Seattle Public Utilities Mami Hara, General Manager/CEO

Food Waste Tips

Avoiding fruit flies and odors
Handling kitchen scraps
Compostable bags

How to avoid fruit flies and odors

Fruit flies are most active in the warmer months. Though they are pesky, they will not harm you or the waste.

  • Keep your kitchen food scraps container sealed with a good lid. If you use newspaper or uncoated paper bags to wrap your scraps, take them out to the cart immediately. If you use an approved compostable bag, keep it in a container with a lid or take it out often.
  • Keep your food scraps in the refrigerator or freezer until collection day (Especially meat, fish, eggs, etc.)
  • Dump food scraps, compostable paper or paper bags into the cart. No plastic is accepted in your cart.
  • To reduce odors, sprinkle baking soda in the container.
  • Wash your kitchen container thoroughly with detergent and water after every use.
  • Vacuum up fruit flies (can be very effective).

For more information, please call the Garden Hotline at (206) 633-0224.

How to store kitchen scraps

  • Use a plastic, metal, or ceramic container with a snug-fitting lid. Line it with paper towels, newspaper, or an approved compostable bag to help keep it cleaner. A plastic juice pitcher with a twist lid is an economical option.
  • Wrap them in newspaper, plain brown paper, an approved compostable bag or paper towels. To prevent flies, take them to the cart or put them in the refrigerator or freezer or a lidded container.
  • No plastic bags or cartons are allowed in the cart because they contaminate the compost.

Approved compostable bags and where to get them

Some people bag their food waste before placing it in their cart to avoid odors and sticking. Approved compostable bags are not plastic. Plastic bags cannot go in food and yard waste carts.

Only approved compostable bags are accepted in the cart. They are made of vegetable material such as corn. You can buy approved compostable bags at most retail stores or online.