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Food Scrap Composting

Learn more about preventing wasted food by making small shifts in how you shop, prepare, and store food at

All Alameda County jurisdictions offer curbside food scrap composting services to residents of single-family homes. Compost service is available to apartments and condos as well. Find out more about: 

Why we collect and compost food scraps

  • Food scraps and food-soiled paper are the largest single item in our waste stream and make up about 1/3 of what we throw away. 
  • Food scraps and yard trimming collected from curbside bins are sent to a composting facility where they are turned into compost.
  • Compost is a valuable resource used by landscapers, farmers, and gardeners. Compost improves soil quality, water retention, increases crop yield, and reduces the need for fertilizers and pesticides.
  • Food scrap composting reduces green house gases. Food scraps emit more methane than any other material in the landfill, and methane is 23 times more potent a GHG than carbon dioxide (CO2).

What items can be composted in the green bin?

  • All food products: fruit, vegetables, breads, cereal, dairy, meat (including bones); coffee grounds, filters and tea bags.
  • Food-soiled paper: paper towels, plates, napkins, pizza boxes and paper lunch bags.
  • Items not accepted: plastic (bags and Styrofoam), glass, metal, liquids and pet waste.

See flyer (PDF) that explains how food scraps are turned into compost.


Compost Tips

Keep compost clean

  • Remove stickers, twist ties, and rubber bands from produce.
  • Plastic, glass and metal should never go in the green cart.

Collect your food scraps

  • Keep a small bowl handy for food prep trimmings and for scraping your plate.
  • Use a paper bag, newspaper liner, or kitchen pail to collect food scraps.

Store your food scraps in a convenient place

  • On the counter
  • Under the sink
  • In the fridge or freezer – especially for meat and fish or during hot weather.

Put your food scraps in the green cart for weekly pick-up

  • Toss your compostable or paper bag of food scraps in the green cart.
  • Empty food scraps from your collection pail or bowl into the green cart.
  • Line the bottom of green cart with newspaper or leaves to keep it clean.

Be a helpful host

  • You can remind guests and family to be a good sorters. Create visual aids with our Sign Maker tool.

Further tips and information about food scrap composting can be found on our YouTube channel.