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Food scraps collection

Guide to curbside food composting.
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New food scraps collection program!

Urban unincorporated Washington County community members can include food scraps in their yard debris roll carts.

What areas offer curbside food scrap collection?

If you live in a city included in the list below, you may have access to curbside food scraps collection combined with your yard debris pickup. Click on your city's link to learn more:

Collecting food scraps for composting

  1. Find a container to collect food scraps.
  2. Place food scraps container in a convenient spot in your kitchen.
  3. Collect all food scraps in the container.
  4. Empty food scraps container into yard debris cart.

Do include:

  • Meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, eggs, cheese, dairy, bread, baked goods, pasta, rice, beans, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruit
  • Peels, pits, eggshells, bones and coffee grounds
  • Raw or cooked food, uneaten leftovers and spoiled food
  • Paper coffee filters and tea bags
  • Food-soiled paper napkins and paper towels
  • Only Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) certified compostable bags

Do NOT include:

  • Coffee cups, paper plates, takeout food containers or wrappers, drink cups, straws or utensils
  • “Compostable” containers or packaging, or other items labeled "biodegradable" or "made from plants”
  • Wax paper, parchment paper or facial tissue.
  • Plastic bags, plastic wrap, metal or glass. Remove all packaging from food before putting it in your compost bin.
  • Liquids, grease or cooking oil

Why composting?

Composting food scraps helps reduce pollution. Composting turns food scraps and yard debris into healthy soil. Participate in a curbside compost collection or community garden compost program to help reduce food waste sent to landfills.

Nearly 30% of garbage is food scraps

Food is an essential part of our lives. Despite our best efforts, food waste still happens. When food starts to break down in landfills, it releases methane gas, which traps heat in our atmosphere and contributes to climate change.

Food scraps guide

Food scraps guide


  • You can include food scraps in your yard debris collection service roll cart starting on October 1.
  • Collect your food scraps in a small container in your kitchen and dump it in your yard debris roll cart often.

  • You can use a watertight container like an ice cream tub, yogurt tub or soup takeout containers for collecting food scraps. You can also purchase a collection pail.

  • Line container with a BPI certified compostable bag or paper bag.
  • Freeze meat and fish until collection.
  • Empty food scraps into the yard debris roll cart often.
  • Wash container with soap and water regularly.

  • Mix food scraps and yard debris to reduce odors.
  • Keep lid closed.
  • Keep cart in the shade.
  • Sprinkle baking soda inside the cart to prevent odors and bugs.
  • Wash cart with soap and water.

  • No, your yard debris collection schedule will not change.

To compost yard waste and food scraps in your own backyard, our partners at Metro offer a comprehensive guide to help you begin your composting journey.