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4 Tips to Kitchen Composting in San Francisco

4 Tips to Kitchen Composting in San Francisco

Should you compost? Composting can benefit the environment around you and significantly reduce the amount of excess waste you produce and save landfill space. Plus it’s mandatory in San Francisco - so that’s a YES! Living here, a lot of us do not have space for an outdoor compost pile. But not to worry. Today, we’ve partnered with San Francisco Environment’s Real Foodies Compost to share our tips on kitchen composting.

Choose a compost pail. Look for one with tight-fitting lid, charcoal filters in the lid to control odors, adequate storage and easy to clean.

Currently using the EcoCrock compost pail and love it! It’s white ceramic exterior and leaf handle gives it a sleek and modern look. And looks nice in our kitchen! The vented lid has small holes to bring in air circulation and a charcoal filter that absorbs odors, keeping your kitchen smelling fresh. A removable bucket allows food scraps to slide out without a mess or hassle.

Choose a location for your indoor compost pail. We keep ours on the counter but you can also place it under the sink, in the cupboard or wherever you think is useful.

Choose what you'd like to compost. See our list of do's and don'ts. Make sure to check plastic containers and plastic bags to see if they are labeled compostable.


  • All food scraps and spoiled leftovers
  • Meat bones and seafood shells
  • Oily pizza boxes and paper takeout containers
  • Small parts of plants
  • Waxy paper
  • Coffee grounds, tea bags and paper filter
  • Cotton balls/cotton swabs with paper stems
  • Small pieces of wood including chopsticks, coffee stirrers, toothpicks, clean (untreated) wood
  • Used paper napkins and paper towels


  • Aluminum foil or trays (foil goes into recycling even if dirty)
  • Liquid dairy products (pour down the drain)
  • Clean cardboard or paper (recycle)
  • Cooking oil (must be taken to a grocery store or other take back location)
  • Glass (recycle it)
  • Plastic bags (not labeled compostable)
  • Plastic labeled “biodegradable” (can not be composted)
  • Juice or soy milk type boxes with foil liner (goes in the landfill )
  • Metal cans and lids (recycle)
  • Diapers and feminine products (landfill)
  • Kitty litter and animal feces (bagged go into landfill bin)
  • Small construction debris (must be properly disposed of by a contractor)

Empty into the Green Bin. Once your compost pail is full, simply bring it to your garbage room. Empty your pail directly into the green bin (all buildings have it for composting) and it will be picked up with your other recyclables and landfill bin. That’s it!

Our transition to a composting household has been easier than we would have imagined. After our home-cooked meals, it's become part of our routine to add any food scraps to the EcoCrock compost pail. Instead of throwing vegetable scraps, fruit scraps, paper napkins and tea bags into the garbage, we toss it in the compost pail! This process allows us to support San Francisco's goal of zero waste by 2020. Composting is definitely one of the ways you could help. To find out more, visit SF Environment website.

For more tips and tricks on easy composting, visit the Real Foodies Compost website and follow along via FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Did you learn something about composting you didn’t know before? Tell us in the comments below.


Thank you to SF Environment's Real Foodies Compost and Chef'n for partnering on this post!

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