Five Composting Questions Answered

A few months ago we posted about the top five compost misconceptions from a survey we administered. Since then, we continue to receive more composting questions and wanted to answer the top five questions here.

  1. Meat bones and dairy – Meat and fish bones that won’t be eaten can be placed into your green Compost Cart.  Uneaten dairy products that are not liquid, like cheese and yogurt can also be put into your Compost Cart. Remember that liquids don’t go into any of your three carts!
  2. Disposable paper take-out containers – Make sure these items are completely made from paper (they should be easy to tear) and if they are, they are considered ‘food-soiled paper’ and would go into your green Compost Cart.
  3. Moldy food – All food, moldy or not, can be placed into your green Compost Cart.
  4. Bioplastics – This is a complicated question as there are many types of products that make this claim. Ultimately, the best bet is to make sure items are “certified compostable” by the Biodegradeable Plastics Institute (BPI). These items have been tested to be able to be processed in industrial compost facilities. However, even though that is the case, try your best to avoid these materials to begin with. Compostable containers and utensils still take a lot of energy to make and can be replaced by using reusable items instead.
  5. How do I get composting at my apartment/condo? – If your apartment or condo complex doesn’t have access to a composting on site, there are two options:
    • Start a worm composting bin at your apartment where you would put certain organic waste in, worms eat it, and it becomes rich compost. For more information, the County of San Mateo’s Office of Sustainability has a page dedicated on how to get started. They also offer rebates if you buy a worm bin through them.
    • Reach out to your property manager and inquire about getting food-waste composting collection started at your apartment complex. Most likely there are other residents that have inquired as well, so finding support will only better your chances! You can also contact Recology directly and they can assist in getting compost started at your apartment.

For more tips and tricks about compost, visit RethinkCompost.org and for more common questions and answers, check out the “Ask the Expert” page. Or ask your question below!

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