Avoid the "Ick"

""so fresh and so clean. Green compost cart with garden hose and cleaning supplies."

By: Ashley Pace

Now you can put your food scraps, food-soiled paper and yard trimmings in your green composting cart instead of in the trash. Reducing the amount of trash you are generating in your home creates amazing benefits for our community, and the planet, but it can be a dirty job. Here are some tips to help reduce odors, moisture and pests in your green cart.

Use the right bags

"BPI logo"

Regular trash or plastic bags are not compostable and should never be placed in your green cart, but we know that going without any sort of bag can get messy. Look for the BPI-certified logo when shopping for compostable bags online or at your local grocery store. These are the only bags proven to break down completely at an industrial composting facility. Paper bags or lawn-and-leaf bags are also okay for composting.

Freeze the stinky stuff

Most plant-based foods, leaves and paper won’t create much odor between your service days, but meat, bones, fish and dairy can start to get stinky quickly. Keep these items in your freezer until you are ready to set out your green composting cart to cut the stink factor out of the equation.

Set it out every week

Even if you don’t have much in your green cart, it's important to put it out on the curb every week by 6:30 a.m. for collection. Waiting too long can lead to mold, bad smells and pests that you don’t want to deal with.

Keep it clean

Consider placing yard trimmings, newspaper or a pizza box at the bottom of your cart to absorb moisture. If your cart is getting stinky, rinse it with mild soap and water when necessary. (Be sure to pour the dirty water onto the lawn and not down a storm drain.) Sprinkle baking soda inside your green cart to absorb odors and keep it smelling fresh.

The City’s goal is to get to Zero Waste by the year 2040. It’s a big goal, but by making small steps in our daily lives, like using your green composting cart, we can get there together. Use our online composting guide for more tips to make composting easier.