green curbside bin regularly. Ensure that the lock on the green curbside bin is shut securely after placing bags of food scraps inside. Never place loose food scraps in your green curbside bin, or on the ground. Set out the green curbside bin at the curb for weekly pickup, even if it is not full. View 10 tips on rodent control by clicking here and to view garden composter rodent control tips, please click here.

Is curbside compost pickup better than putting food scraps down a garbage disposal?
Yes. Decreased use of garbage disposals means saving water and electricity while also preserving the quality of our waterways. Food scraps are organics which increase Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) at our wastewater treatment plant adding to the cost of treating our wastewater. By removing these organics, the treatment plant can function more efficiently, save in the daily cost of operation while also helping marine wildlife and habitat thus improving our estuaries.

Curbside compost pickup is an alternative way to compost food scraps, and more comprehensive. It offers an opportunity to also keep soiled paper and fibrous food scraps that cannot go in a sink disposer, such as corn husks & core, celery, artichokes, bones, and fruit pits. Cooking fats and oils can be added to your compost. While still liquid, pour into a can or jar and store in the fridge to solidify. Add to your compost the day of pickup. Never pour grease or oil down the drain. Fats, oils, and grease cause sewer blockages leading to overflows harmful to public health. Check our A-Z recycling for where to dispose of unusually large amounts.

Why is meat, seafood and dairy accepted for curbside compost pickup and not in backyard composting?
These materials can tend to cause odors and can attract rodents and other pests. Also, backyard compost bins do not get to high temperatures needed to compost meat, seafood and dairy. At large composting facilitieslike those used by Black Earth, temperatures reach between 140-160 degrees.

Watch the Zero Waste Revolution at Lanikai School in Hawaii

Watch how this school transform this valuable resource – food waste – into rich compost. “This is not a problem, it’s an opportunity. Garbage is our greatest resource. You just have to know what to do with it.” They even have a “Resource Recovery Specialist”. Watch Video