Collecting food scraps in the kitchen as you cook or clean up is simple. Just follow these few steps.
- First, if you are participating in a community organics collection program, be sure to check the list of acceptable food waste that you may include for curbside collection. If you are composting in a home compost pile or bin, avoid scraps that might attract pests, such as bread products, dairy, and meat. For more details, read the Environmental Protection Agency’s list of items to avoid when composting.
- At the cutting board, set a scrap bowl or your kitchen pail next to you. Use a pail with a lid to reduce odors in the kitchen. Place all trimmings into the scrap bowl or pail. Have a separate pile for plastic wrappers, produce stickers, and bags, and make sure those items go into the trash.
- After cooking, scrape food waste left behind into the kitchen pail. If you bake with parchment paper that is 100% fiber-based, it can go into the pail, too.
- When you’re done eating, scrape any safe-to-compost food from plates or bowls directly into your kitchen pail.
- Freeze or refrigerate scraps to further reduce odors in your kitchen if you won’t be taking them outside right away.
- In cleaning out the fridge, remove old food from wrappers and packages before you place it into the kitchen pail or organics container.
For help with composting at home, check out Simple steps to backyard composting.
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