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5 Practical Household Tips for Organics

brown crinkled paper with food scraps on top.

Embracing organic waste collection is a tangible way to reduce your environmental footprint and contribute to a healthier planet. Whether you’re new to composting or seeking to optimize your waste management practices, here are five practical tips to help you participate in organic waste collection effectively:

1. Educate Yourself on Accepted Materials

Before you start separating your organic waste, familiarize yourself with the types of materials accepted for your program. Common organic waste includes most food items, but some programs may also include other organic materials. This varies from program to program, so make sure to look up items like yard waste, leaves, compostable plastics, and other biodegradable products such as paper towels. These items may or may not be allowed in your organics collection program. Knowing what your program accepts is the best way to help it thrive.

2. Invest in Suitable Containers

organic waste bin with lid. Food in the bin. Someone's hand opening the bin.

Invest in durable and appropriately sized containers for collecting organic waste in your home. Some municipalities may provide these items, while others will have a list of acceptable bags and containers. Consider using sealable bins or compost pails with tight-fitting lids to prevent odors and minimize the risk of attracting pests. Check with your program to see if they require organics collection to be loose or in bags. It is important to note that not all compostable or biodegradable bags on the market are suitable for organic waste collection, so it is best to see what your program recommends.

3. Establish a Convenient Collection System

Designate a convenient location in your kitchen or backyard for storing organic waste containers. Consider placing your organic waste bins near your food preparation area for easy access while cooking. Convenience is key to building the habit of proper organic waste disposal.

If your program also accepts any outdoor organic waste, such as leaves, grass clippings, or weeds, keep an outdoor bin as well. Not all programs combine these two, so make sure to check how your program handles yard waste.  

4. Practice Proper Waste Separation

green waste collection

To maximize the effectiveness of organic waste collection, practice proper waste separation throughout your household. Encourage family members to separate organic waste from recyclables and other non-organic waste. Label containers or bins clearly to avoid confusion and ensure successful adherence to local collection guidelines.

If you have multiple people residing in the same household, you may even want to post a note for each bin on what goes where based on the materials your home typically uses. Posting picture guides for kids can help them learn correct sorting easily.

5. Make it a Habit

Getting used to organic waste collection can take a bit of practice, but if you try to establish a routine, you’ll be able to hit the ground running. Setting up a process in your household can help establish good habits. You could do this by establishing specific days or times that the indoor bin gets emptied to avoid bad smells. You could also establish a routine while cooking by keeping a plate next to your cutting board to gather up scraps for the bin. Building habits to your existing routines can help boost the amount of organic waste collected.

Embrace Sustainable Waste Management Practices

Participating in organic waste collection is a proactive step towards sustainable living and environmental stewardship. By adopting these practical tips and integrating organic waste collection into your daily routine, you can contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, conserving natural resources, and promoting soil health in your community.