San Francisco Department of the Environment

Feeling a little gassy, SF?

Bloated landfills are a common cause.

Photo of banana peal

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.

Start composting at home. Here’s what to do.

  • Get a small compost pail for your kitchen.
  • Choose one that fits your lifestyle or get a FREE one from Recology.
  • If you have an on-site property manager, request a free pail from them. If you don’t, request one from Recology.
  • 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.

Why compost?

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.

Learn more about the many reasons composting is important.

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

Compostable bag filled with compostables (food scraps, etc.)