Oakland Recycles - Your Recycling Team
Compost Cart and Bin


Putting food scraps, food-soiled paper and plant debris in the compost is one of the easiest ways to reduce methane emissions and slow climate change.
compost acceptable items

Acceptable Items

Only the following items are allowed in the compost cart or bin:

Food Scraps: Fruits/vegetables, meats and bones, egg shells, dairy (cheese) and bread.

Food-soiled Paper: Napkins/paper towels, pizza boxes, paper-to-go boxes, coffee filters, and tea bags.

Yard Debris: Grass clippings, branches, leaves, and cut flowers.

compost unacceptable items

Unacceptable Items

Below are a few common items found in the compost cart and bins that prevent your organic material from coming back as compost.

Plastic Bags: Do not put compostable items in plastic bags.

Diapers and Pet Waste: Place in trash.

Plastic containers, glass or metal: Place in recycle.

Polystyrene: Place in trash.

Hazardous Waste: View disposal options.

Plant Debris


  • Yard & Landscaping
  • Unpainted, untreated wood
  • Palm, Yucca
  • Cactus
  • Grass clippings
  • Leaves, Weeds
  • Branches, Pruning
  • Brush


  • Dirt or rocks
  • Sod
  • Treated or painted wood or lumber

Food Scraps


  • Raw or cooked vegetable
  • Fruit
  • Grain
  • Fish
  • Meat, Bones
  • Dairy products
  • Egg shells
  • Nut shells
  • Small amounts of cooking fats, oil or kitchen grease


  • Large amounts of fats, oil or kitchen grease

Food-soiled paper


  • Paper towels and napkins
  • Tissue paper
  • Paper cups & plates (non plastic-lined)
  • Greasy pizza boxes
  • Coffee filters, tea bags
  • Shredded Paper


  • Plastic-lined paper (milk cartons, coffee cups)

Other unacceptable items

  • Plastic bags (do not bag compostables)
  • Diapers
  • Pet Waste
  • Recyclables (plastic, glass or metal)
  • Clean paper or cardboard (should be recycled)
  • Polystyrene foam
  • Hazardous Waste (batteries, chemicals, paint, etc.)

Tips for Composting

  1. Use a paper bag or reusable container and place directly into your outside container.
  2. You can reduce the “ick” factory by using shredded paper, or newspaper to line your compost containers.

Did You Know?

  1. Organic waste releases methane gas if it is thrown in the trash and landfilled. Only place food scraps and plant debris into your compost cart or bin so it has a chance to come back as nutrients for soil.
  2. Plastic bags do not break down and contaminate compost, please do not place your organic material in plastic bags. 
  3. Reducing food waste is a big step in reducing greenhouse gases. Visit StopWaste.org for tips on reducing food waste in your home or business.