Composting is one of the best opportunities to reduce our trash — about 25 percent of what we throw away is organic materials like food scraps and compostable paper that could be put to better use as compost. Composting involves collecting food scraps and non-recyclable paper to be turned into compost. This process creates a nutrient-rich material that can be used in gardens and landscaping projects.

Compost Ordinance

In 2022, the Washington State Legislature passed HB 1799 encouraging local governments to support the economic viability of compost processing and reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with organic material decomposition by procuring more compost and finished products derived from organic material wastes. As such, the City adopted Ordinance No. 750 that requires the City to consider the use of compost products only if such products are not cost prohibitive to acquire, available within a reasonable period of time, and comply with existing purchasing, health, quality, or safety standards. Priority preference is given to compost products that are produced locally, certified by nationally recognized organizations, derived from municipal solid waste compost programs, and able to meet state-level quality standards. The City must also provide information to the public about the City’s use of compost products on an annual basis and report several compost diversion and use statistics to Ecology on a biennial basis. The first report will be completed in 2024.

2023 Progress Update

In 2023, the City purchased 39.6 cubic yards of composted materials. This is equivalent to three to four dump trucks of composted materials. The City used the composted materials for landscaping and maintenance activities.