King County Says ‘Don’t Let Your Food Go to Waste’

The folks at King County’s Regional Recycling Program want our Readers to know that they can help cut down on garbage by recycling food waste:

The average family in King County throws away nine pounds of food every week, adding up to 470 pounds every year. As a result, more than one-third of King County’s garbage is made up of food scraps, food-soiled paper and yard debris. This is the largest percentage of the waste stream.

Des Moines residents who subscribe to curbside yard waste service can recycle all their food scraps and food-soiled paper in their green food and yard waste carts. When you recycle food scraps, rather than throwing them in the garbage, they are turned into nutrient-rich compost for local gardens and parks.

Here are tips to get started:

  • Find the best kitchen container for you
    Food scrap collection can be as simple as using a plastic container or a paper bag which can be recycled along with the food scraps. Containers designed specifically for food scrap recycling now come in a variety of styles from stainless steel to ceramic and bamboo, and are locally available in many stores. You can line your container with a compostable bag to make it clean and easy. Visit to request a FREE compostable bag sample.
  • Gather it all up
    Food scraps that can be recycled include meat, fish, bones, vegetable and fruit trimmings, bread, pasta and beans, egg shells and coffee grounds. You can also put in food-soiled paper like paper towels, napkins, coffee filters, even pizza delivery boxes.
  • Avoid the “ick”
    If you’re concerned about odors or fruit flies, place your food scraps in a compostable bag, a closed paper bag or store them in the refrigerator or freezer until collection day. Empty your collection container every few days into the food and yard waste cart.

To order a curbside food and yard waste cart, call CleanScapes at 206-762-4900 or visit the website at There are several sizes available.

To learn more about recycling, including food scraps and food-soiled paper recycling, look for the Recycle More. It’s Easy to Do. booth at the Des Moines Farmers Market every Saturday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

For more information about recycling and compost services in Des Moines, visit Get recycling tips and waste reduction information on Facebook at

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