Ins and Outs: Curbside Composting

​Food scraps and yard waste can be composted in Kitsap County

Most single-family homes can subscribe to curbside compost service from their service provider. Organic waste is turned into soil products at a privately-owned composting facility in Belfair, WA.

Enter your address into our interactive curbside composting map to learn if your single-family home can receive curbside composting service. If your home is not eligible, you'll be prompted to submit a form letting us know you're interested.

Questions about composting? Email or call Kitsap1 at 360.337.5777.

Include the Food project logo.

 Which items can I compost in my cart?

Food scraps, yard waste, and some paper products

Food scraps (including meat, dairy, and seafood), napkins, paper towels, coffee filters, and yard waste are easy to compost. Remove shiny paper labels, stickers, plastic, metal, and glass. Don't put dirt or rocks in your compost cart.

Guide to Curbside Composting (pdf)

Be careful composting the following items

The items below require extra care. Please follow the instructions next to each item to make sure you don't contaminate the compost with plastic or metal.

Pizza box

pizza boxes

​Remove stickers or labels. Some pizza boxes have stickers that cannot be composted. Once stickers are removed, the pizza box can be composted. If the box isn't greasy, recycle it instead.
egg carton egg cartons​Remove labels. Some egg cartons have plastic-coated labels that cannot be composted. If you can't easily remove the label, only compost the bottom of the carton.
shredded paper shredded paper​Keep plastic out of your shredder. You can compost shredded paper if it does not contain plastic. Don't shred envelopes with windows or glossy paper mailers (these have plastic coatings). Recycle these instead.
tea bag tea bags ​Many tea bags are plastic and not compostable. Only compost tea bags that you're sure are paper. Plastic tea bags feel silky to the touch. Paper tea bags feel like tissue paper. Remove staples from compostable tea bags.
paper plate paper plates​Only uncoated paper plates. Many paper plates have a shiny plastic coating that cannot be composted. Coated plates look shiny. Uncoated paper plates are not shiny.
wooden chopsticks wooden chopsticks, popsicle sticks, paper straws ​OK to compost.
weeds weedsSome weeds are OK to compost, but noxious weeds should be put in the trash to prevent the spread of these harmful plants.
paper bags

​paper bags

​OK to compost. Use these to line your kitchen food scrap container.
compostable liner bagscompostable liner bags

​Only bags labeled BPI-Certified can be composted.

 ​ ​newspaper ​Remove glossy advertisement and inserts. Plain newsprint paper is OK to compost.
​paper take-out containers ​Plain brown boxes (similar texture to paper egg cartons) only. Remove all stickers and labels. Do not compost shiny to-go boxes, these are coated with plastic.

 Which items can't be composted?

​Compostable or biodegradable "plastic" tableware and cups

​Not composted locally - put in the garbage. Our local composting facility does not accept these items. These are commonly found in Seattle and on ferries, and are often labeled "CEDAR GROVE." Includes take-out containers, take-out wrappers, compostable cups, and utensils.

​Cooking oil and grease

​Put cooled grease in a can with a lid and put in your garbage. You can recycle cooking oil for free at all county recycling facilities.

​Pet waste and litter

​Bag and put in the garbage.

Glass, plastic, and metal

​These damage composting equipment, ruin compost, and put compost users in danger. Recycle or toss appropriately.

 My compost cart is labeled "Yard Waste Only." Can I put food in it?

Yes, as long as you follow these instructions and prevent any glass, plastic, or metal contamination.

 Where can I buy certified compostable bags?

BPI certified compostable bags are sold in Kitsap County grocery and home stores near the garbage bags or in the natural home products section. Or find them online by searching for BPA-certified compostable bags.

BPI certified compostable bags are optional. You can also put food scraps directly into your cart or into a paper bag.

 What yard waste can go in the compost bin?

Branches, leaves, flowers and grass clippings can go in the compost bin. Keep noxious weeds and branches larger than 4 inches thick or 4 feet long out.

 What food scrap container should I use in my kitchen?

Any sturdy container will work. Some people like small containers that they empty frequently, while others like larger containers that hold lots of scraps. To reduce odor, use a container you can store in your freezer or fridge.

Plastic ice cream buckets, metal or plastic coffee cans, or food storage containers are great inexpensive options. You can also purchase manufactured countertop compost containers online and in local home goods stores.

 Why is composting food scraps important?

Keep valuable resources out of the landfill. Around 42% of what the average Washington home trashes is organic waste that could have been composted.

Reduce energy and emissions from transportation. Garbage generated in Kitsap County travels over 300 miles to a landfill in Oregon, but composting is done locally in Belfair, WA.

Keep nutrients available. Compost is shown to increase crop yields, clean toxic stormwater runoff, and repair damaged soils.

Reduce greenhouse gas. Food scraps don't rot normally in the landfill because of the low oxygen conditions. Instead they produce methane gas, a potent greenhouse gas.  

 I don't produce many food scraps and I have a small yard - is this worth it?

Food scraps are heavier than other types of waste, so it takes lots of energy to transport them to the landfill. Sending even a small amount to the local composting facility makes a difference.

If you have a small yard and cannot fill your container with yard waste, consider teaming up with a neighbor to split the cost of a single compost cart.