On the lid of your bucket you’ll find this handy visual guide telling you what can go in your bucket:
Essentially, if it’s a plant-based or animal-based material, it can go in, except for pet waste and human waste.
Our most common residential contaminants that we ask you to specifically watch out for are:
- the stickers, rubber bands and twist ties that are often attached to fresh produce
- paper cups and bowls lined with conventional non-compostable plastic
- nylon tea bags or tea bags containing staples
- plastics labelled “biodegradable” but not certified compostable
Paper products: Recycle, compost or trash?
Clean and recyclable paper products are better off in your recycling. Food-soiled paper products, or those lined with wax or certified compostable plastics, should go in your compost bucket. Paper lined with non-compostable plastics should be avoided, as they can only be placed in the trash.
Plastics: Biodegradable vs. compostable
There is a lot of confusion about plastics and composting. In general, plastics labelled “biodegradable” are conventional plastics with plant-based additives that help them biodegrade faster than they would otherwise. They still contribute microplastics to the environment, and they are not appropriate for composting. They also cannot be recycled, and should be avoided.
Certified compostable plastics are entirely plant-based and, in the right commercial composting environment, can be completely composted. We accept plastics labelled “BPI Certified” or “ASTM D6400/D6868 compliant”. Compostable plastics are not recyclable, and in a landfill are not much better than conventional plastics, so we encourage people to only use them if they know they will go to an appropriate composting facility.