Home vs. Business: It’s different
Residential curbside compost collection allows food and yard waste, as well as food-soiled paper and pizza boxes.
Business compost collection is food only.
Apartments or condos that offer compost service may be food only or may allow yard waste as well. Look at the stickers on the bin or ask the property manager.
Learn why the guidelines are different and how your food and yard waste are turned into nutrient-rich fertilizers and renewable energy.
All food is allowed
- Meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, eggs, cheese, dairy, bread, baked goods, pasta, rice, beans, nuts, seeds, vegetables, and fruit.
- Peels, pits, eggshells, bones, and coffee grounds.
- Raw or cooked food, plate scrapings, leftovers, and spoiled food.
Allowed non-food items
- Paper coffee filters
- Paper tea bags
Allowed bin liners
- Homes: Paper, paper bag, or BPI-certified compostable bag.
- Businesses: BPI-certified compostable bags only.
What’s NOT allowed
NO coffee cups, paper plates, take-out food containers or wrappers, drink cups, straws, or utensils.
NO “compostable” containers, packaging, or other items labeled "compostable," "biodegradable," or "made from plants.” Learn why. (The only exception is BPI-certified compostable bags).
NO waxed paper, parchment paper or facial tissue.
NO beverage stir sticks (wood or plastic) or toothpicks.
NO plastic bags, plastic wrap, metal, or glass: Remove all packaging from food before putting it in your compost bin.
NO liquids, grease, or cooking oil.
- At home: Put cooking oil, kitchen fats, and grease in a sealed plastic bag or container with tightly sealed lid and place in the garbage.
- At work: Businesses can set up collection of used cooking oil and/or animal rendering from independent processors. Find companies through Metro’s Find a Recycler or call 503-234-3000.
Homes (and smallplexes with up to 4 units) can put food and yard waste together in their green bin.
Businesses cannot put yard waste or food soiled paper in their compost.
Types of allowed yard waste
- Weeds, leaves, vines, grass, flowers, house plants, plant clippings, pumpkins.
- Small branches (less than 4 inches thick and 36 inches long)
Other allowed items
- Food soiled napkins and paper towels.
- Pizza delivery boxes (remove any plastic or wax paper)
What’s NOT allowed
NO pet waste, animal bedding (including straw and chicken manure), or animal carcasses from hunting and fishing.
NO fireplace ashes, dirt, rocks, sod, lumber, treated wood, or sawdust.
NO stumps or large branches (more than 4 inches thick and 36 inches long).
NO raw, painted, or treated wood or pallets.
Not sure if it can go in compost?
Contact us at 503-823-7202 or email@example.com.
Apartment building recycling guide