Curbside Composting: What do I do with my Food Scraps?

Nearly 100,000 customers are participating in the City of Austin’s curbside composting services and that number is expected to double by 2020. The question most often asked about the composting program is, “What can I put in my green cart?”

The answer is, an amazing assortment of food scraps, yard trimmings, natural fibers and food-soiled paper that are converted into nutrient-rich compost for use in landscapes and gardens around the community.

For example, cooked or raw meat, poultry and seafood (including bones), cheese, pasta, dairy products, spoiled food, small branches and tree limbs, grass clippings, popsicle sticks, pet fur, untreated wood, pizza boxes, food-soiled paper plates and napkins and coffee filters are just a few of the compostable items allowed in the green compost carts.

Green composting carts are picked up once a week on the same day as your regular trash is picked up. If you have a question about whether an item is compostable or not, go to, type in the item and find out whether it goes in the trash, recycling or composting cart. If you are unable to find an item by searching for it, please email us at We’ll answer your item question and make a note to get it added to the search tool.

Even if you feel your green cart doesn’t seem full enough to put at the curb for pickup, set it out anyway. Crews will collect your cart, regardless of the amount of materials inside.

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