Recycling Food Waste

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Recycle food scraps to prevent sewage backups.

Whether you live in a home, condo, apartment or have a business, you can participate! Food waste and food-soiled paper make up about 30 percent of a typical household’s waste.

Are you dumping your food scraps in the garbage, or worse, putting them down the garbage disposal in your sink and increasing your risk of a sewage backup? Fats, oils and grease from cooking can gather in your home's side sewer. When a sewer backup is caused by a side sewer failure, you may be faced with digging up your yard, removing the adjoining sidewalk, and/or opening up the street, potentially costing tens of thousands of dollars. Repairs are NOT typically covered by homeowners insurance.

And when you keep food waste and compostable paper out of the garbage, you are saving a valuable resource. Instead of sending it to the landfill where it will stay forever, this raw material become rich, nutrient-filled compost that will help feed gardens around Bellevue. Compost also helps reduce water use because it slows runoff from sprinklers and rain. It's also a great substitute for fertilizers, which are harmful to Bellevue's streams, lakes, and wetlands.

By recycling food waste, you’ll have more room in your garbage can, and you may be able to downsize your can and save a bit of money.

Get Your Free Kitchen Composter!

Bellevue residents can get started food scrap recycling with a free kitchen food waste container by calling your solid waste provider, Republic Services, at 425-452-4762. Keep the mess down by using compostable bags in your container. Get a free sample from King County by taking the Compost More, Waste Less Pledge.

Items that you can put in your container, include: fruit and vegetable scraps; coffee grinds and paper filters; tea bags; meat and bones; cheese; and paper towels and napkins. Even pizza boxes can be tossed in your food and yard waste cart with the leaves and grass.

Explore in detail what you can recycle in your food and yard waste cart.

Recycling Food Scraps Can Be Mess-Free

  • Bag it! Use a paper or approved compostable bag to store food scraps. Just toss the bag in your food and yard waste cart when it’s full. See places in Bellevue where you can purchase approved compostable bags.
  • Use the news! Laying newspaper at the bottom of your cart or wrapping your scraps in newspaper helps keep your cart clean.
  • Chill it! Put leftovers in a container or wrap them in paper, then place them in your refrigerator until your weekly collection day.
  • Rinse your kitchen container and yard waste cart frequently into yard areas or sanitary sewer drains.
  • Cover food scraps in your cart with food-soiled paper, shredded paper, or yard waste.

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