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What's Accepted

Imagine everything you put into your compost cart coming back in your food.

Food Scraps – fruits and vegetables (skins, seeds & pits), seafood bones & shells, grains, bread, eggs & shells, dairy (cheese, butter & yogurt), meat & bones and congealed grease (in paper container)

Food-Soiled Paper – paper napkins, paper towels, uncoated paper plates (no surface sheen) and greasy pizza boxes, coffee grounds and paper filters, paper tea bags

Paper Bags, Newspaper & Shredded Paper – bills & envelopes (no padded or window envelopes & magazines), paper bags

Yard Trimmings & Untreated Wood – grass clippings, leaves, plant and tree trimmings, untreated Wood – no plywood, painted or stained wood


What's Not Accepted

  • Compostable or Biodegradable Bags*
  • Corn, sugar or potato-based utensils & containers*
  • Paper cups – 99% have plasticized liner*
  • PLA (Polylactic Acid) Cold Cups*
  • Diapers Pet Waste Dead Animals,
  • Treated Wood – plywood, painted or stained wood
* Just because a product label claims it is compostable or bio-degradable, if it is not recognized by the US Department of Agriculture as feedstock for compost used in organic farming, Redwood Landfill's WM Earthcare composting operation cannot accept them.

Tips for Collecting Food Scraps

SEPARATE: Separate food scraps while preparing meals, scraping plates and cleaning the fridge.

COLLECT: Use a kitchen pail, a reusable plastic tub or paper bags. Include food-soiled paper such as coffee filters and tea bags, paper plates, napkins, and paper towels. Freezing food scraps or wrapping them in newspaper can prevent leaks and odors.

EMPTY: Empty food scraps, food-soiled paper and plant debris into green compost cart.

Tips for Keeping Organics Cart Clean

Placing woody materials and paper products in your organics cart naturally reduces odor.

  • Include yard trimmings (especially leaves and woody material)
  • Place cardboard or newspapers in bottom of cart
  • Use paper bags to contain food scraps
  • Add shredded paper – all your bills and personal papers are compostable

Where Are Marin's Organics Composted?

Nearly 90 percent of Marin’s organics (food scraps and yard trimmings) go to Redwood Landfill’s WM EarthCare of Marin composting facility in Novato. This state-of-the-art composting facility produces compost approved for organic farming. Residents can be proud that their discarded organics are used to grow food and nourish local soil. WM EarthCare Homegrown Compost carries the industry’s highest standards of excellence.

USCC Seal of Testing Assurance – US Composting Council created testing protocols to ensure that compost is tested to the highest industry standard and that consumers have information on the quality of the compost that they are using. USCC Certified laboratories test compost to measure: pH; Soluble Salts; Nutrient Content (Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium); Organic Matter; Moisture Content; Particle Size; Maturity; Stability; contamination, Metals; and Pathogens. WM tests batches weekly and makes results available to the public. To read more about the test, visit US Composting Council. To see testing results go to .

CDFA – The California Department of Food and Agriculture conducts site visits to participating composters and takes independent samples to validate compost nutrition claims (1 percent nitrogen for WM Earthcare Homegrown Compost) and inspects feedstock and the composting process to ensure that it is compliant with the US Department of Agriculture National Organics Program.

OMRI – The Organic Materials Review Institute is a non-profit that provides an independent review of compost intended for use in certified organic production. Acceptable products are OMRI Listed. WM EarthCare Homegrown Compost is OMRI listed.


Is Compost for Organic Farming Different?

Yes. Compost that is suitable for use in organic food production in California must be registered as an Organic Input Material with the California Department of Food and Agriculture. This means only a very limited, if any, amount and type of synthetic (i.e. paper and cardboard) material can be included. Investigators conduct routine sampling and inspections, respond to consumer complaints and make sure facilities comply with the laws and regulations.

Why Compost Food Scraps?

Did you know Californians landfill nearly six million tons of food each year? In landfills, decomposing organic material generates methane, one of the most potent greenhouse gases. That’s why the State of California and most cities and towns in the Bay Area enacted legislation requiring the composting of yard trimmings and food scraps.