Residential Food Composting Program

Food composting - what's accepted
Food composting is now available to all of our customers – Include the food in your brown compost cart!

¡Incluye la comida!  Toda la información en español está aquí.

What can you compost?  Lots of Items…click here for the complete list!  Customers can put all food items (including meat/bones, dairy, bread, fruit & veggies), food-soiled paper, paper cups & plates, paper towels/napkins, coffee grounds/filters, tea bags and yardwaste in the brown compost cart. 

Food Composting Is As Easy as 1-2-3!


Step 1:  Place your kitchen compost pail in a convenient location in your kitchen.  For best results, empty daily or line your container with newspaper, paper bags, or approved compostable bags.  Collect food scraps while preparing meals, scraping plates and cleaning out the refrigerator of unwanted leftovers or spoiled food.  Remember to include paper towels, napkins, paper plates and coffee cups.  It all adds up!




Step 2:    Empty your kitchen compost pail, including the liner, into your brown compost rolling cart as frequently as you like.  Place your cart out for weekly pickup on your regular collection day.






Step 3:  Our trucks service your carts and bring the food scraps, soiled paper and yardwaste to our Napa Recycling & Composting Facility, where it is processed into organic compost that is used as a soil amendment for landscaping, gardens, farms & vineyards…closing the loop locally and sustainably!








food-composting-pailKitchen Pail Tips

  • Use your kitchen pail, or any container of your choice, to collect all food scraps and soiled paper.  Your pail comes with this info flier highlighting its features and how to adjust it for ease of use. Here is a video showing some of the features – more info is also available at
  • Compostable bags, paper towels or newspaper work great at keeping kitchen pails and compost carts clean. Any compostable bag used as a liner must carry the Biodegradable Products Institute’s “compostable” symbol. The terms “biodegradable” and “compostable” are not used consistently and reliably in the marketplace and the BPI “compostable” symbol offers the highest assurance of compatibility with operations at Napa’s Compost Facility.
  • Our List of Retail Locations has local options for buying certified compostable bags (please notCertified Compostablee that retail locations and availability change and all updates may not be on this list).  You can also purchase compostable bags from many online retailers.  The pail can use any 3 gallon or less certified compostable bag – here is a list of certified compostable bags.
  • Our Food Composting Program Brochure and Compost Pail and Cart Care Tips flier have more info on keeping pails and carts clean.

Can’t I just use my garbage disposal for food scraps? 

Disposals aren’t meant to handle large quantities of food. Sending food into the sewer requires additional water to flush the food down the drain line.  Conserve water by collecting your food scraps for composting. By doing this, not only do we protect the environment, but we also capture personal cost savings for using less water and community savings from less wastewater treatment costs.  Soiled paper, bones, seafood shells, fruit pits, and fibrous food scraps, as well as fats, solidified oils, and grease (FOG) should never be put down the drain, but can definitely be placed in your compost pail.  In particular, FOG can cause sewer blockages leading to spills and overflows, which are harmful to the environment and public health. Give our sewer system a break and compost your food scraps instead!


THANK YOU for the terrific 25% response rate on our recent survey about our successful pilot composting program!  Participation in the pilot program enabled us to roll out the full program to all of our customers.

550 of the 2242 households in the pilot program responded.  63% are participating & 37% are not — so both “camps” were represented.  Here are the Complete Survey Results.


  • The #1 reason households say they’re participating is that “Composting turns organic material into a rich soil amendment that can be used right here in Napa County.” At the same time, keeping organics out of landfills reduces production of powerful greenhouse gasses.  Find out more about both the Benefits of Compost Use and how Composting Decreases GHG Emissions.
  • Households participating in the program reported an average 25% reduction in what goes in their trash cart each week!
  • The #1 reason households say they are not participating is that they put food waste in the garbage disposal. Unfortunately this is not a good option because food that goes down the drain ends up at the wastewater treatment plant, where removal of the food increases treatment costs. Also it is estimated that a household uses about 900 gallons of water annually just to wash food scraps down the garbage disposal!

Many households asked about Backyard Home Composting. Free home composting workshops have been offered to Napa County households for nearly 20 years. Choose from the workshops offered and sign up now!


For more information on the food composting program, here is our full Food Composting Program Brochure, y la información en español.