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What Goes in the Green Bin

Food Scraps Recycling


​Put organic waste in the green bin, but keep inorganic materials like glass, metal, and plastic out.

​What goes in the green bin?​


  • All food scraps, including produce, grains, dairy, and meat
  • Prepared food (leftovers)
  • Shells (egg shells, seafood shells) and bones
  • Small amounts of fat, oil, and grease

​Food-soiled paper

A lot of food-soiled paper-products are compostable, but not recyclable with clean papers. Put these items in the green bin. Examples include:

  • Paper napkins
  • Food-soiled newsprint (often used to line a kitchen catcher)
  • Paper towel
  • Coffee grounds and filters, paper tea bags
  • Wooden chopsticks, skewers, popsicle sticks
​ ​

​​What DOES NOT go in the green bin?

Inorganic materials like glass, metal and plastic can't be composted.

​​Plastic and plastic-lined bags, even the ones labelled "biodegradable" or "compostable" are not accepted at all local facilities as they can cause operational problems, may not break down p​roperly during processing, and may contaminate the finished compost. If the operator identifies plastic bags or other non-compostable materials in the green bin, the entire load may be rejected and sent to landfill. Leave them out of your green bin to be safe, unless specifically allowed by your municipality or service provider. 

The following list includes examples of items that do not belong in the green bin. If you have questions about a specific item, contact your municipality or waste hauler​​.

  • Animal carcasses
  • Butter wrappers
  • Bread tags
  • Cereal and cracker box liners
  • Chip and cookie bags
  • Coffee cups and lids
  • Cotton swabs and balls, make-up remover pads
  • Cork
  • Dental floss
  • Dirty diapers
  • Elastic bands
  • Foil wrap, containers and pie plates

What if I still don’t know where it goes?​

Many types of food containers and packaging are made of more than one material, and these are the items that can be the most confusing.

Find out what to do with confusing items​.​

If you’re still unsure if something goes in the green bin, play it safe and put it in the garbage.

 Related links



About Food Scraps Recycling, About Food Scraps RecyclingAbout Food Scraps Recycling
Municipal Food Scraps Recycling Programs, Municipal Food Scraps ProgramsMunicipal Food Scraps Recycling Programs
Tips for Green-Binning, Tips for Green-BinningTips for Green-Binning
Tools and Resources, Tools and ResourcesTools and Resources

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