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Weekly Tips | March 25, 2013

Kitchen Composting 101

When it's time to retire those leftovers, don't waste an opportunity! On seconds thought, scrap that and waste away - as long as it's in your yard waste cart!

Did you know that food scraps are now accepted in your yard waste cart? By placing food scraps into your yard waste cart you are giving them a second life as nutrient-rich compost.

If you are new to composting kitchen scraps, here are some tips for getting started:

First, educate yourself about what goes in your compostables bin. In general, you can include:

Designate a container in your kitchen for storing food scraps. Virtually any type of reusable container that will fit on your counter will do. The CleanScapes Store in Issaquah's Gilman Village offers a selection of compost containers as do many other local and online merchants.

To keep your kitchen container clean, rinse it out occasionally or run it through the dish washer. You can also line your container with newspaper, paper towel or a compostable bag. To avoid odors, take your food scraps out to your curbside cart every few days, or if you have room, you can store it in the fridge.

To keep your outdoor green cart clean you can line it with shredded paper, paper bags or even an old pizza box.

This short video contains additional information about kitchen composting basics:



If you are a CleanScapes customer, click on the appropriate city link below for more information about what to include in your cart or to sign up for service:

Carnation | Des Moines | Issaquah | Shoreline | Seattle

The Big Picture

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, we wasted 33 million tons of food in 2010, making food waste the single largest component of municipal solid waste that went to landfills and incinerators.

On a local level, Washington State data from 2009 shows that:

•18% of our overall garbage is food

•24% of our residential garbage is food

•22% of commercial garbage is food

Want to sign up for compost service? If you are a CleanScapes customer, give us a call at (206) 859-6700 to get started. If you live outside of CleanScapes service area, contact your local hauler to find out if curbside compost collection is offered in your area.

Resources: Time Magazine: Recycling Food Scraps | EPA: Reducing Food Waste

compost  food waste 


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