What can and cannot go into your organics bin can be confusing. It becomes even more complicated when different organics bin programs accept different material. Although all organics bin programs differ from municipality to municipality and business to business, there are some standard items that are accepted across the board.
For the majority of organics programs out there, the following is accepted:
Every organics & composting program will accept food waste. Rotten produce (fruit and vegetables), produce peelings, bread, coffee grinds, egg shells, and all other edible food products can be disposed of in your organics bin. Most will also accept all meat and animal by-products (dairy), such as meat trimmings and bones. If you are composting at home, it is unlikely that you would want to compost meat products because they contain some unhealthy bacteria, and have a higher likelihood of attracting vermin and pests. However, in industrial composting or bio-gas facilities, meat and meat by-products are easy and safe to process.
Further, napkins and compostable paper products are generally accepted in your local organics program. These are things like paper towel, tissue, moulded paper (egg cartons, coffee cup trays) and paper take-out containers. Since these materials have been recycled so many times, they are no longer accepted in the paper recycling stream, but break down well in the organics stream and provide a material for excess moisture, liquid and oil to reside.
Animal fats from cooking various animal products release natural fats/oils that assist in the cooking process. When you are done cooking meat and poultry, there is often grease, fat and oil leftover from the cooking process. This end product can be put into the organics stream. Putting this product down the drain is a common mistake that could cost residents and business owners in the end, as it causes severe draining issues after build up occurs. Given this, it is very important to dispose of grease and fat properly.
Wooden utensils, skewers and popsicle sticks are all able to go into the organics stream. This is a great alternative to plastic utensils that would otherwise go into the landfill.
There is one other item that not all organics programs support, but we do at Davidson Environmental. Coffee cups!
Coffee cups are only compostable in some facilities that have longer, more industrious composting processes. Coffee cup material is absolutely not recyclable in the paper stream, which means if it is not composted, it is garbage. Think about how many coffee cups go into the landfill each day if they are not being composted. A lot! At Davidson Environmental, we utilize all of our organic material for bio-fuel, which is an extensive and lengthy process which gives the coffee cup material enough time to break down into compostable material.
Although this list is extensive and provides you with a good foundation of what goes into your organics bin, you should always check with your local municipalities guidelines if you are getting service directly from them as what can and cannot go in your bin may differ. For those who work directly with us, do not hesitate to contact us at any time if you have questions about what goes into your bin. E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us anytime.