Ins and Outs: Curbside Composting

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​Compost Food Scraps and Yard Waste

Curbside compost service is available to most single-family homes in Kitsap County. Service Providers haul materials to be composted locally on the Kitsap Peninsula.

Search for your address to see if you can receive this service. If your home is not currently eligible, you'll be prompted to submit a form letting us know you're interested. This helps us plan for future services.

Questions about composting? Email solidwaste@co.kitsap.wa.us or call Kitsap1 at 360.337.5777.

Guide to Curbside Compost

3 Steps to Collecting Compost

Compostable items

  • Food scraps (including meat, dairy, and seafood)
  • Yard waste (keep out noxious weeds and branches larger than 4 inches thick or 4 feet long)
  • Napkins, paper towels, and coffee filters

Special care items

Some items require extra care to prevent plastic and metal contamination in the compost. Follow the guidelines for these special items.

Pizza box

Pizza boxes

​Remove stickers or labels. 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 made from 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.

News_Icon.png ​Newspaper ​Remove glossy advertisement and inserts. Plain newsprint paper is OK to compost, but is best for the recycling bin instead.
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​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.

 Common Contaminants

​Produce stickers and other labels

Check your fruits and veggies carefully to remove stickers.

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 liquid 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.

Rocks and dirt

Do not compost.


 Include the Food

Some compost carts are labeled "Yard Waste Only". This can be confusing. Service providers in our area do accept food scraps in the compost containers, so be sure to include kitchen scraps in your collection carts too. Take care to prevent plastic, glass, or metal contamination from packaging though.

 Certified Compostable Bags

BPI-certified compostable bags are used to collect food scraps in your kitchen and can be composted. Use is optional. Food scraps may go directly into your cart or into an uncoated paper bag.

These bags are sold in local grocery and home stores near the garbage bags or in the natural home products section. Find them online by searching for BPI-certified compostable bags. 

 Noxious Weeds and Large Branches

To keep noxious weeds from spreading, they must go in the garbage. Keep noxious weeds and branches larger than 4 inches thick or 4 feet long out of compost bins. The composting process does not fully breakdown these items. Other branches, garden clippings, leaves, flowers, and grass clippings belong in the compost bin.

 Kitchen Container

Any sturdy container will work. Some people like small containers and empty frequently, while others like large containers that hold more scraps. To reduce odor, store your container in a freezer or fridge.

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

 How Composting Helps

  • Keeps valuable resources out of the landfill. Around 42% of what the average Washington home trashes is organic waste that could have been composted.
  • Reduces 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.
  • Keeps nutrients available. Compost is shown to increase crop yields, clean toxic stormwater runoff, and repair damaged soils.
  • Reduces 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.  

 Households with Small Amounts

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.

 Other Composting Options

Drop off clean yard waste at one of these yard waste recycling facilities or consider starting a backyard compost pile or worm bin composter.