• Reducing and Recycling Food Waste

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    Hands lifting recyclable items

    Food waste and food-soiled paper make up about 30 percent of a typical household’s waste. Whether you live in a home, condo, apartment or have a business, there are steps you can take to help reduce the amount of food waste sent to landfill.

    Tips for Reducing Food Waste at Home

    Reducing Food Waste

    Do you want to make the most of our food at home and reduce trips to the grocery store? Check out Bellevue Utilities’ new guide, which shares tips for reducing food waste at home.

    Learn how to turn leftover takeout into lunch, store food to keep it fresh longer, and meal plan to help you shop quickly for what you need. Also discover what dates on various food labels actually mean.

    There are countless resources that go into wasted food, including fossil fuels, land use, water and money. In fact, the average family of four in the U.S. spends $1,200 each year on food that is not eaten! Save time and money, and maximize the food you have at home.

    Recycling Food 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.

    Recycle food scraps to prevent sewage backups.

    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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