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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: 

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.