San Francisco Environment Department

Feeling Gassy, SF?

Bloated landfills are a common cause.

Banana peel

The cure? Composting at home. 

When you throw away kitchen food scraps and other compostable items they go into landfills. There, they create tons of harmful methane gas. This adds to the climate crisis.

So don’t trash your food.

Here’s how to compost at home:

  • Purchase a small compost pail for your kitchen that best suits your lifestyle.
  • Or click here to request a FREE pail from Recology. If you have an on-site property manager, you can request a free pail from them. 
  • Toss all food scraps, dirty paper and napkins, wilted flowers and plant cuttings into your new compost pail. Here’s a list of everything that’s compostable. (Never put glass, plastic or metal in the compost pail.)
  • Take it to the green bin and drop it in. That’s it!


compost pail

No muck. No yuck.

Keep your kitchen compost tidy and odor-free:

  • Line your pail with compostable bags. Make sure the word “compostable” is on the bag. (Never use a conventional plastic bag as it will contaminate the compost.)
  • Make sure your pail has a lid with holes. Air-tight containers lead to smells.
  • Place your compost pail in the freezer until you’re ready to put the contents into the green bin.


Nature’s way of recycling

Composting is basically nature’s way of recycling. Just like recycling discarded metal, glass, paper, and plastic gives these materials new life as new products, composting gives new life to organic matter. Compost collected from San Francisco homes is blended with soil to help Bay Area farmers grow nutritious crops and produce—even grapes in wine country.

Farmer applies SF compost to crops; photo by Larry Strong, courtesy Recology

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