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What Counts as Organic Waste?

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compost bins,organic waste bins,recycling bins

“Organic waste” is a phrase that can be interpreted a lot of different ways, especially when it comes time to throw out that old cotton towel, or those holey woolen socks.

Cotton is organic. Wool is organic. But, do they count as organic waste?

Here in the metro Seattle area, everyone has an organic waste bin provided by the city in which you place the obvious: eggshells, wilted salad greens, coffee grounds and the like. But, what about those socks, and that towel?

Organic Waste List

Here’s a basic list of things they’ll accept, keeping in mind that your organic waste bin isn’t exactly the same as your compost pile:

- Baked goods (and the stuff you use to make ‘em)
- Houseplants and flowers
- Paper (paper towels, egg cartons, napkins, etc.)
- Dairy (cheese, milk, ice cream, butter, yoghurt)
- Meats (including shells, bones, etc.)
- Fruits and veggies
- Coffee grounds, teabags and filters
- Waxed cardboard products (processed food boxes, takeout boxes, juice cartons)
- Hair (yep)

Basically, if you can eat it you can put it in your organic waste bin. That includes processed things as well, like cookies, chips, frozen pizza and so on.

NOT Organic Waste

Unfortunately, there are lots of things that are organic, but don’t qualify as organic waste according to city codes. Here’s a list of things that are not considered organic waste:

- Cotton products (towels, clothing, linens)
- Wool products (clothing, bedding)
- Rubber (flip-flops, dog toys)
- Leather (shoes, bags, belts)
- Liquids (not so much because they can’t be processed, but because they get stuck in the bin)

The good news is that most of this stuff can go in your compost pile or bin if you have one, although you may want to skip the shoes and flip-flops.

Break down compost faster and with far less odor with the Exaco "Aerobin" compost bin. 

If composting isn't an option and you have no organic waste bin, the top-rated Waste Maid will make short work of waste with its stainless-steel grinding components.  

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