Food & Yard

Compost icon
Photo of a compost cart curbside

Food & yard waste (or compost) service, is required for every home and business in Seattle. It's an important part of sorting your waste that helps the environment and cuts down on your waste costs.

For Business &
Commercial Customers:

Businesses that generate food waste or compostable paper must subscribe to a composting service or self-haul their food waste to a transfer station for processing. They can also save money and reduce waste through the City of Seattle's Commercial Compost Collection. Learn more about business & commercial composting.


Composting food and yard waste at your house is part of daily life.

Since 2012, food and yard waste service has been required for all households of 1-4 units, and since 2015, you can no longer put food and compostable paper, including food-soiled pizza boxes, paper napkins, and paper towels, in the garbage. Yard debris such as leaves, grass, and plant trimmings are not allowed in your garbage, either.

The most common items in the food & yard waste carts are food scraps (meat, bones, shells, dairy, fish and moldy leftovers), leaves, branches, plants, and approved food packaging that says "Compostable." Check out the Where Does it Go? flyer or use the Where Does it Go? lookup tool.

Choosing and managing your food & yard (compost) service: