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Food Scrap Composting

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All Alameda County jurisdictions offer curbside food scrap composting services to residents of single-family homes and many provide services to apartments and condos as well. Please visit to find out more about food scrap composting in multifamily buildings.

What items can be composted?

All food products including: fruit, vegetables, breads, cereal, dairy, meat (including bones); coffee grounds, filters and tea bags.

Food-soiled paper including: paper towels, plates, napkins, pizza boxes and paper lunch bags.

Items that are not accepted include: plastic (bags and Styrofoam), glass, metal, liquids and pet waste.

Composting food scraps is easy!


Collect food scraps in your kitchen pail 

Tip:  Line your pail with a paper bag or newspaper to help keep it clean.  



Empty the contents of your kitchen pail into your green yard waste cart

Tip: Using the pail is not required. You can collect your food scraps in paper ice cream cartons, take-out containers, milk cartons paper bags or any other paper container that works for you.  


Set out your green yard waste cart for weekly pickup

Tip: Do not set your little pail out at the curb

Why we collect and compost food scraps

Food scraps and food soiled paper are the largest single item in our waste stream. By participating in the food scrap recycling program, food scraps and food soiled paper are sent to a composting facility where they are turned into compost - a valuable resource used by landscapers and farmers. Food scrap collection and composting are easy ways to keep food scraps from the landfill. See attached flyer (PDF) that explains how food scraps are turned into compost. Join your neighbors by collecting your food scraps and food-soiled paper. 

Food scrap composting reduces green house gases and conserves water

Food scrap collection and composting reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and conserves water. Food scraps emit more methane than any other material in the landfill. Methane is 23 times more potent a GHG than carbon dioxide (CO2). Keeping food scraps out of the landfill reduces methane production. The use of compost made from food scraps and plant debris improves soil quality, increases crop yield and reduces the need for fertilizers and pesticides, which are extremely energy intensive to make and transport. Compost use helps soil retain water and reduces water consumption. Transporting water for agriculture is energy intensive;

Find out more about your city's residential food scrap composting program.
Find out more about food waste prevention.


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