Food Scraps and Compostable Paper are Resources
230,864 tons were disposed of at the landfill in 2008
What is it?
Food scraps are unwanted cooking preparation and table scraps, including items (PDF, 29 K) such as banana peels, apple cores, vegetable trimmings, bones, egg shells, meat and pizza crust. Compostable paper, sometimes called food soiled paper, usually comes from the kitchen and is not appropriate for paper recycling due to its contamination. Materials such as stained pizza boxes, uncoated paper cups and plates, used coffee filters, paper food cartons, napkins and paper towels are all compostable paper and great for recycling in the yard waste container.
Why recycle food scraps?
In the landfill, food and soiled paper is a wasted resource. As these materials and other organics decompose they generate harmful greenhouse gases such as methane. When food and soiled paper are composted at a compost facility this causes an aerobic process (oxygen) Both food scraps and food soiled paper can compost very well into a soil amendment that is valuable to soil and plant health.
You may be putting your vegetative materials in a worm bin and that is another great alternative. However, technological advances now allow safe collection and processing, and nearly 100% of King County now has curbside collection of food scraps mixed with yard waste where materials are made into compost by Cedar Grove Composting (external).
Updated: Feb. 26, 2015