Our Thoughts on Phasing out Compostable Liners

By: Kristie Blumer, Organic Solutions Sr. Manager

It’s undeniable: the use of kitchen caddies and kitchen caddy liners has helped so many families give food scrap recycling a try for the first time. For that reason alone, they definitely deserve a place in the community composting sphere. The real question, however, is whether or not liners really make a substantial difference when it comes to cleanliness and smell. Is it all just psychological?

Even though we appreciate the usefulness of compostable liners for getting composting newbies comfortable with the process of collecting food scraps, we know that compostable plastics are more difficult to turn into compost than pure food scraps — even when the bags are BPI certified. On top of this, you have options when it comes to going compostable plastic-free and choosing to reduce your use of liners. As we continue to work with small farms to create a distributed composting operation across the DMV, we hope to minimize the use of liners in order to maintain the high quality of our finished compost. 

If you’re considering phasing out compostable liners in your own composting practice, we have some tips for maintaining the same standard of cleanliness that you’ve grown accustomed to. 

  1. Use a more durable caddy that can be washed thoroughly in your kitchen sink or put in your dishwasher
  2. Put your food scraps in a tupperware container on your counter and let them dry out a bit before transferring them to a sealed food scrap container. (smelly stuff tends to come from the moisture in your scraps!)
  3. Freeze your food scraps until the day/night before collection
  4. Put your scraps directly into your collection bin (with no bag)
  5. If excess moisture is what influences the use of liners, try wrapping moisture-heavy items in newspaper or paper grocery bags

If you still plan to use kitchen caddy liners for the time being, please try to dump the contents of the liner into the bin and put the empty liner in separately. Additionally, never tie up your kitchen caddy liner as that can negatively affect the compost process (read more here). If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to our team. We are here to help you navigate through your composting journey! 

 

2 Comments

  • Julie Wolf-Rodda
    Posted October 11, 2021 10:19 pm

    Thanks for clarifying about the liners. Now I know not to tie them. I’m new to composting. Not sure why but I also didn’t realize I could just put my scraps in a Tupperware and toss them into the bin w/o a liner. I suggest an easy to find “new to composting?” area on your website that clarifies things like that. I wouldn’t have bought the bin.

    Thanks!

  • Sara Mack
    Posted October 25, 2021 6:15 pm

    We love that idea, thanks Julie! And welcome to Compost Crew!

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