What can I compost?

by Kristie Blumer, Organic Solutions Senior Manager

Some of the most frequent questions we get here at Compost Crew are about whether specific items can be composted.  And we’re here to help.

We provide our customers with a comprehensive list of what can go in the bin, as well as those things that should be left out.  In short, any food item can go in your bin.  So can greasy napkins and paper towels, and yard waste, as long as you have space in your bin.

Our team does regular audits of what gets collected from our customers’ bins.  In our audit this spring, we found that our customers are doing a great job.  Most of what was in the bins was organic material that can be composted.  However, we did find a few ice cream containers, which unfortunately have a wax liner and need to be put in your regular trash bin.

Here are a few answers about those really common items, that we get asked about all the time:

  • Meat and bones:  Yes
  • The staple on your teabag: No
  • Sticker labels on fruit and vegetables: No
  • Pet waste: No
  • Pizza boxes: Yes, as long as you have room for them in your bin.

Products labeled “compostable” may or may not actually be compostable.  That’s a topic worth its own blog post, so watch this space for another update on compostable ware. 

In the meantime, please follow us on Instagram, where we have a regular series of posts about what can ‒ and can’t ‒ go in your bin.  And if you have tough questions about items that aren’t on “The List” then please leave them in the comments below and we’ll get back to you.


  • Sparsh
    Posted February 28, 2021 8:57 pm

    Are Kleenex Tissues which have been used for say blowing nose etc are compostible? Since it is soiled with bodily fluids I am concerned about putting it without knowing.

    • crewadm
      Posted March 5, 2021 9:57 pm

      Good question, and you’re right to be concerned. You can put in paper products like napkins or paper towels that are soiled with food, but tissues that have been used to blow your nose should go into the garbage. Thanks for asking!

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