Examples of compost

Acceptable Unacceptable

Food Scraps (Anything that used to be alive)

  • Bread, grains and pasta
  • Coffee grounds with paper filter
  • Dairy
  • Eggshells and eggs
  • Fruit (pits and shells too)
  • Leftovers and spoiled food
  • Meat (including bones)
  • Seafood (including shellfish)
  • Tea and tea bags
  • Vegetables

Food Soiled Paper

  • Coffee filters
  • Greasy pizza boxes
  • Paper cups and plates
  • Paper ice cream containers
    (metal or plastic rim okay)
  • Paper bags, napkins, tissues and towels
  • Paper take-out boxes and containers
    (metal handle okay)
  • Tissues
  • Waxy paper milk and juice cartons
    (no foil liner, plastic spout okay)

Plants (Extra yard trimmings must be boxed, bundled or placed in brown paper bags less than 40 lbs. per item and placed next to the green cart for collection.)

  • Branches and brush
  • Flowers and floral trimmings
  • Grasses and weeds
  • Leaves
  • Tree trimmings
    (less than six inches in diameter and four feet long)


  • Cotton balls and cotton swabs
  • Hair, fur, and feathers (non-synthetic)
  • Plastic and cutlery clearly labeled "compostable"
    (green stripe or sticker to allow for easy identification)
  • Vegetable wood crates (metal wire okay)
  • Waxed cardboard and paper
  • Wood – small pieces of lumber or sawdust from clean wood only (no plywood, pressboard, painted,
    stained or treated wood)
  • Wooden chopsticks

  • Aluminum foil or trays
  • "Biodegradable" plastic (not labeled "compostable")
  • Cat litter or animal feces
  • Ceramic dishware or glassware
  • Clothing, linens and rags
  • Cooking oil
  • Corks – natural (drop in barrels at Whole Foods)
  • Corks – plastic
  • Diapers
  • Dirt, rocks or stone
  • Flower pots or trays
  • Foil-backed or plastic-backed paper
  • Glass, metal or plastic not labeled "compostable"
  • Juice or soy milk type boxes with foil liner
  • Liquids or ice
  • Plastic bags, wrappers or film
  • Recyclable/clean cardboard or paper
  • Styrofoam
  • Wood – plywood, pressboard, painted or stained wood

print Share Icon Last Reviewed 2017-08-13