Ins and Outs: Curbside Composting in Kitsap

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​Curbside Compost for Food Scraps and Yard Waste

Curbside compost service is available to most homes in Kitsap County. Service providers pick up compostable materials at your home to be composted locally on the Kitsap Peninsula.

Search for your address to see if your home is eligible. If it's not eligible, let us know you're interested. This helps us plan for future services.

Questions about composting? Email solidwaste@kitsap.gov or call Kitsap1 at 360.337.5777.


Guide to Curbside Compost

3 Steps to Collecting Compost

What goes IN

Items that go in your compost cart:

  • Yard waste (leaves, grass, plant trimmings, and branches less than 3" wide and 4' long)

  • Food (meat, eggs, dairy, bread, grains, seeds, nuts, vegetables and fruit)

  • Paper towels, napkins and coffee filters


What stays OUT

  • NO plastic, including items marked "compostable/biodegradable/degradable"

  • NO shiny paper like milk cartons, plates, cups, bowls

  • NO liquid cooking oil

  • NO pet waste, litter, bedding, animal carcasses

  • NO rocks or dirt

  • NO raw, painted, or treated lumber or pallets

  • NO fruit and veggie stickers and other labels

  • NO glass or metal

  • NO noxious weeds (put in trash)


Take extra care before composting these items

Some items require extra preparation before composting. Follow these guidelines to prevent contaminating the compost with plastic. If you're not sure, do not compost it.

When trash makes it into the compost bin, it can end up in the compost that is returned to our lawns and gardens. So if you don’t like it in your garden, don’t put it in your bin." - Jeff West, owner of Olympic Organics composting in Hansville & Bremerton

Pizza box

Pizza boxes

​Remove stickers and labels from greasy pizza boxes. If it's not greasy, it can be recycled.

egg carton

Egg cartons, paper

​Remove stickers and labels. If you can't remove the label, compost only the parts without a label.

shredded paper

Shredded paper

​Only compost plain shredded paper. 

Keep plastic out of your shredder. Envelopes with plastic windows or glossy paper mailers have plastic coatings. Recycle these instead. 

tea bag

Tea bags

Remove staples from compostable tea bags.​ Only compost tea bags that feel like tissue paper. 

Many tea bags are made of plastic and not compostable. Plastic tea bags feel silky to the touch. 

paper plate

Paper plates

Only compost plain matte paper plates.

​Do not compost shiny or glossy plates. These have a plastic coating and are not compostable.  

wooden chopsticks

Wooden chopsticks, popsicle sticks, paper straws

​OK to compost. Do not compost "biodegradable plastic" straws.

weeds

Weeds

Some weeds are OK to compost, but noxious weeds should be bagged and put in the trash to prevent the spread of these harmful plants.

paper bags

​Paper bags

Plain paper bags are OK to compost, but are best for the recycling bin instead. Remove stickers and labels before composting.

Optional: Use to line your kitchen food scrap bin.

compostable liner bags

​Compostable liner bags

​Only compost bags labeled " BPI-Certified."

Optional: Use to line your kitchen food scrap bin.

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​Newspaper

Plain newsprint paper is OK to compost, but is best for the recycling bin instead. Do not compost ​glossy advertisements and inserts.

Optional: Use to line your kitchen food scrap bin.

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​Paper take-out containers

​Remove all stickers and labels. Only compost plain brown boxes (same texture as paper egg cartons).

Do not compost shiny or glossy paper - these have a plastic coating and are not compostable. 



 Include the food

Some compost carts are labeled "Yard Waste Only." This can be confusing. Service providers in our area accept food scraps in the compost containers, so be sure to include kitchen scraps in your collection carts too.


 Certified compostable bags

Bags are optional. Food scraps may go directly into your cart.

"BPI-Certified" compostable bags can be used to collect food scraps in your kitchen and can be composted. You may also use a plain paper bag or newspaper. 

Bags are sold in local grocery and home stores near the trash bags, or online by searching for "BPI Certified compostable bags." 

 Noxious needs, large branches, Christmas trees

Keep harmful and toxic noxious weeds from spreading. Bag them and put in the garbage. 

Cut branches less than 3 inches thick down to 4 feet long. This size allows the compost process to break them down. The lid should be able to close.

Compost your unflocked Christmas tree. Cut it into 4-foot lengths before placing in your compost cart. The lid should be able to close.


 Kitchen bins

Collect food scraps in a designate kitchen bin. Any sturdy container works. Some people like small containers to empty frequently, while others like large containers that hold more scraps. Reduce odor and prevent fruit flies during summer by storing your food scraps in the fridge or freezer.

Container Options: Ice cream buckets, coffee cans or food storage containers. Other countertop compost containers are available online and in local home goods stores.


 Avoid fruit flies

Make some easy changes to your composting routine during fruit fly season.

  • Use a kitchen bin with a tight-fitting lid and/or a carbon filter.

  • Store your food scraps in the fridge or freezer until collection day.

  • If your kitchen bin fits in your fridge or freezer, store it there rather than the counter.

  • Put food scraps in a BPI-Certified compostable bag or paper bag, or wrap the food scraps in newspaper.

  • Wash or rinse your kitchen bin after emptying it.


 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 on the Kitsap Peninsula.

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

  • Reduces greenhouse gas. Low oxygen conditions in a landfill prevent food scraps from the normal rotting process. Instead, food scraps produces 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, ask a neighbor to share the cost of a single compost cart.


 Other composting options

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