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What Can Be Composted


As of March 1, 2015, only food scraps are accepted in businesses' compost.

These non-food items will NO LONGER be accepted:

 Materials no longer accepted in compost

**Portland’s residential composting program has not changed.

Bags - Transparent and semi-transparent BPI certified compostable bags will be the only non-food item allowed.

Find FAQs and more information about these changes.

What's Allowed, and What's Not?

Business compost is Food Only.

Please note: residential compost guidelines are different.


YES — all foods go into business compost

  • Meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, bones
  • Eggs and eggshells, cheese, dairy products
  • Bread, baked goods, pasta, rice, beans, nuts, seeds
  • Coffee grounds and filters
  • Tea bags and loose leaf tea
  • Vegetables and fruit
  • Spoiled food
  • BPI-certified compostable bags

NO — these items do not go into business compost

Not food

  • Cardboard
    • Waxed or regular boxes
    • Pizza boxes
    • Plastic-coated cardboard
  • Paper products
    • Paper towels
    • Plastic-lined papers
    • Coffee cups
    • Coffee stir sticks and toothpicks
    • To-go boxes
  • "Compostable" products
    • The only non-food item allowed is BPI-certified compostable bags for collecting food
    • Even if something says "compostable," "biodegradable," or "made from plants" it CANNOT go into the compost
  • Yard debris
    • Tree trimmings
    • Leaves
    • Grass
    • Brush/weeds
    • Wood (raw, painted, treated)
    • Pallets
  • Liquids, grease, cooking oil
  • Plastic garbage bags
  • Plastic-lined papers
    • Coffee cups
    • To-go boxes
  • Plastic wrap/film
  • Styrofoam TM, metal, glass