Food Scraps

Backyard Composting Curbside Organics

Alternative Options

Don’t toss those food scraps just yet… Consider alternate options of use for food scraps such as:

  1. Ends and not so pretty veggies? Add them to a pot of boiling water to make broth or trim up to make soup!
  2. Stale bread? Cut it up, bake them, and make your own croutons!
  3. Used coffee grounds? They can be used for plant fertizlier.
  4. Lemon Peels? Cut them up and use in your garbage or garbage disposal to freshen up your kitchen. 



For unused food scraps, be sure to place in the green/organics bin for curbside weekly collection or use for your backyard composter. The waste collection company uses the items picked up curbside to create compost for the community,

Adding food waste to the green/organics cart and backyard compost pile diverts organic waste from ending up in the landfill. This will lower greenhouse gases and reduce methane emissions from the landfill.

However, there are some items that cannot be composted such as:  dairy, meats, bones, or fats and oils. 

Find out more about backyard composting.


Kitchen Food Scrap Pails

Food scrap pails are available to residents of West Contra Costa County for your kitchen for convenient sorting of food scraps for composting or to place contents into the green/organics bin. For more information, CLICK HERE.


See below to learn about alternate ways to help reduce food waste and other options on ways to reuse such as donation…

sink drain

Never Pour Hot Oil Down Drain

Don’t pour hot oil or fat down the drain or straight into the garbage. Learn how to dispose of cooking oil or grease.

Ways to Reduce


Avoid Food Waste

Be strategic about how you store and eat your produce. Vegetarian Times provides a great explanation of why some veggies and fruit go bad before others, and offers a handy chart to help you plan your week.

Reusable Shopping Bags

Create a Detailed Meal Plan

One way to reduce food waste is to create a detailed meal plan for the week and build a shopping list around that meal plan. This better ensures everything will get consumed. Check out this meal planner from


How You Store It

The shelves, drawers and doors of your refrigerator are designed to hold different types of foods. When food is stored as intended, it will last longer and save you an extra trip to the store. Learn more about proper fridge organization.

Ways to Reuse

Donate to a Food Bank

Consider donating unused food to families in need. Food banks generally accept these items: non-perishable proteins, kids’ snacks, traditional holiday food, condiments and spices, personal hygiene products, as well as baby food, formula and diapers.

Did You Know?

The Impact of Food Waste

According to this PDF fact sheet by the NRDC, the United States invests much of its natural resources on growing food: 50 percent of land and 80 percent of fresh water in the United States is used for agriculture. Meanwhile, 40 percent of food in the United States is wasted, and 41 million Americans live in food-insecure households.

I Value Food: A Campaign to End Food Waste

The Perfect Compost Recipe

Can I Make My Compost Pile Break Down Faster?

Your compost pile breaks down faster if you mix together the right amounts of green and brown material. Your brown to green ratio is based off of your carbon to nitrogen ratio: 25-30 parts carbon to one part nitrogen is ideal. Keep in mind that food or yard waste all have different C:N ratios (shown here). Don’t get out your calculator for these ratios, instead just eyeball how much you put into the compost pile.