What Goes in Your Compost Bin in Austin

Pizza boxes? OK. Liquids? No thank you.

The city of Austin's residential composting program collects organic material – food scraps, yard trimmings, and food-soiled paper – and converts them into nutrient-rich compost at a processing facility. Austin Resource Recovery offers a handy tool online, "What Do I Do With ...?" that allows you to type in a specific item to determine its proper destination: composting, recycling, or trash. Here, we've gathered a few general guidelines, but a good rule of thumb is if you're not sure if something can be composted, better to leave it out and not risk contamination. (Source: Austin Resource Recovery)

Food Scraps

YES: cooked or raw meat, poultry and seafood (including bones), cheese, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, grains, pasta, eggshells, bread, coffee grounds, tea bags, tea leaves, baked goods, nuts, jelly candy, snack foods, leftovers, spoiled food

NO: liquids, fats, grease, plastic, glass, metals, Styrofoam

Yard Trimmings

YES: grass clippings, small branches, small tree limbs, tree roots, flowers, leaves, plants, straw

NO: rocks, soil, tree stumps

Food-Soiled Paper

YES: paper bags, paper napkins, paper towels, paper plates, paper cups, paper take-out containers and take-out boxes (with no plastic or wax coating, and with metal removed), pizza boxes, coffee filters, microwavable popcorn bags, newspaper, tissues

NO: glossy paper or window envelopes

Natural Fibers

YES: Popsicle sticks, sawdust (in paper bags), shredded paper, toothpicks, wooden chopsticks, untreated wood

NEVER: aluminum, animal carcasses, ceramics, cigarette butts and ashes, clothing, diapers, fats, oils, grease, glass, glossy paper, hazardous waste, kitty litter, landscape timbers, liquids, medical waste, metal, pet waste, plastic bags, plastic containers, plastic straws, rocks, Styrofoam, trash, treated or painted lumber, tree stumps, treated or painted wood, wine corks

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