Composting your yard and food waste reduces greenhouse gas emissions, improves soil quality, reduces the need for chemicals and fertilizers and saves water.
In select areas, Waste Management offers yard waste and compost collection to residents. Some of our programs even allow you to combine food waste with your yard waste. Other programs are limited to yard waste. For more information about composting and to see if compost collection is available in your area, select your city or county.
Collecting Food Scraps in the Kitchen
- Collect food scraps from the kitchen in an empty yogurt container, Tupperware, bucket or any container with a tight fitting lid. Some cities provide food scrap collection pails to residents.
- Store your kitchen container under the sink or on the counter. Ensure that the container is at least as easy to access as your garbage container.
- To help keep your kitchen container and roll cart clean, consider lining your container with newspaper or a paper bag. You may include newspaper and paper bags in your compost.
By setting up a backyard compost pile, you can turn your food and yard waste into a nutrient rich soil amendment to help grow a healthy garden.
For information and tips about how to set up a backyard compost pile check out these resources:
- Metro's Guide to Effective Composting
- Composting for the Homeowner
- EPA's Create Your Own Compost Pile
Green Households - Waste Prevention
Managing waste effectively requires us to think about all 3 R's: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. To minimize our environmental impact, we must first reduce our consumption, then reuse items as much as possible and recycle, only as an alternative to landfilling our waste. Reducing and reusing waste is not only better for the planet, it can also be fun and save money.
- Buy products in bulk to avoid unnecessary packaging. Refill your own bags instead of getting new ones each time.
- Choose reusable mugs, water bottles and bags. Store extras in your car or at your desk so you will be prepared.
- Select durable products when making new purchases. Look for high-quality products that are easy to repair.
- Rent, borrow or share infrequently used items such as trailers, power tools, ladders and lawn equipment.
- Buy locally produced items to reduce the amount of natural resources needed for shipping, packaging and transportation.
Before you buy, use or discard an item, ask yourself:
- Reduce: Can I buy this product with less packaging?
- Reuse: Can I or someone else use this again?
- Recycle: Can I recycle this after I use it?
- Buy Recycled: Can I get this item with recycled content?