Food Scraps Collection at Work

How Food Scraps Collection Works

What goes in

All food scraps – including raw and cooked meat, bones, dairy, fruit and vegetable trimmings, grains, cooked food, spoiled food, plate leftovers, tea and coffee grounds – can go in the bin. In addition, Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI)-certified compostable liner bags are allowed and will help keep bins clean.


What doesn't go in

Nothing else. Food only! No napkins, pizza boxes, to-go or take out containers "compostable" or "biodegradable" products, utensils, gloves, straws, parchment paper, twist ties, or other garbage are allowed. The only exception is BPI-certified compostable liner bags.


How to keep your bins clean and avoid odors

If your business hasn't had issues with odors or pests in the past, it's unlikely that you will now by simply separating food scraps from the garbage. Here are some recommendations to ensure your bins stay free of nuisances:

  1. Line your indoor containers with a compostable bag. (See next section.)
  2. Take out the food scraps at least once a day.
  3. Keep outdoor bins in a shaded area with the lids closed.
  4. Make sure outdoor bins are getting picked up by your hauler often enough.
  5. Rinse or wash both indoor and outdoor bins regularly.
  6. Ask your hauler to swap out compost bins annually. (There may be a fee.)

How to use liners

Keep your indoor bins clean by lining them with (BPI)-certified compostable bags. Not only do these special liners keep your bins cleaner, they make it easier to take out your food scraps. These bags are available through your food service and supplies vendor or a local restaurant supply store.

Please note: BPI-certified compostable bags are the only item allowed in the food scraps collection besides food.

If you do not want to use compostable bags, there are other options for lining your bins. Connect with a Green Business Advisor for more ideas.

How to get started

A Green Business Advisor can offer free onsite consultation to help your business implement a food scraps collection program and provide free staff training, indoor collection bins, posters and stickers. We can also contact your hauler on your behalf to set up collection services.

FS binsFS stickerscomputer screen

There may be opportunities to reduce waste and save money on your garbage bill at the same time. Our Green Business Advisors can help track the volume of garbage and food scraps in your outside bins to make sure you're paying for the right amount of service. The appropriate pickup frequency and size of container can lead to measurable cost savings.


Contact a Green Business Advisor for help and join the hundreds of other Washington County businesses that are already acomposting their food scraps!

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