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Washington State University


Program Contact: Jerilyn Ritzman, Sustainable Community Stewards Program Coordinator
425-357-6027 •

Foodcycling – It’s So Easy!

Recycling food and yard waste creates compost for family-friendly landscapes.

What exactly is foodcycling?

Foodcycling is an educational WSU program encouraging people to: take advantage of curbside food and yard waste collection services and apply local commercially-produced compost to their own landscape.

Anyone can foodcycle!
The food cycle starts when you dispose of your
food and yard waste in your food and yard waste container. This reduces the trash entering thelandfill!

Next, materials breakdown in the composting process at a local facility. Nutrients are recycled and turned into compost, which can
be used in your home landscapes and gardens, and on local farms. The compost helps to grow healthy food and lawns and reduces the need for chemicals.

The cycle is complete when you return food leftovers, grass clippings, and leaves to your food and yard waste container!

Learn more in our Foodcycling Brochure.


Here’s a video of Ciscoe Morris foodcycling at his house!



Confused about what goes in your yard waste cart? 

Want to recycle more paper?

Why is foodcycling good for families?

Using compost in your yard helps keep kids and pets safe by reducing your need for garden chemicals. Healthy soil holds moisture longer, and can reduce your summer water bill.Compost-enriched soil helps to fight water pollution, leaving our natural places healthier for future generations to enjoy. Being a foodcycler helps to reduce greenhouse gases by keeping compostables out of the landfill while also helping to reduce your trash bill.

What is compost?

Compost is the dark, earthy material produced by decomposing yard debris, animal waste, and food scraps. Cal Recycle: Compost and Mulch (website)

How is compost made?
Compost can be made in your backyard using several different processes. Composting at Home (pdf) or compost can be made at commercial facilities that accept food and yard waste. Learn more about Western Washington commercial compost facilities:

How to use compost:

Using compost is like feeding the soil. If you don’t have the time or patience to make your own compost, you can buy it and apply it! Compost can be used for new or existing lawns, landscape beds, and gardens.

Why is foodcycling good for the environment?

Foodcycling helps fight climate change! When food and yard wastes are composted, the decomposition process releases less greenhouse gases than the yard and food waste decaying in the landfill.

Compost helps keep our water clean!

Compost can be used to manage storm water and help soils absorb pollutants before they get to our streams, lakes and Puget Sound.

Are there chemicals in compost?

Most herbicides and pesticides break down in the compost process. Compost producers conduct tests to insure no harmful chemicals are present in finished compost.

Are there diseases in compost?

The compost process helps suppress and eliminate diseases and pathogens. However, you should never put pet waste in a compost bin.