Food Scrap Composting
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:
- Each city's curbside recycling and composting programs.
- Food scrap composting in multifamily buildings at RecyclingRulesAC.org.
- Backyard composting.
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.
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.